Dieting with Obstacles - ADHD and losing weight

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08-23-2013, 02:53 PM
After being diagnosed with ADHD earlier this year I did a bit of research on ADHD and weight. What I found is that people with ADHD are significantly more likely to be overweight. The reason being is that it is hard for them to keep a schedule and so they often forget to eat. Then when their tummy is finally rumbling they impulsively grab whatever is in front of them. Or they impulsively eat period if they see something that they like. This is absolutely true for myself. Being in college and working has made it worse. By the time I have a routine down I have to change it all over again to accommodate breaks, new schedules, etc. For those of you who don't have ADHD, think of trying to tell a five year old to maintain a schedule and prepare ahead of time. Not likely to happen. I do take Ritalin which helps a lot - when I remember to take it! My symptoms have never been this pronounced before. There's something about the unstable environment of college that is really tossing me out of whack :( Does anybody else have experience with this? Tips? Advice? I'm going to do my absolute best to keep to a schedule and since I'm living with my dad while I finish school (one more year - woohoo!) I will definitely ask for his help too!

08-23-2013, 06:58 PM
I'm 52 and I'm ADD. Did really figure that out until my oldest son was diagnosed with it. I was already into my 30s by then and not living somewhere where we could figure out how to deal with it, for either of us.

I never took Ritalin because I'm more of an inattentive ADD. So is my son. We both take fish oil and drink coffee, which seems to help us focus better.

I have spent years trying to figure things out. I am seriously inconsistent with everything I attempt, so I finally discovered that if I create a great support system for myself, as well as diet and exercise in a way that is conducive to my easily distracted attention, I'll succeed more than fail. And I have learned to exercise a lot of self-compassion and be kinder to myself. I have had to accept that my timeline for success isn't going to look like everyone else's.

So, for exercise, I have gotten a part-time job as the manager of a fitness studio. I am required to go there every day and participate in one hour of fitness classes. The fitness classes are not choreographed and the instructor goes through the workout with us, move by move. Never the same workout. Never boring. And there's lots of weight training or body-weight resistance elements to the workouts, which my body seems to respond to very well. It makes me happy! And the more joy I experience in the fitness classes, the more apt that I am to participate fully. I also like competing with myself to increase my workouts. I am constantly tracking data and tweaking stuff. I've been exercising like this for nearly four years, the longest I've ever done ANYTHING consistently.

With regards to diet, I can't stand following a prescribed diet. I hate being told what to eat. I do have health issues that prevent me from eating certain foods (soy, grains and heavily processed foods), but everything else is on the table. I figure if I stock the kitchen with stuff I'm supposed to eat and not stuff I should avoid, I should be good. I have been working on managing portions more and more. I don't eat regularly timed meals. I eat more intuitively. Eat when hungry, stop when satisfied. I don't believe in eating at a specific mealtime if I'm not hungry. I do try to only serve appropriate portions on my plate. If I am still hungry, I'll add another portion as needed.

My weight loss rate is very slow. But on rare occasions, I get a big whoosh. I think that's normal for someone my age. I'll get to my goal weight eventually. I'm more concerned with eating healthy foods and living a healthy lifestyle.

Hope that helps! Good luck!

08-23-2013, 07:07 PM
Hi stunningsparkle,


I was diagnosed with a mild version of ADD or ADHD in my earlier years. I definitely hear your struggle! I remember teachers yelling at me because I was easily distracted and there wasn't much known about ADD or ADHD then. I was taken to a psychiatrist and put on Ritalin, the dosages were adjusted and I was on it for a few years. I think it helped but I have found that what helps too is little tricks/shortcuts for myself. For example, I always try to remember to put my keys in the same place, put my appointments on my iPad/iPhone calendar, tackle things such as cleaning, organizing and chores in 'chunks' of time so I don't get overwhelmed, reach out for help and support when I need it and over time I have become more loving and gentle with myself, not beating myself up.

I am sure that what you are dealing with is a bit of a struggle at times. I have a number of challenges in my life and I try to take things one thing at a time. Rome wasn't built in a day, it can take time to deal with things.

Take care and try to be good to yourself, you deserve to be gentle and loving towards yourself.


09-03-2013, 07:31 PM
I've just been diagnosed with ADHD-inattentive type. My doctor is starting me off on Wellbutrin, which should also help with the binge eating. I'm excited and nervous to see how this works, and I feel so much better knowing that I'm not a failure of a human being. I just can't pay attention!

Most of the time, I feel like my brain is a hamster running on a wheel. I go at 100 mph but get nothing done. The only time I slow down and go numb is when I eat. I do have issues eating on a schedule, but for me, I think the real problem is that I do get a payoff from eating.