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?
asked byPilatesGatekeeper (1005)
Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.