ADHD and Your Weight

by Brenda on July 2, 2010

Did you know that your ADHD may be part of the reason why you are overweight or have trouble losing weight? It can also be a factor if you’re one of those people who need to gain a few pounds but can never manage it.

But before you start using your ADHD as an excuse, let me clarify. First, ADHD is only one of several reasons that you may have trouble with your weight. What you eat, whether or not you exercise and how much, heredity, age and other factors can also play a part.

Second, choice and determination are up to you. Yes, ADHD can make things more difficult for you, but not impossible.

One of the reasons that your ADHD can affect your weight is focus, or rather the lack of focus. When you have trouble paying attention, it can be very easy to nosh while you cook, for instance, unaware of the extra food you are taking in.

Being easily distracted and forgetful can make it harder for some people to remember to stop and eat. And for others, it makes it easier to take in excess calories.

Low self esteem, anxiety, and depression often accompany ADHD and each can be a reason for overeating as a means of self comfort.

The good news in all of this is that the same things that are good for your ADHD symptoms are also good for helping you lose weight and be healthier.

A healthy diet and regular exercise can slim your waistline and improve your ADHD symptoms, too.

The key to success for those of us with ADHD is to set small goals, start slowly, and keep going.

A website called SparkPeople has been working for me, using just those ideas, plus they provide lots of tools and inspiration to keep you going. (And it’s free).

As ADDers, we tend to look at the entire journey, see how far we have to go, and then get discouraged and quit. Or else we jump full force into something and take on too much at once, often setting our expectations far too high.

I am learning new habits to replace those and I am learning to set very small goals to work towards. Also, I don’t beat myself up if I don’t stick to the plan 100%. I figure any positive change is good change and I vow to try harder next time.

Despite my ADHD, I am adopting a new healthier lifestyle and losing weight, one baby step at a time.

You can do it too.

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