0

votes

Halp! I can't focus unless I'm eating!

Commented on February 20, 2014
Created February 12, 2014 at 10:09 PM

The semester has started again, I'm taking lots of (conventional wisdom based) really difficult classes that require lots of studying, and I find, well, this is nothing new, but I find that i can't focus unless I'm munching on something extremely energy dense! Chewing gum doesn't work, drinking water doesn't work, listening to music doesn't work, and I can feel myself gaining weight! What can I do to keep focused without the munchies?

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on February 20, 2014
at 04:55 PM

Dr Kalish can be found here: http://www.kalishresearch.com/patients/ and has a book called The Kalish Protocol which can be had on amazon. Dr. Julia Ross has two books: The Mood Cure and The Diet Cure. Mood Cure is probably what you're after, also available at amazon.

You could google for "Kalish podcast" and he mentions quite a lot of the protocol and how it works on various paleo and paleo like podcasts.

Eb87941a669017dfb288d296cc672130

on February 18, 2014
at 10:31 PM

Good stuff @raydawg . Although not a neurotransmitter, l-carnitine is beneficial in facilitating the utilization of fat for energy and it has several other benefits as well. Just thought to give it a mention.

A048b66e08306d405986b6c04bf5e8e4

on February 18, 2014
at 10:14 PM

Thank you so much about the neurotransmitters! Where can I find more about the protocols?

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on February 15, 2014
at 04:05 PM

+1 - tyrosine and 5HTP for the win!

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on February 15, 2014
at 04:04 PM

I would tend to disagree with this, because lack of the proper neurotransmitters can cause these exact symptoms. Things like 5HTP at night and L-Tyrosine in the morning/afternoon can help resolve this type of issue.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 14, 2014
at 08:24 PM

I thought the same thing. God forbid we have to regress to that level of calorie counting and depriving ourselves of perfectly healthy food. Next thing you know we'll be tracking our "paleo points" lol.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 14, 2014
at 07:25 PM

Your argument that only composition is affected and not body weight is wrong, both body weight and composition are affected. Carbs contribute to greater adiposity and body weight, whereas fats cause substantially less adiposity and less weight gain (calorie for calorie). A calorie of sugar is more obesogenic than a calorie of fat, so the argument of "too many calories" fails because the threshold of "too many" changes depending on the food that's being consumed.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 14, 2014
at 07:21 PM

You clearly said above: "Too many calories are bad and make you fat." So according to you if 3000 calories is "too many", then it will make you fat equally wether it comes from pure sucrose or broccoli or fat. This is flat out wrong and fails to acknowledge the way in which different macronutrients are handled by the body as I described and referenced multiple times. 3000 calories from sugar will make you gain much more weight than 3000 calories from either broccoli or fat.

Eb87941a669017dfb288d296cc672130

on February 14, 2014
at 07:16 PM

Wow. It's like you haven't read a single full sentence I've written. For about the tenth time, never did I ever say that "calories are all that matter" without adding several disclaimers to that statement. So either this is literally your fourth time at a straw-man argument OR your reading comprehension is actually that bad. Not sure which is worse. Please don't respond because I cannot bare to restate my argument another time with the hope that maybe this time you will understand or make it from the start of one sentence to the end of it.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 14, 2014
at 07:15 PM

You clearly said: "Too many calories are bad and make you fat." This does not acknowledge the source of the calories or their interaction with the body, nor does it specifically place a threshold on the number of calories that are bad. Are you saying that if 2000 calories is too much it will have the same exact fattening effect whether it comes from sugar or from broccoli or from fat? Because it doesn't. Different meals despite being isocaloric, will have different effects on weight (as well as body composition). Calorie sources are not all treated equal by the body in terms of weight gain

Eb87941a669017dfb288d296cc672130

on February 14, 2014
at 07:07 PM

For about the tenth time, never did I ever say that "calories are all that matter" without adding several disclaimers to that to that statement. So either this is literally your fourth time at a straw-man argument OR your reading comprehension skills are actually that bad. Not sure which is worse.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 14, 2014
at 07:02 PM

Taste buds are highly subjective. I'm sure some people will eat tons of potatoes while others eat only a few. Even if you manage to only eat a few potatoes, these high-glycemic load starches like those found in potatoes elicit a large insulin spike, which leads to most of the glucose being absorbed and thus causing weight gain. This does not happen with fat since fat does not cause insulin spikes and thus lipogenesis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lipogenesis#Control_and_regulation) does not take place, so no fat is stored and no weight is gained despite eating many calories from fat.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 14, 2014
at 06:55 PM

Haha! Ruining my health? Funny guy. My argument was perfectly logical, it is you that refuses to give up the dogma of "calories is all that matters". If you haven't noticed, fat loss is weight loss, since cutting carbs causes fat loss, in people with large fat stores this translates to losing weight. And by the way I'm actually in perfect health, despite having a desk job. And as a software engineer, I'm quite happy with my job actually. Thanks to my diet I have lost weight and have substantially improved my health, I even have a six pack these days. Nice try but you're way off lol.

Eb87941a669017dfb288d296cc672130

on February 14, 2014
at 05:54 PM

...our disagreement arises from your failure to comprehend what I wrote and/or my not communicating with you clearly enough, as well as you inferring things that I never wrote (or believe). But thanks for calling me an idiot and simple minded. I mean if I were "sitting at a desk all day" just to make living like you do, then I'd have a lot anger pent up inside me too and would probably call people names instead of constructing a sound and logical argument as well. Have fun ruining your health at your miserable desk job.

Eb87941a669017dfb288d296cc672130

on February 14, 2014
at 05:50 PM

And one final note (hopefully). It seems that we agree on almost everything. Fat loss is about hormones, not calories. Weight loss is about calories (if you're not type I diabetic). I have stated this from literally day 1 and i initially joined the site before you did if you include my old account. We seem to be arguing over whether boiled potatoes are more satiating than fat. That study I link to says they are. I was excluding bread and fries and candy from my analysis that carbs more satiating than fats because those things aren't really just carbs and they're highly processed.

Eb87941a669017dfb288d296cc672130

on February 14, 2014
at 05:12 PM

You apparently don't know how to either follow or construct an argument because you infer about a million things that the person never once said and what they do say, you distort for the sake of your argument. You also continually resort to ad hominems, which as we all know is an informal fallacy.

Eb87941a669017dfb288d296cc672130

on February 14, 2014
at 05:10 PM

I never said that calories are all that matter. I said calories are all that matter for WEIGHT LOSS (barring you're not type I diabetic). What matters for FAT LOSS is macronutrient composition. I've said this over and over again on this account and my old account which I lost my password to. And, I never tried to relay every single way in which hormones affect body comp, i just stated one example. And, I have taken a college physiology course and got an 4.0. Do you want my report card?

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 14, 2014
at 05:02 PM

You confirm my argument that insulin must be low in order for triglycerides to be released from cells and broken down by hormone sensitive lipase into free fatty acids, at which point they can be used for energy via beta-oxidation. This is clear evidence that low insulin levels, are much more important for lipolysis (burning fat) than simply the amount of calories, as even a low calorie diet can inhibit fat utilization if insulin levels are sufficiently elevated by glucose-containing carbohydrates.

Eb87941a669017dfb288d296cc672130

on February 14, 2014
at 05:00 PM

Okay appartently neither of you read that study comparing the palatability of foods, because if you did you'd see that fries and bread are the LEAST palitable. However, boiled potatoes are the most, even higher than protein. So, please, stop with the straw men.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 14, 2014
at 04:58 PM

Protein consumption does release insulin, but not much. However carbs force the greatest release in insulin. Insulin index of foods: (http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/66/5/1264.full.pdf), while fat releases the least. The percentage of the calories from the food that will ultimately be stored is proportional to the amount of insulin released, as it is insulin's job to shuttle nutrients into the cell. It's not the same to eat carbs and store 50% of what you eat, than to eat fat and store 10% of what you eat, given two isocaloric meals with different macronutrient profiles.

Eb87941a669017dfb288d296cc672130

on February 14, 2014
at 04:48 PM

The cortisol affect will inhibit the action of insulin, whilst stimulating the muscle cells to burn glycogena nd the fat cells to release trigs into the bloodstream to burned. So yeah hormones do affect things and this is just one example. I'm not an uneducated, illiterate "bro" so there's no need for your ad hominems which frankly say more about you than me. This is why I specifically asked about your body composition and not your weight, cause you claim to eat a low carb, low protein diet for health.

Eb87941a669017dfb288d296cc672130

on February 14, 2014
at 04:46 PM

Let me clarify...If you're not type I diabtic and relying on insulin, then all that matters for weight gain/loss is energy balance. HOw much of that weight is fat vs muscle is about hormones, which in part come back to food choice and quality, nutrient timing, and macronutrient ratios. For instance, eating a protein only meal prior to working out would help stimulate glucagon and cortisol. THe glucon will stimulate the release of energy from cells with mirroring the affects of insulin on the liver- transforming both glycogen and fats into sugar...

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 14, 2014
at 02:23 PM

I completely empathize with you. Back in my old days of eating carbs and starch, I remember eating entire foot-long sandwiches from Subway/Quiznos and yet a few hours later, feeling an abysmal emptiness in my stomach on top of the growling sounds from the hunger. When I ate carbs, hunger was quite literally, a constant nuisance. These days, I have to remind myself to eat every now and then.

De1095b2ba29c1035f00428cbfe3cc7c

(777)

on February 14, 2014
at 10:27 AM

I can't see how carbs of any kind are satiating, I eat low carb most of the time and when I have some carbs on the weekend (usually fries/potatoes) I get absolutely ravenous after no matter how much i've eaten before

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 13, 2014
at 03:42 PM

Satiety is subjective. I personally don't care for it, I eat as much as I want, often I go well over 3000 calories per day. I am a 5'10" 144 pound male with 7% body fat. Considering I sit at a desk all day long programming, that's not bad. Lost 35 pounds without counting a single calorie, thanks to it.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 13, 2014
at 03:37 PM

Too many calories make you fat. I thought this was PaleoHacks not Weight Watchers. Your ignorance is sad. One word "insulin", now go do some research. Want more? "Hormone Sensitive Lipase" and "Glucagon". I don't expect an expert in broscience like yourself to actually go and read, but don't spew your ignorance all over the place before becoming more informed.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 13, 2014
at 03:30 PM

And by the way, the anorexic friend that only eats 300 calories of cereal, assuming that diet is 100% carbs, that is still only 75g of carbs, seems pretty low-carb to me, no surprise they lose weight.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 13, 2014
at 03:27 PM

This doesn't even begin to address other hormones like growth factors (the things responsible for making humans grow). A shortage of growth factor hormone results in dwarfism. Another example is steroids, steroids are anabolic hormones that promote cellular growth. Yeah I guess people who take steroids don't do it to "get big" right? Yeah steroids are just to "change body composition"....right. Kid, you're an idiot. Go pick up a physiology textbook and do some reading. I pity simple minded people like you that don't like thinking too hard and say things like "calories are all that matter".

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 13, 2014
at 03:21 PM

Your ignorance is profound. You are saying that the hormone insulin has nothing to do with body weight? Really?? So the hormone responsible for shuttling nutrients into the cells has nothing to do with body weight? Insulin is the reason you're alive kid. Even if you took in 10,000 calories, without insulin you would starve to death; this is what happens to type 1 diabetics. Their bodies don't produce insulin so they lose weight and starve to death without insulin injections. Here kid educate yourself: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insulin#Signal_transduction

Medium avatar

(624)

on February 13, 2014
at 05:14 AM

Yeah nutrient dense breakfasts are great any time of day :-)

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on February 13, 2014
at 01:34 AM

Eat a hearty late night breakfast right before you study and you won't be hungry for munchies. You could try switching your snacks for something like Sunflower seeds. The shells should throttle your roll so you're not just throwing back handfuls of "extremely energy dense" foods.

Eb87941a669017dfb288d296cc672130

on February 12, 2014
at 11:34 PM

I'm not. Too many calories are bad and make you fat. You apparently don't understand the law of thermodynamics and can't distinguish between the number on the scale and one's body composition.

Eb87941a669017dfb288d296cc672130

on February 12, 2014
at 11:30 PM

Wrong? Law of thermodynamics means nothing to you then. I've known anorexics eating nothing but cereal (300 calories worth a day) and are skeletons. Hormones matter for body COMPOSITION. All that matters for body WEIGHT is energy balance. Eat 3500 cals of nuts, burn 2500 cals in the day, you'll still gain weight.

Eb87941a669017dfb288d296cc672130

on February 12, 2014
at 11:27 PM

obviously not bro-science. Find any study on satiety index of common foods and potatoes will be highest in every one of them. And I see from your profile you're a fan of low protein, high fat, low carb diets. So, how's your body composition?

Eb87941a669017dfb288d296cc672130

on February 12, 2014
at 11:26 PM

http://ucsyd.freeppt.me/fileadmin/user_upload/om_uc_syddanmark/dokumenter/marianne_markers_kursus_NRO/110228_Holt%20et%20al%20Satiety%20index.pdf

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 12, 2014
at 11:16 PM

More broscience. Please back up such bogus claims. This is the same kind of shit that vegans do, make statements without providing evidence about how their lovely 80/10/10 diet is sacred, holy and will make you live forever. Those lovely potatoes also have an insanely high glycemic index, ideal for fattening people up (http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/Glycemic_index_and_glycemic_load_for_100_foods.htm)

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 12, 2014
at 11:13 PM

Wrong. There are things in the body called hormones. You might have heard of this. Some hormones make people gain weight. Carbohydrates force the body to make more of the hormones that make people gain weight. Or do you think hormones have nothing to do with body weight? Because that would be pretty damn ignorant.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 12, 2014
at 11:09 PM

@ Methodician you are completely right. AnyonesGhost is just spewing the classical low-fat dogma that fats are bad and make you fat.

Eb87941a669017dfb288d296cc672130

on February 12, 2014
at 11:08 PM

those are in iso-caloric OR specifically hypo-caloric environments. This means not hyper-caloric, specifically not that. And, also, NO SINGLE FOOD causes weight gain. Calories do.

Eb87941a669017dfb288d296cc672130

on February 12, 2014
at 11:07 PM

also, in other studies testing a wide range of foods, boiled potatoes consistently have the highest satiety factor, even higher than protein.

A048b66e08306d405986b6c04bf5e8e4

on February 12, 2014
at 11:05 PM

I do eat hearty breakfasts, but I also tend to study late at night too

Eb87941a669017dfb288d296cc672130

on February 12, 2014
at 11:05 PM

Interesting but research demonstrates otherwise: http://www.colorado.edu/intphys/Class/IPHY3700_Greene/pdfs/hunger_satiety/gerstein2003.pdf

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 12, 2014
at 11:05 PM

You couldn't be more wrong. Nuts do not cause weight gain and there is no science to support your claim. For your review I have provided 5 scientific studies that directly contradict your flawed assertion. Read a little and educate yourself instead of looking in the mirror so much.

A048b66e08306d405986b6c04bf5e8e4

on February 12, 2014
at 11:03 PM

I do eat those, i just can't stop D:

Medium avatar

(624)

on February 12, 2014
at 10:58 PM

I completely disagree with @AnyonesGhost. I avoid too much almonds and hazelnuts because of the n6 fatty acids, but macadamias are wonderfully satiating. I can eat 5 of them along with a little dark chocolate and be set for breakfast. Anything fatty, in fact, kills my apetite MORE than I like. I actually cut back on fat when I feel like I'm not getting enough calories, so I can get hungry again. Maybe it's different for individuals.

Eb87941a669017dfb288d296cc672130

on February 12, 2014
at 10:51 PM

Nuts are about the least satiating food ever, as they're predominantly fat and fat is the least satiating macrontrient (behind both protein and cabohdrate). If person doesn't want to gain weight and doesn't want to mindlessly eat too many calories (as, after all, too many calories is what makes a person gain weight) nuts and oils should be the first things to go.

Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

6 Answers

best answer

0
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on February 15, 2014
at 04:19 PM

Lack of the proper neurotransmitters can cause these exact symptoms. Things like 5HTP at night and L-Tyrosine in the morning/afternoon can help resolve this type of issue.

Dr. Kalish had a bunch of seminars in the past (as well as his protocol in his book) about this. In a nutshell, you want something like 3000mg L-Tyrosine split in the morning and afternoon, 300mg 5HTP at night, with plenty of Vitamin C, Calcium, B6, cystine, folate (you'd get most the last from egg yolks). Dr. Julia Ross has similar recommendations in her Mood Cure book. (I'd also add a bit of selenium and iodine (kelp or other seaweed will work here) as that is synergistic with the L-Tyrosine for ramping up your thyroid - but don't over do this.)

Taurine and caffeine can help too, though don't go for the energy drinks and this combination can cause negative effects on sleep.

Make sure you get plenty of protein (wild salmon, grassfed beef, lamb, goat, or chicken) and the right kinds of fats (coconut oil, EVOO, avocado, egg yolks, a bit of fish oil from wild fish) in your diet.

If it gets really bad, you could experiment with racetams, something like aniracetam or noopept, though of course this is controversial - if you go down this route, be sure to get plenty of choline.

When I have something challenging that requires extra brain power and concentration, I make a bulletproof coffee with extras that I bring along in a stainless steel mug:

I usually take a bit of noopept in the morning, then add another dose of noopept, with aniracetam to the bulletproof coffee along with two egg yolks and some cocoa powder. I don't chug the bulletproof coffee, rather, I sip it slowly whenever I find I'm slowing down. I also add a bit of vanilla extract and cinnamon so it doesn't taste too bitter.

The grassfed butter and coconut oil provide a nice substrate for energy, the racetams, and choline from the egg yolk provide the added concentration needed, and of course the caffeine helps too.

Do not do racetams every day, and be sure to get a lot of rest, they take a lot of you when you take them. You probably will want to save this for intense studying and the taking of tests (though you could do just the plain bulletproof coffee with egg yolks daily without any ill effects.)

A048b66e08306d405986b6c04bf5e8e4

on February 18, 2014
at 10:14 PM

Thank you so much about the neurotransmitters! Where can I find more about the protocols?

Eb87941a669017dfb288d296cc672130

on February 18, 2014
at 10:31 PM

Good stuff @raydawg . Although not a neurotransmitter, l-carnitine is beneficial in facilitating the utilization of fat for energy and it has several other benefits as well. Just thought to give it a mention.

0
7160a3fb485cb0af573c0292fdb08144

on February 14, 2014
at 08:13 PM

LOL at AnyonesGhost, bringing thermodynamics and the calories in, calories debate here. I feel like I'm on a Weight Watchers forum now.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 14, 2014
at 08:24 PM

I thought the same thing. God forbid we have to regress to that level of calorie counting and depriving ourselves of perfectly healthy food. Next thing you know we'll be tracking our "paleo points" lol.

0
A2301f8606e5416d56bdfbb6d3e13132

on February 13, 2014
at 03:40 PM

With no offence intended to the other answers so far in this thread, this is a psychological issue, not a food issue. Binge eating is highly related to stress, which kind of obviously is caused by the difficult course load. Here's a really good article about binge eating, stress, the science behind it and how to take steps to make it better.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on February 15, 2014
at 04:04 PM

I would tend to disagree with this, because lack of the proper neurotransmitters can cause these exact symptoms. Things like 5HTP at night and L-Tyrosine in the morning/afternoon can help resolve this type of issue.

0
Medium avatar

on February 12, 2014
at 11:01 PM

A good hearty breakfast is key to this. Eat an extremely nutrient dense breakfast, such as 4 egg yolks, 5 macadamia nuts, some sauerkraut, a slice of hard cheese, and an apple. Maybe add in some greens/salad if you like them. You won't think about food for many, many hours. Coffee helps too.

Keep in mind that eating too much carbs in the morning will keep you distracted/drowsy and thinking about food all day, but a little dose of carbs is important (to me) every morning. Maybe 10-25 grams. Carb heavy meals are best at the end of the day, when most of your hard work is done.

A048b66e08306d405986b6c04bf5e8e4

on February 12, 2014
at 11:05 PM

I do eat hearty breakfasts, but I also tend to study late at night too

0
Eb87941a669017dfb288d296cc672130

on February 12, 2014
at 10:54 PM

The amino acids in protein-rich foods, such as tyrosine, help with focus. As does caffeine.

Carbohydrates reduce cortisol and stress and improve testosterone/cortisol ratio. Also, your brain burns a lot of glucose when you're studying and thinking hard despite what you may have heard in some "paleo" circles.

So, make sure you're centering your diet around protein, and include a healthy serving at each meal. Eat enough fats to keep a healthy inflammatory response to nourish your body. Those are found naturally in the meat/fish/fowl/eggs you're eating so there's no need to add others. Eat make the rest of your calories up with carbs to maintain weight (or lose if that's your goal) and provide enough glucose to your brain, nervous system, and muscles so that you don't feel run down or like a zombie.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on February 15, 2014
at 04:05 PM

+1 - tyrosine and 5HTP for the win!

0
Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 12, 2014
at 10:43 PM

Eat olives, macadamias, almonds, hazelnuts, and really dark chocolate (90%+), you'll be healthy, the energy-dense fat will kill your cravings and your brain will thank you for the fat and ketones. Good luck on this semester.

Medium avatar

(624)

on February 12, 2014
at 10:58 PM

I completely disagree with @AnyonesGhost. I avoid too much almonds and hazelnuts because of the n6 fatty acids, but macadamias are wonderfully satiating. I can eat 5 of them along with a little dark chocolate and be set for breakfast. Anything fatty, in fact, kills my apetite MORE than I like. I actually cut back on fat when I feel like I'm not getting enough calories, so I can get hungry again. Maybe it's different for individuals.

A048b66e08306d405986b6c04bf5e8e4

on February 12, 2014
at 11:03 PM

I do eat those, i just can't stop D:

Eb87941a669017dfb288d296cc672130

on February 12, 2014
at 10:51 PM

Nuts are about the least satiating food ever, as they're predominantly fat and fat is the least satiating macrontrient (behind both protein and cabohdrate). If person doesn't want to gain weight and doesn't want to mindlessly eat too many calories (as, after all, too many calories is what makes a person gain weight) nuts and oils should be the first things to go.

Eb87941a669017dfb288d296cc672130

on February 12, 2014
at 11:07 PM

also, in other studies testing a wide range of foods, boiled potatoes consistently have the highest satiety factor, even higher than protein.

Eb87941a669017dfb288d296cc672130

on February 14, 2014
at 05:50 PM

And one final note (hopefully). It seems that we agree on almost everything. Fat loss is about hormones, not calories. Weight loss is about calories (if you're not type I diabetic). I have stated this from literally day 1 and i initially joined the site before you did if you include my old account. We seem to be arguing over whether boiled potatoes are more satiating than fat. That study I link to says they are. I was excluding bread and fries and candy from my analysis that carbs more satiating than fats because those things aren't really just carbs and they're highly processed.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!