Intermittent Fasting to Improve Mood – Not just bipolar

Many psychiatric drugs have a side-effect of increased appetite.

As soon as I agreed to take Olanzapine I found I was getting hungry far more frequently while having less and less interest in exercising. On a combination of lithium and Olanzapine I steadied out at around 45 pounds heavier than my usual weight. I am sure I got off lightly as I know many people who about doubled their weight while taking Olanzapine.

I have said/blogged about how my weight came down as I reduced my lithium intake. Now, I believe the bigger factor was my being able to gradually reduce my intake of Olanzapine and eventually coming off all psychiatric drugs. My weight is now about what it was before starting on these drugs.

What has been bothering me for a while is that bad eating habits that set in while I was on Olanzapine keep coming back. Perhaps those habits have never left me.

I have read and watched lots and lots about the importance of fasting, or at least having several hours between meals and not eating when we should be sleeping. My scientific background allows me to feel I understand why eating less often is so beneficial, yet knowing stuff does not necessary make changing habits any easier.

After another stressful period I recently realized that I was again eating from early morning until late evening with perhaps a total of 12 meals/snacks! Not on any psychiatric drugs I’ve not been putting on weight but am sure all this eating has been doing me harm.

Since 1st January (yes, sounds like a New Year resolution) I have started to take overnight fasting seriously. A friend has reminded me of an info-graphic from Dr Mercola. See below.

My current plans are nowhere near so ambitious at this time. I am currently seeing getting past 9am without eating and not eating after about 7pm as great achievements and I am just starting to get benefits from this in terms of having more energy through eating less. Yes, sounds a bit bizarre, but by eating less often I mostly have more energy and feel better too.

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is not a form of starvation but a way for you to time your meals to maximize your body’s ability to burn fat. Embed this info-graphic on your site to serve as a guide for you to create a healthy eating plan, and reap the many benefits of fasting done the right way. Use the embed code to share it on your website or visit our infographic page for the high-res version… Intermittent fasting

About Roger A Smith
Helping you to think about bipolar disorder in different ways so that we can eliminate the disorder and eventually eliminate the need for this diagnosis.

6 Responses to Intermittent Fasting to Improve Mood – Not just bipolar

  1. I follow a schedule of eating a large breakfast at 8am, snacking every 2 hours, eating a medium to small lunch, continue snacking every 2 hours, and finishing up by eating a small dinner with nothing to eat after 8pm. It works great for me

    • Thanks for the follow and ‘liking’ my post. It is good not to be eating at night = a 12 hour fast. It is also good that you can say, “It works for me”. It was 19 years ago I was persuaded to first take Olanzapine. It is about 5 years since I took any. My thinking now is that all the extra eating I did due to taking the drug has caused me some damage. I do not advise anyone to stop taking psych drugs but do recommend what I did, which is to work with experts to reduce dose whenever it is safe to do so. In general, only take as much drug as you have to take and no more.

      • Of course. I am sorry you had that experience but I hope you are doing better now!

      • Feel free to follow my blog, I’ve started to post healthy recipes.

  2. Betty says:

    I tried fasting when my husband started the 5/2 diet and initially thought it could work for me, but I found it actually made me quite hyper (I have bp2) and hard to calm down. I decided to give it a miss as i didn’t think eating/not eating myself into hypomania was a good idea. Also any drugs that are taken are designed to be absorbed into the body assuming that you are eating a particular amount of food, if you are eating far less than this then it can cause problems with your medication, and possibly it hitting you in higher doses than it should.
    I realise you say you have stopped meds but just warnings for people who are taking them and or do have bipolar

  3. Pingback: Fasting to improve mood | Rethinking Bipolar

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