1

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Advice for beginners...?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 11, 2011 at 5:10 PM

I read the answers already posted to "Do you have diet advice for a beginner?" and learned a lot... I went ahead and posted this in case someone else has more they'd like to add.

Also, is there anything that one can eat to their heart's content? My husband and I are both working on getting over snacking all evening, but it's not always easy not to snack.

He's Type 2 diabetic (we're hoping he won't need meds once we're paleo) so any advice from any "former" T2s would be wonderful. (I realise that he'll always be diabetic, but maybe he won't need meds all the time)

I am very much a sandwich freak... also a cheese feind. Any advice on these? I have the book "The Paleo Diet" by Loren Cordain, Ph.D. and it talks of not having any dairy or grains at all.

Thank you for your help.

8d454fc50d6d58643d6f8b0d1e7ea8ea

(2830)

on October 14, 2011
at 12:56 PM

I was very snacky pre-paleo and have found that now, eating adequate protein and fat, not only am I not hungry, but if I do snack (i.e. eat when I'm not hungry) I get mild indigestion.

0e395acc856e3353f3f5892e6b09b0e7

(1227)

on January 12, 2011
at 02:30 PM

I can't drink alcohol anymore, so the first suggestion does not work for me, but the second paragraph is where I am after 5 months. just easing into trying a bit of starch. I stay away from sugar except for Lindt's 85% dark choc. 2 squares a day. I'm trying to wean myself from nuts mostly because can't be sure of freshness.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on January 11, 2011
at 07:09 PM

Tea + very dark chocolate is totally my end of night snack too. Love it!

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12 Answers

7
65660697ed243c7980725fd014eb00e0

(494)

on January 11, 2011
at 05:44 PM

It took me awhile to realize this, but I find not snacking is the best thing to curb my desire to snack. When I eat enough protein and fat, my body doesn't want more food. If I start snacking on something, even vegetables, I eat more out of habit. A lot of the time it's just mind over matter.

8d454fc50d6d58643d6f8b0d1e7ea8ea

(2830)

on October 14, 2011
at 12:56 PM

I was very snacky pre-paleo and have found that now, eating adequate protein and fat, not only am I not hungry, but if I do snack (i.e. eat when I'm not hungry) I get mild indigestion.

3
47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on January 11, 2011
at 06:05 PM

I agree with Kinetic that eating all the time, no matter what it is you might be eating, can have consequences for your appetite. I also think that not "grazing like a herbivore" (Harris) is probably a good thing in itself; it's good to not always have your body in "food mode" with all the hormonal changes that brings. (Which is probably also better for weight loss if that is your concern.) The third advantage would be that you won't have to be dealing with food all the time: you can just eat and get on with your life.

As for dairy products, you might benefit from a little elimination-reintroduction experiment. Try to leave the dairy out for 30 days, then reintroduce it and see what happens. You can also just try cutting out everything but butter. Search for the terms "dairy," "casein," and "mucus" here on paleohacks for more discussion.

And as for sandwiches, I would just say: "so long my old friend, we had a good run." There are some things you have to give up and I would guess that after a while you won't miss them. There are ways to duplicate the convenience of the sandwich of course (great threads like this one on burger buns, for example), but I think you can benefit by not even trying to replace the things you've lost and just letting them go instead. (The classic post on this from Kurt Harris was called "Smoking Candy Cigarettes.")

I'm sure someone else can help you with diabetes II questions. You can also edit your question if you wanted to make it more specific. Good luck with everything.

2
Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on January 11, 2011
at 07:17 PM

i was a night time snacker and sweet-craver, too. i always seem to be able to cub my cravins with a big hot cup of ginger tea. peppermint works, too. something about the strong flavor, and the warmth in your belly satisfies that desire to dig through the pantry in desperation for a fix.

as for sandwiches, i missed them too. briefly. i tried to replicate it with portabella mushrooms, but it just wasnt the same. so, i just sighed and gave up. frankly, after the first few weeks i found most of my specific cravings went away. sometimes i feel "peckish" but its easy to go for good foods over bad ones now. ive only been paleo for about 3 months. you'll do great. the first couple of weeks are the hardest, but you'll soon be feeling so great that you'll never turn back!

2
74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on January 11, 2011
at 07:03 PM

I like to snack at night, too, and have mostly tamed my grazing tendencies. I usually grab a mug of peppermint tea and 2-3 blocks of very dark chocolate and nibble on that. The warmth of the tea fills my tummy, and chocolate is full of fat and tastes delicious so I don't feel deprived. A filling dinner beforehand helps, too. If you can get your desire to chew out of the way, then perhaps you won't wish to snack as much at night. Or, snack on dinner? I've done that before, eschewing a formal dinner for a tasting plate of some of my favorite proteins and veggies.

I know it's hard to give up sandwiches; I've been there. I've found that eating sandwich fillings in a different manner helps. For instance, I love tuna/chicken salad. Instead of eating it on bread, though, I dump it on a bed of steamed vegetables or lettuce. Same with pasta, for that matter. I make a huge pan of meat sauce then pour it on a bowl of steamed veggies and chow down. 'Tis good. For peanut butter and banana sandwiches, I now smear a huge glob of almond/cashew butter directly onto the banana and eat it like that. Eventually you'll stop missing the bread, I promise. :)

Good luck!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on January 11, 2011
at 07:09 PM

Tea + very dark chocolate is totally my end of night snack too. Love it!

1
E7a462d6e99fec7e8f0ddda11b34a770

(1638)

on January 11, 2011
at 09:17 PM

I know the feeling of sometimes just really wanting some kind of a snack - particularly that kind of "crunch" that previously came from crackers or chips. We keep a small bag of good quality chicharrones (pork rinds) to use as a binder in some recipes in place of breadcrumbs, and they take care of the craves really well. And since they are all fat and protein (yeah, I know, AND salt), it's pretty much a guiltless indulgence too.

1
77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on January 11, 2011
at 07:30 PM

I handle this by never snacking without including high fat/high protein foods - meat, eggs, nuts, dark chocolate, etc. The idea is that one simply cannot eat too much of these types of food; they make you feel too full.

So never just eat, say, some dried fruit; always include some serious fat and protein with it.

1
Ceda025d1f349bc43be115a5f9199fb1

(501)

on January 11, 2011
at 07:04 PM

I slowly sip 1-2 glasses of red wine most evenings, starting around dinner time. Lots of flavor, low calories, possible health benefits, relaxing, and takes my mind off of further eating. Probably not "paleo" in some versions of the diet, and certainly a bad idea for those with liver disease or personal or family history of alcoholism or addiction.

As a beginner tip, the Perfect Health Diet worked for me as a great, short summary of the key speculative concepts around paleo or traditional eating. The authors eat potatoes, and rice (not a paleo food), so if you are ideologically LC, you may or may not like what they have to say. I also skimmed most of Hyperlipid, Whole Health Source, and PaNu (blogs) for ideas and information.

0e395acc856e3353f3f5892e6b09b0e7

(1227)

on January 12, 2011
at 02:30 PM

I can't drink alcohol anymore, so the first suggestion does not work for me, but the second paragraph is where I am after 5 months. just easing into trying a bit of starch. I stay away from sugar except for Lindt's 85% dark choc. 2 squares a day. I'm trying to wean myself from nuts mostly because can't be sure of freshness.

0
C2450eb7fa11b37473599caf93b461ef

on October 14, 2011
at 12:43 PM

I used to snack after dinner almost every night. Now, I do so maybe once or twice a month.

For nighttime snacking, I found that (especially for the first few months) I had to eat a decent amount of fat at dinnertime. That didn't mean just fat that I cooked in, but also something like guacamole. It might sound gross to a newbie, but even a spoonful of coconut oil straight before dinner can help.

There are a lot of interpretations of Paleo. I was introduced through Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint, which I think is a really good introduction to the concepts. It seems to me to be more forgiving than some other versions. There was a great blog post I read somewhere comparing the different concepts, but darned if I can't find it. You can search the different names on Google, though, or find their books:

Robb Wolf Mark Sisson Shou-Ching and Paul Jaminet
Arthur DeVany Nora Gedgaudas obviously, Loren Cordain whose book you have

0
Bee4e0fda817da9857443bd40f552a75

on October 14, 2011
at 08:22 AM

As your husband is diabetic consider stopping snacking cause it makes him crash several hours later and tease blood sugar again first of all.Start having adequate satisfying meals.Cheese gives me crashes and i avoid it at all cost,even raw.Cordain's description of paleo is far from reality.He advocates lean conventional meat,which has no place in paleo diet, most tribes don't follow any macronutrient intake ratios and definately don't snack as it is found in his books.

0
3b5cbb3006f7567b87dd3998ad76ebf8

on January 12, 2011
at 06:57 AM

I have always been a horrible night time snacker. Before I found Paleo, my doctor suggested a I try the Fast 5 diet. It was tough but it stopped my night grazing. When I went Paleo, I had been Fast 5 for a solid 5 or so months so I continued a modified Fast 5 approach but if I am hungry during the day, I will grab some grass fed meat or nuts, not a full meal. I think for me, sweets are the hardest. I don't struggle with processed food cravings but I love Paleo goodies and if I indulge, two things happen: 1. It seems to open a floodgate of cravings I have to consciously squash and 2. I get a yeast infection. >.< and no, I'm not eating massive amounts. I'm just very sensitive to sugar and my usual sugar intake comes from a small apple or a sliver of fresh pear. Eating goodies is like a major onslaught to my body. Good luck!

0
7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

on January 11, 2011
at 07:31 PM

As far as something you can eat to their heart's content... meat! If you are looking for lower calorie items big-ass salads, cucumber slices, baby carrots, celery sticks and things like that can help when you are looking for something crunchy.

The sandwich thing is tough. You just have to learn to adapt. Eat chicken/tuna/egg salad in a 1/2 bell pepper or on a portabello mushroom. Be creative. You don't need bread.

Paleo-ish baked good can really help during the transition period. If you google "Paleo brownies" or "Paleo fudge" or "Paleo cookies" you can find some good ones. I only needed sweet things for a couple of weeks, then I transitioned to the tea/dark chocolate combo.

You can always continue to eat cheese, not all Paleos don't eat dairy. You just have to learn to enjoy it on it's own without crackers. :)

Good luck!

0
9b1da5c61c41bb93afb668f9ab3bc76a

(422)

on January 11, 2011
at 05:33 PM

I'd say eat veggies as much as you like. Celery, carrots, etc. I have a hard time not snacking on fruit, but I've limited my dried fruit intake to like 3 dried apricots or so. I also like dark chocolate, but because it's so bitter, I can only eat 2-3 squares, which seems to fufill my snacking needs.

I really like sandwiches and cheese as well, so it's been a little hard for me to figure out what I can eat for easy lunches and the like. I've taken to just making a ton of food for dinner, and using leftovers for lunches. I give myself a little bit of cheese if I want it. I'll make a spaghetti squash type lasagne...thing and put cheese on top, like mozzerela or ricotta. I know that by not eating cereal and desserts, I'm not eating much dairy anyway, so a yogurt or cheese every once in a while doesn't seem to hurt my digestion.

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