2

votes

Weight - will power

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 09, 2012 at 2:54 PM

This is the best and most informative paleo sites around. My issue at the moment is weight loss and there is a lot on here which is useful.

I went back to eating paleo in July. I made the mistake because of recommendations in a book to have a few squares of dark chocolate. I am a sugar addict and should have realised that is ilke giving a cocaineor heroin addict a little nit of their drug. First the cacao substance in it keeps me up all night, I get a huge high, I have ideas and business plans, it feels wonderful but then day by day I need more and more to have the same effect and then I am on large bars of chocolate every day, missing meals, over eating etc etc. So that failed.

Then a week ago I decided it was better to "get clean"instead, took me my usual 4 or 5 days of no chocolate and then I am free of it. It's wonderful. No need to drive to shops to buy chocolate, no thinking about the substance all day, no ups and downs. I wean off it with lots of fruit which of course causes a bit of the same high, fructose high, but leaves me feeling good and healthy rather than wired, ill, ulcers etc which sugar seems to cause me.

So in a sense I am back to square one 144 pounds which is not obest but at least 14 - 28 pounds than I have been/like to be. Yet I don't want to risk getting back on to sugar addiction. So yesterday I had a very late lungh as was cycling and swimming which I try to do most days and was not hungry which is rare. In my whole life I am always hungry by meal times. I am hardly ever ill probably because whatever illness I am fighting I always eat well. however over the evening I ate just as much as I would on a normal day without a late lunch as if my body is in some kind of perfect balance never to lose weight. It does not want to. It is programmed always to keep a status quo. Other people can fast or reduce eating to just protein and fat but I seem to have zero will power.

So I suppose my question is how do people get the will power to eat less? I am sure I eat at least 2000 calories of good paleo foods a day (and far too much fruit) and feel happy and healthy on that but I don't like what I weigh, aesthetically and I can feel the weight of it carried around compared to 2 years ago. 5 pounds of fat is the weight of a brick. I have six extra bricks and my body doesn't like it either. I prefer not to count calories and don't like weighing myself and my theory would be you woudl automatically lose weight if you only eat good foods but clearly that is not so. I can eat fruit for England. 1000 calories of nuts and raisins in a sitting.. no problem at all.

My question may be about will power.

In one way I am really pleased with myself as I hvae got off sugar and when I am on it I feel in the grip of an addiction and I hate it and it makes me ill. Secondly for the first time in years I am cycling to the gym and back (back is uphill so very hard work) and swimming most days. That makes me feel very good. So there are some huge victories and whilst the weather is still good here in the UK I try to lie in the sun for 20 mniutes a day which also makes me feel happy and healthy - vit D. Wonderful. But not wonderful are the 2 stones (in US jargon 28 pounds) or so like a fat suit over my body. Two of my sons this summer decided to get fit and the other a few years before. They just at a stroke decided X and ate X. I can never do that.

If you really want something and you know exactly what to do to do get there which of course I do with weight then why can't you just decide and do it? Apparently my BMR is 1700 calories a day at my age which is hardly anything. That is just to stay as I am 144 pounds. If I wanted to lose 2 pounds a week I'd be on 700 calories a day! 1 pound a week is obviously all I could hope for IF I were at all able to eat less which I'm not, then 1200 calories a day would be all.

So where do you get your willpower?

54f75fb54778cfa947990bec1175307a

(665)

on September 18, 2012
at 03:26 AM

"I eat when not hungry" - that's what I'm talking about and trying to fight this urge myself. Pale diet gives me more energy, so I gradually introduce activities to keep me entertained to avoid eating for entertainment sake.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on September 17, 2012
at 11:47 AM

Those raisins should be treated as processed food, you'll never find them in nature - someone had to dry them properly to prevent them from rotting, for example. Even nuts in nature are very hard to eat a lot of because you have to shell them, where as a jar of them from the store are very easy to eat since they've been roasted, shelled, and salted - and likely it wasn't with seasalt, so your body thinks it's getting extra trace minerals, when the salt has been stripped of those, so it craves more.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on September 17, 2012
at 11:45 AM

It's paradoxical I know, but eating when you're fasting causes you to want to eat more, eating anything sweet will cause you to want to eat more (there are some exceptions, such as eating real foods from nature as opposed to processed foods.) Higher fats and moderate protein, (again from natural sources, not processed) in general tend to satisfy more, and prevent binges.

6fece842bd1bcf5724f458a302a2156e

(1169)

on September 17, 2012
at 08:54 AM

Very true. When I am out with work or an outing I don't need a constant fruit sugar high to help me get through the next bit of work. When I move around, move boxes, tidy up etc I don't either. I need to keep regular meal times and not have snacks but hard in practice. I eat when not hungry.

6fece842bd1bcf5724f458a302a2156e

(1169)

on September 17, 2012
at 08:52 AM

raydawg, that is very helpful. I am in a cleft stick in a way - pleased I am off chocolate and anything is better than that addictive pattern, driving out when not hungry to buy and eat a 100 calorie box of chocolates at night, just like any other addict and worried that if I give up the fruit and nuts and raisins I will get back on to the chocolate again. What I do find is that if I miss a meal like yesterday and then have to eat an hour later very hungry ( I was out and bought nuts and raisins) I am then hungrier later as I had no fat or meat. Need 3 meals with protein a day.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 10, 2012
at 05:00 PM

I'd reverse this. I'd try skipping AM breakfast, eat at 11-12 with mostly meat and fat and then have a light supper of protein and berries. There is a pattern of people who wake up in the AM and aren't really hungry but if they eat starch or sugar in the morning they go on a roller coaster the whole day. My calories in the PM' spontaneously dropped when I stopped eating breakfast in the AM.

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on September 10, 2012
at 02:58 PM

If it's making you feel good and happy then keep it up; but, swimming in the slow lane is exactly what I was talking about with long-duration cardio type work.

6fece842bd1bcf5724f458a302a2156e

(1169)

on September 10, 2012
at 06:25 AM

I will try more high protein and fat. If I could just go from lunch to dinner without masses of fruit (which is satisfying the sugar urge) and then have fatty meat at dinner that would work. This is all very useful advice from everyone. Thank you. I also do not want to jeopardise coming off sugar/processed foods again ever so even if I don't lose weight but stay eating good and clean and feeling really healthy that is better than giving up fruit and then moving back to chocolate.

6fece842bd1bcf5724f458a302a2156e

(1169)

on September 10, 2012
at 06:22 AM

That is very helpful. I am certainly feeling very well for giving up processed sugars and all processed foods. The cycling is just to the gym (a mile?) and only a bit strenuous part of the way home - up hill and the swim is in the "slow" lane and making me feel better so I don't think I need to cut that out as otherwise I am just sitting at a desk for 12 hours a day but I certainly agree about long duration cardio. I have never really exercised formally but found normal life, running after children, carrying heavy boxes, that kind of natural intermittent exercise works best.

5f3e1f803d7a9b8704bb11cda26bcf9a

(658)

on September 09, 2012
at 03:32 PM

I completely agree with miked. Also, it takes TIME for a body to adjust to this WOE. If you have a damaged metabolism, it can take quite a while for your body to heal and adjust. I would also say it would be better to knock off the hard cardio.

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7 Answers

8
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on September 09, 2012
at 03:06 PM

"Will power" has nothing to do with it. I hate the term will power. There are biochemical reasons why people crave foods just like there are biochemical reasons why heroin addicts crave the drugs. What you need to do is play with the foods you eat so that you're adjusting your biochemistry to not crave those foods. Your brain is VERY powerful and you cannot live everyday craving something, eventually you'll give in.

Now, I've never had the kinds of cravings you talk about, so you may be in a different camp than me; but, my recommendation is to just go to 0 sugar, low carb, high fat for a while. Don't count calories, just eat when you're hungry and stop eating when you're full. See how that works for a couple of weeks. And absolutely no fake paleo-treats. That means, just eat real food. Don't try to make paleo muffins, or paleo pancakes, or paleoize any of your favorite not-paleo foods. Just. Eat. Real. Food.

If that doesn't work, then maybe do a little research into Guyenet's hyperpalatability stuff. I haven't been totally sold on the idea, but lots of people have gotten great results from it; and, as I said, I wasn't having the crazy cravings you are so maybe there is something to it, but I never needed it. I think it's not a bad idea to eat low food reward paleo foods. Think of food only has fuel and not something that gives you a high (or low because you feel bad for giving in).

Also, if your cycling and swimming is long-duration cardio type work, that's another input that drives your brain to call for more sweets and carby foods. I'm strongly in the camp that long cardio is no good for you and tends to make people fat (or skinny fat). There are very few healthy-looking people at those long races (except the pros, but they're also not healthy). It wouldn't hurt to maybe cut that out for a while and see what happens. You can always add it back in if you're missing it.

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on September 10, 2012
at 02:58 PM

If it's making you feel good and happy then keep it up; but, swimming in the slow lane is exactly what I was talking about with long-duration cardio type work.

5f3e1f803d7a9b8704bb11cda26bcf9a

(658)

on September 09, 2012
at 03:32 PM

I completely agree with miked. Also, it takes TIME for a body to adjust to this WOE. If you have a damaged metabolism, it can take quite a while for your body to heal and adjust. I would also say it would be better to knock off the hard cardio.

6fece842bd1bcf5724f458a302a2156e

(1169)

on September 10, 2012
at 06:22 AM

That is very helpful. I am certainly feeling very well for giving up processed sugars and all processed foods. The cycling is just to the gym (a mile?) and only a bit strenuous part of the way home - up hill and the swim is in the "slow" lane and making me feel better so I don't think I need to cut that out as otherwise I am just sitting at a desk for 12 hours a day but I certainly agree about long duration cardio. I have never really exercised formally but found normal life, running after children, carrying heavy boxes, that kind of natural intermittent exercise works best.

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 10, 2012
at 01:13 AM

I lost 150lbs (or more now) on Paleo and willpower is bullshit. It doesn't work, at least not for me.

The goal is not to eat less or restrict calories, in the end your body will MAKE YOU eat. It's biology. The best you can do is find ways to game hunger. To optimize hormones so your body will decide that it's ok not to eat.

High protein to increase satiety, high fat for CCK signalling, slowly tapering off the flavour intensity to remove addictiveness, getting rid of exorphins for the same reason...

Your body is an expression of your brain-state and the only thing that worked for me was to eat to optimizing mental health and that allowed me to not be hungry.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 10, 2012
at 05:00 PM

I'd reverse this. I'd try skipping AM breakfast, eat at 11-12 with mostly meat and fat and then have a light supper of protein and berries. There is a pattern of people who wake up in the AM and aren't really hungry but if they eat starch or sugar in the morning they go on a roller coaster the whole day. My calories in the PM' spontaneously dropped when I stopped eating breakfast in the AM.

6fece842bd1bcf5724f458a302a2156e

(1169)

on September 10, 2012
at 06:25 AM

I will try more high protein and fat. If I could just go from lunch to dinner without masses of fruit (which is satisfying the sugar urge) and then have fatty meat at dinner that would work. This is all very useful advice from everyone. Thank you. I also do not want to jeopardise coming off sugar/processed foods again ever so even if I don't lose weight but stay eating good and clean and feeling really healthy that is better than giving up fruit and then moving back to chocolate.

1
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on September 10, 2012
at 02:17 PM

Going with will power is sort of the wrong way. Will power is limited, and while it will take you most of the way, you're fighting many millions of years worth of evolution with a pre-frontal cortex that's been around for only two.

Best to eat foods that satiate you without will power, and build muscle enough as a drain for excess calories. Chronic cardio, such as cycling and jogging are going to make you more hungry and will lead to more fat gains. Resistance training, walking, and lots of high quality rest are a better way to go.

Going to a higher fat, medium protein, very low carb diet will cause satiation. Fruit (and anything sweet) is exactly what you want to avoid, as they trigger insulin, and insulin is the signal to store the nutrients in your blood into fat and muscle. The more insulin you trigger, the less calories from fat stores you'll burn, and the more you'll store. Limiting carbs to something like 50-100g/day will get you to where you want to go.

Chocolate doesn't have to be the enemy, I'd be more worried about the sugar, and to a smaller extent the milk. 100% baking chocolate is bitter as hell and very satisfying, though you probably want to ramp your way up from 75%, 85%, 90% to the baking stuff. Unless you've got a bad reaction to the stuff, it doesn't have to be a bad thing, just have it earlier in the day - maybe around lunch?

Chocolate cravings might be either copper or magnesium, perhaps supplementing with good quality minerals will help here, especially the magnesium?

There are tricks you can do with black coffee and IF's, though IFs can be problematic for women. However, you could, say have bullet proof coffee for breakfast and nothing else (with lots of coconut oil and a some butter) and find that it cuts down hunger while you avoid any insulin triggering pathways. The coconut oil will also help you adapt and enter ketosis a lot quicker. A little bit of L-Glutamine (maybe 1/4th of a teaspoon) can be used to silence carb cravings. Alpha Lipoic Acid can also help you adjust off carbs.

Don't go too crazy with IFs - I did and found out the hard way that doing this causes an increase in cortisol levels if you do it every day without a break - the coconut oil/high fat diet will kill your appetite, but at the same time, going zero carbs causes cortisol to rise so you go into gluconeogenesis - not a bad thing, except cortisol in chronic form has bad side effects, which blunt fat loss and you wind up burning muscle instead. So do eat some carbs, especially an hour or two after work outs - but stick with safe starches (sweet potato, carrots, white rice, even a ripe banana, etc.)

It takes some time to adjust off carb burning and onto carb burning, and it's a though few days, but it doesn't have to be. Maybe you can start on a long weekend, and hopefully by Monday or Tuesday be in ketosis and start to adapt?

Also, note that if you go low carb, you shouldn't go low salt, but get a good quality sea-salt, not the industrial stuff that only has sodium chloride (and worse, aluminum or other additives.) Maybe supplement with a bit of kelp, or eat lots of shellfish for the iodine.

Congrats on getting off the sugar, that's a huge step. I remember that Robb Wolf had an early episode where he mentioned that one of his clients who was a reformed crack addict said that it was easier to quit crack than sugar! That's a huge step.

Don't worry about what the scale says, it's pretty much useless as it won't tell you if you're gaining muscle, are storing water, or actually burning fat. There are some that do, but they're somewhat inaccurate. Let the mirror and a tape measure, tell you.

Don't be in a rush, it'll happen on its own with lots of plateaus. Fat has some weird properties, which keep its structure as the fat is replaced, by filling up with water, and then sometimes, overnight you'll drop 4-5lbs. see: http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/of-whooshes-and-squishy-fat.html

6fece842bd1bcf5724f458a302a2156e

(1169)

on September 17, 2012
at 08:52 AM

raydawg, that is very helpful. I am in a cleft stick in a way - pleased I am off chocolate and anything is better than that addictive pattern, driving out when not hungry to buy and eat a 100 calorie box of chocolates at night, just like any other addict and worried that if I give up the fruit and nuts and raisins I will get back on to the chocolate again. What I do find is that if I miss a meal like yesterday and then have to eat an hour later very hungry ( I was out and bought nuts and raisins) I am then hungrier later as I had no fat or meat. Need 3 meals with protein a day.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on September 17, 2012
at 11:45 AM

It's paradoxical I know, but eating when you're fasting causes you to want to eat more, eating anything sweet will cause you to want to eat more (there are some exceptions, such as eating real foods from nature as opposed to processed foods.) Higher fats and moderate protein, (again from natural sources, not processed) in general tend to satisfy more, and prevent binges.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on September 17, 2012
at 11:47 AM

Those raisins should be treated as processed food, you'll never find them in nature - someone had to dry them properly to prevent them from rotting, for example. Even nuts in nature are very hard to eat a lot of because you have to shell them, where as a jar of them from the store are very easy to eat since they've been roasted, shelled, and salted - and likely it wasn't with seasalt, so your body thinks it's getting extra trace minerals, when the salt has been stripped of those, so it craves more.

1
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on September 09, 2012
at 08:12 PM

I know exactly where you are coming from. I used to be a chocoholic. I would crave chocolate (especially anything creamy with chocolate) on an hourly basis. To a point that my co-workers left a special shelf filled with chocolate for me. Just for me!!! Think about it - how embarrassing.

Now, one year later I have no cravings for chocolate. What has changed?

I went to a Chinese herbal doctor who diagnosed me based on my symptoms (and craving chocolate was only one of them). He told me that according to Chinese medicine, I had problems with my liver. That was a big surprise since I had a liver ultrasound AND enzymes done and everything was fine. But as I was filling out "liver" symptoms, all of them were checkmarked by me. Some other problems symptoms of liver problems were irritability, restless sleep, etc.

Basically, chocolate stimulates your liver to work better. Every time you eat chocolate, you stimulate your liver, and then later there is a "crash", when you need more, and a larger dose.

I have solved that problem using a very strict Paleo diet cutting down on sugar (since sugar effects your liver) and special herbal compounds from my herbal doctor.

Each time I don't take my herbs for one or two days, my chocolate cravings come back. Last time I did not take my herbal medicine, I ended up buying chocolate ice-cream, chocolate-cornflakes and chocolate milk.

I know my response is not very scientific, but it is true. Also, what Milked said about biochemistry - it is completely true.

So it is NOT about will power. It is about your biochemistry. You need to work on your nutritional needs. I would recommend doing something for your liver - lemon juice in warm water or milk thistle. You definitely need something.

1
Fdf101349c397fbe1ecb98b310fb3737

(358)

on September 09, 2012
at 03:33 PM

I agree with all that miked said. One other thing you might consider is purging all the "bad" food out of your house if you haven't already done so. Sometimes you need to power through to becoming a better fat burner, and not having certain foods around can help.

1
Cf416725f639ffd1bb90764792ce7b8a

(2799)

on September 09, 2012
at 03:32 PM

After a few weeks in ketosis I had very little appetite. It doesn't take will power to not eat when your hunger is hardly noticeable anyway. If you haven't tried VLC try it and see if it agrees with you.

0
54f75fb54778cfa947990bec1175307a

on September 10, 2012
at 06:28 AM

The biggest problem that makes me overeat is boredom. When I do something interesting, time flies by. I remember how in childhood I never wanted to go home for dinner, wanted to continue playing with guys in the yard.

Hunter gatherers always busy with interesting activities - if they are not hunting, they are playing.

But we are living in the boring homes, working at the boring jobs. Food is like an entertainment for the most of the people.

Probably that's why your boys don't have problems adjusting diets. They have too much happening in their lives already to care about tasty food.

It's not about willpower of course. It's about lack of excitement. But I would say you are on the right path - maybe joining sports team or social group that has meaningful, healthy and challenging activity would help?

6fece842bd1bcf5724f458a302a2156e

(1169)

on September 17, 2012
at 08:54 AM

Very true. When I am out with work or an outing I don't need a constant fruit sugar high to help me get through the next bit of work. When I move around, move boxes, tidy up etc I don't either. I need to keep regular meal times and not have snacks but hard in practice. I eat when not hungry.

54f75fb54778cfa947990bec1175307a

(665)

on September 18, 2012
at 03:26 AM

"I eat when not hungry" - that's what I'm talking about and trying to fight this urge myself. Pale diet gives me more energy, so I gradually introduce activities to keep me entertained to avoid eating for entertainment sake.

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