Timing Indulgences

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 17, 2013 at 1:41 AM

Say you follow the Paleo diet 90% of the time. In terms of the other 10%, do you find it is more effective for (a)weight loss, (b)energy, and (c)dealing with mild repercussions to eat the 10% all at once (like one meal), or via small, sporadic treats?

While I would love to follow Paleo 100% of the time, I do occasionally indulge in non-paleo fare. I've had eating struggles in the past (including disordered eating) and found that the 90-10% split is easy to maintain long term (10 months now).

Thanks for any n=1 input or research. I am open to all!!


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4 Answers



on January 19, 2013
at 05:34 AM

According to the advice in the Perfect Health Diet, your cravings likely stem from malnourishment. Going 100% paleo says nothing of meeting your nutritional needs.

When I was very low-carb, I had strong cravings. When I was paleo with some carbs, I had less cravings. Now, after tweaking my diet to get sufficient micronutrients, I have extremely few cravings. In addition, my general appetite is the lowest I've ever experienced.

If you have the patience, input your diet into a service like cronometer.com . It's a good bet that you'll uncover several vitamin and mineral deficiencies (or imbalances). Once you address these, you may notice a reduction in your cravings and hunger. This has been my exact experience. Good luck!



on January 19, 2013
at 03:46 AM

If you're indulging in carb-type treats, according to Kiefer and Miyaki, you're much better off doing it in the evening when you are more insulin resistant, the idea is that in the evening those carbs are more likely to go towards rebuilding muscle than being stored as fat:

Also, I think both would say it's much better to do it all at once rather than small treats throughout the day so you get 1 insulin spike rather than elevated insulin all throughout the day.




on February 02, 2013
at 01:52 PM

I time it all out as my carb refeed, killing two birds with one stone.

Also, I take 200mg of Alpha Lipoic Acid about 20 min beforehand. Out of all the elements of Ferriss' PAGG stack, ALA is the one I can definitely feel making a difference.



on January 17, 2013
at 02:08 AM

I used to be pretty much 100% paleo for over a year, but lately I've found that I was much happier when I allowed myself some treats on the weekends. I would overeat on other things because I would feel deprived, which led to some weight gain / bloating. I love pastries and sweets, so on Saturdays or Sundays I'll treat myself to frozen yogurt or a piece of high quality cake after dinner. I'll also make sure I have my big workouts before the meal, if I'm going to treat myself.

I found that it has helped with controlling my eating throughout the week, and I've been slowly but steadily getting leaner. I weigh about 100 lbs with a good amount of muscle, so it's an excruciatingly slow process for me. And because the treats are later at night (I usually eat 2 meals: brunch at 11 and dinner later), I don't have a problem with energy levels.

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