Dieting with Obstacles - Dieting and ADD

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05-11-2005, 02:54 PM

I am an adult with ADD (no H), which I've had since childhood. I have an "out of site-out of mind" mentality, lots of trouble with prioritizing, and I tend to eat on "autopilot" too much. I also have a tendency to hyper-focus (focusing intensly on something to the exclusion of all other things).

I have great difficulty with meal planning. I just can't seem to put things together properly. I am married to a man who also has ADD, so I get support, but not much help from him.

The only tool I've found so far to keep me mindful of my diet has been a tracking bracelet. Visual reminders seem to be the only things that truly work for me.

Is anyone else ADD? Or, does anyone else have similar problems?

05-11-2005, 03:31 PM
I don't know if this would help, but on another forum some people were talking about this site: http://*****************.com/?hop=sevin1

Not calling you an idiot! Anyway, I think the basic idea is that you enter a list of foods you like and it generates a daily menu for you.

05-11-2005, 03:33 PM
Sorry, that link doesn't work, for some reason. Just Google on Weight Loss 4 Idiots and you should be able to find it.

05-15-2005, 10:50 PM
I tried that site, but it wouldn't do anything unless I paid for a subscription.

05-16-2005, 08:00 PM
Sorry, I didn't know.

Well, I don't have ADD, but I do have a lot of distractions. What I find helpful is to make sure I have plenty of the right sorts of food on hand at home. That way, even if I have to pull a meal together at the last minute, I have good stuff to use. A few low-points/CORE meals in the freezer help, too. Cook up some extra stuff when you are in the mood. It doesn't take signficantly more time to make a double recipe of soup or lasagne, for instance.

I'm also an unconscious eater, if I'm not careful. I've found that drinking hot tea or having some low fat popcorn lets me get away with that without too much damage.

How about having a card file with some good meals in it--not just a dish, but the whole meal, maybe including a shopping checklist? If you can get a file of these together gradually, you could just pull one out when you are having trouble planning.

05-17-2005, 01:49 PM
The card file is a good idea. I already have a set if index cards for low-point restaurant items that I keep in my purse for when we go out to eat. That might really help me with making grocery lists, too. I'm not sure how to set up the cards, but I'll play around and see what I come up with. Thanks for the idea!

05-19-2005, 01:30 AM
I have ADD. I find that having a few mainstays and rotating always worked. AND keeping some of the slimfast/WW/heatlhy choice type frozen meals on hand, so if we end up ordering pizza because I forgot to thaw something.......again......then I am covered. I also find poaching a big bag of chicken breasts in broth and spices and keeping them on hand in the fridge makes for quickie meals(chicken salad, chicken burritos, wraps, chicken and pasta, etc...)
Have you ever read the book You Mean I'm Not Crazy, Stupid or Lazy? I am too pooped to go dig it out, but it's written by women about ADD, and I found it encouraging.
My main useful tool is a huge magnetic calendar that attaches to my fridge. That keeps me organized. I find that I do better if I plan a meal the day before or just for a couple of days, and put it on there. That way I have know to defrost something and make sure I have the ingredients. Certainly quick and easy works the best. And I do like to cook, but I am finding that I do best keeping it simple.

05-19-2005, 11:21 AM
I'm terrible with getting things out to thaw. That's why I love my Forman Grill; there are some things I can still throw on there even though they're frozen. Keeping cooked chicken on hand is a good idea. I'll have to try that next time I buy groceries.

I love that book. I really ought to page through it again to help me feel better. In our last apartment, I had a huge dry-erase board in the kitchen. It seemed to help me remember things about meals and such. It didn't survive the move to our new apartment, but I never replaced it. Perhaps I should buy another.

I love to cook, but I am a very messy and chronically disorganized person. I need to find recipes and ways of cooking with minimal cleanup.

05-19-2005, 11:27 AM
Betani, if you're like me, I try to do too much at once. Instead of pulling four new recipes out of a cookbook to maybe double and freeze over the space of two weeks, I end up bringing home a stack of cookbooks, and trying to find 14 recipes!
Yes, the dry erase board helps, too. I have one attached to that big Dayrunner calendar I spoke of. It's so important to me, I actually pack it in my suitcase every time we move....which is often because we are military. If you go to you can find them. Or maybe at one of the office supply stores and sometimes Walmart.

05-22-2005, 08:00 PM
Hi! My name is Colleen. I've only self-diagnosed, but I've been doing a lot of reading, and am sure I am ADD. I also have fibromyalgia and saw the tail end of a Dr. Phil show on adult ADD. On a hunch I looked on the internet to see if there is a link between ADD and fibromyalgia. There are a few doctors who are doing research on the matter and are convinced there is a connection. But except for a few studies, there's no proof yet. I just finished Driven to Distraction which is another great ADD book. I have found that a lower carb diet works really great for my energy level and reduces my pain, but as for the ADD, I never seem to be able to stick to a plan that is too regimented. I've been having a lot of luck with a plan similar to the Weight Watchers plan and the Neanderthin or Paleolithic Diet principles. Basically eat real whole foods (not processed, etc. So no sugar, no bread... but plenty of veggies, fruit, lean meats and whole grains), eat much less of the higher calorie starchy veggies (maybe one a day), use only a bit of butter, olive or canola oil, but otherwise you don't have to count anything. It sounds like a lot more planning than it really has to be. And the hyperfocus skills really help. Focus on your shopping list and one day for food prep (I usually pick the same day), and the rest of the week is a breeze.

I'm very impulsive, so I have to make a grocery list, and have "rules" for myself for deviating from the list (only if the price is great AND it is a suitable substitue for something already on my list - say turkey instead of chicken, etc).

Keeping things interesting is super important for me. If I get bored, I give up quick. Make a list of your favorite healthy foods (even if they're "expensive"), and add as many as you can to your diet. Since I'm giving up some foods I love, I've also added "luxury" foods so I don't feel deprived. I eat more seafood (Walmart has these squat lobster nuggets that I love, and they're only about $8.00 per lb. not cheap, but I only use a few pieces in say tomato soup to make a seafood bisque, or saute a few in a little PAM and smidge of butter and put over brown rice). I also try new fruits and veggies whenever possible, so that my eating plan is an adventure. Ugli fruit are cool. They look like an ugly deformed greenish grapefruit, but they taste like lemonade. Pink Lady apples are sweet but a little tangy and very crisp and juicy. White asparagus tastes like a cross between the green type and sweet corn.

My grocery bill really isn't higher, because what I've given up tends to balance out the little luxuries. It's funny that what seems a good price for a candy bar is seen as expensive for a piece of fruit.

Oooh, I'm going on and on and rambling.... Free association - it's how my warped mind works, but I'd better wrap it up. Hope some of this helps, bye

05-23-2005, 01:01 AM
Thank you so much for the advice!

I'm so glad to know I'm not the only ADD person here. It's hard for me to bring up things that are quite difficult for me, when it comes naturally to most people here. I mean, I'm ready to do cartwheels when I can see my carpet again, whereas most people are naturally more organized than me.

Ohh, I have GOT to find some white asparagus now...

05-23-2005, 07:26 PM
Betani, I SO know what you mean, and until a couple weeks ago I didn't even have a name for it, you know? Even though I worked with adult ADD when I was a probation officer, I never knew it could apply to ME. I knew I was impulsive, and tended to act and speak without thinking, but I never could control it for long. I always thought I had to prove I was smart (and even with a master's degree in psychology, I still don't feel I have). All I heard from my parents my whole life was "You are so smart, but you have absolutely no common sense." My husband has a few ADD traits, but he is still so much more organized than I am, that even he can't resist making fun of me when we get together with them. Heck sometimes I can't resist. Humor is the only way to deal with this without cracking.

By the way, here are a few other fun fruits and veggies to try:

white peaches and nectarines (a very delicate peach or apricot flavor)

donut or ufo peaches (flat like a donut or flying saucer, very juicy and sweet)

ranier or queen ann cherries (yellow with a red blush. If they're firm to the touch, they
"snap" in your mouth, and the taste isn't like bing cherries at all. Their sweet and tangy, yumm. My absolute favorite fruit, but they're only around in June and a tiny bit of July. They also tend to be expensive, because Japan buys most of them and the Japanese are willing to pay twice what americans will. They're usually about $3 - $6 per pound, and most expensive the first and last week (Can you imagine paying $10 a pound for cherries?).

UNIQ fruit (pretty much the same as an Ugli fruit. Grapefruit/tangelo I think).

sprouts, especially radish or onion sprouts (taste like the veggies, but no cutting).

Carrots cut into "chips" (Walmart, about 1.00 for a lb)

broccoli slaw (I love to use this as a salad, in lettuce salads, or for a quick terriyaki stir fry with some sliced green onion, beef or chicken strips, soy sauce and a little sprinkling Equal or splenda)

sugar snap peas (a cross between english peas and chinese pea pods). My all time favorite veggie. Sweet and crunchy, they're great in the stir fry above or raw with or without a dip.

brocoflower (looks like green cauliflower. Not quite as bland as cauliflower, not as strong as broccoli. Not "different" enough though to justify the price some grocery stores charge. Others will sell it for the same or nearly the same as their broccoli and cauliflower).

beans sprouts (yeah, everyone has heard about them, and almost everyone hates them, but if you buy them from an oriental grocery they're almost a different vegetable. They're fresher, cleaner, crisper and cheaper than in the grocery store (you'll get a huge bag for the same price as the supermarket)

spring mix lettuce (all sorts of leaf lettuces. Spinache, radichio (sp?), frisee (curly yellow endive type lettuce that isn't bitter like some endive). This is about $2.00 to $3.50 a bag at Walmart, but if you have a Sams Club you can get a huge bag for under $4.00.

Asian pears or "apple pears" Tastes a little like both. Texture and taste of an unripe pear, only sweeter and juicier. Crisp and sweet. Sams Club is the best place to get them for the most reasonable price.

Super Sweet hybrid pineapples (like Dole or DelMonte Gold varieties). Never a sour tasteless pineapple again, and their are instructions for cutting on the tag. Always sweet and ripe tasting, and not quite as acidic as the regular kind (you still can get sore lips/mouth, because it tastes so good you eat more). If you have an Aldi grocery store nearby, theirs are a little smaller, but half the price of other stores, I hear that white pineapple is amazing, but almost none make it out of Hawaii, so I've never gotten to try one.

Ooh, I'm getting sooo hungry. I'd better stop (and go get some pineapple out of the fridge).

Mrs. Partridge
05-31-2005, 11:44 PM
I am ADD, very ADD. My greatest problems are organization and remembering to eat. Either I forget to eat or I forget that I have eaten and think "Gee, I haven't eaten all day, I better grab something." Crazy, huh?

I found that getting organized helped me tremendously. I make out my menus for at least the week. I make my shopping list from my menu. That way everything is planned. As for eating, I actually schedule my meals. I know that at 8am I eat breakfast, at 10am I eat a snack, at 12pm I eat lunch and so on.

Also, I opted for SAM-e instead of scripts. It works soooo much better than scripts and has virtually no side effects! I also give it to my 11 year old son who is ADHD and he is finally gaining weight and is doing fantastic.

That is what works for me.

06-01-2005, 01:02 AM
I've been looking for a natural alternative to prescription ADD meds. I have so many diagnoses already (arthritis, fibromyalgia, suspected autoimmune issues, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, allergies). Since ADD and fibromyalgia are both neurotransmitter problems, I've been researching natural ways to improve neurotransmitter production and utilization. Exercise and eliminating refined carbs are supposed to be very helpful to both. I'm trying, but habits are almost as hard to create as they are to break.-

Mrs. Partridge
06-01-2005, 01:22 AM
Well, I do know that SAM-e is used for not only mental well-being, ADD, depression, and other neurological issues, but it is also used for joint health and liver health as well.

My son and I have had awesome results with it. It may be worth running by your doctor.

06-01-2005, 10:07 AM
Forgetting to eat/forgetting that I already ate... Boy do I identify with that! No one else around me seems to understand that one. Think I'm making excuses. I try hard to get organized, but I just can't seem to keep it up. Breakfast and Lunch are scheduled automatically, by virtue of my work schedule, but Dinner isn't easy. I've just tried keeping a list of all the dinnery-type things I have available to cook posted on my refrigerator, and so far it does help a little.

SAM-e? I should look into that. I know that Ritalin isn't going to help forever, and I'd like not to have to get another perscription if I can help it. One of the ladies I work with has a family member on Straterra, but suffered terrible weight gain.

06-01-2005, 10:28 AM
I've always wondered why cafeine doesn't seem to affect me the way it does normal peope. I can drink a couple cans of diet mountain dew right before bed, and still fall right to sleep. I think I've been using it as a ritalin substitute without realizing it. I need to try the Sam-e, and see if I can reduce the cafeine some.

Mrs. Partridge
06-01-2005, 11:33 AM
I set my cell phone to sound an alarm when it is time for me to eat.

I prefer the SAM-e to the scripts because there are virtually no side effects. That is why I give it to my son. He was so very thin! The scripts killed his appetite. Now he is finally gaining. I don't have much of an appetite with it, though, so I don't think it affects your appetite one way or another.

If I have sugar cravings, 1 or 2 TrimSpa do the trick.

Like I said, the meal planning helps me tremendously. My children are older (11, 13 and 15) so they can help. Of course, they are ADD too so we plunder along together!

Yes, kaplods, reducing caffiene in you diet would probably be a good thing. I am down to 1 cup of coffee a day. I used to use it to help me focus. I was a 2 pot a day girl. I also retained a lot of water, which is what caffeine does. I also, at my largest, was on blood pressure meds and was in the early stages of diabetes (runs in my family). Now I am off all meds and show no signs of the high blood pressure or the diabetes. The caffiene contributed greatly to the high blood pressure.

I am also an A-Type personality as well as a perfectionist and that contributes to the high blood pressure and makes me more susceptible to stroke, heart attack and stress related disorders. Yes, I am going to counseling and we are working on my "take on the world" mentality. I tend to take ownership of situations and take control if I see things not being handled properly. We are working on that.