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"Strict" Diet - Bad?

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  • "Strict" Diet - Bad?

    I disagree with some posts I've seen, where people say it is not "healthy" in a way, to follow the paleo (or any) diet too strictly, and that it will lead to more stress.

    When I eat grains, dairy, or a little too many carbs, I get acne, bloating, dry skin, digestive problems... Is vehemently avoiding these things stressing me out? Hell no, it's just the opposite. Eating these things give me pain, both physical and psychological (e.g. anxiety from acne).

    And I know some are even more "precise" with their diets, calculating both macro and micro nutrients, finding out the specifics, and striving for a "perfect" diet for themselves. Even that, is completely fine. Obviously if someone is doing this, they see/feel a reward from it.

    I imagine those that are against "strict" diets, often have problems with their own indulgences, and can't imagine anyone giving them up without it being painful. And in this way, they sort of rationalize one of their own faults.

    Last edited by Bosnic; 12-08-2012, 06:07 PM.

  • #2
    I agree.

    It's just sad when the only "con" that some nutritionist can come up with for a low-carb or paleo diet is "People find it difficult to remove a whole food group."

    Even more stupid is when they go on to worry about missing out on all the "fortified" foods. Like they never heard of the fact that actual food can contain actual nutrition.


    • #3
      You are spot on....grains are not needed unless you are addicted to the sugar hit or need the extra calories from rice.

      This site Nutrition Facts and Analysis for Wheat flour, whole-grain links to USDA information data and is show how inflammatory grains are.

      The next time they someone says you are depriving yourself look at your plate full of clourful veg and big ribeye then look at their plate of grey tasteless grains, cut off a piece of rare steak and say "yes it is all about depriving oneself"
      Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
      Don't forget to play!


      • #4
        I think that people mistake paleo/primal for being "strict". Being a macrobiotic raw vegan is strict. Being paleo/primal is just about avoiding junk foods, plus grains and most dairy. Really, all you are doing is "skipping the bread" in a lot of instances. Like having a steak with brocolli and having a sweet potato instead of a roll is pretty much the difference between primal and a lot of meals.

        I think people just freak out becausethey can't imagine giving up bread. I was telling someone today about primal. She was shocked I didn't miss bread... I told her the ability to eat an 8 ounce portion of steak more than made up for having to skip something that now reminds me of eating a dried out sponge.
        Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!


        • #5
          All of the above...

          I was recently in a thread discussing the Whole 30 and discovered that I essentially LIVE just barely outside those 'rules'.
          And not by much.
          I think that many people would think my diet "very strict" if they new every detail.
          I know it is much stricter than many, many, other peoples on this forum, but it meets my personal, and very individual, needs.
          Yet I never feel deprived or stressed, quite the opposite actually.
          I eat when I want to eat, and I don't measure or count anything.
          I feel satisfied with and by my food.
          I feel healthier than I have in years, and the way I eat helps to control my medical issues.
          AND I'm losing weight slowly and healthily too.

          Why would I find my "strict" Primal diet "BAD" under those circumstances?
          “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
          ~Friedrich Nietzsche
          And that's why I'm here eating HFLC Primal/Paleo.


          • #6
            You get another agreement from me.

            I have two daughters with diet issues and now I am Primal as well (our diet needs overlap massively), and we all have a relaxed attitude to it all. It does not bind us, it frees us - to be healthy. My daughters would not be doing as well as they do today with "cheats" or "20%" or whatever you call it; in fact, they would never have found healing in the first place if we had not have been as consequent as we were, and even I can tell the difference in my personal health between toeing the line closely and screwing around too much with the plan.

            I can't postulate why some seem to kind of hate on those who do things by the book (or stricter) as I am no psychologist, but IMHO if you don't follow a plan pretty much in its original form, soon the plan gets so blurry with everybody's personal little exceptions that it isn't its own definite thing anymore and it just kind of stretches and oozes out so much that it becomes, well, nothing, instead of the Something it once was.
            I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC


            • #7
              I don't stress out over daily food prep at all. I cook with fresh ingredients and seasonings, I don't even think about eating processed, packaged stuff. I only stress out when I go out to a place where I can't order my usual eating out food of choice (sashimi). And when I want to, once in awhile, I just eat a fucking cookie without thinking too much about it. People who think eating naturally are just unused to cooking. It helps that my family always cooked traditional food when I was growing up even if I didn't always eat it or appreciate it.
              F 28/5'4/100 lbs

              "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath; do your research."


              • #8
                Some people just don't like their paradigm challenged.
                "All of God's creatures have a natural habitat... my dinner plate." -Me


                • #9
                  Agree wholeheartedly.

                  I also have little sympathy for the cultural argument that you have to eat crap on specific occasions. I don't and I haven't broken any relationships because of it. The other day a good friend had his leaving lunch at a pasta place. I ate my BAS in the office then joined them and had a coffee. Too easy
                  Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

                  Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine


                  • #10
                    Hmmm... some people thrive on strict, others find it repressive. I guess it depends on your health conditions and psychology. A bit like the difference between my dad and me. He loves spending hours finding ways of saving every cent. He brags that he and his wife share a tea bag! LOL. That is pure stress to me. I like a little luxury in my life. For me, that doesn't include bread because it makes me feel bad, but I'm a bit more flexible about some of the other stuff.
                    My website:


                    • #11
                      Here's the thing. My diet has been considered "extreme" for years. I'm really over it.

                      I have always had a preference for healthy food -- fruit over candy, veg over grains/etc. So as a teen, my diet was "extreme" because I didn't eat a lot of "junk foods" like normal teens. It was "unhealthy!"

                      Then, I went veg*n. I was vegan. It was extreme. It was unhealthy! I enjoyed it, and I tinkered so that I stayed healthy.

                      Then I went paleo. It is extreme! It is unhealthy!

                      End of the day, I'm just happy eating as I do. It works really nicely. I can't believe how healthy I am.


                      • #12
                        People do have a special level of freak out about eliminating grains. No one ever really calls being a vegetarian extreme....

                        Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bosnic View Post

                          When I eat grains, dairy, or a little too many carbs, I get acne, bloating, dry skin, digestive problems... Is vehemently avoiding these things stressing me out? Hell no, it's just the opposite.
                          If it's not causing you stress, then it's not bad at all.

                          Personally it causes me stress. But to me, that's just issues I have to work on. It's not good or bad, it's just where am at. Everyone deals with it differently.

                          Good topic.


                          • #14
                            I'd never done a "diet" before paleo/primal. I love food and I'm not that strict in any aspect of my life. I suppose some people might look at might diet and call it strict but then again maybe how I ate before might have been considered strict by some; I never ate crap, ate mostly local and or organic, and cooked everything from scratch. I've always been strictly against fast food and processed foods. Switching to this WOE felt pretty natural. It feels funny to use the term "strict" when I use liberal amounts of butter and cream, if that's strict then I guess I'd better start owning the term.
                            Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.


                            • #15
                              I don't find primal eating to be strict at all. If it breathes air, you can eat it. If it swims or lives in a shell, you can eat it. Except for grains and legumes, if it grows out of the ground (or underground), you can eat it. So that means you can eat every animal that walks, flies, or swims, every plant (except grains), every egg laid, bugs, etc. It's almost limitless - how is that strict?

                              I actually don't understand people who think giving up grains would be a hardship. Miss bread? Have some on the holidays. Miss pasta, beer, or pizza? Have some during the superbowl. If they don't bother you (and they don't bother me much), save them for your 5% (because imo 20% is too high to be effective), and splurge once in awhile.

                              Eating a meal out of a bag a la McD. Calling something a good restaurant when it's really just a formula chain. Serving children sugar first thing in the morning. Eating a stack of pancakes the size of one's head. Now those things are weird.
                              "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine


                              Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.