Friday, February 15, 2008

Fasting AND Mental Clarity

As an early Valentines day present I bought my wife the new Mac Book Air. A fantastic machine that has made both our lives a lot easier (For those of you thinking "who gives people electronics for Valentines, don't worry, I also bought her roses!).

Now, no matter where we are in the house or in our travels with lil' Brier, we can have access to the net. Add in the fact that her new mac book is thinner than my Black Berry, and only weighs 3 pounds, and you have the perfect computer for a new Mom on the go (Brier has a busier social schedule than any other 8 month old I know!).

Thanks to the MacBook Air, I was able to spend some time this morning reviewing The Conditioning Research Blog. A great blog that covers a lot of relevant information on fasting.

I noticed Chris ( the blog's author) makes some comments about fasting and increased mental alertness and mental clarity.

I found this interesting because I have had a surprising number of people email me to tell me that they feel a heightened sense of energy and concentration while they are fasting.

It's true. Many people following Eat Stop Eat have told me that they are their most productive when they are fasting.

Perhaps this is because they aren’t spending any time worrying about what and where they are going to eat next, or perhaps it’s because fasting increases circulating levels of the adrenal hormones. Either way, it seems that brief periods of fasting can be useful as a method of increasing both your energy and ability to concentrate.

Eat Stop Eat - An effective way to lose weight that is much easier than you might think, and that just might help you finish that major presentation in time!


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Chris said...

If readers are interested, the post on fasting and mental clarity is here

Anonymous said...


I can vouch for the mental clarity. Also, it seems best and most pronounced when my non-fasting diet consists of moderate protein intake, high fat (70-80% of calories), and almost no carbs.

I think it probably keeps me running on ketones most of the time, and it seems more stable. I also get great sleep.

Sara said...

Yes, I get that perkiness and hyper-productiveness on fasting days. Also, it's just nice to not think about food. It frees up some mental space.

I am 100% with you on the chili chocolate. There is nothing better. Dagoba make one called 'Xocolatl' which I don't think I can really live without.

Anonymous said...

Brad, I seem to suffer from reactive hypoglycemia a bit, but I really like the intermittent fasting. During some, not all, of my fasts, I get hypoglycemic symptoms. When I eat they disappear. Do you believe that eventually my body will adjust to intermittent fasting and these hypoglycemic episodes will disappear?

Brad Pilon said...

Hi Sara,

If I can make prediction for 2008, I'd say Starbucks will a "spicy hot chocolate" before the year is out!


Brad Pilon said...

Hi Joe,

What are your blood glucose readings?


Anonymous said...

Hi Brad,

My fasting blood sugar varies quite a bit. When I started monitoring it myself in November, the morning reading were usually between 100-105. I've since really tightened up my diet limiting sugars quite a bit and now my morning readings average about 90 or so, sometimes it breaks 100, sometimes it's in the low 80s.

I have went to two endocrinologists recently, one did a 2 hour glucose tolerance test on me, my fasting level was 98, then 111, 139, and 72 respectively at 30, 60 and 120 minutes. My A1c was 5.3%. My insulin levels were all within normal ranges during the test. I just went to a second endo and am awaiting test results from him.

This morning my fasting blood glucose was 95. I drank only that teecino (I use this in place of coffee because caffeine seems to affect me a bit), but by the time I got to work, say an hour later, I was down to 74. Maybe it's the teecino because it has like 2 grams of carbs per serving but I really don't think so.

I'd better stop now. So what do you think?

Anonymous said...

Another really odd thing is I get terrible hypo symptoms when my blood sugar drops below 80. Really bad hypo symptoms! I seem to function best and be at the top of my game, very alert and energetic when my sugar levels are between say 90 or 95 to about 115. Is that because my body has become so accustomed to being at that level that I get hypo symptoms when I'm really not at hypo levels?