ADHD and Weight

adhd and weight gainDid you know that people with ADHD gain weight more easily than the rest of the population? And that it is harder for you to lose weight?

The connection with ADHD and weight makes sense when we remember that ADHD effects the executive functioning of the brain. The executive function effects self regulation, planning, organizing, prioritizing and awareness of the future. In relation to your eating habits this effects what you eat, where eat and how much you eat.

Reasons for weight gain when you have ADHD:

Studies found that adults with ADHD are more likely to be overweight or obese than the rest of the population reasons for this include…

Inattention:

  • Not being aware of how much you are eating due to inattention, e.g. watching TV and without realizing you eat the whole pack of cookies.

Self medicating with food:

  • Eating carbohydrates increases dopamine, (which is low in the brains of ADHDers) and in turn (briefly) helps depression and reduces anxiety

Planning:

If organizing and planning is hard for you, you are less likely to plan meals. When you realize you are starving, healthy food is less appealing and it takes longer to prepare than fast food.

Reasons why it’s harder to lose weight when you have ADHD:

  • Low tolerance for diets
  • ADDers get bored and frustrated with diets quickly.
  • Self care is challenging
  • Grocery shopping, meal preparation, eating regularly, getting enough sleep and doing daily exercise can seem overwhelming and difficult.
  • Track record

If you have tried to lose weight many times in the past, your hope and excitement has faded about weight loss. It is easier not to try than face disappointment again.

Actions to Lose Weight

1) Studies found untreated ADHD lead to bigger numbers on the scales, so it is important to treat and manage your ADHD. Visit your doctor and start implementing the actions I talk about in Untapped Brilliance.

2) Get moving, exercise for 30 minutes every day. Not only does exercise increase the number of calories you burn, you also crave healthier food and water as a result.

3) Mindfulness. When you eat mindfully you are noticing the taste of your food and when you feel full. Sit at a table and use cutlery. Don’t sit in front on the TV, Ever!

4) Do Eat, whole foods. It’s harder to over indulge in whole foods than processed foods, because you will feel full and satisfied. These include lean meats, fish, fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains.

5) Don’t Eat, Sugar, or white foods e.g. white bread. It’s hard to stop eating these foods once you start.Avoid foods with no nutritional value, like fizzy drinks.

6) Hate meal planning? Then checkout this!   http://untappedbrilliance.com/adhd-meal-plan

Have you successfully lost weight? what was your strategy? Leave a note for me in the comment section!

 

 

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Comments

  1. I’ve decreased my weight by 28-pounds in the last 3-1/2-months since I started treating my ADHD with medication (Ritalin). It is so much easier to make better choices now–for both food and increasing activity.

  2. Hi Jacqui,

    If you eat raw foods they are quick to make and very healthy. You can still make recipes, it doesn’t have to be all celery sticks and lettuce. There are some great free recipes on the raw health club site and the beauty is that when you have finished the preparation you can eat it, no cooking required!

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