T Nation

Cottonheaded solutions?


Thinking that I have something akin to celiac disease / leaky gut syndrome, and having no confirmation of it, I tried the low-IQ way of testing it: take out gluten and flour-wheat based carbs as much as possible.

So breakfast typically consists of one hash-brown (potato patty, 1, in the toaster)+ 2 eggs. Lunch is that Atkins-low-carb-Tubway wrap and supper is veggies+ 2 eggs.

Feeling very good so far. I still take some coffee for 'downers', but it is really optional, whereas before it was almost a pre-requisite. FYI, I took 2 coffees in 2 days, just to be at 100% mental speed for big meeetings. Meetings aside, I could have easily gone through my day without them - no important energy/mood swings.

Being rather budget crunched after the Christmas period, I am seeking alternatives to coffee to get through the cottonhead side-effect. I know Biotest has wonderful supplements, but I cannot afford them, specially if I need to be on a similar diet for months.

Any advice?

Only supplements I am taking is Vitamin C (about 1 gram per meal), Calcium+D3 (I also cut milk as much as possible, suspecting dairy allergies), 1 Centrum (sometimes 2, morning and before sleep) and MSM (1 per meal and 1each time I drink coffee).

Thanks in advance!


How long have you been cotton-headed? When I first started experimenting with lower-carb diets, the fogginess went away after a couple days. For people around me, I've noticed it can take over a week, but they eventually do adjust.

I find fish oil gives me better clarity and focus. I generally take 4-5 g. combined EPA/DHA daily.

Also, is what you listed all that you're eating? It seems awfully low-calorie. Is calorie restriction part of what you're experimenting with?


Sorry Lisa. I tried to reply this morning but it didn`t get through. Here goes.


Not my objective at all. These small meals are just what like I feel like eating. I dont count calories or stuff like that. Its a rather interesting side-effect, though.


Seems to have gotten less important with each day since I started (Sunday).

I should mention that this is the first time I think (knock on wood) that this Atkins-like diet goes fine. No important energy swings and corresponding mental overall alertness (less brain fog). No cravings so far*.

  • I usually go to sleep early but yesterday I took a 50 g chocolate bar in the mid-evening to be sure I got through a comic-show last night. I had my first real craving this afternoon at 4pm - I took peanuts and it passed. I guess it helps me to get closer, automatically, to the 6-7 meals a day thing.

I have yet to find out if the mood swings were milk or gluten intolerance. But somewhere I am not sure I want to experiment. I love the constant energy and alertness. I guess caveman style is the diet for me. So far. ;0)


How about water? How much are you doing? Especially if you may be gluten intolerant and drinking coffee (dehydrates you, you know....)

Minimum amount is 1/2 oz per lb of body weight. If you're working out and sweating a lot... you need more. It's also good to put a tiny bit of salt (preferably sea salt) on your tongue or in the water. It'll help your body to absorb the water and not just piss it out.

Sometimes that cottonheaded feeling is your body trying to conserve on water. And if you're doing a high protein... you really need more.

Give it a try!


BABA13: Thanks. I`ll keep that in mind too.

This diet feels so different, thirst included. Its as if my nerves were coming back alive. Thirst and hunger, when satisfied, actually feel good whereas most of the time I felt bloated, didnt feel like eating and just ate periodically for survival purposes. Were if only for me, I wouldn`t even eat when I am not hungry, period, but I once got into ketoacidosis (ammonia, not ketone, breath included) and I never want to experience this again.


Update: Felt more hungry at supper time but chose not to eat more and add more daily, at the end of the day. Added 2 eggs as evening (9-10 pm) meal. Excellent hunger-killer.