After a week of being strictly Paleo, I succumbed to a very delicious looking brownie. My roommate brought home a whole tray over the weekend and I'd been staring at them for days but turning toward fruit instead. In a moment of weakness I grabbed one and cheated. This is my first cheat because I'm new on Paleo and I was wondering how you Paleo experts survived yours! How did you make sure you bounced back? How did you deal with the stomach pains that come with eating a treat like this? Do you have any advice for staying Paleo even after this little slip-up? Thank you!
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First, you didn't cheat. People like to throw that word around. Cheats get you to goals faster, not derail you. Indeed, some cheats are actually planned, too. You just failed / got derailed, and in the grand scheme of things, that's not really a big deal at all.
Okay, so you had a brownie. Next move: stop having brownies. There really isn't much more to it.
If you have celiac or GSE, you are likely to stop bad making decisions like this very soon, as you've finally realized gluten directly harms you.
Just keep your chin up, and move along. Obsessing about food and the choices you've made will only bring about more failure. Reaffirm with yourself why you are trying Paleo, and just let the bad decision and guilt or shame pass from you.
I feel like this is overdramatic. You ate a brownie, you didn't undergo some incredibly dangerous surgery. You really wanted a brownie, you gave in. Oh well, it happens. Own that you did it, or you will not learn control.
This isn't a test that you can fail, it's life, and you will struggle. If you feel like crap, that's a good lesson, and it will pass. They kill children in parts of Africa, because unethical Christian preachers brand them as witches. Let's get some perspective here.
In my life I go to a lot of meetings which means coffee and high-carb refreshments---cookies, brownies, cake, etc. So, I pick out a small helping of the best available choice there. It's a social thing and it tastes good. Three or four cookies a week won't break the bank. My diet before paleo was a complete train wreck day in and day out. Now I just don't keep the stuff at home and I stick to the script otherwise.
The best paleo diet is one that doesn't encourage self abuse after eating 'off plan.' Also, let's face it; your paleo ancestors would have also eaten that brownie! But their supply would be limited as baking methods were not up to our current standards ;)
Last night I had 1/2 cup oatmeal with brown sugar, cinnamon, and doused in milk. What did I eat this morning for breakfast? Two eggs and a coffee. Lunch? an apple, almond butter, and freshly roasted chicken wings. Tonight I'll be having chicken breast, kale, and a beet with butter. And I won't think a single moment about last night's oatmeal. Keep calm and paleo on.
Eat a solid meal when you feel up to it. If its the gluten that made you feel bad there is all sorts of remedies for that online, not that they all work. If it's the sugar that's messing with you, I find taking a nap helps.
You'll feel fine soon enough, and now you know how eating brownies makes you feel. Next time you want a brownie you can use this new information to do determine whether or not you want to eat it.
A brownie every once in a while isn't going to do too much damage unless you have celiac, so don't stress over it.
What kind of bouncing back is necessary after one brownie? There is no solution for eating brownies. You already ingested the calories. That's it, its over.
I think that people are often looking for some kind of magic pill that will make brownies not count. There is no food that can take you back in time to not eat the brownie. Fasting is not a solution either.
Get back on paleo if you think it will get you the results you want or you enjoy it. Or don't and continue eating brownies that is really all there is to it.
When I first started paleo, my first cheat was after 4 days. I had a pretty good mentality about it, thinking that if you fail at eating clean, then proceed by eating clean.
My mentality was better than my discipline. For the next half year or so, I didn't eat clean for more than a couple of days at a time. What really helped me create a change of habits was a change of environment. When I moved, I ate better.
Now, what keeps me from cheating is that I just seriously don't want the ill effects that I suspect bad eating to be a cause of.
How much it matters if you cheat is up to you, and it should depend on what you want to achieve.
I agree with pretty much everyone - just keep swimming! Try not to make the brownie a habit and you'll be just fine. My "cheats" always end up being a ton of fruit (which my body doesn't like) and I always feel horrible after! Needless to say, my fruit binges are becoming few and far between because I just plain don't like the way I feel after doing so, and also because my body is getting more and more adjusted to the Paleo lifestyle every day.
Don't sweat the small stuff - you'll get there :)