28 May Ask a Health Coach: How to Go Primal, Why We Crave Sugar, and Loving Your Body As-Is
In this week’s edition of Ask a Health Coach, Erin answers more of your questions from the Mark’s Daily Apple Facebook group. She’ll be discussing strategies on the best way to go Primal, the real reasons we crave sugar (and what to do about it), and what happens when we all go back to work and have to wear real clothes. Got more questions? Keep them coming on the MDA Facebook page or in the comments below.
“I’m planning on starting the Primal Blueprint next week. Better to dive in 100% or do it more gradually?”
As you might have guessed, some people do great diving right in, while others find it too overwhelming and have more success with a gradual approach. I think the bigger question we need to ask here is: what will make you stick with it for the long term?
For the record, the Primal Blueprint isn’t a diet or a workout routine — two things that have “short-term” written all over them. It’s not an all-or-nothing approach either. The Primal Blueprint is based on an 80/20 principle that allows you to abide by the theories of ancestral living without worrying about a French fry here or a glass of red wine there.
The key is to know yourself well enough to understand what works best for you. Do you have proof that you’re better going cold turkey rather than dipping your toe in? Or maybe you’ve always been more successful taking baby steps. Look at all the areas of your life — all the times you thrived when there was zero room for negotiating versus not wanting the pressure of everything needing to be perfect 100% of the time.
There’s not a ton of research out there about which is better, but this study https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3780395/‘>2 contradicts that finding, saying that going all out in the beginning can influence how well you do in the long-term.
For some, the immediate reward of dropping a bunch of water weight with an all-in approach can be really gratifying. For others, starting gradually can feel less scary and more comfortable.
No matter which way you decide to pursue it, it’s important to be 100% committed to the changes you’re making, knowing that 80/20 doesn’t mean you have a free pass to binge on ice cream or stay out late 20% of the time. And if you’re not totally committed, you might be better off taking a step back to figure out why this change is important to you in the first place.
“I know sugar is bad for me, but why do I crave it so much?”
Since you’re already aware of sugar’s health-degrading properties, I’ll save you the lecture and the research. But you bring up an interesting question. Why do we crave it so damn much?
Any kind of emotional or psychological dependence on sugary foods, or even foods that convert to sugar in the body is classified as a sugar addiction. So, we’re on a similar playing field to other addictions like cigarettes, drugs, and alcohol.
Sugar provides a quick fix https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5455070/‘>4 or going for a walk outside before choosing to rip through a bag of M&Ms.