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How to Stop Being Absent Minded

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 08/30/2023

Can’t forget where you put your keys? Finding yourself unable to remember simple things, think straight, or pay attention? If this sounds like you, you may be becoming absent-minded. But not to worry, there are many things you can do to boost your brain function and start thinking clearly again. In this article, you’ll learn how to stop being absent-minded with the help of simple lifestyle changes.

I will cover:

Absent minded written in white text on black background with abstract color shapes and light bulbs.


 

What causes absent-mindedness?

Absent-mindedness occurs because your neurons (brain cells) are tired and basically starving for energy.

You see, neurons usually use glucose or lactate as fuel. But when you consume those fuels, they have quite serious side effects including difficulty concentrating, lack of focus, and all-around absent-mindedness.

Fueling the brain with glucose (sugar) results in all sorts of problems. This is especially true when you have imbalanced blood sugars (which occurs when you eat lots of carbs over time). Learn more about blood sugar and the brain here.

Our nerve cells will begin to get damaged over time if we consume a lot of carbs and sugar in our diets. Certain parts of the brain are particularly affected, such as the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus.

When you run your brain on sugar, you end up with tried, damaged neurons that leave you with cognitive dysfunction and absent-mindedness.

But there is some good news. The brain doesn’t have to run on sugar. It can use another fuel source instead: ketones.

 

Why ketones can help with absent-mindedness

Hand drawn lettering of word ketones with border, colors, pink background.


Ketones are actually a better source of fuel for the brain than glucose is. In fact, the brain will thrive if you feed it ketones instead of sugar.

Ketones do a lot of positive things in the brain:

  1. They suppress glucose utilization in the brain. As we learned earlier, glucose can damage your nerve cells over time, and you really don’t want your brain running on glucose. When both ketones and glucose are present in your blood, ketones will be used first. Glucose will not be utilized by the brain if ketones are also present. This is a really good thing for your brain health.
  2. They feed neurons the fuel they need to function. Ketones serve as an excellent source of fuel for the brain, allowing your nerves to function optimally.
  3. They positively affect potassium channels in the brain. These channels are involved in the communication between neurons. Improved calcium signaling thanks to ketones leads to much better neuronal communication.
  4. They result in less waste. When the mitochondria (energy factories of the cells) burn ketones, fewer waste products are produced. Glucose is actually a pretty dirty fuel; when the body burns glucose, a lot of garbage is produced. Ketones are more efficient and much cleaner, allowing you to get more energy from the fuel you are consuming with fewer harmful waste byproducts.
     
 

How to stop being absent-minded: generate more ketones

As you’ve learned earlier, glucose is damaging to the brain. But remember, when ketones are present glucose is not used by the brain. So one simple way to prevent the damage and start to heal your brain cells is to keep your ketone levels raised.

Generating more ketones is one of the best things you can do if you want to stop being absent-minded.

Here are the important steps to take to increase ketone levels in your brain and body:

  • Lower your carb intake. Drop your carbs to less than 50 g per day. You may have to go even lower, to 20 g or less (especially if you are older or have a slower metabolism). Follow the Healthy KetoTM diet to get started with this low-carb approach.

Yellow street sign with text Low Carb Zone on sky background, low-carb diet, keto diet concept.


  • Fast for longer each day. Intermittent fasting is very important to repair a damaged brain. Not only will fasting generate more ketones, but it will also help kick into gear certain genes that stimulate the growth of neurons. And on top of that, it stimulates something called autophagy, which is a process that cleans up damaged proteins in the brain and body so they can function their best. Try to do intermittent fasting with at least 18 hours of fasting each day and a 6-hour eating window.
  • Get extra ketones from MCT oil. Remember, ketones suppress glucose consumption. If you want to speed things up and support your brain even more, adding ketones from an external source like MCT oil can be a good idea. Exogenous ketone products can be expensive, but MCT oil is a healthy, inexpensive option. Just be sure to start slowly and increase your dose gradually to decrease MCT side effects.
     
 

Other tips for how to stop absent mindedness

Here are 3 more tips to help stop absent mindedness:

1. Get better sleep

If you are sleep deprived, I guarantee you’ll find yourself absent minded. The effects of lack of sleep will impact cortisol levels, blood sugar levels, and stress levels, and this will destroy your brain over time.

Make sure to prioritize rest and get better sleep.

2. Take a break from thinking

So many people these days are highly stressed and in a constant state of analysis, problem-solving, and thinking. They never give their brains a rest – even when they are trying to sleep, exercise, or even spend time in nature.

It is vital to take a small portion of each day (even just one hour) to stop thinking and turn your attention outwards. Try getting out in nature and really enjoying it. It is so important to give your mind a reset.

Young woman in red sweatshirt holds arms out to side, eyes closed, relaxing in nature outdoors.


3. Heal your microbiome

Did you know that your gut and your brain are tightly linked? The microbes in our gut make amino acids that turn into neurotransmitters, and there’s a whole freeway-like system connecting the gut and the brain. When your gut isn’t working right, your brain won’t be able to work right either.

Make sure to address your gut microbiome health. Take probiotics and straighten out your diet if you need to, and you will find your thinking will become much, much clearer.

 

The bottom line

If you find yourself absent-minded, unable to pay attention, and forgetful, it’s likely your brain is suffering and could use some support.

Digital illustration of the human brain, neuron connections in blue, brain wiring, electrical activity.


The #1 way to repair damaged nerves and boost your cognitive function? Generate more ketones to provide your brain with this ideal fuel source.

If you are absent-minded, I definitely recommend eating fewer carbs and fasting. Together, these two approaches can make a big difference.

Other ideas to keep in mind include:

  • Take MCT oil for extra ketones.
  • Fix sleep problems.
  • Stop thinking so much and give your mind a break each day.
  • Support your gut microbiome.
     

Give these strategies a try, and let me know how you feel. I bet you’ll notice the difference! Then share your experiences in the comments below.

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Disclaimer: Our educational content is not meant or intended for medical advice or treatment.

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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