Primal Anxiety or over analyzing?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 07, 2011 at 4:16 AM

Does trying to live "primal" raise anxiety for anyone? There are so many sub-issues that affect us in our culture: ratio's of fats, IF, protein sparing, slow GI vs. fast GI, alcohol, fruits and vegetables, macro/micro nutrients, vitamins/minerals, exercise prescriptions, social/family issues, hormone issues, ect...

On my journey to finding my "own zen of health," primal living has benefited me the most.

"Eat when hungry, and rest when tired" are simple words to live by but are hard to follow in our daily activities. I feel that at times we micromanage the smaller issues and forget the big picture which IMO is health, longevity, and happiness.

Lots of other thoughts but I'll keep it short.

Any thoughts, or am I over analyzing?



on February 07, 2011
at 06:04 AM

Some good threads in PH; search under "orthorexia" and "nutritionism", for example.

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8 Answers


on February 07, 2011
at 03:46 PM

I agree, especially at first, that a lot of the details can get overwhelming. Surfing PaleoHacks doesn't help - there are a lot of advanced folks here who like to debate/question some of the finest of fine-tuning issues. That doesn't mean those issues are trivial, but IMO they are the final few percent of a Paleo/Primal lifestyle solution. But I have to remember, as a beginner reading PH, that I can come back to these questions when I'm ready.

Breathe! :) Stick with the rules from one of the good getting-started-type blog posts (PaNu, PB, or Robb Wolf) and don't sweat the small stuff at first. You'll still be doing great.


on February 07, 2011
at 06:06 PM

Keep it simple. Don't over analyze things. Grok didn't.


on February 08, 2011
at 12:53 PM

Perfection is impossible, go for improvement over what you used to do.

I felt some anxiety at first because i was going against what school had taught me about how metabolism works.

My initial goal was to follow the Primal Blueprint's suggestions as best I could for one month. It worked so well, that I went for 3 months, and that worked so well, I started getting into the nit-picky details, and went from there. I started with PB, but have move on down the road. the more i tried to do it, the easier it was to do it right.

About 2 months in, i notice that what I wanted for food had dramatically changed, making it easy to be paleo.



on February 08, 2011
at 09:11 AM

Axniety can indeed be caused by thoughts and how we react to content but sometimes I can trace the source of anxiety to a food I have eaten. Gluten and MSG both cause me to have mental distress. Especially since I have avoided it so long just one bite of bread and I'm in for 3 days of crazy symptoms lol.



on February 07, 2011
at 08:57 PM

I would tend to agree with the other comments on this page. I have battled an eating disorder for several years now and still deal with issues of self image, even though I am back to a healthy weight (now at 170 from a low of 135 for a 5'll" male). Because I did in fact have an eating disorder, I was always anxious that people were looking to see what I was eating, if I would. I still tend to over analyze and think people believe I have an eating disorder when, in fact, I am very healthy. When I relax and realize that I am healthy and making healthy decisions for myself (e.g. to eat meat and vegetables and good fat), then all anxiety slides away and I am able to enjoy myself. Keeping a diet this simple does make life easier if you let it.


on February 07, 2011
at 06:50 PM

After being on Weight Watchers for almost a year, my switch to low-carb then primal has been the OPPOSITE of the stress-inducing micromanagement that low-calorie SAD entails. Following a ketogenic diet helped me lose the last few stubborn pounds, all without raising my activity level nor measuring portions. I'm much calmer now and am no longer using food to self-medicate. It's a wonderful change, and both ends of the spectrum of eating are self-fulfilling feedback loops. If I eat healthy, I get better at making conscious nutritional choices for myself. If I don't eat healthy, I get stuck in the vicious cycle of cravings and eating crappy frankenfoods. I firmly believe that diet is 90% of our mental and physical well-being, the other 10% being physical fitness, etc.

That said, I think anyone who is intensely interested in what they eat has a bit of the control freak in them. Once in a while I still find myself agonizing over what I ate, or the half-pound I gained. It helps me to take a break from health topics over the weekend, so I can just relax and eat what I want to eat, be lazy, etc. Get in touch with my animal self :)



on February 07, 2011
at 04:28 PM

I definitely tend to over analyze things. Yesterday I was worried about having white rice and how nutrient poor it is, but then I looked over and saw my sister baking a cake. Putting things in perspective can be hard sometimes.


on February 07, 2011
at 02:36 PM

I suspect that it's not just this way of eating/living that is raising your anxiety and that you're mis-identifying the source of your troubles.

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