1

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Scared of "cheating". And Gluten.

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 20, 2012 at 2:28 AM

So, I've been pretty strict Paleo for about 5 months... I am extremely active (college athletics and crossfit) and have always been relatively healthy. I have no auto-immune disorders, celiac, etc. and I'm not trying to lose any weight.

Basically, the past week or so I have had MASSIVE cravings for literally anything baked, sweet, chocolatey, you name it. What I'm curious to know is how often do you make "paleo" treats? I'm afraid that if I cave then I'll totally go off the rails and that would be bad. real bad.

Also, since I haven't had issues in the past (that I know of) do you think that having a gluten/non-paleo slip up would have any negative effects on me? This is what I'm most afraid of, that being so long without sugar and gluten would cause some sort of horrible reaction in me when I eventually do try to eat it, especially after reading through others' posts.. I'm leaving to start school again in a few weeks and it is going to be really hard to stay super strict while living on campus, so I don't want to spend the entire semester sick from re-adapting to SAD foods. (Which I'm only going to eat when I absolutely have no paleo options)

Sorry. Really long post. If anyone reads through it I would really appreciate your comments!

03814b57282213d75bd58ed778f6cee5

(5)

on August 20, 2012
at 07:53 PM

Well if I'm doing multiple workouts in a day, I'll definitely have a protein shake for recovery (my one exception to paleo) which have a decent amount of carbs, plus a sweet potato. I also usually have about 2 servings of fruit per day, with banana being the most frequent.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on August 20, 2012
at 01:32 PM

How do you get to 50% carbs on a paleo diet? If you aren't eating grains or sweet stuff, that sounds like one hell of a lot of sweet potato. Not a criticism, just a question.

03814b57282213d75bd58ed778f6cee5

(5)

on August 20, 2012
at 03:31 AM

yeah, I definitely think some food-trials might be a good idea before I go back, atleast to help my anxiety a little... I think I'm more stressed about food than I am about classes starting again haha

03814b57282213d75bd58ed778f6cee5

(5)

on August 20, 2012
at 03:26 AM

Thank you for responding! I'll definitely look into the magnesium supplement I've actually been thinking lately that my diet was missing something... When I first began paleo my energy levels were through the roof, and everything felt great. Lately though, my energy has been super low, and the cravings are driving me crazy. My diet is about 50% carbs, 30% fat, and 20% protein, so it definitely can't be a low carb issue. weird. maybe there's a deeper issue than just wanting cookies? haha

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6 Answers

3
Medium avatar

(2338)

on August 20, 2012
at 03:49 AM

yeah don't stress it so much. i was sorta the same way, trying to be as close to paleo perfect as possible and worrying way too much about the little details when i was already healthy. i've started to eat non "paleo" foods more frequently and i don't feel any different or worse. in fact a lot of times i feel better because it just takes the stress out of eating, especially in social settings. you don't have to feel like that weirdo who doesn't eat the chicken wings because they have a sauce that you don't know all the ingredients to. if you are craving something and your in good health, why not indulge once in a while? you only live once and it's most definitely not going to kill you.

3
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on August 20, 2012
at 03:10 AM

In my opinion, strong food cravings are a sign of deficiencies in your diet and your body screaming for some kind of nutrient. Maybe you are (intentionally or unintentionally) eating low carb and your body needs some carbs (sounds like it from what you are craving). A paleo diet does not necessarily mean low carb, and I think that a very low carb diet is not sustainable for a lot of people for more than a month or two.

When I get run down or tired (working too much or too little sleep or too much stress for a few weeks or months) I start to get cravings for sweets, chocolate, and high carb snacks. I think this is just my body being desperate for quick fuel. However, a dinner of liver and kale or something extremely nutritious, along with a night or two of peace and relaxation, usually kills the cravings. So perhaps it is my body needing some nutrients or real rest, but instead sends signals for some Ben & Jerry's.

The paleo diet can be low in certain nutrients such as minerals, you might try a mineral supplement and see what happens. I rarely take supplements but taking a magnesium supplement every now and then really helps.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on August 20, 2012
at 01:32 PM

How do you get to 50% carbs on a paleo diet? If you aren't eating grains or sweet stuff, that sounds like one hell of a lot of sweet potato. Not a criticism, just a question.

03814b57282213d75bd58ed778f6cee5

(5)

on August 20, 2012
at 07:53 PM

Well if I'm doing multiple workouts in a day, I'll definitely have a protein shake for recovery (my one exception to paleo) which have a decent amount of carbs, plus a sweet potato. I also usually have about 2 servings of fruit per day, with banana being the most frequent.

03814b57282213d75bd58ed778f6cee5

(5)

on August 20, 2012
at 03:26 AM

Thank you for responding! I'll definitely look into the magnesium supplement I've actually been thinking lately that my diet was missing something... When I first began paleo my energy levels were through the roof, and everything felt great. Lately though, my energy has been super low, and the cravings are driving me crazy. My diet is about 50% carbs, 30% fat, and 20% protein, so it definitely can't be a low carb issue. weird. maybe there's a deeper issue than just wanting cookies? haha

1
06894589e5710456ed32c2cd10891c05

(260)

on August 20, 2012
at 03:22 AM

Personally, I would start an elimination diet before you go back to school. A few reasons for this:

a) I wish I would have known what I reacted to before I was forced to be in public with those reactions.

b)I would liked to have been informed of what decisions I had before going out to eat and making mistakes based on those reactions (didn't know BBQ sauce contained gluten).

and c) When stress hits during school, you want to be able to weigh out the consequences of your actions and make informed decisions. Alcohol is a huge contributor to making less healthy decisions.

There will be some reaction, it's just how noticeable and tolerable it is for you. For me, I break out in an allergic reaction on my face and I get eczema on my arms which doesn't go away for about 4 weeks. If you had something like that happen and it took weeks to recover, wouldn't you want to know before you had other things to worry about (i.e. tests, social events, or even that boy from Algebra last year totally flirting with you in chemistry on the first day)? I'm not saying it will, but it could be a feeling, too. If you're an athlete, I would also say that risking that kind of a reaction and missing practice/ competitions is not going to make your coach happy (I know mine in college would have been upset). Not feeling well is usually a reaction for some people, almost hangover-like, and definitely

Also, like stated by UncleLongHair, the cravings are your body trying to tell you something. It could be a lack of nutrients, sleep, or even that you period is coming. I got off BC around the time I quit SAD and my cravings are 100% gone right now (still waiting for regulation to set back in after the IUD). And trust me, I craved the worst of the worst (24 hour donut shop across the street) when I was going through the hormonal changes AND when I was regular prior to that.

One last thing, once you regulate the basics, the cravings go away. And I have been on the 30 Day Challenge for over 2 months straight- I can't even tell you what day I'm supposed to end... it just doesn't matter anymore because the cravings are gone :)

Good Luck!

03814b57282213d75bd58ed778f6cee5

(5)

on August 20, 2012
at 03:31 AM

yeah, I definitely think some food-trials might be a good idea before I go back, atleast to help my anxiety a little... I think I'm more stressed about food than I am about classes starting again haha

0
C2ecbc6f2948c232d60a639c50b7f4f9

(504)

on August 20, 2012
at 04:49 PM

everynow and then it isokay to cheat, when i go on a cut i do a cheat day every 2 to 3 week. I personally see food as fuel for my everyday workouts, there is a reason for everthing i put in my mouth. thats just my 2 cents

0
61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on August 20, 2012
at 04:39 PM

I eat clean 99.9% of the time. I know when I've been glutened because I feel bloated very soon after a meal and get heartburn and burp a lot. Luckily I am not celiac, just sensitive, so the symptoms last a few hours at most. When I do indulge, like the biscuit I ate yesterday morning, the symptoms last longer and usually result in very loose stools.

When I am eating someplace unfamiliar, I try to order salads without dressing and lean meats. Sometimes the salads are treated with chemicals that make them last longer and sometimes the meats are cooked with questionable oils, but it doesn't have too much of a negative effect on me.

Eating in the dining hall can be tough, but try to stick to salads, hard boiled eggs, burgers without the bun, grilled chicken breasts, etc. If you are able to store food in your room, go for jerky and fruits that can be kept at room temperature. If you are able to get your hands on a small fridge, keep veggies and, if you do dairy, hard cheeses and pastured butter.

0
Medium avatar

(3213)

on August 20, 2012
at 03:33 AM

It's ok to cheat once in a while.

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