3

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Beginner Learning Curve -- what to eat?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 25, 2011 at 12:52 AM

I know there is thread after thread about how to start.. I just threw myself into it to see what would happen.

I started literally a few days ago, and while I love vegetables and meat, I'm already finding myself getting bored, wanting something "more" even when I'm no longer hungry, craving sweets, and really badly wanting something "else" (though not one thing in particular).

Today I reached for a stick of butter to see what it would taste like (not that great). I then ate a ton of nuts (of which I know you're supposed to minimize consumption). When all else failed I made a fruit smoothie with yogurt, but I'm still itching for something else.

Will this feeling go away? Are there ways to make it go away faster?

Exercise isn't a problem for me (I crossfit), but I'm coming from a binge-eating background and the feeling of always wanting more makes me pretty uncomfortable :(

Thanks!

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on July 08, 2011
at 05:52 PM

"eat for the sake of eating" this is EXACTLY what bothers me so much about SAD meal timing and the idea of snacking. People have lost all touch with the fact that eating is primarily to satisfy hunger.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on July 08, 2011
at 05:44 PM

If you want something to eat even when you're not hungry, craving sweets etc (but something like say a salad doesn't sound delicious) that's just head hunger and you can ignore it. You don't need to eat at those times. Ignore the urge to snack. It might be hard at first but it will get easier as it becomes a habit.

9c2ad0dd2d6b7a3fa184b3001e73577d

(195)

on May 25, 2011
at 02:10 PM

nope, never tried it.. but I'm definitely going to now! Thanks!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on May 25, 2011
at 02:25 AM

Well, I lost 111 lbs and I ate bacon all the time! I really eat only 2 to 3 pieces at a time, so about 100 calories plus 2 hard boiled eggs @ 70 cals each and that's a decent snack or small meal for 240 calories. I do count calories and probably always will. The reality of what I'm consuming keeps me from binging. I know that doesn't work for everyone.

9c2ad0dd2d6b7a3fa184b3001e73577d

(195)

on May 25, 2011
at 02:08 AM

Thanks so much for your help, Melissa! I have to ask -- I halfway believe it but it's still so hard to see it actually happening -- can you lose weight eating a bunch of bacon? It seems counterintuitive, but then again the whole idea of Paleo is against what we've all been taught so I guess it makes sense

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on May 25, 2011
at 01:54 AM

How do you feel about tracking? Does it make you feel more obsessive or does it make you feel like you've got things under control? I would have good snacks ready to go as much as possible. I make Paleo trail mix with raw nuts, unsweetened coconut flakes and dried berries. I also usually cut up strawberries and mix them with blueberries for quick snacking. Hard boiled eggs and a pound of bacon are something I made and leave in the fridge almost every week. Don't be too hard on yourself.

9c2ad0dd2d6b7a3fa184b3001e73577d

(195)

on May 25, 2011
at 01:42 AM

It's a combination of weight loss, physical health, and mental health. I gave up dessert for lent and was amazed at the extent to which sugar had become a habit -- I didn't notice until I had to consciously refuse it. When I added it back in, I went nuts.. and I just don't want to feel dependent on sugar and junk anymore. I'm looking to cut out all processed food, but I'm not ready to 100% forgo dairy or strongly limit my fruit consumption (primarily because I don't want to invite the binge eating disorder back -- which usually rears its ugly head when I begin to feel trapped or restricted)

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on May 25, 2011
at 01:03 AM

Control yourself if you need to. Make it simple: eat three meals per day. Make them meat, vegetables, and a sweet potato. Should fill you up. Done. Don't eatin between. Don't "stuff" yourself with anything. It's just food don't make too bg a deal out of it.

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9 Answers

6
Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on May 25, 2011
at 12:58 PM

you say you just started a few days ago. i go through the same thing when im detoxing from sugar! i feel like im climbing the walls and want to tear my hair out. i raid the fridge, dig through the cabinets, eat everything in sight but still am not satisfied. cant seem to scratch that itch. it does go away. in the first two weeks after starting paleo or doing a whole30, and in the first few days after a sugar binge, i let myself eat unlimited amounts of low carb paleo food, and forgive myself! you just need to get through that detox. after it evens out, then i start paying more attention to quantities and reign it all in. track and count calories if it makes you feel better, but for now i say just stay paleo and let everything else go! when you get on the other side of this, i promise you will feel better than you ever have!

2
7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

on May 25, 2011
at 01:27 AM

Also coming from a binge eating background, I find it easier (though, not typical Paleo) to eat every 3 to 4 hours.

Why are you doing Paleo? If it is to lose weight, then you need to find some lower calorie options to keep you full when you want snacks. That would not be nuts and butter. ;) Zucchini and squash sliced and cooked in coconut oil can be very filling. Melon and berries are also good snacks if you aren't worried about fruit.

If you are doing Paleo for health reasons, then you are probably fine snacking the way you are.

You may want to start the morning with something very filling, containing protein and fat like eggs and bacon.

If you are up for logging your food, I do well with planning my day out ahead of time. Then I know when the next snack or meal is coming from and I know I can wait for it.

9c2ad0dd2d6b7a3fa184b3001e73577d

(195)

on May 25, 2011
at 02:08 AM

Thanks so much for your help, Melissa! I have to ask -- I halfway believe it but it's still so hard to see it actually happening -- can you lose weight eating a bunch of bacon? It seems counterintuitive, but then again the whole idea of Paleo is against what we've all been taught so I guess it makes sense

9c2ad0dd2d6b7a3fa184b3001e73577d

(195)

on May 25, 2011
at 01:42 AM

It's a combination of weight loss, physical health, and mental health. I gave up dessert for lent and was amazed at the extent to which sugar had become a habit -- I didn't notice until I had to consciously refuse it. When I added it back in, I went nuts.. and I just don't want to feel dependent on sugar and junk anymore. I'm looking to cut out all processed food, but I'm not ready to 100% forgo dairy or strongly limit my fruit consumption (primarily because I don't want to invite the binge eating disorder back -- which usually rears its ugly head when I begin to feel trapped or restricted)

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on May 25, 2011
at 02:25 AM

Well, I lost 111 lbs and I ate bacon all the time! I really eat only 2 to 3 pieces at a time, so about 100 calories plus 2 hard boiled eggs @ 70 cals each and that's a decent snack or small meal for 240 calories. I do count calories and probably always will. The reality of what I'm consuming keeps me from binging. I know that doesn't work for everyone.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on May 25, 2011
at 01:54 AM

How do you feel about tracking? Does it make you feel more obsessive or does it make you feel like you've got things under control? I would have good snacks ready to go as much as possible. I make Paleo trail mix with raw nuts, unsweetened coconut flakes and dried berries. I also usually cut up strawberries and mix them with blueberries for quick snacking. Hard boiled eggs and a pound of bacon are something I made and leave in the fridge almost every week. Don't be too hard on yourself.

1
24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on May 25, 2011
at 02:35 PM

If you stick it out, I think the feeling will go away. I transitioned into paleo kind of slowly, and eventually I found that my appetite started regulating itself, I had less cravings, and I just generally felt more satisfied. Keep looking for new recipes to keep things interesting; that made it a lot more fun for me! I myself have been slipping up too much recently- eating ice cream a couple times a week, eating little Reese's cups from the office candy jar; I'm finding myself getting re-addicted to sugar, so I'm really trying to hang tough and not have any of that stuff for awhile. Being super strict for a month or so may be a good way to get over the hump, I sometimes find it helpful to distract myself with some reading, walking the dog, stuff like that. Hang in there! :)

1
1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on May 25, 2011
at 01:34 PM

Have you tried coconut? Like actual crack open a shell coconut?

I hits the sweet spot for me, but it takes a lot of effort to get at so I have to be motivated to go for it and it is full of fiber so I get that really full feeling afterwards.

9c2ad0dd2d6b7a3fa184b3001e73577d

(195)

on May 25, 2011
at 02:10 PM

nope, never tried it.. but I'm definitely going to now! Thanks!

1
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on May 25, 2011
at 01:00 PM

I felt the same way when switching to a strict paleo diet, after being pretty close to it for a long time (the "Weston A. Price" diet). I would eat breakfast of "allowed" foods but then still be hungry. Salted nuts were also my crutch food, and I probably ate too many of them.

The "itch" does go away after a week or so. Something that works for me is to go very low or no carb for a few days. It is a natural appetite suppressant. I think it is also ok to have a crutch food of some kind, but eat very little of it. Salty nuts are immediately satisfying and you can eat literally 3 or 4 nuts to stave off hunger for an hour or two. You can also drink a lot of water. This is a good idea when changing diets anyway, and it keeps you a little bit satisfied until your next meal.

After a week or so my body stopped craving things like fruit, yogurt, and nuts, and began to be satisfied with eggs, meat and crunchy vegetables. I also went cold turkey on sugar which I think made a huge difference. I also stopped eating anything sweet like diet sodas. My tastes really changed and I appreciate the paleo fooods a lot more.

The difficulties were totally worth it -- I feel fantastic, better than I have in 10 years. I have so much energy that I don't know what to do with myself, and I keep losing "circumference", I'm wearing clothes that I haven't worn in, well, 10 years. Stick to it!

1
66283d390809787a11a81be7ee5fb98d

(280)

on May 25, 2011
at 01:26 AM

Sounds like you might be conditioned to eat for the sake of eating, which is probably pretty typical of anyone coming from SAD (speaking from experience). If so, it may take a little while to overcome that conditioning. Hang in there.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on July 08, 2011
at 05:52 PM

"eat for the sake of eating" this is EXACTLY what bothers me so much about SAD meal timing and the idea of snacking. People have lost all touch with the fact that eating is primarily to satisfy hunger.

0
48fb7fd52331d4139ed8c7ee34f76d19

on July 08, 2011
at 05:37 PM

I'm glad to have come across this thread — I'm a newbie (day 4), and each afternoon so far I start feeling like I'm going to have to eat my officemate.

Thanks for the proxy-encouragement, everyone.

0
A840a825c42276ad05f0a2c0bb2f914e

(46)

on May 25, 2011
at 06:24 AM

The itch goes away...but it takes time and can be hard. I was previously 100% paleo then went through some bad times, resumed my binges and went 100% NOT paleo. A year and a half later i'm getting back on the wagon. The first few weeks were the roughest for me I ended up eating extra fats every few days to try to push off the cravings. Didn't really work this time though, although it does for a lot of people and was what robb wolf recommendation at his nutrition cert a few years ago. So i've spent a month tracking everything, such a pain but no other way to see what works. extra avacado sometimes, just started using coconut oil verse olive oil, and i cut the fruit entirely for a bit except an occasional banana after a workout. really cut my cravings down in the past two weeks without it, and because nuts are the other thing i tend to over eat they aren't allowed in the house either except to make almond meal. Oh and i started adding fatty meats back in again, I was doing all fish, which keep me fuller longer so i really can't stand the thought of eating.

idk everyone is different! trial and error, but don't give in!! once you find what works and your body adjusts its worth it!!!

0
559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on May 25, 2011
at 04:12 AM

I can't help, but I just wanna say, girrrl, i feel you!

I haven't been a SAD eater for lots of years.. (former real-food vegetarian) But giving up grains and legumes and cheese.. I was like "what THE HELL is for dinner?!??" :P

It really does get much easier - but honestly, I'm just not as excited about food/eating/cooking as I used to be, sadly. (Lord knows I'm still packin' it in though. Def still struggling to kick nuts and dairy.)

As I'm writing, I'm theorizing/realizing that maybe the reason food/eating has lost it's luster for me (and this correlates to the "itch" you describe, which I know very well) - is because maybe I used to feel about food as one might feel about drugs? And now that 'getting high' (carby/gluteny opoids?) is out of the equation, the sparkle is gone. Don't get me wrong, I'll still sometimes do creepy bingey things like eat 888 calories of macadamias in one sitting, but it's not something I would ever look FORWARD to, like say, how i used to look forward to eating a bunch of pizza or ice-cream or something... Anyway.. that was more than I thought I'd say, and it probably helped me more than it does you, but good luck lady! The itch will fade, just keep truckin.

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