15

votes

personality changes from doing paleo?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 08, 2011 at 8:14 PM

I've been at this for about 5 weeks now, which I think is long enough for me to confirm that there is a marked difference in my personality on paleo. Mostly it has to do with a lack of the low level anxiety and worry that used to pervade my days. I also generally feel happier, more optimistic, and friendlier. Another thing that I never really realized is that I used to have a slight fear of people or would often feel awkward around people, especially strangers. Now I find myself striking up conversations with anyone and everyone. Rather than the extreme highs and lows, I tend to be more even-keeled and balanced. It's truly amazing!

Has anyone else experienced the same positive benefits from paleo? I'd be curious to hear your story.

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

There's a lot of interesting research about vegetarianism and issues like depression. If you don't already, check out Emily Deans's blog. So glad you're feeling better!

922038b6c0ca6a051cc4858218931456

(392)

on July 14, 2011
at 12:09 PM

I think I'm going to try yelling about pop tarts for breakfast next time instead of the string of words that usually fall out of my mouth. If nothing else, it'll probably get me laughing. :)

78fcdeee6ac4ee7d071bbac56b9e359f

(1035)

on July 14, 2011
at 02:25 AM

Yeah, Weston Price talks about the mental effect of bad diets in "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration". Something about looking at the facial structure of convicts in their mug shots. I think people are definitely more anxious and easily convinced of dumb ideas because of the SAD.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 13, 2011
at 10:15 PM

I know I've got my paleo goggles on a little too tight sometimes, but sometimes when I'm enraged by someone making bad driving choices in front of me, I want to scream, "If you didn't have pop tarts for breakfast, you wouldn't be such an idiot!" So maybe all drivers would have to make the switch before we'd know for sure whether it made a difference.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on July 13, 2011
at 09:17 PM

I think a healthy diet can bring about a person's true self. In some cases (like me and StephNY), road rage might be a permanent factor. 8)

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on July 13, 2011
at 09:10 PM

This has been my experience: I'm naturally a laid back, go-with-the-flow person. I find I'm more willing to be confrontational and stand my ground. Sometimes I'm surprised to find myself in the middle of a debate, which I used to always avoid.

922038b6c0ca6a051cc4858218931456

(392)

on July 13, 2011
at 08:05 PM

:) I hoped it would go away. I think it's a part of my personality, through and through. Or it could just be the bad drivers on the road. Otherwise speaking of mood, I'm much more difficult to anger now!

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 13, 2011
at 07:40 PM

I'll try not to get in front of you on the road.

922038b6c0ca6a051cc4858218931456

(392)

on July 13, 2011
at 07:34 PM

I still have road rage.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 13, 2011
at 06:23 PM

Maybe I was always an extrovert with diet induced social anxiety, but I do feel like I flipped a switch from introvert to extrovert.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 13, 2011
at 06:03 PM

Bingo! You just described my exact experience dlk.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 12, 2011
at 10:03 AM

Only someone who has never looked death in the eye but sits safely tucked in his air conditioned office in Silicon Valley, could make such an absurd and childish statement.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on June 09, 2011
at 11:40 AM

Introversion and social anxiety are different and seperate things though. Intoversion/extroversion tends to be a trait people express from birth to death, and refers more to where you get your energy recharged - do you feel more relaxed going on a walk alone or reading a book, or going dancing with friends or to a party? Someone can be an extrovert but have a touch of social anxiety on top that can be alieviated with lifestyle changes and makes it easier to express their extroversion. Sorry for typos. On my phone!

F910318b9aa27b91bcf7881f39b9eabe

(1164)

on June 09, 2011
at 10:40 AM

I used to be "afraid" of people too and that disappeared completely which is awesome. It's like i got rid of these virtual chains. I thought it was only me but apparently it's a normal thing to happen :)

7b439bc3c2033329fc3c64937825ac6c

(255)

on June 09, 2011
at 10:37 AM

reading all these responses is so exciting! I've always thought there was a connection between diet and mood, but this goes way beyond what I would have thought was possible.

7b439bc3c2033329fc3c64937825ac6c

(255)

on June 09, 2011
at 10:24 AM

I get your point, but I think it's a little of both personality and mood. for example, I always thought of myself as a shy introvert (my fear and anxiety around people), but I guess I'm not.

7b439bc3c2033329fc3c64937825ac6c

(255)

on June 09, 2011
at 10:17 AM

yes, I've only lost about 2-3 lbs (was my weight was fine to begin with), so this is my main benefit so far, and it's worth it!

Medium avatar

(19479)

on June 08, 2011
at 11:42 PM

Wait, wait..maybe the only reason we die...is because we accept death as an inevitability...wah! (Win 1000 points if you can identify the reference)

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on June 08, 2011
at 11:39 PM

:-)) Hee hee +1

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 08, 2011
at 11:21 PM

Yeah, there's nothing that pisses me off more than beanie-weenies. Man, if I see a plate of those suckers, I just want to go on a rampage.

Medium avatar

(4878)

on June 08, 2011
at 11:20 PM

Better living through chemistry! I am MUCH more focused having left grains behind.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on June 08, 2011
at 11:10 PM

Lol............

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on June 08, 2011
at 09:34 PM

@dlk -- resonding yes! Eating Paleo has manifested with massive changes in mood-harmony.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 08, 2011
at 09:11 PM

Joe, if you feel that way, then you need to tighten up and eat more strictly. You are obviously not "there" yet in terms of enjoying the bounties that Paleo has to offer. Just sayin'

A2fe5bbd09c7804fd321e9e9a9f9d199

(1614)

on June 08, 2011
at 09:05 PM

"I feel as though I have finally defeated death." huh? Death may beg to differ?

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on June 08, 2011
at 08:19 PM

no question it does......changes your neurobiology.

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17 Answers

6
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 13, 2011
at 06:47 PM

All my anxieties just sort of melted when I started this. I feel that it has not only improved my life, but the lives of those I interact with everyday. I'm kind of laughing at my earlier life as a vegetarian, and fearing that eating meat would bring about some sort of misanthropic blood lust, quite the opposite, my ability for compassion has grown exponentially.

That said, I have noticed the side effect of having lost interest in drama for drama's sake, be it in cinema or in people. Feelin' good, but increasingly bad movie buddy. I'm more interested in talking to the person working the concession stand or ticket taker than watching neurotic characters on a big screen suffering from an obvious offal deficiency

My mind whirs with the potential for this though. Could a nourishing diet cure xenophobia, end road rage, end child abuse, drastically reduce both our incarcerated and institutionalized populations, bring about world peace? Or would it just destroy independent cinema as we know it?

922038b6c0ca6a051cc4858218931456

(392)

on July 13, 2011
at 07:34 PM

I still have road rage.

922038b6c0ca6a051cc4858218931456

(392)

on July 13, 2011
at 08:05 PM

:) I hoped it would go away. I think it's a part of my personality, through and through. Or it could just be the bad drivers on the road. Otherwise speaking of mood, I'm much more difficult to anger now!

78fcdeee6ac4ee7d071bbac56b9e359f

(1035)

on July 14, 2011
at 02:25 AM

Yeah, Weston Price talks about the mental effect of bad diets in "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration". Something about looking at the facial structure of convicts in their mug shots. I think people are definitely more anxious and easily convinced of dumb ideas because of the SAD.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 13, 2011
at 07:40 PM

I'll try not to get in front of you on the road.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 13, 2011
at 10:15 PM

I know I've got my paleo goggles on a little too tight sometimes, but sometimes when I'm enraged by someone making bad driving choices in front of me, I want to scream, "If you didn't have pop tarts for breakfast, you wouldn't be such an idiot!" So maybe all drivers would have to make the switch before we'd know for sure whether it made a difference.

922038b6c0ca6a051cc4858218931456

(392)

on July 14, 2011
at 12:09 PM

I think I'm going to try yelling about pop tarts for breakfast next time instead of the string of words that usually fall out of my mouth. If nothing else, it'll probably get me laughing. :)

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on July 13, 2011
at 09:17 PM

I think a healthy diet can bring about a person's true self. In some cases (like me and StephNY), road rage might be a permanent factor. 8)

4
Bee1be034ef8da3e1e5cf9587b8bb690

on June 08, 2011
at 10:04 PM

I noticed the same thing. I always had low-grade depression and anxiety. Now I feel so much better mentally. I can also handle stress much better. I notice that if I stray from good eating that I'm more likely to get pissed off at people and situations.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 08, 2011
at 11:21 PM

Yeah, there's nothing that pisses me off more than beanie-weenies. Man, if I see a plate of those suckers, I just want to go on a rampage.

3
Df37dee1b45f564770863d8a74016cbe

(1035)

on June 09, 2011
at 02:01 AM

Yes, me too. I was very reticent and awkward in social situations, often with nothing to say to strangers, or going on incessantly if someone was friendly to me. Either way, it was very uncomfortable and I was embarrassed by what I thought was my introverted nature. After GAPS/Paleo, like you, I lost my fear of people and can chat easily with anyone. It seems I actually have a spontaneous sense of humor around people, too! It's so nice to feel at ease and to actually WANT to accept invitations to parties, etc. Did you notice something change with your gaze, too? Before Paleo, I always dropped my eyes when around people. Now, I can look at someone until they look back at me, and I can keep gazing at them until we both start smile or laugh or talk or something. It seems totally natural. I notice too that babies can keep gazing until the person connects with them. So, I now feel I may have been slightly Autistic or Aspergers before (self-diagnosed of course). There's definitely a gut-brain connection.

3
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 08, 2011
at 08:49 PM

It's as if I had been living a bad dream before Paleo. I used to think that despair was normal. War, hunger, the nagging idea that I, too, could lose my job and end up on the street piloting a shopping cart. Waking up in the middle of the night and realizing that I would one day be dessert for a platoon of bacteria.

I feel as though I have finally defeated death. I don't feel like I can explain it to people who aren't Paleo. Fortunately, you guys understand. I'm like that Zen guy, only I have electrical heating, instead of wood. I would turn cartwheels, if I didn't suck at them.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on June 08, 2011
at 11:10 PM

Lol............

A2fe5bbd09c7804fd321e9e9a9f9d199

(1614)

on June 08, 2011
at 09:05 PM

"I feel as though I have finally defeated death." huh? Death may beg to differ?

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on June 08, 2011
at 11:39 PM

:-)) Hee hee +1

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 08, 2011
at 09:11 PM

Joe, if you feel that way, then you need to tighten up and eat more strictly. You are obviously not "there" yet in terms of enjoying the bounties that Paleo has to offer. Just sayin'

Medium avatar

(19479)

on June 08, 2011
at 11:42 PM

Wait, wait..maybe the only reason we die...is because we accept death as an inevitability...wah! (Win 1000 points if you can identify the reference)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 12, 2011
at 10:03 AM

Only someone who has never looked death in the eye but sits safely tucked in his air conditioned office in Silicon Valley, could make such an absurd and childish statement.

3
Medium avatar

(19479)

on June 08, 2011
at 08:34 PM

I noticed a significant increase in confidence (determined by willingness to approach people, including strangers, and engage in conversation), a significant boost in mental focus/concentration, and an overall balancing effect when I went Paleo.

It's not as noticeable now, but I think that it is more a factor of my new "baseline" level of functionality now being set higher.

2
3f3236d1f951d4b4c25eff387699a905

(554)

on June 12, 2011
at 09:58 AM

I've been paleo-ish for about two weeks (def. eating meat, just not giving up dairy yet haha), going from vegetarian (!). After some time on vegetarianism, I had completely lost my cheerfulness and outgoing personality and had trouble making contact with people and keeping in touch with them. I also started to become more and more anxious and depressed, mostly a low level anxiousness all the time with several suicide attempts. I have definitely noticed a big difference. The anxiousness is gone, I am happier overall, in a generally better mood, and have slowly begun to be more outgoing again. I never thought it had to do with what I ate. I just couldn't figure out why the words wouldn't come when I wanted to speak to someone!

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

There's a lot of interesting research about vegetarianism and issues like depression. If you don't already, check out Emily Deans's blog. So glad you're feeling better!

2
C181b533f1fdb423262eb0341cdedcaa

on June 08, 2011
at 11:34 PM

I lost my religion and don't miss it at all.

2
263e2d3f741d1ecb0886454e977f4e6f

on June 08, 2011
at 09:57 PM

I just thought it was because I lost a considerable amount of weight, but now that you all have mentioned it and have brought it to my attention I'm thinking there might be more to the diet from a chemical balance standpoint? I think I like the side effects of the diet :)

7b439bc3c2033329fc3c64937825ac6c

(255)

on June 09, 2011
at 10:17 AM

yes, I've only lost about 2-3 lbs (was my weight was fine to begin with), so this is my main benefit so far, and it's worth it!

2
Eedf46c82d0356d1d46dda5f9782ef36

(4464)

on June 08, 2011
at 09:40 PM

I never really had issues with stress, worry, or anxiety - I've always been a fairly relaxed, easy-going person. So I haven't noticed any increase in my "chill" factor.

However, I've been told by friends that I am noticeably more confident / challenging / engaging than during my pre-paleo days. It seems that as I've become more and likely to take on just about any physical challenge, my tendency to take on intellectual, conversational, and inter-personal challenges has increased to match - so much so that it surprises people who have known me for a very long time as a laid-back kind of dude.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on July 13, 2011
at 09:10 PM

This has been my experience: I'm naturally a laid back, go-with-the-flow person. I find I'm more willing to be confrontational and stand my ground. Sometimes I'm surprised to find myself in the middle of a debate, which I used to always avoid.

2
1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

on June 08, 2011
at 09:39 PM

I definitely feel better. I uses to have a very negative and nervous outlook. I don't feel obsessive anymore nor do I feel overwhelmed. I used to constantly feel overwhelmed by very normal day to day stressors.

Weightloss is definitely not the only benefit.

1
7e36094a0f7a2fbad24290225405220b

(2064)

on July 13, 2011
at 07:06 PM

I'm definitely more confident. Every other diet I've been on, I've cooked 'ordinary' food for the rest of the family. This time I've changed my way of eating and theirs as well - they don't get a choice!

1
Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on June 09, 2011
at 01:26 AM

well, no. mood does not equal personality, which is a fairly static and enduring set of traits. my mood has improved. my confidence, certainly. my energy levels. all of that is better now than it was before when i was sick (with MS and with stress and with general poor health and coming off a rough pregnancy) but frankly it couldnt hve been much worse where i was coming from! i was a damn train wreck.

so i guess i would say that im healthier and happier, and that has reflected itself into other areas of my life and my relationships, thereby also improving the lives of those around me.

7b439bc3c2033329fc3c64937825ac6c

(255)

on June 09, 2011
at 10:24 AM

I get your point, but I think it's a little of both personality and mood. for example, I always thought of myself as a shy introvert (my fear and anxiety around people), but I guess I'm not.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on June 09, 2011
at 11:40 AM

Introversion and social anxiety are different and seperate things though. Intoversion/extroversion tends to be a trait people express from birth to death, and refers more to where you get your energy recharged - do you feel more relaxed going on a walk alone or reading a book, or going dancing with friends or to a party? Someone can be an extrovert but have a touch of social anxiety on top that can be alieviated with lifestyle changes and makes it easier to express their extroversion. Sorry for typos. On my phone!

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 13, 2011
at 06:23 PM

Maybe I was always an extrovert with diet induced social anxiety, but I do feel like I flipped a switch from introvert to extrovert.

1
F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on June 09, 2011
at 12:11 AM

No doubt about it. I've talked about this a little bit on my blog, most recently in a post about the research behind gut flora and behavior.

I've sailed through flights (I'm normally FREAKED about flying) and several nights of stressful entertaining (used to get in an absolute tizzy) without killing anybody. It's amazing. Miracle cure.

0
0680608dec7323088d2c4700df1837d2

on July 17, 2014
at 07:14 AM

Definitely more confident. I've always been considered laid back, relaxed. I never thought of myself as an anxious person, but I guess I was scared. Same but different. Fear manifesting itself another way.

Since paleo, I feel confident, empowered and strong. I don't know if this is just from the physical changes. I'm less likely to take any crap from people. I want to challenge myself, rather than just hang out in my comfort zone, and now I understand that's what makes you stronger.

I have surprised a few people. And lost a couple of friends who didn't like the new me. And surprised myself for not really caring. And made new friends with people who challenge and inspire me.

I feel like I have woken up from a dream.

In some ways it's almost a bad thing because I look at my life and wonder "How did I get here?". I feel kind of trapped now by my pre-paleo choices (big ones, like career and marriage...). Wondering if others felt this way after going paleo is what got me onto this thread...

0
6019a8f2be72500cdc5783b25c8fdfd9

(18)

on June 09, 2011
at 01:59 AM

I'm curious about this myself. My wife just got us going on a 30-day "Paleo Challenge" and I'm nine days in. I've had social anxieties, and have been even diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. I get by without any major anxiety these days, but I'm interested to see if I get even better.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 08, 2011
at 11:58 PM

Again, Yup, I don't think there's a question how powerful eating the wrong things is. But...It all comes rushing back if I do something not paleo, which I'm suffering right this moment, and it takes days to normalize....anyone care to comment?

0
345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on June 08, 2011
at 08:24 PM

yep, I'd agree with that! Somehow the body returns to a harmonious balance, hormones included!

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