4

votes

How can I get past the first damn week?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 26, 2011 at 4:26 AM

I'm a 16 year old high school student. I started reading about Paleo a short while ago and have been trying to get on the bandwagon since, but I keep falling off. I'll be fine in the morning, make a few eggs, maybe some bacon, and then not feel hungry until way past lunch. But by the end of the day I'm chugging milk and scarfing down peanut butter. I keep wanting to eat, even though I'm not hungry and know I don't need to.

I think the biggest problem is having all of this terrible food in my house (my family doesn't berate me for my diet, but they sure haven't changed theirs). I don't have the willpower to resist all of it. My family will not buy anything but 1% milk to drink, so that's what I end up drinking. Almond butter is too expensive; I end up bingeing on blended legumes. I've successfully cut out all wheat/grains from my diet, but sugar is another matter. We usually have apples and clementines (delicious little sugar balls) around, and when school lets out???they're just too tempting. I usually go without more than 10g of sugar until about ~4:30 or so, when I get home, and then I binge and eat more than a hundred. I'm sure that I can't cut out snacking as easily as I did grains, but I'd like to eat snack-y things that won't keep me addicted to sugar! I know I won't be successful in staying paleo long-term until I kick this habit. Help me out, PaleoHackers.

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on October 12, 2011
at 04:42 AM

+1 for 'faleo'. :)

02736efa3fda31740e8890eed0cb663d

(1813)

on April 05, 2011
at 01:50 AM

Ikco- I could be wrong, but you'd have to eat a lot of fruit indeed to get 100g of sugar. Nevertheless, I'd still recommend that over the SAD. I started with a lot of fruit, because I craved it. Since then I eat much less, maybe 1 piece of fruit/day on average. So I think this worked reasonably well for me.

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on April 04, 2011
at 12:14 AM

I agree with you Nico. I lost plenty of weight by tapering stuff out of my diet. There's not no need to go cold turkey to lose pounds. I removed soda first, then bread and grains, and from there is was smooth sailing. I still eat 1 piece of fruit each day.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on March 19, 2011
at 04:17 AM

iso39 -- wow - I commend you. You are doing a great job -- don't get down on yourself. I wish I had come across Paleo when I was your age. Would have changed my life.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on February 14, 2011
at 09:38 AM

What are you fat sources ?

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on February 14, 2011
at 09:37 AM

I don't agree here. 100g of sugar isn't healthy even for a 16 year old. OP needs to up his fat intake.

02736efa3fda31740e8890eed0cb663d

(1813)

on January 27, 2011
at 01:57 PM

MikeD- What you say makes total sense to me. I'd just add that- even if it is ultimately better for someone to eat less fruit, that doesn't have to come first, and eating more fruit and other carbs may help ease the transition away from crap.

6f0480b27b737cca708af8af709d77b1

(136)

on January 26, 2011
at 06:49 PM

I agree with Simibee...I heard Robb Wolf once say that Paleo isn't low carb per se. It is really carb agnostic and that the amount of carbs one needs depends on their activity, although you should really take in the bare minimum in order to fuel what you're up to while the vast majority of your intake should be fats along with 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body weight.

Medium avatar

(1029)

on January 26, 2011
at 05:48 PM

Agreed; think it is important for you to eat lunch sooner to avoid a dip in blood sugar. Some embrace mini-fasting but for me I have found eating regularly keeps cravings at bay.

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on January 26, 2011
at 05:10 PM

This is absolutely right. Paleo is not by definition necessarily low carb, it's just that a lot of people discovered Paleo after first trying low carb. There is also a significant overlap between Paleo and low carb media, as both are united against the "heart healthy whole grains"/lipid hypothesis myths. I'm also in my teens and find that eating a moderate carb diet is a lot more satisfying, especially when I get that "hollow leg" feeling that tells me I'm still growing. In short: Paleo = real food, including safe starch to tolerance. ;)

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on January 26, 2011
at 05:05 PM

i am a low carb zealot but i agree with you nico, and wont rip your head off. i think fruit is cool if it isnt sabotaging your results. my dad was not making progress until i had him drop the fruit. growing dudes can probably get away with fruit. i think iso is off to a great start. i would just eat paleo, fruits potatoes and all and work out like a mad man while my growth hormone was still going nuts ah to be 15 years younger.

6f0480b27b737cca708af8af709d77b1

(136)

on January 26, 2011
at 04:59 PM

Yup. I felt super lethargic and could hardly get through days 2 and 3 at work, but followed some good advice and peppered in some more good carbs and kept plenty of good snacks (nuts, seeds, veggies and the like) on hand and I was fine. My suggestion to people is similar to what Nico said. FIRST clean up the food quality...like getting rid of the fructose, franken-fats, refined sugars, breads (ie.processed garbage). Keep your carb level moderate (with fruits and veggies, as much as possible) and when you're pretty comfortable with that, then start playing with macronutrients. Best of luck

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on January 26, 2011
at 03:26 PM

and water is one of the main (only?) paleo beverage choices! a good replacement for 1% milk which is mainly water with sugar added.

E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on January 26, 2011
at 02:54 PM

I agree. Clementines are a lot better than candy bars or Little Debbie cakes! And at 16, the sugar is probably metabolized much more effectively than in older bodies.

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18 Answers

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19
02736efa3fda31740e8890eed0cb663d

(1813)

on January 26, 2011
at 09:24 AM

This goes against what a lot of paleos will tell you, but you might want to try not going so low-carb, at least for a while. You get so much benefit from cutting the tons of fructose, wheat, and bad oils. There's no need to throw your body into ketosis- even to lose weight (I lost around 40 lbs while still eating quite a bit of fruit, never counting calories and always eating to satiety). Of course, cutting out a lot of the junk on the SAD you will automatically be lower carb.

So, while you may not want to wolf down a whole bag of clementines in one go, don't be too afraid of whole fruit. Don't be afraid of potatoes- just make sure they're peeled.

I realize all this may provoke the ire of some folks here, but I think we can all agree that the first priority is to cut out junk and wheat. If you want to play with low- or very low-carb later, you can always do that. You're 16 (BTW I think it's awesome you're already taking charge of your life like this)- you've got plenty of time to experiment.

6f0480b27b737cca708af8af709d77b1

(136)

on January 26, 2011
at 04:59 PM

Yup. I felt super lethargic and could hardly get through days 2 and 3 at work, but followed some good advice and peppered in some more good carbs and kept plenty of good snacks (nuts, seeds, veggies and the like) on hand and I was fine. My suggestion to people is similar to what Nico said. FIRST clean up the food quality...like getting rid of the fructose, franken-fats, refined sugars, breads (ie.processed garbage). Keep your carb level moderate (with fruits and veggies, as much as possible) and when you're pretty comfortable with that, then start playing with macronutrients. Best of luck

E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on January 26, 2011
at 02:54 PM

I agree. Clementines are a lot better than candy bars or Little Debbie cakes! And at 16, the sugar is probably metabolized much more effectively than in older bodies.

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on January 26, 2011
at 05:10 PM

This is absolutely right. Paleo is not by definition necessarily low carb, it's just that a lot of people discovered Paleo after first trying low carb. There is also a significant overlap between Paleo and low carb media, as both are united against the "heart healthy whole grains"/lipid hypothesis myths. I'm also in my teens and find that eating a moderate carb diet is a lot more satisfying, especially when I get that "hollow leg" feeling that tells me I'm still growing. In short: Paleo = real food, including safe starch to tolerance. ;)

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on January 26, 2011
at 05:05 PM

i am a low carb zealot but i agree with you nico, and wont rip your head off. i think fruit is cool if it isnt sabotaging your results. my dad was not making progress until i had him drop the fruit. growing dudes can probably get away with fruit. i think iso is off to a great start. i would just eat paleo, fruits potatoes and all and work out like a mad man while my growth hormone was still going nuts ah to be 15 years younger.

6f0480b27b737cca708af8af709d77b1

(136)

on January 26, 2011
at 06:49 PM

I agree with Simibee...I heard Robb Wolf once say that Paleo isn't low carb per se. It is really carb agnostic and that the amount of carbs one needs depends on their activity, although you should really take in the bare minimum in order to fuel what you're up to while the vast majority of your intake should be fats along with 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body weight.

02736efa3fda31740e8890eed0cb663d

(1813)

on January 27, 2011
at 01:57 PM

MikeD- What you say makes total sense to me. I'd just add that- even if it is ultimately better for someone to eat less fruit, that doesn't have to come first, and eating more fruit and other carbs may help ease the transition away from crap.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on February 14, 2011
at 09:37 AM

I don't agree here. 100g of sugar isn't healthy even for a 16 year old. OP needs to up his fat intake.

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on April 04, 2011
at 12:14 AM

I agree with you Nico. I lost plenty of weight by tapering stuff out of my diet. There's not no need to go cold turkey to lose pounds. I removed soda first, then bread and grains, and from there is was smooth sailing. I still eat 1 piece of fruit each day.

02736efa3fda31740e8890eed0cb663d

(1813)

on April 05, 2011
at 01:50 AM

Ikco- I could be wrong, but you'd have to eat a lot of fruit indeed to get 100g of sugar. Nevertheless, I'd still recommend that over the SAD. I started with a lot of fruit, because I craved it. Since then I eat much less, maybe 1 piece of fruit/day on average. So I think this worked reasonably well for me.

7
691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on January 26, 2011
at 05:14 AM

You my friend need some quality beef jerky, maybe some mixed nuts, and a source of fresh water. Skip the sugar milk and the candy fruit for a few weeks and your cravings should be gone. Squeeze a lime in a big glass of water for a change. Sounds like you should pack a decent paleo lunch so that by the time you get home, you don't go all faleo. See if you parents will cook a little extra dinner that you can bring with you as left overs for lunch.

As for afterschool snacking, I would see if the parents will get you some family sized packs of chicken thighs and cook them all in one sitting, then freeze them and eat a couple right when you get home. Also snack on beef jerky (watch the ingredient list on these-no soy sauce), nuts, veggies (eh, or not), hmm, you could even have a protein shake or something. i'd cut back on the milk tho.

When I was in highschool I would just go down to my basement and do bicep curls. Of course, bicep curls suck and I was an undiagnosed gluten intolerant track runner with paleo not having been rediscovered yet so my biceps never grew - but you, you can do it!

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on October 12, 2011
at 04:42 AM

+1 for 'faleo'. :)

6
E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on January 26, 2011
at 02:31 PM

At 16, you're still physically growing, while paleo diet books have generally been written by middle aged men for middle aged people who live relatively sedentary lifestyles. The sugar in fruits is probably not as unhealthy for you as it might be for some of us older folks who aren't burning it off with physical growth or activity. If you've cut out wheat and grains, you've already done yourself a GIANT favor, and it's a HUGE step. It sounds like you've also cut out processed foods. If you're hungry, eat, and HYDRATE with water as another suggested. I read an article not long ago that suggested that Asians tend to be thinner and more satisfied while consuming less calories because they eat a lot of soups and other water-rich foods, so the food is filling without being packed with calories. Think about broths and how you can incorporate more liquids into your diet. I also think meats as well as vegetables are part of optimum health, but what's important is that you find what makes you feel optimally healthy, so worry less about how strict you are with whatever version of paleo you're trying to follow and do what you can and what works for you.

5
86a7abe4a54c4dc15ea44bacef00c5a8

on January 26, 2011
at 03:17 PM

At least one day a week, bake yourself some chicken legs and keep them in the fridge for snacks. You can do the same with boiled eggs. They make a great portable snack with a little salt and pepper in a sandwich bag. Almonds are a great option since they can usually be bought in bulk in the baking aisle at Sam's or Costco. Cut up some celery sticks and keep them in the fridge in water. If you are trying to lose weight, go easy on starchy carbs, potatoes, carrots, etc. If weight loss is not the goal, enjoy your fruit and high quality carbs in moderation. It will also help if you eat the fruit with some protein and/or fat to slow down the insulin response.

I believe it is very commendable that you are trying to make a positive health change for yourself. It can be very difficult when the rest of your family is still following conventional wisdom. The best thing you can do is plan ahead and ask your family to support you. Don't try to change their way of eating. With a little time, they will see how much better you feel and look and may decide to get on board themselves. You CAN do this!

PS. Pork Rinds can serve as a good snack if you need some crunch. Look for the plain ones without MSG.

4
3b5cbb3006f7567b87dd3998ad76ebf8

on January 26, 2011
at 06:07 AM

Don't forget water too! A lot of times, we easily mistake thirst for being hungry although I have no doubt that at your age and for the amount of time between meals it sounds like you are putting, you probably honestly are hungry too but stay good and hydrated. The recommendations for having things like soy free jerky and pre-cooked chicken are excellent and will take some pressure off you feeling desperate for literally anything when you get home. Left over dinner is an excellent lunch next day and I really applaud you for taking such a solid (and hard) interest in your health. Do the best you can for now and don't sweat the things you can't control at this stage of your life. Soon enough, it will all be up to you which, as anyone here can tell you, is a whole other set of challenges but you are making a healthy start! Kudos!

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on January 26, 2011
at 03:26 PM

and water is one of the main (only?) paleo beverage choices! a good replacement for 1% milk which is mainly water with sugar added.

3
Ccc55e0321f03d72011c8f0f221ea05a

on April 03, 2011
at 10:56 PM

I'm 17 and I eat paleo in a family that doesn't as well. I usually get home from practice after school starving, but I try to eat nuts (which I actually measure out because otherwise I could eat an entire pack) and veggies. On Sundays I usually slice up a bunch of carrots, peppers, cucumbers, etc, and sometimes my mom will cook a bunch of sweet potatoes for snacks for the week. Sweet potatoes make the best after practice paleo snack because they satisfy your sweet tooth and carb cravings while being healthy! I too have a weakness when it comes to fruit because fruit just tastes so good! My family eats pretty healthy, (but not paleo) but they have dessert every night. They pretty much alternate between a piece of fruit and something really junky like ice cream or cookies. In order to avoid eating a crappy dessert, I have begun to buy dark chocolate bars (70% cacao) and I eat about 2 little squares (not like the big Ghiradelli squares, like the ones that are super small like in a Hersheys bar) for dessert. Then I'm finished eating for the night. This works surprisingly well for me. If you eat the chocolate slowly, I find that I don't crave anything else until I wake up in the morning. I also love milk. I used to drink like 3 glasses a day before I really learned about it. I would guess that I'm slightly lactose intolerant because I have constant sinus problems that are probably related to my dairy consumption. Now I pretty much only drink water, but occasionally I cheat and have a small glass of grass-fed unhomogenized milk (cause if you're gonna drink it, drink the good stuff!)

Good luck!

3
07ad8e05f734cb1deec5479dc0e4a194

(315)

on January 26, 2011
at 05:30 PM

I think you are doing great just by eating whole foods and not junk foods! Eat lunch sooner, hon, to keep your blood sugar stable. At your age you can go from feeling: not that hungry to ravenous! So be preventative. How creative can you be with getting food you need, such as:

Mom, if I wash the floor, will you pick up some (fill in the blank) next time you go grocery shopping?

Mom, can we go shopping together and can I use my allowance to buy some (fill in the blank)?

Shopping list on the fridge with hearts and flowers drawn all over it and the words "I heart mom & dad!!" on it (lol)

Babysitting to make some extra cash to spend on whatever you need?

Offer to cook dinner once a week if the ingredients can be purchased for you ahead of time?

Eat snacks, you are growing!

If you feel you have a sugar addiction, I so recommend radiantreovery.com and I do believe her program is compatible with no grains, no legumes, and so on.

Best wishes, rock star!

Medium avatar

(1029)

on January 26, 2011
at 05:48 PM

Agreed; think it is important for you to eat lunch sooner to avoid a dip in blood sugar. Some embrace mini-fasting but for me I have found eating regularly keeps cravings at bay.

1
8f4ff12a53a98f3b5814cfe242de0daa

(1075)

on March 19, 2011
at 06:48 AM

There are going to be limits on what you do living with your parents - and I would not expect any parent to just jump on a sudden change in eating habits that their kids make (veganism being the other common one....).

Cut out the sugary foods. Cut down on the wheat. And don't eat refined carbs for the time being. For someone who is 16, not eating fruit and going VLC is not really all that sensible unless you are specifically type 2 diabetic (diagnosed and insulin dependent). If that is the case, go ahead and pull up the literature to show your parents how well that responds to low carb. Otherwise, let it alone.

1
Da9b6816dc64e22c65b7d6ecff076a45

on January 27, 2011
at 01:08 AM

Iso39 - You should be commended for your efforts to get started at such a pivotal age. (I wish I had known this information when I was that age) It is difficult for all of us, no matter what age, when getting started. You've gotten a lot of good advice but I'm surprised no one has yet mentioned to put yourself on a plan. An easy way to do this is look in The Paleo Solution by Rob Wolf, there is a 30 day meal plan already laid out for you. Other Paleo books & blogs have similar meal plans and/or recipes which will help as well. Then pre-prepare your meals for a few days out in advance. This will take out a lot of the guesswork and pressure on you to come up with food on the fly. After some time your body will adjust and the cravings will subside, by then you'll have picked up enough food awareness to make your own adjustments.

PS: make sure you are getting enough PROPER fats (avocado, coconut milk/oil, certain nuts) along with protein + carbs in your diet. This will help immeasurably with cravings.

Best of luck.

1
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on January 26, 2011
at 04:59 AM

Suck it up! That's all you can do. If you are hungry then eat paleo foods, all you want if need be to sate the hunger, but keep it paleo. I found myself quite hungry on paleo at first. It took a few months of adaptation until I was not hungry often. But now I can go long periods easily without eating and feel no ill effects. You don't need to conquer everything in the first week. Concentrate on eating healthy. If hungry, then eat, but eat healthy. Give yourself some time for the rest to sort out. If it's any consolation, most find that the craving for carbs abates once the addiction is broken. But sadly, I don't yet know anyone who knows how to make that happen for everyone without some suffering early on.

0
4eee5cbab27e92d6c4b3f8317ea40be4

on October 12, 2011
at 02:13 AM

pick a fat you like! coconut oil does keep me really full, and has fat burning qualities, somehow. Also, eat your meals - don't skip lunch, and the 3-4pm binge cravings will lessen FAST.

0
Medium avatar

on May 04, 2011
at 12:24 AM

RE: the chocolate thing; if you buy really high-quality (read: expensive) as-dark-as-you-can-get chocolate, then you need only a tiny amount to satisfy you ^_^

0
0fb8b3d6dcfb279b0f7e050d2d22510f

(4645)

on March 20, 2011
at 12:06 AM

Chill out, except being human. Do as much as you can now, build on it. Paleo isn't a week, it is a life time and it will come with so cheating days, it will have highs and lows. But build on success and don't get on yourself for being human once in a while.

Best way to get thru the week is to:

1- be homeless and broke 2- found yourself in a Japen/Haitti like situtiuon

nothing works better then poverty - IF THAT ALL THAT COUNTS... and that is not what counts. learn, build and except. It is a great journey of health ahead of you

0
8274ce9d4bffd8209055e1e34def04d6

(429)

on March 19, 2011
at 07:14 PM

You have to give it time. Your parents are weak-minded people, and you have to forgive them for that. (My mother always agrees with me when I bring it up that sugar and processed foods are a waste of money and terrible for health, yet she buys cookies and ice cream once a week).

But she also buys me butter now without me reminding her. (It's quite odd because she often complains that I eat too much butter!)

I think the beginning always causes some discomfort. But certain things-like the butter- become routine and I think my parents might be using animal fats more often that vegetable oil now.

But in any case, they will probably never come around (like my own parents) so I say "Forgive them, they know not what they do."

0
04293f705870e1837b8670d3c1cd5f67

on March 19, 2011
at 04:17 AM

As a mom of three children I commend you on your quest for better health and nutrition. You are probably not going to be able to rid the house of junk food at this time, and I know you are relying on a parent for you food, I love the above idea of offering to do a chore in exchange for -insert food item-. Works for me!

I also like it when my kids leave me lists. I think one selling point of a parent buying you paleo friendly foods, is you will be consuming less or no junk food. Point out the money savings of not having to buy you breakfast cereal, soda pop, and pizza...or whatever.

I think you need more fat to satisfy your hunger pains as well as the addition of potatoes as suggested is great. This is hard to do for my kids sometimes, they don't like coconut oil. I use butter and cream as much as I can with them.

0
Fa361df4b3f2d5aa13aa6a73dbf8d88b

(152)

on March 19, 2011
at 03:54 AM

Avocado and if you eating dairy, an unsweetened full fat greek yoghurt are great foods to add in.

0
Af66712088dcb124b4c44a2a82f319fd

on January 26, 2011
at 02:26 PM

Olives are a great snack. Eating some fiber will fill you up too.

0
2acab1c60fe533b0c651e36cc9e57a68

on January 26, 2011
at 08:59 AM

Up your fat and protein intake, reduce your carb intake. Drink some water, get some exercise, and sleep. It will all be over soon.

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