1

votes

Help! Can't stop picking on nuts / nut butters!

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 16, 2012 at 8:11 PM

Since going paleo about 5 weeks ago.. I have found myself endlessly picking and munching on nuts/ nut butters. ( macadamias, almond butter, almonds, hazelnuts). I have always loved them but seems since going paleo I eat them with reckless abandon. Help! Any idea as to why this is happening? And how do I rectify it?? They are soooo good! But I have done all the reading on nuts and try every day to limit them. But before I know it im shoving them in my face. I'm afraid they are keepin me from getting a leaner middle! ( I'm pretty in shape now just soft belly.. Ugh)

70d82ba6d7dc1503d954cf0c82ab80f4

on May 25, 2014
at 07:45 PM

Same for nut butters! They come in 1.5 tbsp (or so) packets, which I buy exclusively, despite the extra expense, because I know whatever I buy will be eaten that same day.

70d82ba6d7dc1503d954cf0c82ab80f4

on May 25, 2014
at 07:41 PM

Third that! You literally have to not allow yourself, at the grocery store.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on May 25, 2014
at 06:04 PM

This is a bad answer. No matter how much I'll eat, I'll crave nuts, and the craving won't go away until I eat nuts. I have tried many replacements (avocado, oily fish, carrots, etc.) to no avail.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on September 21, 2012
at 01:43 PM

4.) High in MUFAs.

014e7a87621b34bead8645fde586f6cd

(100)

on September 21, 2012
at 01:34 PM

I keep my nut butters and nuts at work only. If they go home with me...they won't make it out alive.

2c24b5d535ab1322e037099d023039f4

on September 21, 2012
at 01:25 PM

Also, I don't think it helps to "just not buy" nut butters/nuts. I tried that and ended up bingeing on my roommate's food or eating WORSE things. Just get to the root of the problem!

2c24b5d535ab1322e037099d023039f4

on September 21, 2012
at 01:24 PM

I completely agree! Since going paleo I've craved more nuts and nut butters along with dark chocolate. I didn't crave these things as much before going paleo. I believe it's our body searching for carbs. Since recently adding more carbs (sometimes in the form of wheat--I know, I know) I've found these cravings have gone away SIGNIFICANTLY. And I'm actually eating less calories. I'm continuing to experiment. I'd suggest adding more tubers, etc and see what happens.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on September 21, 2012
at 12:55 PM

3.) Stated before, I'm sure, but the calcium and magnesium (and I'm sure other vitamins and minerals) are going to have a nourishing effect on the nervous system, possibly in a way that supplementing with these separate components would not. What about the phytic acid, you say? All I have to say is that when I crave nuts, I crave *roasted* nuts over raw ones. (Roasting nuts breaks down much of the phytate.)

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on September 21, 2012
at 12:48 PM

2.) The second most predominant amino acid in almonds is l-arginine. Wikipedia says that the plant foods highest in arginine are: wheat germ and flour, buckwheat, granola, oatmeal, peanuts, nuts (coconut, pecans, cashews, walnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pinenuts), seeds (pumpkin, sesame, sunflower), chick peas, cooked soybeans, Phalaris canariensis (canaryseed or ALPISTE). I dunno about you guys, but this is essentially a list of the "non-paleo" foods that I crave the most. L-arginine is a precursor to nitric oxide and has been found to stimulate secretion of growth hormone.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on September 21, 2012
at 12:41 PM

1.) Almonds are unusually high in glutamic acid (L-Glutamine), which is used by the body in greater amounts when it is under stress. Of course, we are familiar with L-glutamine as a supplement, and its ability to curb "carb cravings" as well as reduce stress. I will posit that although we may temporarily benefit from this supplementation, we would do better not confusing our body with out-of-the-blue doses of vitamins, but instead getting our L-glutamine from a natural source, along with all the other amino acids and vitamins that it's "supposed" to come with.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on September 11, 2012
at 02:37 AM

Yeah, get some more fat in ye. Avocados are a good replacement for nuts.

0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

(5150)

on August 16, 2012
at 10:56 PM

Cashews aren't nuts, but they certainly are addictive.

45ace03a0eff1219943d746cfb1c4197

(3661)

on August 16, 2012
at 10:39 PM

That's exactly what I've done and for the same reason.

Cd77fd01d8be999aa91b8678e262f419

(825)

on August 16, 2012
at 10:39 PM

It could be that you're not getting enough fat in the rest of your diet but it sounds from your other comments that this isn't the case. Could be a mix of things, the saltiness, the crunch, some need to be constantly eating. Try buying small single serve packets of nut butters (they are also expensive which might stop the munching!) and single portion bags of nuts, or portion them out into ziplocs and freeze anything over a day's ration. Or just give them up, but I Know that's hard.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on August 16, 2012
at 10:27 PM

Pull yourself together already

Af939911afa817f79a4625d4f503c735

(552)

on August 16, 2012
at 08:46 PM

I agree with the above comments. I don't keep nuts or nut butters in my house for this very reason.

B442730f74eed4f00b7d6027a7109977

(100)

on August 16, 2012
at 08:37 PM

I second MathGirl. I'm bought a jar of almond butter just to try it out and less than a week later it was gone. Then I bought another jar. When I realized what I had actually done, I gave away the unused portion. Tragically it triggers binge eating in me so I can't keep it around me right now.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on August 16, 2012
at 08:26 PM

Quickest fix is to STOP BUYING THEM!!!! Seriously, any food you binge on should not be in your house.

D7f63f9560ad3b98089bc959aff752a6

(70)

on August 16, 2012
at 08:26 PM

That's a great answer! Very true. I did start adding more to my meals but find I get full quick! Paleo has definitely sated me more! I try to had more coconut oil or avocado or olive oil to what I'm eating. But. Honestly it's the Taste and crunch! Lol. I eat a Giant salad at lunch w healthy fats and protein. I think you got it. It's probably more of an emotional/ comfort thing. Plus they are just simple and transportable.

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24 Answers

7
Baa413654789b57f3579474ca7fa43d7

(2349)

on August 16, 2012
at 08:15 PM

You may be overeating nuts because you are not eating enough at your meals. If that is the case, eat more meat and vegetables at your meals. If you are not hungry in between meals, you'll be less likely to pick and snack on things like nuts.

If you are mindlessly eating them even though you are not hungry, then I suggest you stop buying them/having them around, at least for a set period of time. Give yourself a month without nuts. That might be enough to break the habit.

D7f63f9560ad3b98089bc959aff752a6

(70)

on August 16, 2012
at 08:26 PM

That's a great answer! Very true. I did start adding more to my meals but find I get full quick! Paleo has definitely sated me more! I try to had more coconut oil or avocado or olive oil to what I'm eating. But. Honestly it's the Taste and crunch! Lol. I eat a Giant salad at lunch w healthy fats and protein. I think you got it. It's probably more of an emotional/ comfort thing. Plus they are just simple and transportable.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on May 25, 2014
at 06:04 PM

This is a bad answer. No matter how much I'll eat, I'll crave nuts, and the craving won't go away until I eat nuts. I have tried many replacements (avocado, oily fish, carrots, etc.) to no avail.

5
8dbe73235f73c615f20d3d0f34b4852a

(1365)

on August 16, 2012
at 08:39 PM

I used to do that. Solution: Stop buying nuts and nut butters. It really was that simple. Now I down a jar of almond butter on occasion, but less than once a month. Just make sure you have lots of other, better food around, too. Meats 'n' veggies. Om nom nom.

45ace03a0eff1219943d746cfb1c4197

(3661)

on August 16, 2012
at 10:39 PM

That's exactly what I've done and for the same reason.

70d82ba6d7dc1503d954cf0c82ab80f4

on May 25, 2014
at 07:41 PM

Third that! You literally have to not allow yourself, at the grocery store.

4
F161797a5883ae103383193b00a9ca9b

(130)

on August 16, 2012
at 08:45 PM

I can't buy nuts or nut butters in large quantity for this reason.

Sometimes I'll buy a small packet, knowing that I'll eat them all.

Another hack is to buy them shelled. Cracking open the shell will slow down your snacking.

3
0b4326a4949718451a8571b82558dc10

on August 16, 2012
at 08:30 PM

Join the club...About a week ago I ate 1 pound of cashews one day and a pound of almonds the next. I'm convinced they're addictive. I decided to stop buying them.

0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

(5150)

on August 16, 2012
at 10:56 PM

Cashews aren't nuts, but they certainly are addictive.

2
194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on September 21, 2012
at 12:23 PM

I think we are craving nuts so strongly because they provide something vital that we don't get from other things. I say this because I notice that if I eat a moderate amount of nuts/seeds in a meal, along with some proteolytic fermented foods to aid in digestion, I feel quite well, and that the nuts have "hit the spot," a spot that I can't imagine any other food hitting.

Avocados were an okay replacement for a while, but after a while, it was clear that they weren't satisfying me as much as nuts did, nor providing as much energy--provided I don't eat so many nuts that it hits my digestive system like a brick.

What do nuts provide that other foods do not? Off the top of my head, all I can think of are magnesium and a particular amino acid profile that nourishes our bodies in a unique way, perhaps providing precursors to important neurotransmitters and hormones. If I find out anything about that I'll post a comment to this "answer."

Yes, nuts can be addicting, but in my experience there are some ways to minimize that effect without forming an abstinence/binging relationship. I have found that adding raw, fermented foods to meals (especially with nuts) aids in both digestion and enhancing satiation signals. Also, eating them slowly helps.

Are nuts bad? I don't think so. Are they a food that some find difficult to form a productive relationship with? That's what I think. I know of many people with strong digestive systems that have no problems eating nuts normally and with moderation, not requiring any amount of discipline to stop themselves. It seems to me that it is those people with compromised digestive systems (a large percentage of us paleohackers, no?) that have trouble with nuts and nut cravings. Perhaps the key here is not to avoid such an ubiquitous food at the risk of slight yet perpetual malnourishment (which has been my experience), but to find ways of safely and productively incorporating this food by enhancing our approach and digestion of said food.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on September 21, 2012
at 12:48 PM

2.) The second most predominant amino acid in almonds is l-arginine. Wikipedia says that the plant foods highest in arginine are: wheat germ and flour, buckwheat, granola, oatmeal, peanuts, nuts (coconut, pecans, cashews, walnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pinenuts), seeds (pumpkin, sesame, sunflower), chick peas, cooked soybeans, Phalaris canariensis (canaryseed or ALPISTE). I dunno about you guys, but this is essentially a list of the "non-paleo" foods that I crave the most. L-arginine is a precursor to nitric oxide and has been found to stimulate secretion of growth hormone.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on September 21, 2012
at 01:43 PM

4.) High in MUFAs.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on September 21, 2012
at 12:55 PM

3.) Stated before, I'm sure, but the calcium and magnesium (and I'm sure other vitamins and minerals) are going to have a nourishing effect on the nervous system, possibly in a way that supplementing with these separate components would not. What about the phytic acid, you say? All I have to say is that when I crave nuts, I crave *roasted* nuts over raw ones. (Roasting nuts breaks down much of the phytate.)

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on September 21, 2012
at 12:41 PM

1.) Almonds are unusually high in glutamic acid (L-Glutamine), which is used by the body in greater amounts when it is under stress. Of course, we are familiar with L-glutamine as a supplement, and its ability to curb "carb cravings" as well as reduce stress. I will posit that although we may temporarily benefit from this supplementation, we would do better not confusing our body with out-of-the-blue doses of vitamins, but instead getting our L-glutamine from a natural source, along with all the other amino acids and vitamins that it's "supposed" to come with.

0
7896f132a54650eff768b3db6eacf89a

on May 25, 2014
at 08:45 PM

Hi all, may we humbly suggest that you try incorporating Tiger Nuts, into your Paleo Diet. You see Tiger Nuts have all of the attributes of nuts, but they are NOT NUTS at all, they are a tuber.

Find them at www.tigernutsusa.com or fine health food stores in 10 states.

0
7980720c1b25ec11df1ec6cbf6f2c7fc

on May 25, 2014
at 04:31 PM

How about eating Nut that are NOT Nuts, and that means TIGER NUTS

You see Tiger Nuts are actually a tuber, and that means they are vegan, but they taste like coconut, so you still get a good nut fix!

Find them at www.tigernutsusa.com or fine health food stores.

0
Dd61f42b211a69f5899fc1ae1d2460bf

(71)

on June 15, 2013
at 11:46 PM

I am struggling with this as well. I like to keep nuts and nut butters in the house because if I need to have something bad... ok a binge.... I would prefer nuts and nut butters over cupcakes or SAD stuff. But if they are on hand, I tend to just snack on them because they are quick and easy and delicious. Nuts and nut butters are definitely hindering me on my way to lean. But again... cupcakes or SAD vs a small tub of almond butter from Whole Foods?

0
90680f1a6d5f7fc7747ffeea5e229884

on June 15, 2013
at 10:08 PM

OMG I see I'm not alone! Yay! Ok, I'll stop buying them for a couple of weeks and see how it goes!

0
6a887d4304bae8d7b8592a77bb49f73a

(110)

on June 13, 2013
at 05:04 PM

how much fat are you getting otherwise? I found myself snacking on nuts because I didn't have enough fat in my meals, once I added an avocado or more coconut oil or coconut milk, etc I was GOLDEN!

0
Ec376b60ec061d97c9c273f13349b33d

on June 13, 2013
at 04:31 PM

For those of you craving dark chocolate and nuts eat more magnesium rich foods, both nuts and dark chocolate are high in magnesium so that's probably why you crave them. Anything green is a good source.

0
Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

on January 26, 2013
at 12:40 PM

I take a serving to work with me. I don't even touch them unless all I have access to is all I want to eat. I can stare at a jar of almonds, cashews, walnuts all day with no problem until I eat just one. Omega-6 crack hits...

I don't mess with the butters at all anymore. The entire purpose of grinding them is to eat more with less effort. The exact opposite of ideal.

0
24c27817ad9ac518946dda4a131737b5

on January 26, 2013
at 09:19 AM

I'm lucky to be near a marketplace with lots of independent proprietors who sell at stands. The lady proprietress of the "nuts and fried fruits" stand has been willing to sell me one day's worth of walnuts/cashews/macadamian/pecan/almond at a time.

I don't think she's thrilled, but she doesn't mind either. I used to buy walnuts, almonds from her in large packs and always binged.

0
542cef6314e2231dd0736a56d258ff6b

on January 26, 2013
at 07:37 AM

I'm having the same problem with nuts, I'm classify myself as a nut addict :) Just read through your comments and I'll try to adopt some of your tips. For me it's not about buying them, i can resist that but my problem is i live in Dubai and almost every bar serves them as a snack. Sometimes i will delibertly go to a place where they serve a good selection of nuts, eat a bowl and ask for more. It's crazy... How to stop that!? i'm sure they aren't got for my digestion either. Grr

0
235b077872243d4ee5796c6ace3c0970

on September 21, 2012
at 02:09 PM

Silver lining: I'd rather be craving and caving with nuts/nut butters than, say, an armful of run-of-the-mill chocolate chip cookies or croissants or muffins. In a way, it's great that your/our collective sweet tooth is thinking of the natural/healthy stuff.

Personally, I save the nuts/nut butters (and fruit) for a post-workout snack most of the time. I've seen a lot of people mention that this is the best time to eat the stuff. If I get an almond butter craving, I tell myself to get up and get sweaty first; it works as a nice self-regulating incentive system.

0
A90dfb3c8b984191d8102ccfc0203e90

on September 21, 2012
at 12:58 PM

Stop buying them! That's what I had to do or I'd devour them all.

0
A181e4f5867dd56b469ff63e7ec299df

on September 21, 2012
at 07:39 AM

I had been considering going and buying a block of dark chocolate all afternoon, and instead, I just devoured about a pound of almonds/cashews/walnuts/brazil nuts... I then threw the rest of my supply in the bin. I'm not going to touch another nut for at least a month! I'm so addicted! However, I think the nuts were better than eating the chocolate- and as I think the cravings were a little bit hormonal, I'm going to forgive myself this once :) Plus I really enjoyed them- that's the main thing! Hehe

0
B43eab49eb3a97793630ce6e45592c23

(20)

on September 11, 2012
at 02:21 AM

If you're low-carb, you could try adding in more tubers and fruit. When I tried low-carb, I found myself eating way too many nuts (they contain a fair amount of carbs).

This seems to be a common problem that pops up around here, and I suspect it has something to do with all the carb restriction.

2c24b5d535ab1322e037099d023039f4

on September 21, 2012
at 01:25 PM

Also, I don't think it helps to "just not buy" nut butters/nuts. I tried that and ended up bingeing on my roommate's food or eating WORSE things. Just get to the root of the problem!

2c24b5d535ab1322e037099d023039f4

on September 21, 2012
at 01:24 PM

I completely agree! Since going paleo I've craved more nuts and nut butters along with dark chocolate. I didn't crave these things as much before going paleo. I believe it's our body searching for carbs. Since recently adding more carbs (sometimes in the form of wheat--I know, I know) I've found these cravings have gone away SIGNIFICANTLY. And I'm actually eating less calories. I'm continuing to experiment. I'd suggest adding more tubers, etc and see what happens.

0
C6f441a3410394366ef567ebe2d55d00

on September 11, 2012
at 01:56 AM

I have that same problem with nut butters, nuts and dark chocolate. I've found myself eating half of a big jar of almond butter within hours of buying it. My solution was to just stop buying them. If you're not eating them in a healthy way, you shouldn't waste the money on them. Use that saved money to buy some more delicious grass fed beef! Being paleo (or primal, whatever) is about eating good foods and living a lifestyle that promotes health and an overall improvement in quality of life. Don't waste time on things that hinder your progress towards that goal. Best of luck!

0
5ca795698083eb1bf18fc3802952e7a3

(10)

on September 10, 2012
at 08:18 PM

Someone said small packets- that's been key for me. If I buy a bag of shelled pistachios, they are gone in two days.

Big packs of 1.5 oz (a good serving size) bags of almonds and pistachios and other nuts are available on Amazon - I haven't had as much luck finding them in stores, though - Almonds are easy, but if you want a variety everything else tends to be a mix containing the dreaded peanut.

Edit - I also I think that if you buy unsalted nuts, that will help a lot too. I discovered that mostly what I was craving was the salty crunch, more than the nut itself.

70d82ba6d7dc1503d954cf0c82ab80f4

on May 25, 2014
at 07:45 PM

Same for nut butters! They come in 1.5 tbsp (or so) packets, which I buy exclusively, despite the extra expense, because I know whatever I buy will be eaten that same day.

0
Ee04db68fcab556868524acb55ac5fd4

on August 16, 2012
at 10:22 PM

I'm in the same boat as all of yall. What makes nuts so addicting?

I'm about to drop paleo and just live off almond butter.

0
79b081a3b3c08dd66ef0dbfd63fb5e86

on August 16, 2012
at 09:59 PM

I am completely in your corner on this one. I leave the almond butter ALLLLLLLLL the way in the far back of the fridge unless using it---then, it's not as convenient to have to rummage for. But if that doesn't seem to be enough of a barrier, then just chuck it. I am a frugal lady, and it is hard to watch money go in the trash; but, emotional guilt seems to be more expensive than the food.

If you're really still loving the nuts as a snack, maybe try portioning them all out as soon as you get home from the grocery store. I have had to do this with the trail mix I've been making. If I left it all in one container, I would take it and pick, pick, pick all day long. They have small snack bags (I use Ziploc) that are good for portioning out all of your nuts from the get-go. It's as easy to grab a portion when you're on the go and (I find) less tempting to keep going through millions of baggies. I finish one, then I'm done.

0
96f9196d670ced8b2b2a247af0f1df9e

on August 16, 2012
at 09:34 PM

I gave all of mine away. I can't help myself.

0
200a7d7dd75ca6f8e3bf0b4b44f10fbb

(43)

on August 16, 2012
at 09:34 PM

Omg ! Thanks! You guys are so right! I'm baking w them and eating them and a spoonful here a taste there. I just need to quit cold turkey ! But they are SOOO GOOD! ( sob!) any thoughts as to WHY I crave them so much??!

Cd77fd01d8be999aa91b8678e262f419

(825)

on August 16, 2012
at 10:39 PM

It could be that you're not getting enough fat in the rest of your diet but it sounds from your other comments that this isn't the case. Could be a mix of things, the saltiness, the crunch, some need to be constantly eating. Try buying small single serve packets of nut butters (they are also expensive which might stop the munching!) and single portion bags of nuts, or portion them out into ziplocs and freeze anything over a day's ration. Or just give them up, but I Know that's hard.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on September 11, 2012
at 02:37 AM

Yeah, get some more fat in ye. Avocados are a good replacement for nuts.

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