Learning weight control and decreasing your impulsivity
is the key to an ADHD healthy diet.
All too often we hear of people trying to control their weight and losing the battle by with an explanation that “the devil made me do it”, by eating that one chocolate or piece of cake or pie. Unfortunately, that led to one more piece or two, especially if having you were having an exceptionally bad day. I see that as being a fairly accurate description. A lot of times your mood can impact such reactions and your mood can also be impacted by what you had eaten for your previous meal or snack. Other times for those of us who suffer from ADD or ADHD is even less control of our impulsivity, depression and anxiety (bitchiness can be the result of these). I have some ADD and these are some of the things that I do to help me have a better than an average day. But this works for many normal people.
Usually, my morning starts out with a bowl of steel cut oats which I make up in bulk for a few days as it gives me protein and roughage. I also put some saffron in while cooking as saffron is a good depression preventer. I just “nuke it” and it’s ready. This keeps me upbeat all morning and, if I get hungry later, I have four or five baby carrots. I also add cinnamon and stevia and I can make it as sweet as I can want. I also add stevia to my coffee as I like it sweet as well. I have to sort of control my coffee as that will create some anxiety in me, and there maybe a trace of impulsivity as well. I don’t think I need a lot of impulsivity to do something that seemed like a good idea at the time but turned out to be not a good idea.
I drink water throughout the day, which I understand is good for us and, besides keeping us hydrated, our plumbing requires flushing and it also helps us rid our bodies of fat. If you’re not used to peeing a lot, it also gives you a chance to walk around once in awhile.
If you haven’t eaten for awhile – say, later in the afternoon – we are starting to get hungry and a treat would be oh, so tasty. This might be from eating a light lunch or a salad. I know if I don’t have some protein with every meal, I get hungry and sometimes even moody or both. At that point, if a small animal tripped in front of me, it might be in trouble. If I can remember that water will help I’d be fine, but remembering to do this at times doesn’t always work. I keep snacks in my desk, such as coconut, edamame bean mixture, cashews, fruit and nut mix. This helps me maintain a calmness, as well as controlling my want to eat. I also take some baby carrots.
I can make jokes but there was a time, when I tended to get a bit unruly late in the afternoon (apparently there are witnesses) and that could carry over into my drive home. I used to have road rage and the protein snack helps prevent outbursts and probably saved my life and kept me from doing something stupid. If I have a salad with chicken for lunch, I am good until about four, and then I snack. The carrots fill me up but protein will help my moods. If my mood is off, I will look for comfort food and that usually isn’t anything healthy.
Dinner is the same; I have to eat by a certain time or I will start looking for a snack which might distract me from eating a well-prepared dinner. Again I need to have protein in me as my brain functions better if I feed it properly. As an ADDer, I have to be careful as I am an old meat and potatoes kind of a guy but foods such as potatoes, pasta, breads are not good for me. Simple carbohydrates convert to sugar almost immediately upon entering our system and sugars in our systems make our brains act differently, such as impulsivity or other moods. Even simple ideas such as perhaps controlling the amount of starchy foods can make a difference. I usually double up on vegetables. Even desserts can be eaten as long as some control over quantity is maintained. I do not suggest giving up everything as there needs to be some joy in life. I tend to keep some Skinny Cow desserts around for when I feel like it.
When I think in terms of ADD people, our rules are simple, but I think they work on most people not just us. It’s about amounts and what is it is we eat.
We ADD people have challenges sleeping at times and this can also be regulated by what we eat for meals and snacks. Too much dessert can elevate the blood sugar and help you stay awake at times; same with too much starches, especially if eaten late. Sweet snacks are great to eat but, like many carbohydrates, just put sugar into your system.
Another part of our challenge is when we get up and feel tired or cranky and don’t feel like eating. If you eat that sugared cereal you will be the same as the kids that go to school with that on board; teachers complain of an inability to do anything with kids like that. What makes you think you will be any different?
Another solution is to consider going for a walk in the evening as this will aid digestion, get some blood to the brain, which will help restore it to a healthy state. It will also give you something in common with your spouse, if you got one – if not, get a dog. The biggest benefit will be to help you sleep. I’m not talking about walking to the end of the driveway and back, either – expand your challenge a bit more than that.
You don’t have to have ADD to reward your brain with these ideas, as anyone can benefit themself and lose some weight if they want and control those impulses. You didn’t gain all the weight you want to lose overnight so, don’t expect to lose it overnight.
Simple Steps and have a Plan, check it daily and document daily findings good or bad;
1. Imagine what you will look like at your ideal weight (Goal setting),
2. Eat protein and complex carbohydrates, snack healthy,
3. Drink lots of water,
4. Mild exercise,
5. Check your progress on a scale once a week.
Be patient with yourself, don’t seek perfection or easy until you develop some discipline. The key to a happy and healthy life is coming up with an ADHD healthy diet. Step by step you will figure it out. Have questions ask. The healthier you are the better you will feel in all aspects of your life.