I need to lose about 30lbs of fat, and I'm extremely sensitive to sugar :( I tried to fast yesterday (I had binged heavily after just a ricecake-my body reacts badly to carbs and sugar, I know that now haha) and I wanna try paleo (for health too ofc-although I'm 18 so I will admit I take my health for granted because I don't know what real sickness is) but I want to lose abit of weight, and see how it it takes place, and what it feels like in my body to eat this way. so I had a few questions; will the weightloss be more rapid than on the standard american diet? (I'm quite muscular anyway I'm 175lbs at 5ft 5 but my healthy weight is between 145-150) Also,can someone link me to some articles on the benefits of eating paleo on health and on weight control? I understand the basics, but I would like to read up :) Thank you! :P
asked byErin_24 (287)
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on April 06, 2013
at 06:29 PM
Hi, Erin! I saw your comment/question on another question and, having confirmed this is also you, I'll try to respond in a way to cover both. I will discuss your experience with your recent binge, but to help it make sense I'll start by talking about me.
I'll try to make the background short. When I first tried paleo in April 2011, I did so because I had a long history of feeling awful and binge eating. I noticed, on this site and others, that a lot of paleos reported feeling good. I didn't really expect to find a solution to binge eating.
To my delight, most of my physical symptoms disappeared quickly over a 3 week period and I did, in fact, feel great.
Now, I must say this: by itself, going paleo is not a cure for binge eating. What it might do is give you enough clues, and allow your mind to be sharp and calm enough, that you find your own solution. My binge cravings didn't just go away; my first 12 months of paleo saw me lose a great deal of weight, but it was done as much by willpower as because I was eating healthy foods. My cravings didn't go away until I developed a clear understanding that wheat was the problem--when I accepted that, it only made sense to develop an aversion to a food that makes me sick and makes me binge. What delayed my progress was my internal conflict--I still wanted to be able to eat wheat. Once I let go of that, everything fell into place.
In my case, I had no clue that my long list of chronic physical woes could disappear just by changing my diet. When they did I became very curious about what happened and, through trial and error, I discovered I could turn my symptoms on and off by eating/not eating wheat. Mystery solved. For me personally, wheat is highly addictive--it is my binge trigger--and toxic. I had always assumed emotions were my trigger, but I can now state with accuracy that I'm still an emotional, impulsive person but I do not binge from the emotional ups and downs unless I eat wheat.
So, about you. Your description of what happened makes me suspect you might also be an emotional/impulsive person. No big deal, it's just who we are and there are many good things about that. However, it is a challenge when we're trying to manage our diet and weight.
Are there any areas in your life where you've learned to exercise patience? The hard truth is that you can't lose your 30 pounds of fat in a few weeks. You can't starve, or exercise like a demon, or measure/weigh yourself 3 times a day--well, obviously you CAN do those things, but they won't help you achieve your goals.
So what will? For starters, you can learn what mix of healthy foods makes you feel the best. You can learn what eating schedule keeps your brain/gut as calm and happy as possible. People here on PaleoHacks will give you conflicting advice about whether you should eat frequently or not--because there's no one right way. It's about how YOU respond--you may learn that eating frequently is soothing, but if you want to lose fat that will mean your means have to be relatively small and low-carb. You may find, as I did, it's important to eat to eat until you're full--if so, having one large well-balanced meal is the way to go while you're trying to shed fat. Note: by large I mean lots of food volume, such as with a large green salad or huge serving of low-carb vegetables, to naturally limit how much I eat of the more dense meats/tubers. I can feel stuffed for a while and still lose fat gradually. Since a lot of the "stuffed" sensation comes for watery greens it passes quickly but my brain/gut connection is happy, not asking for more food.
You can pay careful attention to how you respond to social settings, being alone, etc. You can do your best to learn what trigger or combination of triggers causes you to lose control. For example, I still find social settings like pot lucks and buffets somewhat unsettling and I may eat a sugary item I'd normally avoid, but as long as I avoid wheat I won't get sick and I won't binge. The next day I'll just go back to my healthy foods.
Frankly, I don't think it's "carbs." It might be severe restriction of them, achieved through willpower, that inevitably causes you to crash and backlash. It might be one particular carb, as wheat proved to be in my case. It might be you're having an argument with yourself because part of you wants to binge and part of you doesn't.
Are you up for it? Can you stop focusing on your frustration and dissatisfaction and learn enough about yourself to make some real changes? Can you handle a relapse or two without using them as evidence you "can't" control yourself? Or, can you use them to learn more and become even more determined to resolve your problem?
Here's my suggestion for one goal to have: find a balance. Food is necessary for life, and it's just fine to enjoy/love food. Enjoy selecting it, cooking/preparing it and eating it. Then focus on everything else you like or don't like about your life and work on balancing some of those things until you are so physically hungry it distracts you from the rest of your life again. Once you satisfy your need for food, go right back to balancing the rest of your life. Food doesn't deserve 100% of your attention!
on April 07, 2013
at 04:25 AM
I love Nance's answer and just thought I'd add that, if you have an ongoing issue with disordered eating, you might want to find some help from a professional. Kind of like a coach who can help walk you through the emotional tangles and with sorting out which foods make you feel good or bad. A lot of people try to work out eating disorders on their own, but it can help a lot to have someone helping you.
I'd also suggest that you separate out "health" and "weight" as you're trying to experiment with how your body responds to things. You can dramatically improve your health without changing your weight and vice versa. (I did paleo for 6 six and gained 10 pounds, but fixed my triglyceride problem and my elevated liver enzymes. Then I did whole30 and lost 10 pounds.) It might be easiest to let go of weight goals for a year or so and focus on finding out what feels good to eat (your energy, digestive system, mood stability). Then once you've got a healthy foundation, play around with tweaking things (total carb consumption,number of times a day that you eat) if you want to lose weight. I'd recommend the book _It Starts With Food
Incidentally, I was very sensitive to carbs, too. My mood would spike up and down with sugar/starch consumption and I could never go longer than a couple hours without eating if I didn't want to feel horrible. A month in to my second paleo go and my energy levels are super stable and I can go 4 or 5 hours without eating. I'm doing it pretty low carb this time (in the ballpark of 50 g).
on April 06, 2013
at 02:11 PM
You could start here:
Also by the search bar ;)
on April 07, 2013
at 05:08 AM
From experience, Binging is usually the result of not eating enough. If you are anything like most teenage girls you probably think you are eating enough, but you're actually not. If you want to try IF then make sure that you are eating LOTS of healthly foods during your eating window! Or else it's just going to lead to a binge/fast cycle.
on April 07, 2013
at 05:01 AM
If you're binging and starving yourself, the most important thing for you to do right now is find your balance. And by balance, I mean you need to just start eating paleo in a way where you won't crash and won't go on crazy carb-highs.
Add more fat to your diet. Get a good 50-70 grams. Try to get 60-70 grams protein, and 80-100 grams carbs. At the highest levels of all of these macros, you'll still only get 1310 calories. Eat an extra egg or piece of meat for some more calories until you feel satisfied at the end of the day.
Hope this helps. I'm not a medical professional, but this works well for me. Play with them at your will, but help yourself stabilize before you drop anything too low, carbs or fat wise. Hope you get started, and remember EAT REAL, UNPROCESSED FOOD. It's the best thing for anyone.
on April 07, 2013
at 01:20 AM
If you're looking to try the Paleolithic diet, then you should certainly read this.
Many people don't know much about it and are quickly dismissing the idea completely without having to try it first. I hope you're not one of those people.
It's going to change your life, I bet. Good luck!