Giving up processed sugar/foods, wheat, etc is HARD! I want to state that and leave absolutely no room for doubt.
I say this emphatically because it’s true. I’ve been eating/living Paleo for over 18 months now and to get started it was hard. That first week, although I was eating 100% Paleo and never hungry, I still craved sugar. I still craved cheesecake. I still craved a nice big honking slice of chocolate cake with thick chocolate icing (sorry I’ll stop now). Sugar is addictive. We were made to run on sugar, but not on the quantities that a modern diet gives us.
I think as time has gone on and I have remained true to eating 100% Paleo, it’s gotten easier (although I do have cravings at certain times of the month in which I do indulge, but in very small quantities). It’s gotten easier for a couple of different reasons.
1. I’ve been eating Paleo for so long that when I do eat something ‘modern’ I can tell instantly by just by the way my stomach reacts. So if I do indulge in that oh so good vanilla ice cream, I eat a spoonful and call it quits. It’s just the flavour I’m after.
2. When I eat processed sugar, I feel lethargic and grumpy. System overload!
3. When I eat something with wheat in it (gluten alert) I feel very sluggish and bloated.
For me, if I do get a craving for something (like a Big Mac – yuck!!!), all I have to do is remember how I WILL feel (physically, not emotionally) after consuming said product. I don’t have guilt after eating processed food because I know I am eating a strict diet. When I consider indulging I ask myself how will I physically react to that? Based on my answer, I will either chose to consume it, but in a very, very small quantity OR just not eat it.
Before choosing to do Paleo, I think it’s important to understand that we all have choices. You can choose to be as strict as you want with Paleo electing to have a couple of ‘cheat meals’ during a week or not. But I think you will find that ‘cheat meals’ or ‘treats’ become few and far between because your body will scream when you put crap into it.