How I've successfully treated my ADHD - without medication (part 3)

Part 1 here.

Part 2 here.

Finally, the actual treatment. I'm gonna try to keep it as short and simple as possible, but I may have to expand on some of these areas in their own separate, designated posts. Let's get started.

The right nutrients

  • Your brain is 60% fat
  • The common belief that you need carbs every waking hour to function is false. The beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) ketone is a more efficient brain fuel chemical than glucose.
  • Excess carbs, constant raise of insulin and insulin resistance, sugars, artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols, diet or regular sodas, sports or energy drinks, fruit juices, HFCS, preservatives, coloring and other additives such as maltodextrin coming from processed foods, supplements, medications and other foods that are inflammatory to your brain or that increase pathogenic bacteria in your gut will make your condition worse. Avoid processed foods and additives like the plague.
  • What your brain needs instead are amino acids (protein, preferably from animal sources and nutrients such as vitamin A from organ meats such as livers and hearts) for the synthesis of neurotransmitters and neuromodulators, and
  • healthy EFAs (essential fatty acids), such as Omega 3s and DHA, preferably from fatty fish such as sardines and salmon and a good daily dose of pure cod liver oil. For some people, plant based sources such as peanut butter, flax seeds, walnuts, almonds, coconut, MCT oil etc may also be beneficial, but for others some plant-based foods may increase inflammation instead. Test this out for yourself and take the route that you see the best results in for your own unique body and mind, and avoid the foods that make you worse (for instance, some people have an increase in brain fog with peanut butter).
  • Stick to unprocessed and preferably organic foods.
  • Excess casein protein from dairy (such as from cheese) may cause further inflammation in the brain and excess whey such as from protein powders cause insulin resistance. I advice to stay away from cheese and limit your consumption of dairy in general, especially the processed types. Raw organic, pasture-raised milk straight from the farm is your best bet. Drink it hot, or make a homemade yogurt or kefir out of it. 
  • Maintain a low carb diet. I still enjoy a serving of fresh organic fruit daily, and a teaspoonful of organic honey and I find my brain does well between 50g - 100g of carbs at most per day. If you're insulin resistant, don't have enough muscle in your body or you're not physically active, you may need to cut down your carbs ever further. I recommend avoiding simple carbs like bread, pasta and rice. 
  • Keep a food journal. I'm not talking about calorie tracking. For some, a plant-based approach increases inflammation, or others may have food sensitivities with foods like eggs or dairy. Many ADHD sufferers found long term relief from their symptoms through a carnivore diet. Others through keto, others through a balanced macronutrient diet, others by avoiding ONLY the specific foods / ingredients that flare up their symptoms. Keeping a food and symptom journal will help you determine what and how much to eat.
  • Avoid overeating. Heavy meals or taking in more food than your body needs will tax your body, digestion and mind. This is how afternoon slumps are formed. For an energetic brain and all-day-long productivity mode, eat only as much as your body needs (how to determine that may already have been covered in separate posts, will link to those later).


This refers to the repair and production of new brain cells, neurons, synapses, glia, axons and myelin. The 2 best and fastest methods I found for neuroregeneration are:

1 - extended fasts

  • you have to start slow and train your body for these and might take several months or up to a year or 2 to get the hang of it (more on that on a separate post)
  • it helps to get there faster and with less discomfort if you're fat adapted (low carb, keto or carnivore diet for a month or 2 at least, prior to your first extended fast)
  • In the first few extended fasts, there WILL be some discomfort as your body tries to detoxify and regenerate. The organ that needs the most repair will have the most discomfort or pain, for instance if your brain has the most damaged cells, you may suffer with headaches on your first extended fast as it tries to break them down, recycle and regenerate, or if your gut microbiome is populated by pathogens, you may have some stomach upset for a while. All of these are temporary and generally not something to worry about.
  • your feeding days should consist of only 1 meal a day (OMAD method) or 2 large meals a day if you're underweight. The 3 meals a day + snacks habit has to go.
  • you don't need to go for a full month without eating, but at least a 3-day water fast every week is highly beneficial to your brain. 
  • Everyone is different and the regimen should be based on your body composition and daily activity. I find the 3 meals a week regimen suits me (eat only on Wednesdays and weekends, one meal each, abstain from food the other 4 days), but it could be damaging to someone who has a dangerously low body fat percentage. Work your way up and stay to a regimen that your brain is at its most functional state but not too big of a stressor to your body nor a regimen that can cause malnutrition.

2 - exercise

  • you need all 3 types of exercise enhancing the 2 thinking states of your brain (focus mode and diffuse mode) and for mental and emotional health:
    • yoga with meditation for grounding, calmness, mind clarity, stress relief and depression treatment
    • strength training to increase focus and productivity (it could be weight lifting, crossfit or my personal favorite and more suitable for most people: calisthenics / bodyweight training)
    • cardio for enhanced diffuse mode and creativity
  • If you exercise first thing in the morning, you may have a more productive day at the office and a better mood (plus you can't skip it due to exhaustion or other reasons that arise at the end of the day)
  • if you're studying a difficult subject, walk while listening to the online lecture, or read the textbook while on the treadmill or stationary bike. I find my study walks help me understand the content much more effectively and with less amount of time needed. David Goggins himself (also diagnosed with ADHD) passed his ASVAB test for the military by studying on a stationary bike.
  • frequent breaks from studies or work take you off the focused mode and into diffuse mode, which help absorb and process what you've learned. If you're trying to solve a problem or looking for an "aha!" moment, do a set of pushups or squats, or a 5 minute yoga stretching during your pomodoro breaks for increased cognition, creativity, focus and problem-solving abilities. The sets of bodyweight exercises throughout the day is a method by Pavel Tsatsouline called greasing the groove that enhances body strength.

Accept your neurodiversity and develop good practices

Work with your brain, not against it. You must accept that you need to work differently than others and take uncommon approaches to learning, job, people, routines and life in general, and that's ok. This post has already gone too long, so my approaches, methods and tips on productivity, learning, retraining your mind and keeping it sharp will have to be covered in a separate post.

I am NOT a doctor, personal trainer, registered dietician, nutritionist, athlete, influencer, nor at the end of my fitness journey. The content of this blog is based on what worked for me and is for informational purposes only, not a replacement for medical advice from a professional. Furthermore, we and our bodies are unique, so everybody is different. My results may not reflect your own. Any action you take upon the information provided by ZenGainz is strictly at your own risk.