6

votes

Good tips for not cheating?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 29, 2011 at 9:41 PM

I suck at sticking to diets! I will do it for a week or so... and get impatient and not care about losing weight etc. It's like I convince myself to stop caring about losing the weight. Ah! It's so frustrating... I have been trying to do this for almost 2 years now!

You guys seem like successful paleo dieters... help me out! I would love to get passed the one week mark! If I can stay with it for two weeks maybe I will get somewhere! I am a believer in habits. How do I stay patient for weight loss?

Thanks for the help!

B0454de6d4f4cdd9ca2e59021dc105bf

(606)

on July 31, 2011
at 04:08 AM

I'd say yes change your diet. The way to stick to it with lowest chance of lapsing into old ways is to make a weekly plan for all your meals and make sure they're really tasty ones! Allow yourself two meals a week of anything at all.

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on July 30, 2011
at 11:41 PM

I do it too, Paul.

560821f3e7352455c3ebc2283d424f2e

on July 30, 2011
at 06:11 PM

Great answer, change your life!

C221a8c9efba0c80d03b9f84a2b3b3f9

(418)

on July 30, 2011
at 04:48 PM

I eat VLC at under 30 a day,no fruit but at least 3-4 cups of veggies a day. I track everything on Livestrong.com and it helps me manage not only my calories but my macronutrient ratio.

957a563c7e4a165663fd3c71207c39da

on July 30, 2011
at 09:16 AM

exactly! you need to be motivated enough to do it. maybe weight loss is not enough of a motivator. for those with auto-immune disease they are trying to manage, that is a HUGE motivator.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 30, 2011
at 01:21 AM

Sometimes it takes a great low to realize a great high. Alcohol taught me this. When you hit a really bad, true low point maybe you'll be upset enough to fix it.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on July 30, 2011
at 12:51 AM

I agree with this 100%. Making it about something more than just weight loss is key I think. It was for me. I could lose weight I just couldn't stick with a food plan. Then it became about other things and it became much easier. Same for exercise. Once it wasn't tied to weight loss I was able to keep at it.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 30, 2011
at 12:14 AM

VLCers can eat truly amazing amounts of greens without going over the 20-30 grams.

016de26fe61daf799662d3b7b2468324

(688)

on July 29, 2011
at 11:53 PM

Forgive my ignorance but when you go VLC, does that mean you cut out virtually all fruits & veggies (for however long), minus the 20-30 per day? So all you eat is flesh and fat? I guess I'm basically doing that now but I do still have a small amount of veggies. I'm hopeful that it will help me "kill the sugar monster and reset my taste buds", as you said. That would be awesome.

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on July 29, 2011
at 11:36 PM

+1 on keeping it OUT of the house

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on July 29, 2011
at 09:54 PM

couldn't have said it better myself. you just gotta do it.

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14 Answers

6
7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on July 29, 2011
at 10:14 PM

You need to find something that isn't visible and is more long term to motivate you, because weight loss doesn't happen after just a short period of eating well, and it's easy to keep "cheating" and tell yourself you'll just get back on the wagon tomorrow.

I don't need to lose weight and do paleo for my health, but this still works. I remind myself that weight gain and health damage are cumulative and slow to develop. People gain weight (often) at a rate of a few grams a day. They don't wake up feeling exhausted all the time with aching joints, their health deteriorates slowly until they don't remember what it's like to feel vibrant and healthy every day. I think about the fact that every choice I make is a step in either that direction, or in the opposite one, towards good health. Do I want to find myself at fifty and already in poor health or do I want to stay healthy and avoid creeping weight gain when I get older?

More practically, this is what I did when I was switching to paleo: get a calender and put it somewhere you can't avoid looking at it. Decide that you aren't going to eat X food (bread, sugar, whatever) for a certain length of time. Say just 2 weeks, even. Cross those days off in red. Tell yourself that you can have that food at the end of the 2 weeks, if you still want it. If you can't make it, and eat that food, black out the X on that calender day. For me, there was something really powerful about not wanting to look at the broken chain of X's and feeling like a failure that allowed me to avoid the food without much thought. At the end of the two week period, tell yourself you can go 10 more days. Cross those out. Rinse and repeat until you don't think about the food anymore. It might take months but eventually it will happen. I guess it's mental trickery and it might not work for everyone but for me it was extremely effective.

6
1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

on July 29, 2011
at 09:52 PM

Honestly, you really just have to go at it as a lifestyle change. Not as a diet. For most of us, we plan on eating this way for the rest of our lives (save for small changes when new information/studies come out.) It was easy for me because I get horrible gut wrenching stomach pain when I cheat but for my husband, for instance, he's probably follows the Mark Sisson 80/20 rule and gets away with it for the most part. He won't give up the diet coke when he goes out to eat, and definitely isn't going to turn down some homemade non-paleo dessert once in a blue moon.

I think the best way to dive in to Paleo is to go very low carb (under 20-30 a day) for a few weeks, even if you don't have weight to lose. It kills the sugar monster and resets your taste-buds so when you have the occasional (or daily) carby food like sweet potato or berries, it will feel like a treat and all the processed crap will taste like mealy, oversweetened, flavorless garbage. And definitely give up the no calorie sweeteners for that time too; as they can screw up your tastebud reset as well.

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on July 29, 2011
at 09:54 PM

couldn't have said it better myself. you just gotta do it.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 30, 2011
at 12:14 AM

VLCers can eat truly amazing amounts of greens without going over the 20-30 grams.

016de26fe61daf799662d3b7b2468324

(688)

on July 29, 2011
at 11:53 PM

Forgive my ignorance but when you go VLC, does that mean you cut out virtually all fruits & veggies (for however long), minus the 20-30 per day? So all you eat is flesh and fat? I guess I'm basically doing that now but I do still have a small amount of veggies. I'm hopeful that it will help me "kill the sugar monster and reset my taste buds", as you said. That would be awesome.

C221a8c9efba0c80d03b9f84a2b3b3f9

(418)

on July 30, 2011
at 04:48 PM

I eat VLC at under 30 a day,no fruit but at least 3-4 cups of veggies a day. I track everything on Livestrong.com and it helps me manage not only my calories but my macronutrient ratio.

5
Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on July 29, 2011
at 10:11 PM

It has been said already that it is best to approach it like a lifestyle change. View it so that the new foods are a part of you and the old foods aren't anymore. If possible get rid of anything that you could possibly cheat with, if it is just hanging around it is more likely to make its way into your mouth.

If you want a serious hardcore hack: When you shop for food try to bring cash only and know generally what you are going to buy and how much it costs so that you only bring enough money for what you need.

It has also been said already that your ability to keep from cheating will get better as you habituate to the new lifestyle. Once you start seeing results it will get even better because you will have associated the foods with real world tangible results. To top it all off, once you get back in metabolic balance you simply won't have as many hunger or temptation issues. Sounds tempting, right? Well you have to get over the first hurdle to get to that place. There's more incentive.

Also don't be hungry. Whatever you do, don't be hungry. Eat satiating foods in satiating ways. Do whatever it takes to be as full and satisfied as you can with what you have chosen to eat.

If you think you are making progress and want to cheat at a social occasion or something like that then be sure to plan to cheat. If you approach it like you are in control and it is all your choice then that attitude will persist the next day and the following week, Be sure not to take planned cheats as permission to plan to cheat all of the time, though. That's a tricky one!

4
98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

on July 30, 2011
at 01:03 AM

Mastery of self takes some work. I believe that most of us fail because we are unable or unwilling to truly look at ourselves, at our flaws, and figure out why we continually sabotage ourselves. So many of us are our own worst enemies. This isn't about food. This is about your head. My advise is to keep trying and when you fall (and you will) figure out WHY. What was going on in your head at the exact moment the decision was made to eat off plan. What did you say to yourself to make that o.k. even though it is in direct opposition to what you say you want? You have to deconstruct the conversations you are having up in your head and figure out what these self-destructive scripts are, where they come from, how to spot them when they arise, and how to shut them down when they do.

Beyond that yes keep a clean house (food wise) and limit exposure to scenarios that are too tempting for you. Learn to make a few things that make you feel really happy and satisfied that you can treat yourself with when you feel like falling off the wagon (paleo cookies or cakes or mash potatoes with lots of butter or whatever appeals to you) You can comfort yourself with decadent food and still stay on your eating plan. You just need to figure out what foods will feel special to you and make sure you can whip them up quickly or keep them in the freezer ready to go.

Good luck. It ain't over till it's over so never give up. It can be done if you are willing to do the work required.

4
06f46afda9ee3ca7f0070a3caa294a91

on July 29, 2011
at 10:05 PM

for me, if it's bad, i just dont buy it. i stay as far away as possible from any tempation. the main thing is, i dont beat myself up if i breakdown. i do however make sure i figure out why i broke down and work towards the goal of having it happen less frequently. evaluating my habits and understanding why has worked wonders in all aspects of my life.

i still have a long way to go NO doubt... but ive also come a long way. just keep chugging along.

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on July 29, 2011
at 11:36 PM

+1 on keeping it OUT of the house

3
C835934198ffe146cb90eebc22c6b8d8

on July 30, 2011
at 12:36 AM

For me its telling myself that the grains and processed foods are basically poison. Why would I want to poison myself? But also I am a mom and I want to be around for a long time. I want to be healthy, active and a good role model for my kids and family. And also start them off in the right direction. Another big thing that keeps me from cheating is I hate feeling awful after cheating..both emotionally and physically. And the desire to look good and healthy in my clothing is a good incentive as well hehe. Good luck to you! You can do it!

3
Fe535c4994ac6176f76e1ff6d29eb08a

on July 29, 2011
at 10:11 PM

For me it was very much the internal conversation I had with myself. I tried Atkins numerous times and had a similar experience that you are having. Good for a few days, then something would come up. Small cheat here and there turn to bigger and bigger cheats, turn into aww screw it.

What has made plaeo stick is this:

On Atkins I told myself "I dont eat grains because they make me fat"

On paleo I tell myself "I dont eat grains because they are killing me."

On Atkins I told myself "I dont eat sugar because it makes me fat"

On paleo I say "I dont eat sugar because I understand exactly how bad for me this is and the negative effects it has on my body"

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on July 30, 2011
at 12:51 AM

I agree with this 100%. Making it about something more than just weight loss is key I think. It was for me. I could lose weight I just couldn't stick with a food plan. Then it became about other things and it became much easier. Same for exercise. Once it wasn't tied to weight loss I was able to keep at it.

2
B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on July 30, 2011
at 05:51 AM

I did this :

  • Gradually make changes, don't throw everything away in a day. I started by eating quinoa, grapefruits and fish, then adding red meat, then removing quinoa, then removing grapefruit and substituting it with eggs (basically I cut out more and more sugar until I was VLC).
  • Keep a paleo house so there are no temptations
  • Think about the future, not about the present. 20 minutes of joy while eating chocolate is nothing compared to a lifetime of feeling great.
  • Think paleo all the time. Don't think "oh on the paleohacks website they said that was healthy", think "what would Grok do?".
  • Ignore the horrible persons that say red meat is bad for you, including doctors. Slap them if you must.

Don't change your diet, change your life.

B0454de6d4f4cdd9ca2e59021dc105bf

(606)

on July 31, 2011
at 04:08 AM

I'd say yes change your diet. The way to stick to it with lowest chance of lapsing into old ways is to make a weekly plan for all your meals and make sure they're really tasty ones! Allow yourself two meals a week of anything at all.

560821f3e7352455c3ebc2283d424f2e

on July 30, 2011
at 06:11 PM

Great answer, change your life!

1
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on July 30, 2011
at 11:28 PM

Starting the day with a high-protein and high-fat breakfast is one of the surest ways for me to get through a day without even the remotest inkling of a cheat. Start with a 3 egg omelette with a tbsp of cream, cheese, vegetables, etc. and maybe a half an avocado.

I sometimes skip breakfast, which sometimes works but sometimes leaves me very hungry at the end of the day.

I also avoid anything sweet, even sugar-free sweet things like diet soda, they seem to kick my body into some kind of food overdrive. Like I had a rum and coke last night and you would think that I hadn't eaten in a week, despite already having > 2000 calories that day (about 400 more than my normal day).

1
66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on July 30, 2011
at 07:36 PM

This is not a diet, religion, cult, etc :) It is a healthy Lifestyle. Diet implies restrictions & rules, this leads to what people refer to as 'cheating' you can cheat on a diet, you cannot cheat on a Lifestyle. In a Lifestyle we make bad food decisions, accept the consequences and carry on. I just put myself in the food mind set of someone living maybe 15,000 years ago and I eat what I would recognize as real food and ignore everything else.

It all comes down to motivation, if a person was suddenly diagnosed with some mysterious disease where if they were to eat any food that was not natural or sugar & wheat free they would die immediately, trust me they would have no problem eating healthy.

1
E44e81ddcd5bc07c09d58c295691a15e

on July 30, 2011
at 05:41 AM

Read Willpower by Gillian Riley. Basically, to succeed at any thing like thins, you need to realise that you are free to make any choice, including continuing to eat badly. If you imprison yourself, by making a commitment to eat paleo for the rest of your life, or even just 2 months, your mind will rebel. Realise that each and every choice is made in the eternal present, and you may change your ability to choose.

1
Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on July 29, 2011
at 10:12 PM

Our culture is incredibly impatient...we want what we want when we want it! Reconditioning yourself to slow down, to be patient, to have faith and know that good things are coming is a HUGE challenge for most of...but the rewards of making this happen for yourself will last a lifetime and beyond, so that ought to be motivation aplenty...be easy on yourself, and keep a sense of humor, and you'll be alright!

1
22424c9eef944ade83d4e4ffda907056

(1402)

on July 29, 2011
at 09:56 PM

Read one of Gary Taubes books. Either Good Calories, Bad Calories or Why We Get Fat And What To Do About It. Or get the audiobook. This book will convince you that carbohydrates will make you fat, especially refined sugar and fructose. Or just go on YouTube and listen to one of his lectures. Or Robert Lustig's lecture on sugar/fructose.

1
50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on July 29, 2011
at 09:50 PM

Decide that it's actually something you want to do. If it is, stick to it.

Throw out your scale.

Have faith that it will work, rather than second guessing. Changes take time, it will be worth it.

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