Weight Loss Tips for Adults with ADHD

For adults with ADHD, trying to losing weight can seem all but impossible. Either you plunge right in to a new diet and exercise routine — and quit three weeks later — or you lack the motivation for getting started. But if you're on board this time, this game plan will help you reach your goals and be healthier for life.


Learn About Nutrition

Become an informed food consumer, rather then a grazer who eats without thinking. Research on weight loss shows that dieters who understand the importance of good nutrition are more likely to lose weight, and less likely to regain it.

Understand that crash diets or weight loss gimmicks often produce a boomerang effect that can leave you weighing more than you did when you started. Try to see your weight loss as part of a larger plan to improve your overall physical and mental health. A sustained weight change requires sustained changes in both your diet and your behavior. Are you really willing to live on nothing but grapefruit and poached eggs for the rest of your life? If not — and who would? — then you need eat balanced meals and make changes in your diet that you can maintain over time.

Track Your Progress

Hang up a calendar, and mark an X on the days you exercise. Keep it simple - no need to mark workout time, reps, laps, heart rate, and so on. Once a month, review what you've accomplished to get a sense of your progress.

Try writing down everything you consume during the day. You may want to include the number of calories or carbohydrates that each item contains, but don't get hung up on numbers. Instead think of these numbers as point totals in a game that you intend to win.

Pick out some clothes that are only one size smaller than your current size and use them as a short-term goal. You'll feel encouraged by your progress and motivated to continue on toward your ultimate goal.

Stay Motivated

Weight loss is easier with a partner to keep you on track and share in your pain and progress so recruit friends to go on your weight loss journey. You may even want to make things interesting with a bet for who will hit his/her target weight first. Money is a great motivator, and even the "loser" wins by losing weight.

Friends can also help when you need a boost. Many adults with ADHD start an exercise program with tremendous enthusiasm, only to lose interest within a few weeks. If that sounds like you, write yourself a letter of encouragement. Give it to a friend at the start of your exercise program, and ask her to "deliver" it back to you when your enthusiasm starts to flag.

It's hard to develop regular exercise habits if a voice inside you keeps saying, "Why not skip today's workout and do it tomorrow instead?" And with ADDers, there's almost always such a voice. Don't listen to it. Tell it to get lost, and you'll soon be on your way to fitness.

More on ADHD and Exercise

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How Exercise Improves Focus

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TAGS: Weight Loss and ADHD, ADHD Diet and Nutrition, Exercise and ADHD

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