1

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Depression and Paleo

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 05, 2013 at 12:02 PM

Hey !

I am a 5 month paleo enthusiast, have an active lifestyle and a 4-pack. 5'7, around 60 kgs woman, do crossfit 2 times a week and 3 other very intensive workouts a week. So everything is perfect, I cheat 2 times a month with a little bit chocolate, more often before my PMS.

2 days ago I had an extreme stress. A real schock that made me so weak that I didn't know what to do. And as a result I directly went to the supermarket and bought 200 g chocolate and 200 mixed nuts with dried fruits and ate this WHOLE thing in 10 mins. Since then I eat every day one chocolate a day and feel like crap, but somehow I really need some kind of food to make me comfortable about all this shit happening in my life.

SO now I just physically cant stop eating crappy chocolate(with milk in the choc) because my insulin is so madly up and down.... And my mood is like the worst in my whole life. And I have a lot of work to do. And just feel so bad...

So... my actual question is : What do you do in such situations of total regress? I know I will get up back on track because paleo is not a diet for me, it is something I NEED in my life. But this emotional stuff somehow brings me out of control. Do you have some little tips? Do you thing going total NO CARB (just meat vegs and fat) for a while will help me?

Thank you very much ! Penelope :)

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 06, 2013
at 10:38 PM

Are you taking any magnesium right now?

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on March 05, 2013
at 10:21 PM

You might need to brush up on your biochem. http://www.jackkruse.com/emf-4-why-might-you-need-carbs-for-performance/

1962b160073677e814e89c050bcaa47c

(48)

on March 05, 2013
at 01:28 PM

Thanks so much for the understanding answer! I study law and have really stressful days, my only anti-burnout is sport. I am 20. I dont have any artistic interests, I do boxing and kick boxing... But this helps me on a daily basis, the stress I had to deal with was much much bigger than that. I decided to go meat, fat and vegs for at least 2 weeks to reset my mind. I need to study but in this condition I am useless....

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14 Answers

8
06bf7b92d77f1ac1d8e3dc9d539d8254

on March 05, 2013
at 02:10 PM

Really? Eat the damn chocolate and nuts. Seriously, it will not be the end of the world or your 4 pack.

No carb would be the opposite of help. In fact, in times of stress, carbs are helpful. So, add some carbs and you will become more resilient.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on March 05, 2013
at 10:21 PM

You might need to brush up on your biochem. http://www.jackkruse.com/emf-4-why-might-you-need-carbs-for-performance/

2
39311794c054f89a226f33e1afd08721

on March 07, 2013
at 01:00 PM

Two days out of sorts doesn't add up to a depression, but prolonged stress can turn into depression. Right now, you're reacting to something specific. When it feels like that reaction has become ingrained in your brain, that's when it's time to look into more treatment options.

There's a good chance you're going to turn around and grab the bull by the horns at any moment. Even trying some mainstream, sappy advice to cheer up can be part of keeping on trying something until it works. That's how to remind yourself you're still fighting and if you stop doing that you'll know it's time to look for more help.

I had a long bout of depression years ago and I still can't tell when I'm having a couple off days if it's going to turn to depression or turn around at any moment. Some extra magnesium citrate can turn me around depending on if PMS is involved, but what you're going through right now seems like a normal reaction.

1
74786bbe8254844304a33943290c4d6d

on March 06, 2013
at 10:50 PM

If you find yourself gorging on chocolate and dried fruit, eat STARCH. Sweet potatoes are awesome. So are fried plantains in coconut oil. Don't go low carb.

1
32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on March 05, 2013
at 12:55 PM

So sorry about the life crisis ... these really do jump up and bite us when least expected don't they?

I have found a fat fast to be very useful for breaking carb addiction. You obviously don't need to lose weight, so be careful and don't go too long. Maybe 1-2 days. When I do them it really settles my body, removes residual inflammation, and primes me to recommit.

Going forward, you need to find something non food-related to deal with the stress. Something therapeutic that calms you and gets your mind off it. Are you artistic at all? Painting? Drawing? (check out Zentangles). Knitting? (knitting is awesome therapy, and you can't eat while you do it!).

1962b160073677e814e89c050bcaa47c

(48)

on March 05, 2013
at 01:28 PM

Thanks so much for the understanding answer! I study law and have really stressful days, my only anti-burnout is sport. I am 20. I dont have any artistic interests, I do boxing and kick boxing... But this helps me on a daily basis, the stress I had to deal with was much much bigger than that. I decided to go meat, fat and vegs for at least 2 weeks to reset my mind. I need to study but in this condition I am useless....

1
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on March 05, 2013
at 12:15 PM

Basically just cut out the chocolate (I'm sure the theobromine and caffeine and withdrawal therefrom is having more of an impact on your mood and energy than the insulin from the milk in the chocolate- that and the large amounts of sugar).

Going all meat, fat and vegetables (which would therefore not be zero carb) sounds good in general. Going zero carb isn't obligatory, or necessarily helpful. Doing either would be good simply insofar as it would mean not eating chocolate. Including some sweet potato (or whatever starch you like) might "help you feel better."

0
Medium avatar

(1240)

on March 07, 2013
at 03:22 PM

Sometimes a good cry really helps.

When I'm overwhelmed with anxiety and get stuck in the cycle of eating crap to cope and then feeling more anxious about eating that stuff, I try to pause and feel all the anxiety and fear and just let it out. It hasn't killed me yet! I find this helps me to regain some clarity, and calms me enough to remember I already have good habits in place with my diet and exercise, and I should just ride on those habits through the stressful times, as these they will make it easier for me to get through it.

If the idea of overdoing it with that chocolate is stressing you out, give it away or throw it out. I don't recommend going very low carb, especially considering your activity level. It would just be an added stress, and many people struggle with insomnia when eating VLC.

0
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on March 07, 2013
at 03:03 PM

Beta hydroxybutyrate does actually help deal with stress. The hard part is getting the levels in the bloodstream high enough. Many go low carb, only to struggle in a space where there isn't enough of any fuel to get things done- especially once you've lost a significant amount of weight. Once the fat tank is empty, you've got to learn to eat more again.

So if you do decide to go no carb, make sure there is plenty of fat in your meals, so that you can be sure of getting your ketone bodies high enough.

0
7cf9f5b08a41ecf2a2d2bc0b31ea6fa0

on March 07, 2013
at 02:32 PM

Low carb and stress will wreck your body; eat some potatoes with butter (lush) and chill

0
Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on March 07, 2013
at 01:14 PM

I sometimes drink hot chocolate made from:

organic whole milk, 100% organic cocoa powder, local honey

It's delicious and I don't feel guilty about it.

0
C68f0b374156e5ce7a9b8358232bfed0

on March 07, 2013
at 12:22 PM

The eating is comfort eating and will go away but it will be a struggle as you try and detach from the 'safe' environment you're making for yourself. My tip on how to regain control is to take control of the emotional upset in your life. Whatever it is, you need to talk about it. Get it sorted.

Once you have taken control of the emotional stressor you will find, taking control of the emotional eating will be easier.

Best of luck.

0
Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on March 07, 2013
at 12:22 PM

I would think that the best idea would to always keep yourself in nutritional 'fortitude'. That being that if you are nutritionally fed your body is in a better place to deal with stress, and not immediately call for 'extra' nutrition to deal with it.

i.e. It seems pretty common that if people are are fatigued due to lack of sleep, we generally look for calorific dense foods (chocolate croissants) and stimulants like coffee. So you either get more sleep (rest), or you REALLY make sure that you are nutritionally fed so that if you happen to have a late night, your body is in a better position to handle it.

"do crossfit 2 times a week and 3 other very intensive workouts a week"

Which means you really need to be spot-on with your nutrition because you are probably susceptible to fall short on nutrition at times due to your activity / recovery levels.

Cravings and hunger are the body saying you need something to fulfil nutritional requirements, so you really need to find out what that is.

If you are susceptible to depression (which I am personally) you need to be extra careful with fatigue, because (which you probably know) during periods of depression you tend to make choices that hinder recovery and exasperate the depression further.

REALLY focus on fulfilling nutritional requirements for your activity level, this I believe will prevent (or make less frequent) depression and further poor nutritional choices.

I think the most people would probably echo my recommendation of looking at The Perfect Health Diet (http://amzn.to/QQ5hI2) as the standard template of nutritional balance. Get the platform right and tweak it up for your activity and needs.

0
89985542ffc00c296552951369fe809a

on March 07, 2013
at 03:43 AM

Roasted butternut squash with coconut oil is what I run to when I am craving something sweet! You definitely need to try it. It's got a great mouth feel and the flavor is just so naturally sweet, there is no need to feel guilt! :)

0
F299706618ad5d2c014130cb35d07dcf

on March 06, 2013
at 10:18 PM

Hello,

First of all, know that this is just a phase in your life and that things will get better soon. I'm a college student and I used to turn to chocolate and nuts during finals week... Which made it so much harder. I have learned that controlling my diet in times of stress helps me get through it faster. I use the 21 Day sugar detox program and by the time I finish my major stress is gone. That way I can turn back to my normal diet without worrying about emotional eating. It's just an idea but it might help you get through this period.

Here's the link:

http://the21daysugardetox.com/?tid=BBHB

Hope this helps, Hannah

-1
3936d8e4644e08775d1fb8ee483765a0

on March 22, 2013
at 08:07 AM

Some studies have suggested that gluten can be a cause of depression in many individuals. The paleo diet eliminates gluten, along with all other grains, and is certainly beneficial to individuals for whom gluten is a sensitive substance which may in fact contribute to their symptoms. Many paleo dieters claim to feel wholly different after eliminating the consumption of grains, starchy vegetables and otherwise processed foods. Please visit at how to fight depression this link might be helpful for you.

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