Liz khalifa

Extreme brain fog

21 posts in this topic

I am in my final stretch of whole 30 (day 21) but I have complete brain fog. I've noticed it for the last week or so, but it seems to be getting worse. I feel like I'm tipsy of high and can't quite remember what I just did or conversations. I keep making silly mistakes (texting the wrong person, forgetting to heat up my dinner even though it's in front of the microwave), and I'm a teacher so at school my mistakes have been so obvious to my students. I often forget what I'm saying mid sentence. These things are not me-- I'm usually very on the ball. My head even *feels* different.

I get about 8 hours a sleep a night, exercise 4+ times a week, and follow whole30 as carefully as I can.

tbh it is making me feel worse, especially the fogginess. On an unrelated but positive not, my anxiety is way better!

does anyone else experience this? Especially in the 2nd half of the program?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How much fat are you eating per meal? (not including what you use to cook)

What do your meals look like?

Are you salting your food?

How much water are you drinking?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Average meals would be :

bfast: egg/veggie frittata or turkey sausage and 2eggs with small fruit

lunch: chicken thigh and veggies. Fruit serving. Possibly some potato and ghee

snack: I usually need something small. I am a teacher so I don't get much time to eat lunch. Maybe nut butter and fruit or hard boiled egg.

dinner: similar to lunch minus fruit. Meat, starch, veg.

I can't eat avocado due to allergy so oils and nuts are my main source of fat.

I salt my meals and drink approximately 4-5 20 oz water bottle fill ups a day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jumping in here because I think Ireland is asleep right now. :)

You're not eating enough... eggs when they are your sole source of protein should be as many as you can hold in one hand without dropping so when you're having that frittatta and you made it with 12 eggs, you'd need to be eating a quarter of it.... are you?

How does one chicken thigh relate to the size (thickness, length, width) of your own palm?  I know that 'society' tells us that it's too much food to eat more than one piece of meat but chicken thighs are very small... you should probably be having at least two.  When you don't have potato and ghee, what are you eating for fat at lunch? And at breakfast for that matter?  We suggest you don't count cooking fat as it's usually negligible/stays in the pan. Dinner is the same concern... meat, veg, fat is the formula.. if you choose to have starch as part of your veggie intake, that's fine, but don't forget the fat.

If you're needing a snack, it's because you're not eating enough.  If you do need to snack, the hardboiled egg is a better choice than fruit and nuts/nut butter.  Protein and fat are the ideal mini meal instead of a 'snack' of fruit.

You don't have to eat avocado... what about mayo and mayo based sauces?  Nuts are not an ideal fat souce due to their misbalanced omega 3/6 ratio so they're recommended to be limited... try and think limited like one closed handful of nuts every other day at most... that's about 7-8 almonds.  There are lots of fat options tho... olives, pesto, sundried tomatos packed in olive oil, animal fats, oils as you know, mayos as mentioned.

All of this is going to contribute to brain fog but the biggest issue is the lack of fat in your diet... which is necessary for brain function.

jmcbn and Carlaccini like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks!!

i know I'm not eating enough at lunch :( it's cause I only have about 10 minutes and then I often have to go about 8 hours until dinner. That's why I usually need a snack. But I'll try some olives and more eggs!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am experiencing the same thing - brain fogginess and inability to focus/concentrate which is REALLY hindering my productivity at work - I am a financial analyst. I am only on Day 4 though, so I am thinking that this is likely just a result of just beginning the program, however, I was, and have been my entire life, a very healthy eater before starting. I am thinking it's a result of eating carbs at basically a keto level. Am I right in that I should give it several more days before expecting it to wear off?

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, why are you eating carbs at a keto level?  This program is not designed or really expected to be a low carb plan. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know that we aren't supposed to calorie or macro track on W30, but was curious as to what my macros were based on what I have been consuming the past four days, so I added everything into MyFitnessPal for a quick check to see how many carbs I've been consuming - essentially totaled out to be less than 50g for the day. Here is what my average day has looked like:

6:00 AM - Workout

8:00 AM - Breakfast - 2 egg + veggie frittata, 1/2 cup mashed sweet potato, 1 tbs almond butter

1:00 PM - Lunch - Salad w/ palm-sized grilled chicken breast, 1/2 small avocado, sliced carrots/cucumber, 1/4 cup berries, vinegar

4:00 PM - Snack - Celery + 1 tbs almond butter

6:30 PM - Yoga (every other day)

8:00 PM - Dinner - Palm-sized grilled chicken breast, 1/2 small avocado, salsa, zoodles

 

I know that I am skipping pre- and post-workout meals, but I workout first thing in the morning and need to workout on an empty stomach or I get sick, so I try to incorporate my pwo meal into my breakfast. 

Pre-Whole 30, I was on a 1,300 calorie diet for about six months in prep for my wedding, (I am 6'1") and prior to that, many years of metabolic damage through excessive cardio and calorie restriction. I am scared of adding too much food back into my diet for fear of gaining additional weight. I know that the main goal of W30 isn't weight loss, but I really want to lose about 10 pounds as I think it will make me FEEL so much better!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HI There FitBritt32,

Wow! I'm positively starving just looking at your breakfast.  You should be eating much more. Especially if your a 6'1" woman.   (I'm 5'9" myself)

I truly do recommend the pre workout meal - it does make a difference.  It could be something as simple as a handful of nuts, some olives, or a boiled egg - something (preferrably fat + protein) to tell your body that you a up and you are ready to set your body into motion.  The post workout should be a couple of bites of lean protein (chicken breast is ideal here + starchy veg). 

When eggs are your sole protein they should be as many as you can hold in one hand.  Most women - that is 3 to 4.  (As a joke once I wanted to really see how many eggs I could hold in one hand without dropping.  Now they were really stacked etc - but it was 9. And I don't have crazy big hands.  And no I cannot eat 9 eggs in one sitting.  My standard is 3 eggs or 2 eggs plus alternative protein.)

Sigh, as a woman who has been where you are I am shaking my head.  1300 calories - I can just imagine how hungry you were. Do you know that a diet of 1200 calories a day is enough substance for a 5'1", 21 year old women who is in a coma?   Please I ask of you.  Listen to your hunger cues, I mean properly LISTEN to them, and eat.  Do not be afraid of nutritious whole foods, fats, and starchy veg.  Many people (including myself) listened to the bunk that is preached and starve themselves.  What did that do to a person like me?  Well it made me sicker, and made me put on even more weight (I am naturally a stocky, muscular, larger woman).  I didn't start loosing weight until I starting eating more.  My body was literally starving for nutrition.  I on average eat way more than my way of eating before and I have lost weight and kept it off for 5 years.

Also keep in mind that just because you want your body to lose 10lbs, doesn't mean that's what's going to happen.  Let go.  Please for the sake of your health, let go. Follow the template and just let your body heal and do it's thing.

FitBritt32 likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Salt + more salt, and also potassium & magnesium.  Whether one is low carb/keto or just consuming less processed carbs in general as is the case with most Whole30ers, more electrolytes are needed to keep everything humming along.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Carlaccini said:

(As a joke once I wanted to really see how many eggs I could hold in one hand without dropping.  Now they were really stacked etc - but it was 9.....)

I started to get performance anxiety when I read this! But I double-checked my pic from a couple years ago and was relieved that I had at least fit 10 on there.  I do have short fingers though but I supposed I could stack more to make up for it. :lol:

Carlaccini likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, kirkor said:

I started to get performance anxiety when I read this! But I double-checked my pic from a couple years ago and was relieved that I had at least fit 10 on there.  I do have short fingers though but I supposed I could stack more to make up for it. :lol:

I have short fingers too Kirkor!  As I recall - I think 1 or 2 were stacked, but it was mostly spread out like yours.  I'm pretty sure my older brother could easily fit a cool dozen in his hand.  Hmmmm I'll wonder if he would be game to check.... LOL! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heheh do it!! Have him hold out his hand and then you load it up with eggs, stacking them, etc., like when you hold our your arms for someone to stack firewood on to carry --- another person can load you up with more than you could yourself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Carlaccini .... :( You're right, I was really hungry ... but I lost 20 pounds over the course of those 5 months and then when I started listening to my body again, I gained 15 of them back since September. Now, granted - this is probably because I was eating the same 1,300 calories a day but stopped doing my hour-long cycling classes 5x week on top of my morning workouts, and then was drinking a bottle of wine + a crap ton of chocolate and cheese on the weekends ... That part was NOT healthy and I know it was the result of basically starving myself and killing myself in the gym twice a day on top of it. 

I want SO BADLY to regain a freedom from food by nourishing my body with the foods it needs, but I also want to be extremely lean, year round. I am terrified of gaining more weight ... I was so happy when I was at my wedding weight - here's a pic! After everything I did leading up to that day, you'd think I would have been thinner, HA. But anyway, I know I am making excuses. It's just a very scary thing to allow myself to eat to my hunger cues :(

Thank you for the support and guidance ... I am really going to try my hardest to let go of the calorie calculator that habitually runs all day long in my head!

I think I might try adding a bite or two of protein + sweet potato after my workouts, OR just adding some more protein to my breakfast. I really don't like eggs and have a hard time choking two of them down so maybe I'll add some compliant sausage in or something :)

Finals-546.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You do know it's basically impossible to be lean year around, Right?  I happen to know a couple of fitness models and even they admit what they do for a competition is impossible to maintain year round.  Plus there is the hair loss, the messed up hormones, (these 2 I experienced first hand) and the loss of period. 

For me - as much as I would *like* to be lean, my HEALTH is much better where I am at today.  Mind you I have recently been diagnosed with hypothyroidism (which I am super happy about as for years I was having symptoms that kept on getting worse, and Dr's kept on telling me that weight loss was the answer...... Grrr frustrating when the weight loss just made  things worse for me.)  The fact that IT IS out of whack, I blame sorta on the many years of diet cycling.  

Remember you are the same person 20lbs lighter than you are now or 20 lbs heavier.  Losing weight does NOT make you a better person.  The best person is accepting, and respecting who you are now.

My skin glows, my head is clear (one of the many symptoms of hypothyroidism is depression and anxiety) I have energy to last the whole day long.  These are the items I strive for now - not the weight loss....... Mind you I have spent a long time working on "body image" issues.  SO that has helped.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Carlaccini and thank you for sharing JMCBM! Meg's journey resonates with me on soooo many different levels - my journey over the course of the past several years has been the same in so many ways, back and forth. My body wants so badly to stay and get back to my set point, but I don't like how I look or how I feel there. Basically, I guess I don't like listening to my body :P I'd honestly rather be hungry all the time than to not feel confident in my own skin. Plus, isn't it a good thing when you lose your period? I lost mine for a full year and it was amazing not to have to deal with it every month.

SugarcubeOD - I want to be extremely lean all year round because that is what gives me confidence. Not only from a physical standpoint, but to me it is a visual representation of dedication, hard work, self-control and will power. And those characteristics are what I want to be known for - even people who don't know me, I want them to be able to look at me and know what it is that I stand for. 

As I'm typing this I think what I really probably need is just a psychologist, LOL. Or maybe as its my Day 4, instead of wanting to kill all the things, I'm just want to spill all the things, haha. ANYWAY ... I am really hoping that I can find peace with food through Whole30! I am going to try to trust the process and really try to keep health at the forefront of my mind. I know I'm different than most people because I have no problem eliminating foods from my diet - my problem is that I am scared to eat too much of even the ones that are good for you. 

THANK YOU guys so much for your support - I know have a big mentality shift that needs to take place and that is the truly difficult part of all of this! :wub:

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, FitBritt32 said:

Thanks Carlaccini and thank you for sharing JMCBM! Meg's journey resonates with me on soooo many different levels - my journey over the course of the past several years has been the same in so many ways, back and forth. My body wants so badly to stay and get back to my set point, but I don't like how I look or how I feel there. Basically, I guess I don't like listening to my body :P I'd honestly rather be hungry all the time than to not feel confident in my own skin. Plus, isn't it a good thing when you lose your period? I lost mine for a full year and it was amazing not to have to deal with it every month.

SugarcubeOD - I want to be extremely lean all year round because that is what gives me confidence. Not only from a physical standpoint, but to me it is a visual representation of dedication, hard work, self-control and will power. And those characteristics are what I want to be known for - even people who don't know me, I want them to be able to look at me and know what it is that I stand for. 

As I'm typing this I think what I really probably need is just a psychologist, LOL. Or maybe as its my Day 4, instead of wanting to kill all the things, I'm just want to spill all the things, haha. ANYWAY ... I am really hoping that I can find peace with food through Whole30! I am going to try to trust the process and really try to keep health at the forefront of my mind. I know I'm different than most people because I have no problem eliminating foods from my diet - my problem is that I am scared to eat too much of even the ones that are good for you. 

THANK YOU guys so much for your support - I know have a big mentality shift that needs to take place and that is the truly difficult part of all of this! :wub:

 

 

No, losing your period for a year is NOT a good thing.  It is an indicator that your body is so pressed that it's shutting down non essential services in order to spend the limited energy and fuel on things like keeping your heart beating... 

I understand wanting people to know what you stand for, but it might be a more healthy idea for you to stand for yourself.. for your health and well being... for fueling your body and honoring the amazing system that it is without stressing it to the point that it's shutting down... I actually don't think that it's unreasonable to see a counselor for what you're talking about... it's concerning that you'd rather be hungry all the time than to honor your body's needs... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This article is AMAZING - THANK YOU SO MUCH! I am very faith and spiritually-rooted and this was EXACTLY what I needed :rolleyes: Any time I start to doubt or feel insecure or nitpick at my body the way I have grown accustomed to do, I plan on referring back to this mentality and reminding myself that my body is a paintbrush created by God to do great works of art. I love it. I read this last night actually and prayed hard about it and will continue to do so. You ladies are incredible - thank you again! Cheers to my Day 5! :D

Carlaccini likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now