Concentration Issues

Posted by Sylvia

I’m suffering from real concentration issues today. I’m getting very little done (the minimum required, really) and find myself staring into space a lot. I am easily distracted. I have a list of things to do and I keep looking at it thinking, what am I supposed to be doing again?

I know I suffered from this before (I posted before saying that I thought I was very sluggish on days where the previous day’s calorie count (not including wine) was under 1000) so my initial thought was that it was because the calorie count was so low yesterday. I didn’t feel particularly hungry this morning, which surprised me. Then we had a good lunch (650 calories with a good mix of meat and veg) which would deal with any deficit from yesterday.

Before lunch I lost a lot of time organising a shopping list and working out calories for meal planning and then doing the detail for lunch. I know strict calorie counting takes me a lot more time than just cooking something so I have tried to set aside a fair amount of time for it this week. Even so, the amount of time lost today is extravagant and most of it was not spent in the kitchen.

After lunch I felt OK. Not full but sated.

Right now I feel hungry but normal level of hungry for the time (half an hour before dinner). I’ve noticed before that I don’t really plan meals but hunger drives me into the kitchen about an hour before mealtime and that prompts me to start cooking. If I’m not hungry (big lunch or ill) then it simply doesn’t occur to me to make dinner until some poor hungry soul pipes up with “Um, are you cooking tonight?”

So yes, I’m hungry but not ravenously so. At this point I’m feeling a little bit dizzy. Normally I’d have a quick bite of something to eat to make it go away (CHEEEEESE! OK, no, an apple slice then) but I’m a little bit surprised that I feel this way at all. Usually I get dizzy before lunch (having not eaten breakfast), especially if I go down to the village market or something. I’ve drunk a Berocca drink (vitamin fizzy tablet, 5 calories) to see if that helps.

I guess the dizziness means that I am low on food but that still doesn’t really explain why I’ve been such a flake all day long.

Could it be dehydration? I decided today to drink water all day long and then after dinner “treat myself” to diet coke for variety. That means I’ve drunk less today (and I do feel a bit thirsty) so maybe I should be tracking liquids as well but I have (*checks the water bottle*) had over half a litre of water so it’s not like I’m dying of thirst.

I’d like to track this down because I really don’t want the excuse of “I have too much to do” to facilitate eating more :P

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3 thoughts on “Concentration Issues

  1. When you work out your meal plans for the week, are you allowing for snacks too? It’s rare for me to have 3+ hours between eating nowadays (although the flip side is that I get grouchy and panicky if I’m out and start to get too hungry). How about you?

    Do you like to eat when the dish is cooked or do you ever cook a pot of something during the day for eating later?

    Re: cheese – I’m still looking for commercial cheese flavours. Kraft do a fat-free blue cheese dressing but not in the UK. Meanwhile, I’ve started to add a pinch of grated half-fat cheddar to a large dollop of Quark to extend the cheesiness in my sandwiches and it makes a noticeable (yummy) difference.

    Oh, re: concentration (sorry, this is a bit negative) but do you think maybe it’s a subconscious psychosomatic resistance to calorie-counting.

  2. Having eaten, I’ve felt more energetic but spent the past hour scouring the kitchen trying to find egg noodles (for tomorrow’s dinner) which are clearly not there. So I’m not sure brain power is at full. I want to try to note concentration/energy levels so that I can try to see what I can do to minimize the effect.

    I’ve not done snacks this time – usually I plan in snacks but I’m a little bit worried that it’s an easy way for me to push in more calories when I wasn’t really hungry and I’ve noticed a tendency to insist on eating until I’ve hit the max calories for the day (I still remember your telling us about Frank’s comment: it’s not a target!).

    Cliff absolutely prefers two larger meals than four smaller ones so I thought I’d give it a go. It could be that that is the issue but I seem to recall commenting on similar things last time I dropped to 1,200/day so not sure. We’ll see.

    I usually cook in advance but this week I’m cooking everything per meal. I’m making double batches of a lot of it though so that there will be frozen meals ready and waiting (with calorie count written on the label so no thought required).

    I have bought some of the quark here but it’s just not the same. It’s not a big deal – and I really liked the tablespoon of parmesan yesterday which added very little so I’ll probably keep doing things like that. It was just funny that my immediate thought was, oh, a slice of cheese will fix me. :)

    Psychosomatic: could be! A lot of it could be simply distracted thinking about food / have I counted it, what’s the next meal / how far away is it / how hungry am I now?

    Tomorrow I’m going to timechart myself with everything I do and perceived energy levels and see how that feels.

  3. *blink*

    I’m feeling zingy and I just looked at my glass and realised the other difference is that I’m drinking diet coke now and haven’t been all day. Maybe it’s just caffeine?

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