Does anyone else struggle from time to time - badly? Everytime I seem to get on the good road for a few weeks, a holiday, friend/relative visit comes along and I fall to pieces.
I am honestly feeling like I am on a constant merry go round - water off, weight moving, feeling great, go away or whatver so sugar in (at worse gluten in as well), weight on, headache and sweats on, feel miserable start all over again.
I believe in primal and I know that what I am doing is great for me and I know that eating those things makes me feel awful BUT some little devil somewhere in me gets hold of me on those occasions and it is driving me insane.
Does anyone else suffer the same? How do you cope and what do you do? How can you cope with and enjoy those occasions without feeling left out/ being labelled a weirdo/ feeling restricted?
AGH! This is ruining my life :(
The first few YEARS of my weight loss journey was like this. Weekends were always rough and I felt like I kicked @ss all week, then would screw up on the weekend and spend the whole next week making up for it. I also was scared to death of 3 day weekends, they just really threw me for a loop. Most holidays ended up in about a month of up/down issues.
This is really all a mental game sometimes. I got through the weekend thing by planning challenges for myself and giving myself little rewards. I would set up 12 weeks of really strict eating/exercising and push myself through it.
One other big thing is that don't let one little slip up screw up the entire day, weekend or week! Once you eat something non-Paleo that doesn't make it a free for all for the rest of the day! You need to make it a conscious decision. I will have this piece of cake for the birthday, but that's it breakfast/lunch/dinner will all be on-plan. Or if you screw up, you need to FORGIVE YOURSELF, move on and make the very next thing you put in your mouth something healthy.
You can't always be perfect, it's weird that it's kind of a perfectionism thing that leads to the "day is ruined" thing, but it really is.
Another trick I use is to plan my food ahead for the days I know will be rough. I will enter the food in my food diary for my meals and leave maybe 200/400 calories as "free calories". I hate changing plans, so it's another thing that helps keep me where I want to be.
I have a million little tricks I used to get myself where I'm at. Once you do them long enough they become habits. KEEP TRYING!
One more thing, don't worry about what everyone else at the event thinks about what you are eating. Most of the time they are impressed that you can stick to your plan even at social occasions. People that comment negatively are usually just the people that can't do it themselves. <3
Edited to add another tip I used this morning! I wear very form fitting/well fitted clothes and this also keeps me from cheating/over-eating. I am not uncomfortable, but if I ate way too much, I would be.
I do have my binge foods. I'll still buy a half pound of Jarlsberg Swiss once in a while and inhale the whole thing on a drive home. Or the same amount of salami. Once on a snow weekend with friends (none of whom are 'paleo') I ate half the freshly made oatmeal raisin cookies - late at night when nobody was around. But oh my lord this is SO much better than what I used to do: buy six donuts when I went to the store and stuffed them in on the way home. Keep a tub of dough in the glove box. Then have dinner... I am very very lucky I didn't get obese and probably would have if I had continued!
But it's different now, and I give myself a LOT more slack, and I think you can too even if you change nothing. Some random thoughts:
-There are a couple diets that include a built-in 'binge day'. I'm thinking of Tim Ferris' Four Hour Body. He says pick a day to pig out, but just tweak it a little so it's less damaging (he has interesting suggestions).
I don't do this - I'm too compulsive to have a whole day of eating crap to not extend it to the whole week, but I do use the idea to forgive myself when do I overeat. "I guess that's half my binge day" I'll think.
-I try to be generally zero carb - sugar is too powerful for me to have some regulated amount (the cheese and salami, above, are where I 'binge'). If a packaged food has any sugar in it at all (or unless I know it's a very small amount) I don't buy it - I don't try to play games with "allowed amounts". That's why I don't 'count' - for me it's all-or-nothing and counting is too in-between for me to handle.
-Also, eating pure fat is protective. I'm still getting my brain around this! A big spoonful or two of coconut oil or butter (omg, butter! - just look for the good stuff like Kerrygold) or even both before a social occasion might help resistance - but even if it doesn't it slows down the pace some. A couple weeks ago I tasted some of the bacon grease after a breakfast - and it was so good I spooned it all down. I weighed a pound or two less the next morning...
-It can help to bring 'safe' binge food along or keep around. Hard boiled eggs are great for this. So is coconut oil. People suggest sardines but the smell is a little much for company. Even if you're eating donuts later, filling up on protein/fat first should give you a little 'space' to make better choices.
-'Lacto' is dicey for me, unless it's cultured into kefir or yogurt - again it's too much sugar.
-It IS a huge mystery why it's SO hard to deal with! Nobody has the answer yet, so if you don't yet you're in good company :-)
yes in the past i've felt a little odd abstaining from foods and treats at a party. But overtime I've developed the realization that we're all adults (me and the people around me are all pretty much 30-50 years old) and absolutely noone should have any issue with what the others around them are or are not choosing to put in their mouth.
Its really very straight forward to me nowadays. Its incredibly simple: i have simply chosen, albeit with absolute resolute-ness, to not eat grains, legumes, and dairy. i don't make a big deal of it to people, I simply say no-thanks, or those that are close enough already know that i simply choose not to eat that stuff.
"Cope?" I don't mean to sound harsh, but I mean these are just social occasions where we are hanging out, talking to eachother, seeing kids, loved ones, etc - is what you eat or do not eat really that big an issue?
On the other hand, if the route i've described above seems out of the question for whatever reason, then why don't you just eat what you want on those occasions? If you eat well 30 days of the month (or whatever, just an example) and then have wheat or whatever for one day what is the worst really thats going to happen?
I am having the same problem. Good for a while as long as there is not a party or family gathering or we don't eat out much. I LOVE food and I have NEVER been a picky person. I was raised to be very thankful for whatever food someone served. But I think I am using that as an excuse #1 to cheat too much.
It is very easy for me to stay on track at home, I just don't buy the bad stuff. I've done the research, I know what's bad and why. But none of us (me, husband, 3yro) have health problems or sensitivities so I decided early on I would take a moderate approach- like Mark Sisson's 80/20. (My husband is more like 60/40, ha) It would be easier to stay away from pizza and icecream if it made me feel like I was going to die... but all I get is a little heartburn... so it's hard to be a complete grain/sugar nazi. That's excuse #2 I use to cheat too much.
Like Sherpamelissa said- the biggest issue I am working on is not letting that meal ruin my whole day. It is partly mental- "well today is already screwed up so I might as well eat _." It is also partly because I DO feel a little munchier after eating sugar/carbs, not as satisfied. Even if I feel "FULL" in my stomach, I still want to eat. I've got to work on NOT cheating as much, and not cheating more than one meal in a day.
I still feel like primal/lacto-paleo is the way to go, but life is made up of thousands of meals. I believe the majority of them should be as crap free as possible but I don't want to never taste birthday cake again, or my mom's homemade biscuits. I am trying to make my cheats those that are important- birthday cake, a special homecooked meal etc. instead of any old meal that isn't at home.
I completely understand where you're coming from. I've spent over a year "dabbling" in paleo - getting off to a good start, then doing a major crash and burn, feeling guilty, starting over. I still don't do it perfectly, but I've gotten much, much better. Some things that helped:
1) Take the emotion out of it, and speak kindly to yourself. You can be more aware of what's actually happening if you drop the guilt and shame and just look objectively at what's happening. "Oh, okay, I'm bingeing on this ice cream, what's going on? What lead up to this? Was it too much fruit this morning?" I've learned a lot more by being calm and rational.
2) Make sure you have a few Paleo books (and websites, like this one!) and read, read, read to keep yourself motivated. Keep digging into the science to really internalize what happens when you eat most neolithic foods.
3) Keep the gateway foods out of the house. I had organic, raw honey and brown rice syrup on hand, but found I'd start abusing them. I had to wash them down the sink.
4) Like some have already said, keeping it low carb seems to keep cravings to a minimum. (and pay attention to see if eating something higher carb doesn't set you down the path to a major lapse.)
5) You haven't failed if you pick yourself up and try again!
I understand the craving, the caving, and the bingeing very well. I lived that way most of my life. My answer doesn't satisfy most people...but for me total abstinence has been the answer. I just don't eat grains, sugars, or seed oils. PERIOD. Now I have absolutely no cravings. I tried having a special treat on the weekend or at a special event. All that did was trigger my appetite for more and then it took me forever to get back on track. Now I am just not tempted. Disclaimer: I do eat some dairy and I will use a little Splenda at times to sweeten my coconut bark. After nearly 6 months of being sugar free, I now look at items that used to be tempting with disgust. It also helps to really understand what these toxins are doing to my body. And no one has ever said anything about me not eating foods at a reception table or social event. I just talk and visit a lot and no one even notices. On one occasion I was at a breakfast where everything was grain based. I just drank my coffee and one person asked. My answer: I can't eat wheat. Simple as that.
I find that if i compromise with "better options" I won't be so tempted to "cheat" and feel bad about it later. I am hosting a birthday party for my daughter next week, and I am making sure to offer "better options" for myself (like "paleo" brownies, a veggie platter, etc.) to munch on rather than cake and chips. We're also doing spring rolls (it's a Kai-Lan theme party), so I am trying to make agreeable versions of these as well.
Just this weekend I had a HUGE craving for ice cream, and then I saw the post for an ice cream alternative with frozen banana's. I realized that I had all of the ingredients to whip up something tasty, and went for it! My craving was satisfied, and I didn't feel any of the guilt associated with eating some dairy and fake-sugar laden treat (things I have most earnestly tried to avoid). I think it undermines the purpose of giving yourself a treat if you end up feeling bad about it in the end.
It happens. I think the most important thing is to accept it and not be too harsh on yourself. Each of us is different, so we face different challenges. What is easy of one is a huge difficulty for another.
Personally I have absolutely no problem with staying away from grains and processed foods. My problem is with foods which are allowed in small quantities on paleo. I just binge on them or eat too much. Like dark chocolate, fruits, etc. Theoretically they are ok if consumed in small quantities, but I can eat two bars of chocolate a day... or stuff myself with macadamias, eat a few fruits in a row and so on.
When you fall, go back on. Most of us fall sometimes, but it's still amazingly good food that we eat compared to our SAD days.
Let yourself have small "desserts" that would be on the edge of paleo, so at least it's not total crap. Check what are your pitfalls (mine is being at home with no work, on the bored side, like weekends) and try to avoid them or predict and prepare better.
I also try not to have at home any "dangerous" foods. Sometimes I let myself eat something off, like fruits, and then don't buy any for a while. If it's at home, I will eat it :)
I have been to several parties, and even hosted one, and have completely abstained from sugar and grains. I have caved in on dairy, but only for greek yogurt (plain) with berries. Not a whole lot. It is not easy, but really all you have to do is say "No, thank you". You do not owe them an explanation.
Honestly, the easiest one to abstain during was the one I was hostessing. I just kept myself so busy, no one noticed I did not eat the cake or drink the punch.
Just mingle, maybe snack on nuts. I almost always have a handful of nuts in my purse for occasions such as this. I do understand the cravings. They are not easy. Good luck in your pursuit of a healthier way of life. :)
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