View Full Version : intermittent fasting and focus..

04-08-12, 12:11 PM
I have yet to go search this out and find any correlation but has anybody tried fasting intermittently and noticed better focus?
Basically what I've been doing is eating a small breakfast and then going the entire day till about 10pm eating absolutely nothing. At 10 i eat a huge dinner that's about 2000 calories.
Anyways I've noticed when I do this I have much better focus and concentratiom. Idk why but it definitely does something. Anyone else?

04-08-12, 12:28 PM
I've had the opposite experience. I used to fast regularly quite a bit (once a week, 36 hours) and while I rarely felt tired, my concentration and focus went from poor to absolutely non existent on fasting days.

I'm struggling with food at the moment a bit, so I'm just having one meal a day on most days and again it's really affecting my concentration. Actually, I'm struggling to think straight.

04-08-12, 04:45 PM
I recently tried my first 24-hour fasting (breakfast and then nothing but water/tea until next days breakfast), and I liked it quite a bit. Its too early to tell what the effect on my focus etc is, but it felt... healthy.

04-24-12, 03:28 PM
Well this makes sense considering fasting increases norepinephrine levels.

05-22-12, 09:56 AM
check out 'the warrior diet' by ori hofmekler, he talks about the same thing. according to him, our natural way of eating is fasting during the day, with a few small snacks like fruits, vegetables, nuts, every now and then, and a big meal in the evening (daytime is for hunting, or, nowadays, work), nighttime is for resting and digesting). I've tried it and I have some mixed feelings about it, I could definitely notice that I was clearer in my head if I just didn't eat much during the day, but I could go to far and become drowsy from undereating. I guess it's a matter of balance and carefully listening to your body.

I think it's definitely a major problem that most people eat even if they aren't hungry, it's more about the emotional stimulation it provides, which can't be a healthy thing. It's good to get in touch with your instincts more.

05-30-12, 05:45 AM
I have been doing intermittent fasting for some time now and it has been very helpfull. I normally donīt eat any breakfast or lunch ( I will have lunch maybe 2 times in a week), and my first meal of the day is at 5pm. My ability to focus is much higher, I feel more alert and more stable emotionally. I have primarlly innatentive ADHD.
In the beginning I was always hungry, and it took me a month formy body to adapt to this new pattern of eating, and I am still ocasionally very hungry around noon, but the benefits compensate all the sacrifice.
Intermittent fasting has been shown to increase the level of catecholamines, inclunding norepinephrine and dopamine, which are the two main substances related to ADHD.

Slo-mo a-go-go
05-30-12, 06:52 AM
In last 3 yrs of H.S., I avoided food until I got home from school bc i couldn't feel awake/focused otherwise. Didn't know why at the time. But I so needed that alertness, i had so little to work with.

Obviously, I am not recommending this. My refusal to eat was problematic bc it mimics anorexia & I was already very thin. But I was stunned when I was finally able to connect the dots to the why.

06-24-12, 06:33 AM
It could also be a hidden food allergy, apparently many people are allergic to dairy or gluten, or other food substances. those foodsubstances can cause a chronic lowgrade infection in the gut which causes symptoms of fatigue and loss of concentration. not eating much would also mean not eating the food you're allergic to.

11-17-12, 06:58 PM
I've been alternate day fasting, trying to keep under 500 calories on fast days. So far the hunger pangs and occasional weakness can be distracting and demotivating, but food choices seem to make a big difference to how strong and distracting the sensations are, and hunger comes in waves, it's not constantly there. The feeling of hunger is said to diminish with time anyway, as insulin sensitivity improves. Fasting increases levels of BDNF and is neuro-protective, which is also good news for ADHD brains in the long run.

I've been taking my medication for academic and work purposes and haven't noticed any drop in productivity when on them. I've seen people say that caffeine during a fast affects them more strongly than usual (as you'd expect of any drug), so I wonder whether the negative short-term effects of fasting on concentration that I would otherwise be experiencing, have been being counter-balanced by an increased response to stimulants.

11-17-12, 07:57 PM
I donīt do it on purpose but I donīt eat breakfast and usually eat about 4.00 pm, so I go between 12 and 16 hours without food. Sometimes I have a snack at 11.00, Iīm not sure it makes any difference.

mrs. dobbs
11-24-12, 12:02 AM
When I would go on ketogenic diets, I would feel grounded, calm and settled in my core. I think my focus was better, especially if I ate a bunch of eggs. Eggs have other unfortunate effects on me but that's neither here nor there. Protein helps. Carbs make me feel out of it & untethered. But eventually I ran out of physical strength.

11-24-12, 12:44 AM
It could also be a hidden food allergy, apparently many people are allergic to dairy or gluten, or other food substances. those foodsubstances can cause a chronic lowgrade infection in the gut which causes symptoms of fatigue and loss of concentration. not eating much would also mean not eating the food you're allergic to.

Makes sense! :thankyou:

11-24-12, 09:59 PM
Some days i do not feel hungry at all and hardly eat. Other days i eat a lot. usually i dont eat breakfast, and i eat lunch some days and some days not. Some times i just drink milk. I almost always have an evening meal. I am not eating well now because i have been very depressed, but i do not feel my concentration improves either way. I do not like to be super full, and i do not like to be hungry.

I tried to fast once. I was going to just drink water. It was a long time ago. I remember being very hungry by the first night, and giving up sometime the second day. The book i read said that hunger goes away and it gives your stomach rest, but my stomach did not like resting.

11-24-12, 10:18 PM
This is interesting. Normally I don't eat all day (or a small snack) and will only eat in the evening.

I posted a thread a few days ago on feeling weird because when I ate healthily I felt like I could concentrate less - I wonder if it was because I was eating small amounts throughout the day.

11-24-12, 10:31 PM
as a recovered anorexic...i can tell my own personal experience that fasting does nothing for the adhd :(, if anything it makes it a bit worse :/

11-24-12, 10:42 PM
It is good if you want to lower your fat levels, some people swear by it, with the levels of obesity these days I wouldn't imagine IF would hurt most people, most aren't at risk of anorexia.

Dunno if it affects add, different people different experiences, guess u only know if u try, for me jury is out, I occasionally go without food for significant periods, people say it can increase alertness an energy like ur body becoming more efficient, personally I've not experienced this or any increased focus, I've worked out fasted a number of times, possibly dangerous if u are not used to it and u nearly faint and drop a dumbell on ur head, lesson learnt, don't think it can do too much harm if u are healthy, be interested to hear results if anyone has a go...