17

votes

Do you use WILLPOWER to stay Paleo?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 01, 2011 at 1:29 PM

http://paleohacks.com/questions/61766/would-this-woman-have-the-same-trouble-maintaining-if-she-was-paleo/61768#61768

In the very interesting question yesterday about maintenance asked by tovesworld, beth weightmaven mentioned WILLPOWER and this quote:

J Stanton said in part 4 of his series: "Restrained eating requires the exercise of willpower to override likes, wants, and the lack of satiation or satiety; the exercise of willpower uses energy and causes stress; and stress makes you eat more. Therefore, a successful diet must minimize the role of willpower."

Honestly, I need willpower to do this every day. I have been successful losing weight and maintaining that weight mostly through my sheer will to stay fit and healthy.

Scientific evidence that this food is better for me isn't really enough to convince me to eat this way. If I could eat neolithic crap and not be obese, I probably would.

Is Paleo satisfying enough to you that you rarely need to exercise your willpower to stay on plan?

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on September 07, 2011
at 04:03 AM

(con't) thought I had saved it, but can't find. When I get it I'll share with you. EXCELLENT.Bottom line: negligible if any diff in benefits between types. Injuries overwhelmingly from free weights. Tracked ER visits for resis/str training =90% of injuries r/t to free weight. This confirms my ongoing choice to continue using hydralic resis machines in a circuit which work very well for me.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on September 07, 2011
at 04:00 AM

(con't) However, I "walked off" my first 50, gradually adding increment of time daily and upping speed gradually. Speedy walked through my final 40. Resis came post met goal, just because that's the way it happened. A real key for me, on every level, seems to be that I NEVER do more than 30min at a hit, but workout nearly daily - one day off now. Yes, I vary intensity dependent upon variety of factors. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110825105018.htm#.Tlh3cdqM8VU.email Jamie of that paleoguy twitted an excellent piece of research comparing types of str/resis training.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on September 07, 2011
at 03:55 AM

Jac: I am doing a combo of str/resis in circuit training, alternating on other days with dancercise. I never do over 30min @ a hit of either, which is perfect for me as i have to be mindfulof NOT increasing inflamm with my medical hx as well as only doing enough so that I feel good, never get burned out and trained myself after the initial, beginning getting "over the hump" with the resis training to look forward to it everyday and really love it. Do 30 min resis 3d/wk, do am and pm 30min classes dancercise 2 days/wk, do a 20min "express" dancercise on one weekend day, one day total rest.

132966e25fc0fea184ed0895f6d28ad4

(131)

on September 06, 2011
at 08:51 PM

@Mel, your husband doesnt realise that for you this is NOT JUST ABOUT WEIGHTLOSS and being skinny...its about you living a long, fullfilling, disease free and healthy life...remind him that unless he wants to pay for excessive medical bills that could arise from eating "normal" is something that you dont want to do, and also the fact, that you want to be there for your children as a healthy role model, not another mum who is who is part of the "obese" stats in the USA who they have to worry about and look after when they get older!

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on September 06, 2011
at 09:04 AM

* *Blushes* *. Being in charge of the food and birthday cakes? On top of everything else I am surprised you managed to lose any weight. You must have more than your share of will power.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on September 06, 2011
at 09:04 AM

**Blushes**. Being in charge of the food and birthday cakes? On top of everything else I am surprised you managed to lose any weight. You must have more than your share of will power.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on September 06, 2011
at 09:03 AM

*Blushes* Being in charge of the food and birthday cakes? On top of everything else I am surprised you managed to lose any weight. You must have more than your share of will power.

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on September 06, 2011
at 06:19 AM

Very cool, mem. What is the exercise that's working for you?

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 05, 2011
at 01:16 PM

You know I adore you, right Matthew? It's a good thing you are so far away or your girlfriend would have to worry about me. <3 Yes, I'm sure this is true. Not only am I constantly surrounded by bad choices, but even 7 years down the road, my family still pushes me to eat them. Even at work, I'm in charge of all the food and birthday cakes and everything. Home for a lot of people is probably their sanctuary away from all this, but mine is not.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on September 05, 2011
at 02:41 AM

Same back atcha, sherpamelissa! GREAT question! <3

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 05, 2011
at 12:36 AM

<3 YOU MEM. Thank you so much for sharing!

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on September 04, 2011
at 10:46 PM

Thanks, Ness. More than a bit wordy, but from the heart, for sure!

132966e25fc0fea184ed0895f6d28ad4

(131)

on September 04, 2011
at 10:37 PM

Wow Mem....amazing and very inspriational!!!!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 04, 2011
at 02:14 AM

I've got lots of awesome people in my life, Rose! Including my PH'ers and other Paleo friends. <3

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on September 04, 2011
at 02:10 AM

I can stuff my face with Paleo foods all day long - and it's delicious.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on September 02, 2011
at 07:32 PM

Mmm, I've seen relationships where one partner's weight loss is less than thrilling, for various reasons, to the other. I suppose all relationships have some murky areas; my husband, good as he is about my woe, is not thrilled when I have my own business (didn't like the first one, and is gearing up to not like my new one). It's good to have other support systems in such cases. I hope PH is one such system for you, and that you have others as well. <3

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 02, 2011
at 07:19 PM

Thanks barefeet, but no, my bodyfat has gone up. I went on kind of an exercise hiatus for awhile that coincided with my not so Paleo eating and this is what happened. I'll get it back where I want it though.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 02, 2011
at 07:17 PM

Well, that's a loaded question, Rose. Not on purpose of course. He thinks I'm obsessed with food overall. He also really worries about appearances to other people. He's not always thrilled with my weight loss either. I'm kind of a completely different person this way and it's taken him awhile to get used to that. He's better now than he was in the beginning, but he's not likely to ever be on board completely.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on September 02, 2011
at 04:11 PM

Oh, wow. That would be a big strain on me (and on my marriage, too). I'm really lucky in that my husband -- who can eat pretty much whatever and stay lean -- gets that my "weird" eating is responsible for me no longer being his fat old lady, lol. And he reaps the health benefits in other ways, as well. ;D I'm sorry your husband reacts that way; is he worried about what other people think? Does he not appreciate the progress you've made, or maybe doesn't believe your food choices are the reason for your improvements?

27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on September 02, 2011
at 03:14 PM

sherpamelissa, are you sure your current 145 lbs is too high? If you've put on muscle since you started HIIT, 145 now may be equal to 138-141 then in terms of body composition. I'm sure you've seen this already - the pictures say it all - http://everydaypaleo.com/2011/06/22/attention-scale-addicts-part-2/

27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on September 02, 2011
at 03:11 PM

I tried ZC all day and couldn't stick to it. But I've found that ZC breakfasts are really helpful. I work out early in the morning, take in 4 oz. of chicken (mixture of white/dark meats) and a pat of butter, and I'm good till lunch. The bad-gfood cravings hit right after lunch, which usually has some carbs, but I'm better able to deal with them then.

27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on September 02, 2011
at 03:07 PM

+1 for "all or nothing." I've given up kidding myself when I buy a pint of ice cream. Putting it in a bowl is pointless. As for the potato chip cravings - I find myself lunging at the salt and vinegar chips when I don't get enough sodium in my diet, especially when I'm working out hard. Maybe you're missing something that's in the chips? Either the sodium or the crunch.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 02, 2011
at 02:46 PM

I get that Dave, but I have been primarily using willpower on a calorie reduced diet for 7 years, so I don't really feel like that's going to give out on me. I didn't realize that most people don't count on it like I do.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on September 02, 2011
at 02:14 PM

Willpower is only sustainable for so long - its quantity is limited. It can get you started, but habits have to develop inplace of cravings. If a diet leaves you constantly hungry, well, most people don't have the willpower to sustain that. But if I develop the habit to eat enough fat and protein so as to not get hungry, I won't eat the donuts and bagels that are a constant offering in my workplace (less willpower required). I, unfortunately, suffer from very low willpower...

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 02, 2011
at 12:36 PM

Yeah, my family is constantly pushing me to eat "normal". My husband is embarrassed by my weird eating fairly often, especially in public. We went to Fuddruckers and I ordered my burger with no bun and he was very upset with me. He said "Can't you just eat like a normal person when we're out?" and I told him no, but it doesn't make things easy, that's for sure.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 02, 2011
at 12:34 PM

Thanks BHC! I am actually EXTREMELY happy with my body and where I'm at physically. Meghan, I don't hold a lot of value with the scale other than having a top point that I know means I've let things go to far. I am not worried about having a normal BMI. I know I feel best somewhere around 138-141. I like to hover in that range. When I get to 145, I'm one bad weekend from getting out of my safety zone, so that's why I'm trying to push the scale back down a bit right now. I like a little more room to screw up.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 02, 2011
at 12:31 PM

Yeah, Ambimorph, that's kind of it. Anytime I have let myself eat until I'm full on a regular basis, I've gained weight. I have fixed a lot of food issues, but my head is a dangerous place. I don't think I realized quite how off I still am, considering I've conquered so much, but I guess it's all still in there.

06325b762f78a2b8aaa977161cca4a1f

(539)

on September 02, 2011
at 11:56 AM

sherpa-- i dont know how much value you hold in what the scale says... but according to your what your before/after pics, I wouldve guessed you were less than 145. you look quite lean!

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 02, 2011
at 06:37 AM

When I was pregnant my negative reactions to wheat and dairy disappeared, and I could not for the life of me stick with paleo. I proceeded to live on grilled cheese sandwiches, cheesecake, and almonds because they were the only things that didn't induce nausea. Luckily the pain came back, and here I am again. Paleo is the only thing I've tried where I don't have to worry about cravings if I eat to satiety. If you can stick to this without the fear of pain, I envy your fortitude.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 02, 2011
at 06:29 AM

"I now feel the way that I thought I was supposed to feel but didn't." Well said sir, my experience exactly.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on September 02, 2011
at 12:28 AM

I bet you will find that magical place eventually and what a testimony you will have for others! You are already an inspiration to me on this site!

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on September 01, 2011
at 10:01 PM

Interesting about the 500 cal threshold, Rose.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on September 01, 2011
at 10:00 PM

That's tough, Melissa! I think I understand what you mean about losing control, like you don't trust yourself to stop once you start.

Ccdf3fbcaec76e025ff94d03cc4daf9a

(536)

on September 01, 2011
at 08:26 PM

Amen Jess6! It takes me at least a day to overcome the sugar cravings, once I have cheated. If I can make it though the first 24 hours after eating said cookie (or three) then I'm usually good to go. I try to remind myself of this everytime I think, "just one wont hurt"

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on September 01, 2011
at 07:47 PM

When I was restricting calories to try to control my constant weight gain, I would nearly lose my mind with hunger. But when I got down to an average of 500 cals/day, my hunger would "oddly" disappear -- I didn't realize back then that insulin and blood glucose were the major players on that field. I guess I'm soooo hyperinsulinemic that even tiny amounts of vegetable carbohydrate prompt my pancreas to unload gallons of insulin. In the absence of carbs, there are no huge spikes and no huge BG dips, and therefore no insane hunger.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on September 01, 2011
at 07:31 PM

Yeah, this is another good point. I was SO sick and miserable eating the SAD (although of course I had no idea that was my issue), that there's really no temptation to ever go back.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on September 01, 2011
at 07:25 PM

These are all good points, even the opposing ones. This discussion makes me really aware that much of the "effortlessness" of my ZC eating is due to the fact that 1) there are no kids in the house clamoring for Pop-Tarts, and 2) my husband doesn't eat sweets or bread, even though he's not "Paleo" or ZC. I have great sympathy for people struggling to stay on plan when there are SAD eaters in the house, or when there's great resistance to your WOE from partners or family members.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 07:16 PM

My problem seems to be that eating to satiety to me really seems out of control. I don't know if I trust myself that much. It's a really scary concept for me considering how quickly I gain. I'm not sure emotionally I could handle taking that chance. I know this works. Just upping my calories to find my maintenance level was nerve wracking and so was upping my fat. I can fast, but it has to be very controlled or I tend to make bad choices coming off the fast. I think a lot of the issue is my former eating disordered brain is still making the decisions.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 07:15 PM

My problem seems to be that eating to satiety to me really seems out of control. I don't know if I trust myself that much. It's a really scaring concept for me considering how quickly I gain. I'm not sure emotionally I could handle taking that chance. I know this works. Just upping my calories to find my maintenance level was nerve wracking and so was upping my fat. I can fast, but it has to be very controlled or I tend to make bad choices coming off the fast. I think a lot of the issue is my former eating disordered brain is still making the decisions.

5b69a02dadcae753771921d913909215

(1457)

on September 01, 2011
at 07:05 PM

At home I am 100 percent paleo "2.0", but when there is food in the office I usually slip up. I hate when people bring in food to share because I either sit there thinking about not eating it or I just eat it to stop thinking about eating it and get back to work. I guess if I had a more engaging job it also wouldn't be such an issue...

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:38 PM

I *did* decide to fast a couple of times a week, though, because for me it's easier to not eat for a day than to eat a small amount. Is that an option for you? That is, cycle calories so that you can eat to satiety on, say alternate days, and eat nothing, or the remainder of your calorie allotment on the other days?

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:37 PM

That's too bad about the mood issues. It stays bad even after a couple of weeks, or it's too bad to put up with that long? Nothing's worth a bad mood! I get that some choices are harder than others for different people, too. I mean, I don't feel I could handle the willpower stress of reducing calories, even though I'm still about 5 or 10 lbs fatter than I want to be, and it might help with that.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:26 PM

Yeah, I think about ZC and that it may take that for me to eat to satiety without gaining weight. Right now, it's not worth it. I would rather eat less of a wide range of foods. Plus I am opposite of you and Rose, I have mood issues if I let my carbs get too low. So physically it might be better for me, but mentally maybe not? It's a card I may be willing to play someday, but not yet.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:19 PM

I am actually 10lbs above "normal" on the BMI chart. I am 5'2" and currently 145ish lbs. I'm not skinny by any sense of the word. I am happy with how I look though and know I am fit. I just wish I could find this magical place where this isn't as much as a mental battle as it can be.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:17 PM

There were also times I just made room for the item in my calories for the day. So maybe I had to eat a salad for dinner to have the whatever I wanted during the day. It worked. I like a plan. I hate to stray from my plan, so a lot of times entering it all in the food log would help me not go overboard.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:16 PM

God, HP, if other people could hear the voice in my head as I wrestled with these things over the years, they would send me to the looney bin! :P Like I mentioned earlier, these situations are certainly way better than they were at the beginning. I have used all sorts of tricks, chew gum, brush my teeth, drink a cup of tea, take a walk.... but when you want something, sometimes nothing helps. If I felt really close to a binge, I would text or call a friend that understood and would say "tell me not to eat this cookie" and really just acknowledging it out loud was usually enough.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on September 01, 2011
at 06:07 PM

You are looking very fit and skinny. Maybe eat more fat?

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on September 01, 2011
at 05:56 PM

<3 this question very much.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 05:52 PM

Hmmm, maybe I consider willpower what most people consider normal? Heh. I don't have to go through considerably strain or self sacrifice NOT to eat the M&M cookies in my pantry, but I sure would like to eat one. I just know that one leads to 12. So, I consider it willpower that I don't eat that one. They are usually fairly easy choices but there are days that I swear the food wants to jump into my mouth and I have to fight to keep it out.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 03:36 PM

Apparently, I'm some weird anomaly then. If I didn't rely on my willpower, I would still be obese. It just seems so weird to me that there's a possibility this could be so much less of a mental struggle. I'm formerly eating disordered though, so maybe that's part of it too.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on September 01, 2011
at 03:12 PM

Exercise makes me very hungry as well. I don't think Taubes intends to send the message that dieting should be effortless. And there's nothing wrong with effort. But when people have to do battle with hunger they generally lose. Most successful diets are those that allow people not to feel hungry or minimally so. And of course I don't think we can assume that people who struggle with hunger and lose that battle are making any less effort than those who do not. Hunger is a very strong urge that our survival is based on. No shame in losing that one.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 03:08 PM

I know I've let myself get too hungry when the bread at the Subway inside Walmart smells good!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 03:07 PM

All my stuff is actually in it's own place usually. But as the main cook and mom, I have to make the lunches and cook the dinners. In the beginning it was very hard to do something like bag up her Doritos or put a couple cookies in her lunch without shoving one in my mouth. I don't really have any issue with this anymore, but there just really isn't a way to make this an "out of sight, out of mind" thing for me.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on September 01, 2011
at 03:06 PM

Excellent point! I do need some willpower but I plan everything and always, always have more than enough food around that I can eat and that I really do enjoy. I also have far less of a struggle than Melissa as my house is free from non-paleo food. It's the fruit and nuts and cheese and eating out that cause me problems sometimes.

3dc940ac9be21e45cf83207814c8cd46

(544)

on September 01, 2011
at 02:47 PM

me too, re satiety. It's been a long time since I felt full after only a small amount of food, rather than stuffing myself with SAD foods. I am thrilled to feel full, and walk away from the table and not think of eating anything for hours....

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 02:45 PM

Oh, I know all that. I just love ice cream.

306aa57660d911781231f8090c2a5619

(3808)

on September 01, 2011
at 02:44 PM

I will say that someone brought fudge into work last week, and it had been a really horrible day... so I ended up having three pieces (and these weren't dinky little pieces, either). But that reminded me why I do try to avoid doing that - not because of any ill effects, but because it's a lot easier to turn it down in the first place than to stop once I get started.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 02:44 PM

Oh I don't have satiety either. I posted about that one a long time ago. I eat about 50% fat and any more than that makes me sick. Mostly, I think my metabolism is too far damaged to fix it. I only can eat about 1200/1400 calories per day or I gain. I'm okay with using willpower, I was just surprised that to some people, it takes none at all.

8c5533ffe71bd4262fedc7e898ead1ba

(1724)

on September 01, 2011
at 02:34 PM

"It's just not as much fun as going out to get ice cream with the family!" -- But that is not about the ice cream! That's about having fun and hanging with your family. I'm allergic to dairy and gave it up when I was 15 (a loong time ago), but I understand your feeling. What if eating ice cream made you sick (immediately enough that it physically hurt)? Since I couldn't eat the ice cream or the pizza, I got clear pretty quickly that it wasn't about the FOOD, it was about the socializing and I didn't need to food to socialize, I could have something different.

8c5533ffe71bd4262fedc7e898ead1ba

(1724)

on September 01, 2011
at 02:30 PM

Melissa, I think there still might be value in having "your" shelf, "your" drawer. I find I am quite able to filter out things that "don't belong to me". It doesn't eliminate the stimulus, but it can greatly reduce it.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 02:26 PM

Years? OMG. That's impressive! I eat ice cream fairly often actually and I'm okay with it. I do try and buy better ice cream, but not always.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 02:23 PM

You're right that it is easier now that I've dropped grains. Before Paleo it took even MORE willpower. But I am anxiously awaiting the day that liverwurst is as awesome as a cookie!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 02:20 PM

I think that's absolutely awesome! I wish it was that easy for me.

6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on September 01, 2011
at 02:17 PM

Yeah I've been wanting to buy an icecream maker so I could make my own icecream but you're right, it's not as fun as getting it with the rest of the family while we're out and about. A few months ago I had to take my daughter to a softball tournament and we stopped at Coldstone creamery and I got a small cup because it had been literally years since I caved in on icecream. It was fantastic and worth it. I made my peace with it and that was the end of it. It's ok to do this every now and then and be fine with it in my opinion.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 02:00 PM

I know I could make homemade coconut milk Paleo ice cream. It's just not as much fun as going out to get ice cream with the family! Or when I'm dishing it up for dessert and home and I'm the only one that doesn't get it, there are days that it's fine and days that it sucks more.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 01:58 PM

I agree with that Kent, I actually gained weight during my 1/2 marathon training the first time. I learned how to deal with it better after that.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 01:56 PM

That's a lovely suggestion, but I am the person in charge of all the food, so I would see it anyway. I'm really very used to it now, but just like to point out that "not having it in the house" isn't a viable option for everyone. My family is not ready to go Paleo and I'm not going to push them into it.

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on September 01, 2011
at 01:52 PM

Uh, exercise (at least excessive exercise, like chronic cardio) DOES cause hunger. I have very clear n=1 proof that it does. I lost a fair amount of fat eating paleo. I counted calories. I kept intake low. Then I thought I'd "do something" with my new found fitness and train for triathlons. I found my food intake going up DRAMATICALLY.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 01:51 PM

This is why I'm sometimes jealous of the people that have severe reactions to gluten and other neolithic foods. My body has NO problems with them.

78972387772c994caa78513a83978437

(2290)

on September 01, 2011
at 01:51 PM

You could try to keep your own pantry/drawer/cabinet/whatever you need so that you only focus on the food that you eat

6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on September 01, 2011
at 01:50 PM

Yeah ice cream is hard to avoid sometimes. And every now and then I will indulge if it's high quality awesome icecream. But then I get over it and move on.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 01:49 PM

Well, thank you. If I didn't plan ahead I would never have gotten this far. It is absolutely the key to my success.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 01:49 PM

See, I live with a bunch of SAD eaters. No getting around that. My pantry is filled with all kinds of garbage. Right now, there are M&M chocolate chip cookies staring at me every time I open it. I had to learn to avoid things, even if they were right in front of me.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 01:47 PM

Yes, sometimes it makes me feel broken or wrong that I need to count on my willpower to stay on track. None of this has been effortless for me. It has been hard work and determination and WILLPOWER that has seen me through it. I think it also makes some people quit a new nutrition program because they think it should be easier and damn it, it's not easy.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 01:43 PM

Absolutely. I used to practically salivate when I drove past fast food restaurants. Now, I stand in front of their menu sometimes and can't even convince myself any of it is edible! There are somethings though, that are a constant battle. Like ice cream. :)

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 01:39 PM

Yeah, I suck at cheating. Cheat meals become cheat days become cheat weekends.... Moderation has never worked for me.

Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

22 Answers

9
Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on September 04, 2011
at 09:44 PM

This is a very hard question for me to answer...so, I've taken awhile to think about it and reflect on the journey from where I was to where I am now...

In the beginning, yeah, it took quite a bit of willpower and perhaps, most importantly, planning. I chose to go low carb because I had done so many years previously when I was young ( like 21) and Atkins had worked like a charm for me to lose like 12-15lbs really quite effortlessly. I then continued on it for a couple of years and really felt the best I'd ever felt in my life.

However, life rolled on...

At 46 when I found myself roughly 90-100lbs overweight, riddled with illness that all came on over a two year period, anxious out of my gourd and depressed after years of PMS that evolved into severe PMDD. I was in a very not good place. So, I dove back into researching ...reading the newer Atkins, Eades, Heller and Heller and Sugarbusters. And out of the 4, most closely aligned my plan with Atkins, but used aspects of all of them.

With my temperament, it was imperative for me to craft a way of living/eating that did not require calorie or overtly "anything" counting. I am a pretty extreme intuitive type (per Myers-Briggs, Kiersy and Jungian typing) and am a highly inductive, non linear-sequential thinker. I perceive the large picture and have to move backwards/downwards to the "pieces." What works so well for others re: calorie counting, using fitday etc., would be the ultimate torture, poor fit and route to failure for me.

However this doesn't mean that I just ate/eat whatever I want without any observation or quantification on another level. I assiduously studied and learned carb counts of low, medium and high carb veggies/fruits, as well as categorizing glycemic index and glycemic load for fruits and medium and high carb vegetables, so that it became a foundation of working knowlege, that over time required no thinking. From years before with limited eperience with calories, i had a pretty good running knowlege in that area. Sugar in all its hiding places became a major study. I read labels - every label, of everything, that I bought. And I armed myself with what I needed in any situation. In the beginning, I quite literally had to eat about every 3 hours, so I had to have portable food that I could wolf down quickly because of the nature of my work. I also had learn to eat "pre-emptively" sometimes, which was not ideal, but again, was necessary.

In the beginning years, I did far more complex, multi ingredient, "fancy" cooking and had far more involvement with recipe searching, creating "treats" without sugar or grains, and overall, spent alot more time "with food" on my mind and actually concocting sugarless/low carb dishes of all kinds. One of my "greats" was a variety of cheese cakes with crushed pecan crusts, that were "to die for" that my family and others at parties, etc., loved. Now all of this has gone by the wayside, with the exception of holiday events. I cook very simply and evolved into this over the years between 05 and now.

In the beginnng, it certainly took willpower to consistently refuse all kinds of foods in the workplace that for most people were considered healthy snacks. I learned very quickly how to make a statement that conveyed my choice that left no opening for others to push at me. Probably the one that I have used through the years the most and still use is: "Thanks, I don't do sugar."

Like Melissa, I have lived the majority of these years with family (son b4 he married) and now my H., who are NOT low carbers and most decidedly NOT paleo. I realize that I am a bit like Gibbs on NCIS...I crafted my "rules" early on and they have simply been strengthened over time. Also, I am a a great believer in the super powerful effects of investing in change, carefully crafted, and developing habits that become stronger and stronger over time.

And I am a very stubborn person with a very strong will. I may flounder around in the intial stages of the hunt for a solution, but when I get there, I know if it is right for me and I am the woman with the iron will.

I would say to any significantly overweight/obese/morbidly obese person, that your'e going to have learn to be very comfortable being " a committe of ONE." Learning to be comfortable with being the "odd man or woman out" is a great asset!

Another thing I forgot is that after the first 40 or so lbs, I had to also invest time and effort in learning portions, so that this too, became a font of working knowlege to add to the no counting and measuring overtly regime. Of course this also requires a high level of self honesty. We can all choose to fool ourselves and I have certainly done so on more than one occasion!

For me, I feel very grateful to be a low carber, because satiety and being able to eat and feel full (not engorged!) was and is a big deal. It is much less an issue for me now, but is still important. Also, I feel that in general it made it much easier for me to fairly quickly respond to some foods as if they are chunks of cement. There just isn't any real pull the vast majority of the time. This is likely also because I am not a 60/40 or an 80/20 or even a 90/10. I am pretty much a 99.9% LC paleo. I do use splenda in my two cups of 1/2 caff coffee in the am as stevia makes me absolutely gag. And when I eat ice cream (rare) I eat carbsmart icecream which also contains splenda. The last time I had "real" icecream was in 2002. There is no discernable difference for me in Carbsmart icecream.

I believe that the longer you are on this road, the easier it can get. The biggest challenge for me, after getting the eating trip nailed was getting together a movement/fitness trip that would work for me forever and be portable as well. I did nothing but walk daily until I hit my goal in 02.The increments became longer and longer and the intensity greater over time.

I also consider myself sort of blessed that my path into severe obesity was strongly linked with worsening PMDD and an eventual eruption into horrible, unremitting anxiety and depression. Why do i feel blessed? Well because my whole trip is bound up in this and learning to do what i can to ameliorate this. It peaked, not shockingly, when i was very perimenopausal. I found DHEA and bioidentical progesterone, but will not go into that, and no longer use either.

What took me awhile was finding the right exercise piece, which has changed my life completely and is an absolutely crucial piece of the puzzle for me. I probably had to use willpower more for this piece than for any other. In the beginning, it was hard. Now, I look forward to it every day, because i have found (EUREKA!!!!) the right combo for *me.*And I remain ultterly amazed and grateful.

So, what's the answer to the question? My answer is that it isn't so much willpower (for me, now) as it is about paying attention, being very present in my life, approaching my life in a mindful way, ditching all denial about all my crap, understanding my "hooks" and where the big cliffs can be for me, and journeying forward as a stubborn and yet also open, "committee of one."

And lastly, yes, it helps that clean carbing/paleo type eating literally cured multiple health conditions, or brought them down to a minor roar, as with my rosacea. It is also helpful that I had minor relapses when I twice started eating soy baking mixes and low carb/gluten free breads and that scared the shxt out of me.

But even if you haven't had these things...I can promise you this...time marches on..and your odds are very good of getting some of this nasty health stuff if you fall off a cliff into SAD..it's Russian roulette...and from one who has played and suffered, rather horribly...even on what would be considered an excellent "clean" SAD diet...my advice is that we are all not nearly graced as I have been. You don't have to go there.

132966e25fc0fea184ed0895f6d28ad4

(131)

on September 04, 2011
at 10:37 PM

Wow Mem....amazing and very inspriational!!!!

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on September 04, 2011
at 10:46 PM

Thanks, Ness. More than a bit wordy, but from the heart, for sure!

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on September 05, 2011
at 02:41 AM

Same back atcha, sherpamelissa! GREAT question! <3

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 05, 2011
at 12:36 AM

<3 YOU MEM. Thank you so much for sharing!

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on September 07, 2011
at 04:00 AM

(con't) However, I "walked off" my first 50, gradually adding increment of time daily and upping speed gradually. Speedy walked through my final 40. Resis came post met goal, just because that's the way it happened. A real key for me, on every level, seems to be that I NEVER do more than 30min at a hit, but workout nearly daily - one day off now. Yes, I vary intensity dependent upon variety of factors. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110825105018.htm#.Tlh3cdqM8VU.email Jamie of that paleoguy twitted an excellent piece of research comparing types of str/resis training.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on September 07, 2011
at 04:03 AM

(con't) thought I had saved it, but can't find. When I get it I'll share with you. EXCELLENT.Bottom line: negligible if any diff in benefits between types. Injuries overwhelmingly from free weights. Tracked ER visits for resis/str training =90% of injuries r/t to free weight. This confirms my ongoing choice to continue using hydralic resis machines in a circuit which work very well for me.

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on September 06, 2011
at 06:19 AM

Very cool, mem. What is the exercise that's working for you?

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on September 07, 2011
at 03:55 AM

Jac: I am doing a combo of str/resis in circuit training, alternating on other days with dancercise. I never do over 30min @ a hit of either, which is perfect for me as i have to be mindfulof NOT increasing inflamm with my medical hx as well as only doing enough so that I feel good, never get burned out and trained myself after the initial, beginning getting "over the hump" with the resis training to look forward to it everyday and really love it. Do 30 min resis 3d/wk, do am and pm 30min classes dancercise 2 days/wk, do a 20min "express" dancercise on one weekend day, one day total rest.

9
306aa57660d911781231f8090c2a5619

(3808)

on September 01, 2011
at 02:21 PM

Yes and no.

Non-paleo food doesn't disgust me. If a cookie is sitting there, I'm going to want to eat it. So from that standpoint, it takes a little willpower.

However, I'm not fighting food addictions and cravings. The cookie isn't sitting there taunting me - once I've decided not to eat it, I can happily go on with whatever else I'm doing and not think about it anymore. Also, other foods have become more enjoyable - I can get the same sort of enjoyment from, say, liverwurst as I previously got from a cookie.

So I guess the answer is that it takes some willpower, but way less than it would have taken before dropping grains from my diet. It's like the difference between turning down an alcoholic drink when you rarely drink vs. turning it down when you're an alcoholic. And that's the part that surprised me most about the diet.

(However, I don't have SAD foods in the house, so I'm not constantly tempted. I applaud you for sticking with it in the face of that!)

306aa57660d911781231f8090c2a5619

(3808)

on September 01, 2011
at 02:44 PM

I will say that someone brought fudge into work last week, and it had been a really horrible day... so I ended up having three pieces (and these weren't dinky little pieces, either). But that reminded me why I do try to avoid doing that - not because of any ill effects, but because it's a lot easier to turn it down in the first place than to stop once I get started.

Ccdf3fbcaec76e025ff94d03cc4daf9a

(536)

on September 01, 2011
at 08:26 PM

Amen Jess6! It takes me at least a day to overcome the sugar cravings, once I have cheated. If I can make it though the first 24 hours after eating said cookie (or three) then I'm usually good to go. I try to remind myself of this everytime I think, "just one wont hurt"

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 02:23 PM

You're right that it is easier now that I've dropped grains. Before Paleo it took even MORE willpower. But I am anxiously awaiting the day that liverwurst is as awesome as a cookie!

5
66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

on September 01, 2011
at 01:46 PM

a good complement for willpower is planning- that i know you're very good at, melissa...

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 01:49 PM

Well, thank you. If I didn't plan ahead I would never have gotten this far. It is absolutely the key to my success.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on September 01, 2011
at 03:06 PM

Excellent point! I do need some willpower but I plan everything and always, always have more than enough food around that I can eat and that I really do enjoy. I also have far less of a struggle than Melissa as my house is free from non-paleo food. It's the fruit and nuts and cheese and eating out that cause me problems sometimes.

5
78972387772c994caa78513a83978437

on September 01, 2011
at 01:46 PM

My philosophy is: if it's not in my house, I won't eat it. So far, it's worked quite well.

78972387772c994caa78513a83978437

(2290)

on September 01, 2011
at 01:51 PM

You could try to keep your own pantry/drawer/cabinet/whatever you need so that you only focus on the food that you eat

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 01:56 PM

That's a lovely suggestion, but I am the person in charge of all the food, so I would see it anyway. I'm really very used to it now, but just like to point out that "not having it in the house" isn't a viable option for everyone. My family is not ready to go Paleo and I'm not going to push them into it.

8c5533ffe71bd4262fedc7e898ead1ba

(1724)

on September 01, 2011
at 02:30 PM

Melissa, I think there still might be value in having "your" shelf, "your" drawer. I find I am quite able to filter out things that "don't belong to me". It doesn't eliminate the stimulus, but it can greatly reduce it.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on September 01, 2011
at 07:25 PM

These are all good points, even the opposing ones. This discussion makes me really aware that much of the "effortlessness" of my ZC eating is due to the fact that 1) there are no kids in the house clamoring for Pop-Tarts, and 2) my husband doesn't eat sweets or bread, even though he's not "Paleo" or ZC. I have great sympathy for people struggling to stay on plan when there are SAD eaters in the house, or when there's great resistance to your WOE from partners or family members.

5b69a02dadcae753771921d913909215

(1457)

on September 01, 2011
at 07:05 PM

At home I am 100 percent paleo "2.0", but when there is food in the office I usually slip up. I hate when people bring in food to share because I either sit there thinking about not eating it or I just eat it to stop thinking about eating it and get back to work. I guess if I had a more engaging job it also wouldn't be such an issue...

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 03:07 PM

All my stuff is actually in it's own place usually. But as the main cook and mom, I have to make the lunches and cook the dinners. In the beginning it was very hard to do something like bag up her Doritos or put a couple cookies in her lunch without shoving one in my mouth. I don't really have any issue with this anymore, but there just really isn't a way to make this an "out of sight, out of mind" thing for me.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 01:49 PM

See, I live with a bunch of SAD eaters. No getting around that. My pantry is filled with all kinds of garbage. Right now, there are M&M chocolate chip cookies staring at me every time I open it. I had to learn to avoid things, even if they were right in front of me.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 02, 2011
at 12:36 PM

Yeah, my family is constantly pushing me to eat "normal". My husband is embarrassed by my weird eating fairly often, especially in public. We went to Fuddruckers and I ordered my burger with no bun and he was very upset with me. He said "Can't you just eat like a normal person when we're out?" and I told him no, but it doesn't make things easy, that's for sure.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 04, 2011
at 02:14 AM

I've got lots of awesome people in my life, Rose! Including my PH'ers and other Paleo friends. <3

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on September 02, 2011
at 07:32 PM

Mmm, I've seen relationships where one partner's weight loss is less than thrilling, for various reasons, to the other. I suppose all relationships have some murky areas; my husband, good as he is about my woe, is not thrilled when I have my own business (didn't like the first one, and is gearing up to not like my new one). It's good to have other support systems in such cases. I hope PH is one such system for you, and that you have others as well. <3

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on September 02, 2011
at 04:11 PM

Oh, wow. That would be a big strain on me (and on my marriage, too). I'm really lucky in that my husband -- who can eat pretty much whatever and stay lean -- gets that my "weird" eating is responsible for me no longer being his fat old lady, lol. And he reaps the health benefits in other ways, as well. ;D I'm sorry your husband reacts that way; is he worried about what other people think? Does he not appreciate the progress you've made, or maybe doesn't believe your food choices are the reason for your improvements?

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 02, 2011
at 07:17 PM

Well, that's a loaded question, Rose. Not on purpose of course. He thinks I'm obsessed with food overall. He also really worries about appearances to other people. He's not always thrilled with my weight loss either. I'm kind of a completely different person this way and it's taken him awhile to get used to that. He's better now than he was in the beginning, but he's not likely to ever be on board completely.

132966e25fc0fea184ed0895f6d28ad4

(131)

on September 06, 2011
at 08:51 PM

@Mel, your husband doesnt realise that for you this is NOT JUST ABOUT WEIGHTLOSS and being skinny...its about you living a long, fullfilling, disease free and healthy life...remind him that unless he wants to pay for excessive medical bills that could arise from eating "normal" is something that you dont want to do, and also the fact, that you want to be there for your children as a healthy role model, not another mum who is who is part of the "obese" stats in the USA who they have to worry about and look after when they get older!

4
7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on September 01, 2011
at 03:30 PM

I just say NO to willpower.

Paleo so I don't have to use willpower. I find that my cravings are much less as long as I don't eat non-paleo foods. I would fail if I had to rely on willpower and have in the past.

Even if I have plantains for example, I don't get bad cravings.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on September 01, 2011
at 06:07 PM

You are looking very fit and skinny. Maybe eat more fat?

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:19 PM

I am actually 10lbs above "normal" on the BMI chart. I am 5'2" and currently 145ish lbs. I'm not skinny by any sense of the word. I am happy with how I look though and know I am fit. I just wish I could find this magical place where this isn't as much as a mental battle as it can be.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 03:36 PM

Apparently, I'm some weird anomaly then. If I didn't rely on my willpower, I would still be obese. It just seems so weird to me that there's a possibility this could be so much less of a mental struggle. I'm formerly eating disordered though, so maybe that's part of it too.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on September 02, 2011
at 12:28 AM

I bet you will find that magical place eventually and what a testimony you will have for others! You are already an inspiration to me on this site!

06325b762f78a2b8aaa977161cca4a1f

(539)

on September 02, 2011
at 11:56 AM

sherpa-- i dont know how much value you hold in what the scale says... but according to your what your before/after pics, I wouldve guessed you were less than 145. you look quite lean!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 02, 2011
at 12:34 PM

Thanks BHC! I am actually EXTREMELY happy with my body and where I'm at physically. Meghan, I don't hold a lot of value with the scale other than having a top point that I know means I've let things go to far. I am not worried about having a normal BMI. I know I feel best somewhere around 138-141. I like to hover in that range. When I get to 145, I'm one bad weekend from getting out of my safety zone, so that's why I'm trying to push the scale back down a bit right now. I like a little more room to screw up.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 02, 2011
at 07:19 PM

Thanks barefeet, but no, my bodyfat has gone up. I went on kind of an exercise hiatus for awhile that coincided with my not so Paleo eating and this is what happened. I'll get it back where I want it though.

27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on September 02, 2011
at 03:14 PM

sherpamelissa, are you sure your current 145 lbs is too high? If you've put on muscle since you started HIIT, 145 now may be equal to 138-141 then in terms of body composition. I'm sure you've seen this already - the pictures say it all - http://everydaypaleo.com/2011/06/22/attention-scale-addicts-part-2/

3
100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:24 PM

My hunch is that the reason it takes willpower for you is that you are restricting calories. It takes very little willpower for me to eat ZC -- otherwise I would never have managed to go this long. But it does take quite a bit of willpower for me to reduce calories, or to fast.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 07:16 PM

My problem seems to be that eating to satiety to me really seems out of control. I don't know if I trust myself that much. It's a really scary concept for me considering how quickly I gain. I'm not sure emotionally I could handle taking that chance. I know this works. Just upping my calories to find my maintenance level was nerve wracking and so was upping my fat. I can fast, but it has to be very controlled or I tend to make bad choices coming off the fast. I think a lot of the issue is my former eating disordered brain is still making the decisions.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:37 PM

That's too bad about the mood issues. It stays bad even after a couple of weeks, or it's too bad to put up with that long? Nothing's worth a bad mood! I get that some choices are harder than others for different people, too. I mean, I don't feel I could handle the willpower stress of reducing calories, even though I'm still about 5 or 10 lbs fatter than I want to be, and it might help with that.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:38 PM

I *did* decide to fast a couple of times a week, though, because for me it's easier to not eat for a day than to eat a small amount. Is that an option for you? That is, cycle calories so that you can eat to satiety on, say alternate days, and eat nothing, or the remainder of your calorie allotment on the other days?

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 07:15 PM

My problem seems to be that eating to satiety to me really seems out of control. I don't know if I trust myself that much. It's a really scaring concept for me considering how quickly I gain. I'm not sure emotionally I could handle taking that chance. I know this works. Just upping my calories to find my maintenance level was nerve wracking and so was upping my fat. I can fast, but it has to be very controlled or I tend to make bad choices coming off the fast. I think a lot of the issue is my former eating disordered brain is still making the decisions.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:26 PM

Yeah, I think about ZC and that it may take that for me to eat to satiety without gaining weight. Right now, it's not worth it. I would rather eat less of a wide range of foods. Plus I am opposite of you and Rose, I have mood issues if I let my carbs get too low. So physically it might be better for me, but mentally maybe not? It's a card I may be willing to play someday, but not yet.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on September 01, 2011
at 07:47 PM

When I was restricting calories to try to control my constant weight gain, I would nearly lose my mind with hunger. But when I got down to an average of 500 cals/day, my hunger would "oddly" disappear -- I didn't realize back then that insulin and blood glucose were the major players on that field. I guess I'm soooo hyperinsulinemic that even tiny amounts of vegetable carbohydrate prompt my pancreas to unload gallons of insulin. In the absence of carbs, there are no huge spikes and no huge BG dips, and therefore no insane hunger.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on September 01, 2011
at 10:00 PM

That's tough, Melissa! I think I understand what you mean about losing control, like you don't trust yourself to stop once you start.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 02, 2011
at 12:31 PM

Yeah, Ambimorph, that's kind of it. Anytime I have let myself eat until I'm full on a regular basis, I've gained weight. I have fixed a lot of food issues, but my head is a dangerous place. I don't think I realized quite how off I still am, considering I've conquered so much, but I guess it's all still in there.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on September 01, 2011
at 10:01 PM

Interesting about the 500 cal threshold, Rose.

27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on September 02, 2011
at 03:11 PM

I tried ZC all day and couldn't stick to it. But I've found that ZC breakfasts are really helpful. I work out early in the morning, take in 4 oz. of chicken (mixture of white/dark meats) and a pat of butter, and I'm good till lunch. The bad-gfood cravings hit right after lunch, which usually has some carbs, but I'm better able to deal with them then.

3
B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

on September 01, 2011
at 05:38 PM

I don't think willpower is a huge factor for me as far as the way I am currently eating. I eat to satiety so there's no need to restrain myself in that way. I allow myself up to 100 g of carb per day so there is always room for small indulgences if I truly crave something, but, being that I am still in some degree of ketosis (I get trace ketones in my urine) I don't really deal with cravings for sweets. I feel like 95% compliance is good enough so now and then if I really, really wanting something non-paleo I have it. I think it also helps that I don't deny myself foods just because they "aren't paleo." If something seems to agree with me and there don't seem to be any huge downsides to eating it, I will have it. I eat dairy, corn (fresh only, no processed corn) and occasionally potatoes. I suppose I do need to exercise a certain amount of restraint since I no longer eat big bowls of ice cream or whole bags of chips, but, to me, willpower implies that I am going through a lot of strain and self-sacrifice to maintain my way of eating. It just doesn't feel like that though. It seems to be a fairly easy choice to eat this way because I feel so much better.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 05:52 PM

Hmmm, maybe I consider willpower what most people consider normal? Heh. I don't have to go through considerably strain or self sacrifice NOT to eat the M&M cookies in my pantry, but I sure would like to eat one. I just know that one leads to 12. So, I consider it willpower that I don't eat that one. They are usually fairly easy choices but there are days that I swear the food wants to jump into my mouth and I have to fight to keep it out.

3
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on September 01, 2011
at 03:20 PM

I don't see non-Paleo "foods" as food anymore (except dairy). So if I choose to eat something like a gluten-free cupcake, I don't see it as anything that nourishes me physically.

This includes CAFO meats, eggs & dairy--NOT food.

Intermittent Fasting has really helped me to break free of a lot of my old eating habits.

After 10 months Primal (& 2 years of WAP-eating prior to that)--my eating is very intuitive and conscious and my desire to feel good in my body dictates whether or not I choose to eat a "non-food."

3
6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on September 01, 2011
at 01:38 PM

I need will power to change a habit and start a new (positive one). Once I get rolling, I'm good though. I am quite the creature of habit.

6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on September 01, 2011
at 01:50 PM

Yeah ice cream is hard to avoid sometimes. And every now and then I will indulge if it's high quality awesome icecream. But then I get over it and move on.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 02:26 PM

Years? OMG. That's impressive! I eat ice cream fairly often actually and I'm okay with it. I do try and buy better ice cream, but not always.

8c5533ffe71bd4262fedc7e898ead1ba

(1724)

on September 01, 2011
at 02:34 PM

"It's just not as much fun as going out to get ice cream with the family!" -- But that is not about the ice cream! That's about having fun and hanging with your family. I'm allergic to dairy and gave it up when I was 15 (a loong time ago), but I understand your feeling. What if eating ice cream made you sick (immediately enough that it physically hurt)? Since I couldn't eat the ice cream or the pizza, I got clear pretty quickly that it wasn't about the FOOD, it was about the socializing and I didn't need to food to socialize, I could have something different.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 01:43 PM

Absolutely. I used to practically salivate when I drove past fast food restaurants. Now, I stand in front of their menu sometimes and can't even convince myself any of it is edible! There are somethings though, that are a constant battle. Like ice cream. :)

6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on September 01, 2011
at 02:17 PM

Yeah I've been wanting to buy an icecream maker so I could make my own icecream but you're right, it's not as fun as getting it with the rest of the family while we're out and about. A few months ago I had to take my daughter to a softball tournament and we stopped at Coldstone creamery and I got a small cup because it had been literally years since I caved in on icecream. It was fantastic and worth it. I made my peace with it and that was the end of it. It's ok to do this every now and then and be fine with it in my opinion.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 02:00 PM

I know I could make homemade coconut milk Paleo ice cream. It's just not as much fun as going out to get ice cream with the family! Or when I'm dishing it up for dessert and home and I'm the only one that doesn't get it, there are days that it's fine and days that it sucks more.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 02:45 PM

Oh, I know all that. I just love ice cream.

2
0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on September 05, 2011
at 11:24 AM

I wonder how much of your experience is shaped by the availabilty of food in your home?

I see will power as nessesary when making a choice to choose a less desirable option. This of course will be depend on personal taste. Some people prefer steak over ice cream while others will prefer ice cream over steak. It is a lot easier to choose not to eat ice cream when there is no ice cream to eat :)

If your home only contains healthy food then there is no choice and will power is only necessary when out shopping or at a restaurant in other words only at specific occasions when alternative options are available.

I think that most people here if you followed them round all day wafting a plate of their personal favorite unhealthy food under their nose would struggle to some extent with their will power.

If you were put in a cabin in the woods many miles from the nearest food store with only paleo foods in it do you think that so much will power would still be needed?

Unfortunately if you live in a house full of tempting junk food you will probably just have to accept the need for the exertion of will power and be glad that you are a determined person.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 05, 2011
at 01:16 PM

You know I adore you, right Matthew? It's a good thing you are so far away or your girlfriend would have to worry about me. <3 Yes, I'm sure this is true. Not only am I constantly surrounded by bad choices, but even 7 years down the road, my family still pushes me to eat them. Even at work, I'm in charge of all the food and birthday cakes and everything. Home for a lot of people is probably their sanctuary away from all this, but mine is not.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on September 06, 2011
at 09:03 AM

*Blushes* Being in charge of the food and birthday cakes? On top of everything else I am surprised you managed to lose any weight. You must have more than your share of will power.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on September 06, 2011
at 09:04 AM

* *Blushes* *. Being in charge of the food and birthday cakes? On top of everything else I am surprised you managed to lose any weight. You must have more than your share of will power.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on September 06, 2011
at 09:04 AM

**Blushes**. Being in charge of the food and birthday cakes? On top of everything else I am surprised you managed to lose any weight. You must have more than your share of will power.

2
1b85b7649707eb07f26bb0fb0dc874c1

(125)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:08 PM

For me, it depends. It's easier to make paleo choices now vs. when I first started (16 months ago). I have my routines and what I like to eat - so, there aren't as many pitfalls to making good choices.

HOWEVER - I do find myself battling with non-paleo things ALL the time. If it's in my house, I eat it (@sherpamelissa - I'd love to find out how you were able to overlook those things - sheer willpower?? replacement technique? would love some pointers on how to stay away).

I'm also the type that cannot have one nibble. It's either all or nothing. So, if I do loose the willpower battle, I find that I've stuffed myself to oblivion on whatever 'x' food it was.

On a separate note - it's strange - I never used to crave potato chips before and that's my #1 nemesis and pitfall these days. No amount of knowledge of bad oils or processing has been able to keep me away (thus far).

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:17 PM

There were also times I just made room for the item in my calories for the day. So maybe I had to eat a salad for dinner to have the whatever I wanted during the day. It worked. I like a plan. I hate to stray from my plan, so a lot of times entering it all in the food log would help me not go overboard.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:16 PM

God, HP, if other people could hear the voice in my head as I wrestled with these things over the years, they would send me to the looney bin! :P Like I mentioned earlier, these situations are certainly way better than they were at the beginning. I have used all sorts of tricks, chew gum, brush my teeth, drink a cup of tea, take a walk.... but when you want something, sometimes nothing helps. If I felt really close to a binge, I would text or call a friend that understood and would say "tell me not to eat this cookie" and really just acknowledging it out loud was usually enough.

27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on September 02, 2011
at 03:07 PM

+1 for "all or nothing." I've given up kidding myself when I buy a pint of ice cream. Putting it in a bowl is pointless. As for the potato chip cravings - I find myself lunging at the salt and vinegar chips when I don't get enough sodium in my diet, especially when I'm working out hard. Maybe you're missing something that's in the chips? Either the sodium or the crunch.

2
8c5533ffe71bd4262fedc7e898ead1ba

on September 01, 2011
at 02:38 PM

I experienced satiety for the first time (in my life maybe, definitely in over 30 years) when I went Paleo. It was actually a rather shocking experience to NOT need willpower to stop eating. To just not want anymore food.

Are you sure you are eating enough fat? That really makes a difference for me. But it also seems like you are talking about needing willpower not to eat too much but rather to not eat things you don't want to which are in your face all the time. In that you have my deep sympathy. If there are any ways you can minimize that, it would definitely lessen the need for willpower.

3dc940ac9be21e45cf83207814c8cd46

(544)

on September 01, 2011
at 02:47 PM

me too, re satiety. It's been a long time since I felt full after only a small amount of food, rather than stuffing myself with SAD foods. I am thrilled to feel full, and walk away from the table and not think of eating anything for hours....

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 02:44 PM

Oh I don't have satiety either. I posted about that one a long time ago. I eat about 50% fat and any more than that makes me sick. Mostly, I think my metabolism is too far damaged to fix it. I only can eat about 1200/1400 calories per day or I gain. I'm okay with using willpower, I was just surprised that to some people, it takes none at all.

2
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on September 01, 2011
at 02:12 PM

The first couple of months, especially the first 3 weeks or so, required some will power, since I was changing my diet. My hunger signals were off and I sometimes didn't feel fully satisfied after a meal. There are various tricks and tips to get by this relatively short period.

However, now I don't need any willpower at all, I am completely comfortable with the diet. Sometimes I get frustrated when I'm hungry and there is nothing suitably Paleo in the house or nearby (especially true at friends), but I am usually comfortable skipping the meal or having a handful or nuts or a wedge of cheese or something. I've been amazed at the decrease in my appetite, and I can just skip or postpone a meal with no problem at all.

Sometimes I get a craving for something (ice cream or chocolate usually), but very infrequently (say once every week or two), so I just indulge and don't worry about it.

I think if your body is well suited to the Paleo diet (many folks are, but not everyone), switching to this diet is like "coming home" -- I now feel the way that I thought I was supposed to feel but didn't.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 02:20 PM

I think that's absolutely awesome! I wish it was that easy for me.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 02, 2011
at 06:29 AM

"I now feel the way that I thought I was supposed to feel but didn't." Well said sir, my experience exactly.

2
695b82d856d4bd9314b865864ff6df5e

on September 01, 2011
at 01:48 PM

I did Paleo 6 days a week and had an all out binge day 1 dedicated day of the week (saturday). after about 2 months, I started getting really bad headaches and carb flu. I got sniffles before, and a small pain behind my eyes, but this was vastly different. Now when I look at vending machins at work or the aisles at a store, I think about that pain. Which I no longer have, ever. Not to mention how great I feel compared to then.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 01:51 PM

This is why I'm sometimes jealous of the people that have severe reactions to gluten and other neolithic foods. My body has NO problems with them.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on September 01, 2011
at 07:31 PM

Yeah, this is another good point. I was SO sick and miserable eating the SAD (although of course I had no idea that was my issue), that there's really no temptation to ever go back.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 02, 2011
at 06:37 AM

When I was pregnant my negative reactions to wheat and dairy disappeared, and I could not for the life of me stick with paleo. I proceeded to live on grilled cheese sandwiches, cheesecake, and almonds because they were the only things that didn't induce nausea. Luckily the pain came back, and here I am again. Paleo is the only thing I've tried where I don't have to worry about cravings if I eat to satiety. If you can stick to this without the fear of pain, I envy your fortitude.

2
99a6e964584f20f3f69ad3a70a335353

(1334)

on September 01, 2011
at 01:38 PM

Willpower is necessary. I spent almost my entire life on neolithic garbage and I still have cravings for that even though I may know perfectly well it's poisonous.

1
20eefe24d8ccf096096f05b5bce1ea40

(988)

on September 02, 2011
at 02:49 PM

I think of willpower like a muscle, it can be strong, sometimes very strong, but at some point it will ALWAYS get tired and give out. Muscle alone cannot carry me around, walking, standing, running, and such, all day long. Muscles are not strong enough, but what they can do is hold my bones in place, so those bones, the solid structure of my body, carry most all the weight. This is the role of willpower, it cannot uphold your entire life for very long, but it can hold the 'bones' in place, use willpower to keep the real, solid, structure of life in place. That structure must be a complete, sustainable philosophy that pays you in positive feedback so that it can become habit. Most folk dont need to work on willpower, they need new bones.

1
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 02, 2011
at 07:45 AM

I've consciously decided not to use willpower. I have given myself unlimited latitude to make mistakes. I'm finding that some mistakes I need to make many, many times before it finally sinks in that those are not good choices for me. When I finish weathering the trial and error process with a particular offending food I find that I land in a comfortable and peaceful place where my mind has decided that thing is simply not food. Resistance for me in that past has caused obsession, and I just don't enjoy living in my head when I'm stuck in that mindset.

1
9ac8a7b68cf079b22de42b703e466e64

(787)

on September 02, 2011
at 05:25 AM

Interesting. At first, probably for the first year or so, paleo took a huge amount of willpower. Now, I can completely and honestly say that if bread, a cookie... is sitting in front of me, I am not the slightest bit tempted. I've actually had a few paleo nightmares, where I was forced to eat bread.

1
Af9537cfa50562b67979624e9007e12a

(1334)

on September 01, 2011
at 03:02 PM

definitly takes a litte will power here and there, the bread calls to me sometimes......

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 03:08 PM

I know I've let myself get too hungry when the bread at the Subway inside Walmart smells good!

1
Medium avatar

(10611)

on September 01, 2011
at 01:44 PM

It bothers me when Taubes says that exercise causes hunger. He makes it sound like low carb dieting should be effortless. But what's wrong with making an effort and exerting willpower? I personally have found that being hungry keeps me honest. 50 pounds of fat would not have gone away in 6 months without considerable willpower.

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on September 01, 2011
at 01:52 PM

Uh, exercise (at least excessive exercise, like chronic cardio) DOES cause hunger. I have very clear n=1 proof that it does. I lost a fair amount of fat eating paleo. I counted calories. I kept intake low. Then I thought I'd "do something" with my new found fitness and train for triathlons. I found my food intake going up DRAMATICALLY.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 01:58 PM

I agree with that Kent, I actually gained weight during my 1/2 marathon training the first time. I learned how to deal with it better after that.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 01:47 PM

Yes, sometimes it makes me feel broken or wrong that I need to count on my willpower to stay on track. None of this has been effortless for me. It has been hard work and determination and WILLPOWER that has seen me through it. I think it also makes some people quit a new nutrition program because they think it should be easier and damn it, it's not easy.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on September 01, 2011
at 03:12 PM

Exercise makes me very hungry as well. I don't think Taubes intends to send the message that dieting should be effortless. And there's nothing wrong with effort. But when people have to do battle with hunger they generally lose. Most successful diets are those that allow people not to feel hungry or minimally so. And of course I don't think we can assume that people who struggle with hunger and lose that battle are making any less effort than those who do not. Hunger is a very strong urge that our survival is based on. No shame in losing that one.

1
3f3c952a1a31a12fc2ac49528888c073

(135)

on September 01, 2011
at 01:33 PM

I suppose willpower does come into play for me, but I find it much easier if I do not cheat at all. If I take away the option for any non-paleo stuff, then I don't have nearly the issues with craving and etc. If I do a "cheat day" or try to eat that stuff in moderation then I fail.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 01:39 PM

Yeah, I suck at cheating. Cheat meals become cheat days become cheat weekends.... Moderation has never worked for me.

0
226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on September 04, 2011
at 02:06 AM

Willpower? Staying thin while gorging myself on a fat-fuel based diet is a dream come true!

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on September 04, 2011
at 02:10 AM

I can stuff my face with Paleo foods all day long - and it's delicious.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!