I've been on and off a Paleo diet for a few years now. By on and off, I mean I haven't eaten grains or legumes at all in that time, but I go through phases of eating grass-fed dairy. The problem is I can't seem to stop some level of compulsive eating, particularly of sugar. I'll give it up for a month or so and feel great, but somehow I end up falling off the wagon again. I also seem to be addicted to the avocado oil potato chips, and even when I'm "strictly" paleo, my consumption of nuts and nut butters is excessive. I did a Whole30, although even during that I overate nuts.
I'm sure there's some kind of psychological component involved, but I also wonder if I'm doing something wrong nutritionally. On a typical day I'll eat about 16oz of ground grassfed beef, lamb, or sometimes chicken, and/or maybe a big salmon fillet. I eat a ton of vegetables, usually a big salad with olive oil plus an entire red pepper or a pound bag of frozen broccoli. I snack on dried coconut all day too, plus (too many) nuts. I avoid fruit because it triggers sugar binges. Sometimes I eat sweet potatoes, but I try to limit them because of the fructose.
Am I doing something wrong? I'm certainly getting enough protein, and I suppose enough fat (I'm a 34 year old female, 5'4", 130lbs, no health problems). Yesterday after two weeks of "clean" eating, I ate an entire pint of (er, organic) ice cream- oops. Afterwards, I felt warm and happy, and sort of energized, like my body suddenly got something it desperately needed. Today I feel good, no hangover. No one's body needs ice cream, so I'm thinking what I really needed was carbohydrate. Does that sound right? I should add I get hungry a lot even after eating my meat and vegetables, hence the nuts. I can't stomach (or afford) any more meat. Should I add more carbs, and if so, in what form?
Edit- my basic question: when I'm hungry and I want to eat nuts (or sugar, or potato chips), what should I eat instead? I'm happy to give up those foods, but how do I replace them?
asked bypaleohopeful (25)
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on March 16, 2013
at 02:33 PM
Maybe I'm missing something, but you don't seem to be getting very much saturated fat at all. It seems whenever I get too close to half of my calories as carbs I start to get sugar cravings due to glucose preference vs fat preference. Also, are you taking a magnesium supplement and/or eating organ meat? A lack of either of these causes nut cravings, as well as possibly a fat deficiency you're trying to make up for with the fat in nuts.
You should also be careful if you aren't soaking you're nuts ahead of time, the phytic acid content will catch up to you and bind nutrients.
on March 18, 2013
at 06:50 AM
That sounds so familiar :) I've also eating paleo for quite a while now just 2 weeks ago I got some great tips from the 21 sugar detox book which gives some great tips and insights to sugar cravings - I bought it because I had days where I ate some bad snacks (Snickers, ice cream,..). Afterwards, I always hated myself:| Now I always carry 'emergency snacks' with me: Carrot, banana, avocado and almonds. In my fridge I always keep an emergency-paleo-friendly Pina Colada :) (For your ref.:http://timreviews.com/21daysugardetox)
on March 16, 2013
at 03:49 PM
You know, sometimes you just have to have what you crave. If I want something for more than a day, I'll have it. The other week I wanted peanut butter and banana sandwiches SO BAD. Don't know why. I resisted that for 2-3 days, then said, okay, craving still there, I'm eating it! (Except I subbed out the bread for paleo bread, but it worked!) Who can eat 100% perfect all the time? If they do, they're superhuman, congrats to them.
If you keep on having short-term cravings for sugar-maybe you are having less sleep or more stress in your life lately? I seriously start craving some sugar when I'm tired.
As for the psychological aspect, maybe that could use addressing, too. I read this book by Geneen Roth called "How to Break Free from Emotional Eating" that was very insightful. Even if you don't think you're an emotional eater, it was an interesting read.
on March 16, 2013
at 01:43 PM
I snack on dried coconut all day too, plus (too many) nuts.
Someone else may have some input on your macro ratios (maybe more carbs would be a good idea, don't fear the sweet potato)... but this is the part that really stands out for me. By eating all day long, you're keeping your appetite (psychologically) and insulin secretion (physically) going all day long. I know it's tough when you're hungry, but try to eat only at meals. If necessary, start with four real meals a day and work your way down to three. I think that would give you a greater benefit than simply replacing those nuts with another food to snack on.