6

votes

Newbies- biggest struggle with Paleo?

Asked on February 29, 2016
Created January 27, 2012 at 1:38 AM

Anyone willing to share personal stumbling blocks or biggest temptations? How are you able to overcome?

(Reading about other people's willpower helps me a ton. I've trolled through the archives for the past few weeks and have exhausted all the key search words terms "struggle," "temptation," and "giving in.")

Mine are sugar and alcohol. (Yeah, you've all heard it before.) I was a 2-3 drinks-a-day kind of girl, mostly high-cal craft beers. Now I allow myself ONE drink during the week, usually a glass of red wine on Wednesday night, and up to 3 drinks between Friday and Saturday nights. Most nights to help stave off the drinking urge I pour myself some club soda with a lime wedge.

I also love my sweets. Saying no to the bagels and coffee cake in the breakroom, plus the routine after-supper dessert, has been brutal. An orange in the afternoon and a bite of dark chocolate after supper are helping me power through!

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on February 01, 2012
at 12:00 AM

GAH, I hear ya. My husband brews and we live in a fairly active homebrew and craft beer area... it's killer having a new brew on tap at home, in the dining room, and I know I shouldn't (and really don't, but do) want any. I'm judging a homebrew contest this weekend and I'm torn... I usually swallow a sip of each, to really taste the brew, and I'm already counting up each of those little sips in my head...

Dabdb4e771b72dff14709b0258b207a7

(201)

on January 29, 2012
at 03:49 AM

Yes, the gluten sensitivity thing is what I go with these days and I am severely allergic to most dairy product (lucky? haha) But my mom has gotten worse and worse... I've been paleo for about a year now! Oh well, c'est la vie! Thanks for commenting guys nice to feel less alone <3

A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on January 28, 2012
at 12:05 AM

Awesome, Kelly! +1!

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on January 27, 2012
at 10:29 PM

well said, meret. Personally, I still see food as entertainment. There is something primal (in the broad sense of the word) about cooking, and getting more creative and dynamic in my cooking has helped me to maintain that.

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on January 27, 2012
at 10:27 PM

I'm tempted to try and hack some dessert with banana, heavy cream, coconut, and dark chocolate. Maybe some almond butter. Not the same as my ice cream favorites, but tasty nonetheless.

4d6aa1a676240b15dc569ff8ade0500f

(2546)

on January 27, 2012
at 09:29 PM

ditto on chunks of frozen banana! top with some almond butter and cocoa (or melted dark chocolate) and it totally passes!!!

4d6aa1a676240b15dc569ff8ade0500f

(2546)

on January 27, 2012
at 09:28 PM

i basically stopped saying i'm on a paleo diet, and instead say i have a gluten-sensitivity. people are far less likely to question it and belittle your efforts, and it's still true! if they really seem interested i might get into more detail, but let's face it, most people don't REALLY wanna change what they eat.

4d6aa1a676240b15dc569ff8ade0500f

(2546)

on January 27, 2012
at 09:27 PM

an amazing crunch-replacement are home-made pork rinds. it's a process to make them, but they totally hit the spot!

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on January 27, 2012
at 09:21 PM

We went to a work event a while back and the provided lunch was pizza and soda. For a room full of 40 somethings. My coworker summed it up best when she said "what is this - an 8 year old's birthday party?"

4d6aa1a676240b15dc569ff8ade0500f

(2546)

on January 27, 2012
at 09:00 PM

oh yes, and the occasional german-style nutty hearty bread and a pint of uh-mazing beer is well missed.

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on January 27, 2012
at 08:10 PM

well said. In my experience, the longer you go paleo, the less they berate you. If they don't like it, after awhile they at least keep to themselves.

76c885d7d27e6c83542ea493ca866dcd

(2178)

on January 27, 2012
at 07:50 PM

I adore ice cream too. Last weekend I made paleo "banana ice cream" - blended a frozen banana with half a room-temperature one - and it was totally ice creamy and delicious. :)

8487a2f7fb8be0a568275667af0794c8

(494)

on January 27, 2012
at 12:32 PM

Watch Sweet Misery!

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on January 27, 2012
at 07:19 AM

Those are my stumbling blocks, too. Exactly. sigh. The thing that seems to help for me is just avoiding having stuff within reach. as for wine with dinner, that's tougher. I live in Europe where it's considered normal, and, after all, red wine is supposed to be good for you, right? That said, I go without at least a couple days a week :)

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on January 27, 2012
at 07:14 AM

@Hill, I'm with ya. Snacking is a hard habit to crack. And I miss piza. No way I'm going to replace it with cauliflower, sorry, that just sounds horrific.

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on January 27, 2012
at 03:58 AM

im about that greek yogurt life...i had to stop because i started eating it too much :P

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on January 27, 2012
at 03:34 AM

same here. Neither full fat Greek yogurt nor the nice dark chocolate can replace. Damn, I love ice cream.

6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on January 27, 2012
at 02:44 AM

Just inching my way to the 10K point club GW. ;-)

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on January 27, 2012
at 02:38 AM

I have to upvote you for the self promotion. Well played

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on January 27, 2012
at 02:15 AM

Gahh, I'm sorry to tempt you! :( That's awesome that you haven't had it in 2 months though. There's always "meatzza" or trying a cauliflower crust though?! :)

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on January 27, 2012
at 01:56 AM

Thanks for the article link. And whoa to the eating disorder- I like that phrase you use- "choose to eat" and what a person actually chooses. Going to keep that in mind- thanks :)

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16 Answers

5
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 27, 2012
at 01:52 AM

If you haven't already seen it, you'll enjoy the "top 9 challenges" article.

My biggest challenge was my binge eating disorder, with which I had fought and lost for the 50 years since my mid-teens. It took months, but I have learned to distinguish between physical and emotional hunger and, giving much credit to intermittent fasting, I have learned to observe that I'm hungry and ignore it unless I choose to eat--and to eat healthy ancestral foods.

Ac2937a3aedccd87dbb32d69eb836f63

on February 19, 2016
at 02:04 AM

 HI Nance, 

I tried clicking that top 9 challenges link and it went to a domain name that is for sale.  ?

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on January 27, 2012
at 01:56 AM

Thanks for the article link. And whoa to the eating disorder- I like that phrase you use- "choose to eat" and what a person actually chooses. Going to keep that in mind- thanks :)

3
4d6aa1a676240b15dc569ff8ade0500f

(2546)

on January 27, 2012
at 08:59 PM

i guess i just had / have to get used to living without the EXCITEMENT of food. sure, a lot of what i eat now is delicious and makes me feel awesome! but, especially since i started to pay more attention to carbs, and i've cut out fruit except for every week or so, there are no rushes and sugar-highs. everything seems so healthy and moderate. don't get me wrong...i LOVE what i eat, and i'm a great cook and get creative with what i make...but i guess i never realized how much i'd relied on food as entertainment.

4d6aa1a676240b15dc569ff8ade0500f

(2546)

on January 27, 2012
at 09:00 PM

oh yes, and the occasional german-style nutty hearty bread and a pint of uh-mazing beer is well missed.

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on January 27, 2012
at 10:29 PM

well said, meret. Personally, I still see food as entertainment. There is something primal (in the broad sense of the word) about cooking, and getting more creative and dynamic in my cooking has helped me to maintain that.

3
A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on January 27, 2012
at 08:11 PM

I guess I would have to say alcohol too. I had very little trouble giving up grains and beans, but giving up my daily cocktail habit has been more challenging. But, a funny thing happened pretty soon into the diet: my tolerance of alcohol diminished markedly, as did my desire for it. So three glasses of wine soon became one--without consciously trying. I feel quite confident that my alcohol cravings were strongly linked to carbohydrates, and going low-carb really helped. And when I over-indulge, I suffer as if I am brand new at drinking again, which is a pretty good disincentive to drink. The older I get, it seems the less willing I am to spend any part of my increasingly limited life time suffering, if I can easily avoid it.

Another challenge for me has been staying low-carb. As a person with plenty of weight to lose, I was pretty motivated to go low-carb, and that worked very well at first. I shed 20 pounds effortlessly eating tons of steak with hollandaise, etc. But after awhile, my digestion started really acting up. Things didn't resolve until I reintroduced a moderate amount of starch. I chose white rice, and since then, everything is back to normal, and I'm not gaining weight. The rice does not seem to cause me to crave other carbs or booze. I suppose I'm closer to a PHD now, with respect to carbs. (I'm also autoimmune hypothyroid, and understand low-carb might not be the best choice for me anyhow.)

Finally, there is the pizza thing. Normally not a big problem to resist, but since pizza is everyone's go-to party/social gathering food, I've found myself stranded with nothing to eat except my very favorite poison! Usually I abstain, but sometimes I don't. Either way, I suffer! I dearly wish a truly great paleo pizza crust would materialize more than any other food.

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on January 27, 2012
at 09:21 PM

We went to a work event a while back and the provided lunch was pizza and soda. For a room full of 40 somethings. My coworker summed it up best when she said "what is this - an 8 year old's birthday party?"

A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on January 28, 2012
at 12:05 AM

Awesome, Kelly! +1!

3
6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on January 27, 2012
at 02:02 AM

6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on January 27, 2012
at 02:44 AM

Just inching my way to the 10K point club GW. ;-)

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on January 27, 2012
at 02:38 AM

I have to upvote you for the self promotion. Well played

3
273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on January 27, 2012
at 01:51 AM

I was right with you....I could easily put away a bottle of wine for my pregame festivities (still do occasionally....but were talking like very occasionally) and then go out and drink all night. With that I think you have found a good balance. I practice pretty much the same routine.

When I converted to Paleo my biggest struggle was stuff like Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt...I gave up the refined grains and processed stuff and after 2 weeks I didnt want it anymore (occasionally Ill crave Pizza...but then I just make bacon :D) but I always found myself diving into Ice Cream or Frozen Yogurt. We have lie 5 self serve Fro-Yo places within 5 miles of mi casa so its very tempting. My friend and I used to practice "Sushi Sunday" where wed go get Sushi and finish our weeks with a big ice cream cone....that ice cream was the hardest thing to give up. However, since cutting ALL refined sugars, I feel much better. I will always crave ice cream, and when I get the weight off that I want off I will allow myself a little again...its my favorite thing EVER! But I find myself craving real sweets....like fruit. A banana is a delicacy to me now. Don't give up! Persevere :D

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on January 27, 2012
at 03:58 AM

im about that greek yogurt life...i had to stop because i started eating it too much :P

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on January 27, 2012
at 03:34 AM

same here. Neither full fat Greek yogurt nor the nice dark chocolate can replace. Damn, I love ice cream.

2
90f66d30d977b07694403b469b3f85c5

on January 27, 2012
at 08:54 AM

I've been eating Paleo for 3 months. My one weakness is alcohol. I've been a daily drinker for a while... not a drunk or anything, it's just an entrenched habit. I drink about 3 glasses of wine every day. The more I've learned about my liver though... I've been taking more days off drinking. My goal is to reduce it to only drinking once or twice a week.

Also, I suck about exercising. At first I lost a bunch of weight with no exercise. Now I'm stuck on a plateau, so I've been trying to walk several miles almost every day, and lift weights. But it's not a dedicated part of my life yet.

Everything else is pretty easy for me. Avoiding sweets, bread, and crap like that is no problem. I actually enjoy refusing the basket of bread they bring me at restaurants, saying "no thanks, I don't eat bread".

My friends give me a little bit of a hard time about being Paleo, mostly because they had never heard of it before. But now they're actually pretty accepting. Family is cool about it too - my Dad started right after I did, my Mom is learning a bit, and my brother is thinking about trying it.

2
Dabdb4e771b72dff14709b0258b207a7

on January 27, 2012
at 07:53 AM

My biggest issue is social stigma.

I don't miss non paleo foods. I do eat lots of fruit, but am quite petite and healthy so I'm not trying to cut back.

I have so much trouble explaining my diet over and over and having people constantly trying to push food on me. Especially my mother. She is constantly ragging on how much meat I eat. I visit often and everytime I do she puts cookies and candy in my room. She makes me feel so guilty when I don't want to eat what she gives me. It really stresses me out.

Foods are not an issue, people are!

4d6aa1a676240b15dc569ff8ade0500f

(2546)

on January 27, 2012
at 09:28 PM

i basically stopped saying i'm on a paleo diet, and instead say i have a gluten-sensitivity. people are far less likely to question it and belittle your efforts, and it's still true! if they really seem interested i might get into more detail, but let's face it, most people don't REALLY wanna change what they eat.

Dabdb4e771b72dff14709b0258b207a7

(201)

on January 29, 2012
at 03:49 AM

Yes, the gluten sensitivity thing is what I go with these days and I am severely allergic to most dairy product (lucky? haha) But my mom has gotten worse and worse... I've been paleo for about a year now! Oh well, c'est la vie! Thanks for commenting guys nice to feel less alone <3

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on January 27, 2012
at 08:10 PM

well said. In my experience, the longer you go paleo, the less they berate you. If they don't like it, after awhile they at least keep to themselves.

2
0266737ea1782946902fd3f8e60fa0b9

(2504)

on January 27, 2012
at 03:27 AM

I'm doing my whole30 right now, and it's rough. For me, my greatest temptations are sweets and Diet Coke. I find one thing that helps me is trying to concentrate on today-I will not have a diet coke today-because thinking about a lifetime without it makes me want to give up now. Even thirty days seems impossible, but I'm at day 17, and I'm still in it. I think as you see health benefits, you can keep reminding yourself how you got there-whether it's more energy, lost weight, improved performance. Also, once you take a break from certain foods, you may find that when you return to them, they make you feel sick/bloated. Sometimes, we don't realize how certain foods impact us until we remove them from our systems. Good luck!

8487a2f7fb8be0a568275667af0794c8

(494)

on January 27, 2012
at 12:32 PM

Watch Sweet Misery!

1
193b7fb0fec8913d5ebb3b99a04d21c6

(2918)

on January 27, 2012
at 09:20 PM

POPCORN. PIZZA. The two p's.

1
F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on January 27, 2012
at 08:32 PM

I've been low-carbing for years so shifting to Paleo hasn't been too difficult. I had to give up a few things, but I at least don't feel guilty anymore about occasionally eating rice or potatoes. My challenges are more circumstancial.

One, since finally getting all grains/gluten out of my system, my food sensitivies have gone INSANE. I keep reacting to stuff that was OK before and sometimes I have no idea what triggered it. So despite eating the healthiest I've ever eaten, I walk around half the time with swollen eyes and mystery rashes. Because of that, and the drinking less thing, I have made an effort to eat out as little as possible. Which curtails my social life significantly. I don't like being isolated, but eating out causes me stress. I'm trying to encourage my friends and loved ones to do more non-food activities, but it's hard to get them on board.

Second, beer. My boyfriend and I were really involved in the craft beer community. Since I've given up gluten, I can't participate in a lot of activites that we used to do together, and even when I tag along and don't partake, I feel awkward constantly explaining why I'm at a beer event not drinking beer. If I didn't feel so sick after drinking it, I'm sure I'd constantly be backsliding.

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on February 01, 2012
at 12:00 AM

GAH, I hear ya. My husband brews and we live in a fairly active homebrew and craft beer area... it's killer having a new brew on tap at home, in the dining room, and I know I shouldn't (and really don't, but do) want any. I'm judging a homebrew contest this weekend and I'm torn... I usually swallow a sip of each, to really taste the brew, and I'm already counting up each of those little sips in my head...

1
54b8410e80d353d0cb763a622f5e2241

on January 27, 2012
at 06:10 PM

I miss frozen yogurt, and chips & salsa. I made some plantain chips and guacamole last night and it helped with my chip craving. I am on day 19 of Whole30 ... when I have a craving, I think about the 7 lbs that I have lost in the past 19 days and how much less blaoted I feel now that I am no longer eating that crap. I also find a way to make a Paleo version of the food that I am missing. That has helped alot. I think I will incorporate some greek yogurt after the 30 days, and try making a frozen yogurt out of that!

4d6aa1a676240b15dc569ff8ade0500f

(2546)

on January 27, 2012
at 09:27 PM

an amazing crunch-replacement are home-made pork rinds. it's a process to make them, but they totally hit the spot!

1
8c8e71eb729c0edb4786c6f3ba8614e4

(568)

on January 27, 2012
at 01:01 PM

I miss rich seedy bread. And couscous/bulgur with tofu --> seriously one of my favorite food combos.

But I tell myself it's worth it for health. I can't always have what I want, and what I want might not always be the best thing for me. There are always gluten-free breads if I feel like I really need some.

1
Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on January 27, 2012
at 07:20 AM

Those are my stumbling blocks, too. Exactly. sigh. The thing that seems to help for me is just avoiding having sugary stuff within reach. I walk right by it now in the store, and it's gotten easier over time.

As for wine with dinner, that's tougher. I live in Europe where it's considered normal, and, after all, red wine is supposed to be good for you, right? That said, I go without at least a couple days a week :)

1
Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on January 27, 2012
at 03:33 AM

My biggest temptation diet-wise has been and always will be, ICE CREAM. I consumed pints of the stuff. Possibly multiple pints in a sitting. Every now and again I may treat myself to it, but I try to go as paleo as possible when I do, so natural and low in sugar.

However, things like a love of dark chocolate help to abate these cravings, or full fat Greek yogurt. Both have worked in the past. Neither is the same as ice cream in all of it's delicious glory, but it is a challenge I find worth it day by day.

76c885d7d27e6c83542ea493ca866dcd

(2178)

on January 27, 2012
at 07:50 PM

I adore ice cream too. Last weekend I made paleo "banana ice cream" - blended a frozen banana with half a room-temperature one - and it was totally ice creamy and delicious. :)

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on January 27, 2012
at 10:27 PM

I'm tempted to try and hack some dessert with banana, heavy cream, coconut, and dark chocolate. Maybe some almond butter. Not the same as my ice cream favorites, but tasty nonetheless.

4d6aa1a676240b15dc569ff8ade0500f

(2546)

on January 27, 2012
at 09:29 PM

ditto on chunks of frozen banana! top with some almond butter and cocoa (or melted dark chocolate) and it totally passes!!!

1
4afe09d59d78e670879aeb0fe8a27c69

(60)

on January 27, 2012
at 01:50 AM

Trying to think of what I'm tempted by is making me feel tempted! I've been pretty paleo for the last two months (still eating some dairy though) and I'm honestly not feeling very tempted at all. That said, PIZZA! I used to eat so much pizza, it's crazy to me that I haven't had any in 2 months!

Also, I'm trying not to eat too many nuts since I'm trying to lose some weight, and that's tough! I think maybe I miss snacking itself more than any particular foods. It's getting better for sure, though!

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on January 27, 2012
at 02:15 AM

Gahh, I'm sorry to tempt you! :( That's awesome that you haven't had it in 2 months though. There's always "meatzza" or trying a cauliflower crust though?! :)

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on January 27, 2012
at 07:14 AM

@Hill, I'm with ya. Snacking is a hard habit to crack. And I miss piza. No way I'm going to replace it with cauliflower, sorry, that just sounds horrific.

0
Dabdb4e771b72dff14709b0258b207a7

on January 27, 2012
at 07:58 AM

My biggest issue is social stigma.

I don't miss non paleo foods. I do eat lots of fruit, but am quite petite and healthy so I'm not trying to cut back.

I have so much trouble explaining my diet over and over and having people constantly trying to push food on me. Especially my mother. She is constantly ragging on how much meat I eat. I visit often and everytime I do she puts cookies and candy in my room. She makes me feel so guilty when I don't want to eat what she gives me. It really stresses me out.

Foods are not an issue, people are!

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