End Impulsive Overeating, Lose Weight, and Avoid Obesity

A weight-loss guide to help adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) quit impulsive and compulsive overeating. To lose the weight, you will need to change the way your brain thinks about food. No dieting necessary!

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Those who live by impulse eat by impulse. Eating compulsively is a main cause of obesity in many adults with ADHD.

-- John Fleming, Ph.D.

Slim Up Faster with these Tips

  • Eat less by using a smaller plate, and always leaving something on it.
  • Do sit-ups, crunches, and core exercises to firm up your stomach and decrease the size of your waist.
  • Make your stomach look smaller by making other parts of you look bigger. Lift weights to build up your chest, shoulders, and arms.
  • Avoid perfectionism and don’t give up. Results take time. Go easy on yourself and be patient. One day -- and one pound -- at a time.

--Bob Seay


Those who live by impulse eat by impulse. Eating compulsively is a main cause of obesity in many adults with ADD/ADHD. I have found that the condition is five times more prevalent among overeaters than in the general population. Just as ADD/ADHD adults may struggle to understand what someone is saying, they have difficulty interpreting what their bodies are telling them. They mistake feeling upset (or bored) for feeling hungry.

I’ve come up with tips specifically designed for ADD/ADHD overeaters. Notice that there are no recipes. It’s all about changing the way you think, feel, and behave.

Use Your Hyperactive Brain to Lose Weight

Having ADD/ADHD is like having a good engine and lousy brakes. Instead of focusing on “not eating,” focus your high-revving adult ADD/ADHD brain on something positive -- such as cooking healthy food or starting an exercise program.

Don't Expect to Be Able to Resist Food Temptations

Try to avoid them instead. Keep the foods you typically overeat out of the house. If you must eat ice cream or a Big Mac, do so infrequently, and only with a watchdog friend or in public.

Take Time to Exercise

Do what doesn’t come naturally, when you feel a slump in energy or mood. Force yourself (without asking whether you feel like it) into a short burst of activity, such as a brisk 10-minute walk. This will leave you with greater energy, decreased tension, and less subjective hunger.

Avoid Boredom and Stimulate Your Brain

Get your minimum daily requirement of stimulation. Boredom and restlessness frequently translate into hunger. Doing interesting tasks will decrease your reliance on food for amusement. Avoid TV, which provides little brain stimulation, and is a common trigger for overeating.

Schedule When You Eat

People with ADD/ADHD are often unaware of their feelings. The tendency to think three steps ahead often disconnects them from what they feel at the moment. These ADDers need to be reminded to eat, in order to avoid getting hungry and overdoing it. Eat something every four hours. The stimulation may lessen feelings of restlessness.

Pay Attention to the Experience of Eating

More than the actual enjoyment of food, it’s the anticipation of pleasure that causes most binge eating. The next time you binge, ask yourself whether you are enjoying your food, and ask again every five minutes. Are you tasting your food or gulping it, so you can move on to something else?

Teach Yourself When to Stop Eating

Use preset serving sizes. Focus on your changing feelings during a meal; practice stopping at different feeling states that precede “stuffed.” Eat with a friend who can make you aware of these states.

Don't Give Up If You Blow it

Don’t berate yourself when you make a mistake. If yelling at yourself were effective, wouldn’t you be perfect by now? Restart your diet and forget the past.

Read More Weight Loss Secrets for ADD/ADHD Adults

The ADHD-Friendly Diet

Fitness for ADHD Adults: Better Focus Through Exercise

My Amazing ADHD Weight-Loss Story


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TAGS: Weight Loss and ADHD, ADHD Diet and Nutrition, Exercise and ADHD, ADHD-Friendly Meals

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