ADHD and Disordered Eating: What Gets in the Way and How to Cope

ADHD and Disordered Eating:  What Gets in the Way and How to Cope

ADHD and disordered eating can be a complex and often overwhelming dynamic to grapple with. You don’t have to navigate this alone. Seeking support from a counselor familiar with ADHD might help you develop a better understanding of the triggers and strategies that will help. Let’s look at some examples of possible stumbling blocks below:

Interplay of Impulsivity and Binge Eating

When impulsivity is directed towards eating behaviors, it can lead to binge eating episodes. Recognizing triggers for these binges and practicing mindfulness can help manage impulsive behaviors.

Emotional Dysregulation and Comfort Eating

Emotional dysregulation sometimes causes us to seek solace in food to manage our icky feelings. Sugary foods in particular can give us a quick but unsustainable dopamine fix. Learn to be aware of and track ( Knowledge is power!) what is triggering you to reach for the Oreos and the french fries.

Food Narratives and Restrictions

Our inner narratives around food and the pressure to conform to certain societal expectations can be obstacles to helping ourselves make healthy choices. Restrictive diets in particular can exacerbate impulsivity and lead to obsessive behaviors. Pay attention to the stories you tell yourself or that you are being told about food or how your body “ should” look. You may come to understand that there are old stories that you need to unlearn and dump in the trash.

Executive Function Challenges and Meal Planning

Meal Planning is an excellent way of making sure we are fueling our bodies with nutritious and delicious food. This requires Executive Function skills that could be daunting for someone with ADHD. Here’s where strategies like body doubling, implementing visual aids (ex.checklists), setting reminders, and breaking down tasks into smaller steps can make meal planning more manageable and reduce stress.

Healthy Coping Strategies:

  1. Mindful Eating Practicing mindfulness while eating can help develop a healthier relationship with food. Get your Zen on and focus on the flavors, textures, and sensations of each bite, allowing you to be present during meals.
  2. Have Regular, Balanced Meals Establishing a routine for regular meals and snacks can help stabilize blood sugar levels, reducing the likelihood of impulsive overeating. Meal Planning before going to the grocery and prepping for the week will take stress off finding healthy food during your lunch break.
  3. Physical Activity Engaging in regular physical activity can help manage ADHD symptoms and regulate mood, reducing the need to rely on food for emotional comfort. You don’t need a gym membership for this. Go for walks, become a plant mama or papa and work in the garden, dance….
  4. Get Support Connect with friends, family, and/ or professional guidance. Sharing your challenges and successes can provide encouragement and perspective.
  5. Positive Self-Talk Develop a habit of positive self-talk to counteract the negative gremlins in your head. Remember, progress takes time, so be patient and kind to yourself throughout this journey.

Unlocking Potential: 5 Strategies for Harnessing Creativity with ADHD

Unlocking Potential: 5 Strategies for Harnessing Creativity with ADHD

Let’s talk about superpowers! People with ADHD often possess remarkable creativity and innovation that can lead to incredible personal and professional growth. Let’s explore five strategies for nurturing creativity while managing the unique challenges associated with ADHD.

1. Embrace Diverse Interests

Dr. Ned Hallowell often talks about the concept of “Vitamin C” – the importance of Connectiveness, Creativity, and Compassion in navigating ADHD. Give yourself permission to embrace your weird and wonderful interests! These are the little fires that will spark creativity and provide fresh perspectives in problem solving.

2. Design a Creative Environment

Establishing an environment conducive to creativity is essential. Dr. Russell Barkley suggests minimizing distractions and clutter in both physical and digital spaces. Whether it’s an atelier or a corner of your bedroom, set up a space where you feel inspired to harness your creative energy effectively.

3. Leverage Hyperfocus

ADHD often includes periods of hyperfocus, where individuals become intensely absorbed in a task of interest. Dr. Stephanie Sarkis recommends identifying and utilizing these moments of hyperfocus to channel creative energy into productive outlets. Set specific goals during these periods to maximize creativity’s potential.

4. Break Tasks into Small Steps

Dr. Ari Tuckman advises breaking down creative projects into smaller, manageable steps. This approach can help you tackle creative tasks without becoming overwhelmed. It also provides a sense of accomplishment as each step is completed. Enjoy that dopamine zing when you put a check mark on your action plan!

5. Embrace Mindfulness and Mind-Wandering

Dr. Scott Kaufman says focusing on creativity, highlights the importance of mindfulness and daydreaming for nurturing creativity. These moments of mental freedom can lead to innovative ideas and solutions.

Creativity is a powerful force that can lead to personal growth, push artistic boundaries and innovative solutions. When we intentionally channel creative energy into productive outlets, we are able to tap into a new wellspring of joy, flow, accomplishment, well-being, contribution to our community, and a positive self-identity.

Here’s a list of some artists with ADHD who might inspire you on your creative journey:

Justin Timberlake
Ryan Reynolds
Jackson Pollock
Adam Levine
Zooey Deschanel
Solange Knowles
Emma Watson
Lisa Ling
Simone Elkeles
Park Bom

5 ADHD Hacks to Tackle Dreaded Tasks with a Musical Twist

5 ADHD Hacks to Tackle Dreaded Tasks with a Musical Twist

Adulting is hard! Tackling mundane household tasks can feel daunting, boring, and downright unjust! ( WTH! I just did the dishes last night and I have to do it again TODAY?!)

ADHD can make chores feel as challenging as climbing Mount Everest. However, with a little creativity and some motivating anthems, you can turn these dreaded tasks into enjoyable experiences. Less panic, more DISCO! Here are five ADHD hacks paired with fun songs to make tasks like washing dishes or sorting mail a breeze:

1. Task: Washing Dishes

Hack: Turn dishwashing into a dance party! Put on your favorite upbeat song and groove as you scrub. Break down the task into smaller parts, like washing a certain number of dishes per verse. The rhythm of the music will keep you engaged and the time will fly by.

Song Suggestion: ” Shake it Off ” by Taylor Swift

2. Task: Meal Prep

Hack: Make meal prep less overwhelming by turning it into a game. First, figure out the different tasks you need to complete. Get the veggies and chopping board ready. Play a song and challenge yourself to see how much you can get done before the song ends. It’s you VS. Beyonce… Go!

Song Suggestion: “Crazy in Love” by Beyonce ft. Jay-Z

3. Task: Cleaning the Living Room

Hack: Create a cleaning playlist with your favorite songs. Assign different tasks to different songs and challenge yourself to work until the end of the song. You’ll be surprised how much you can accomplish while rocking out.

Song Suggestion: “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” by Justin Timberlake

4. Task: Folding Laundry

Hack: Turn folding laundry into a sing-along session. Play a familiar tune and replace the lyrics with silly verses about folding clothes. Singing while folding will make the task feel less monotonous and more enjoyable.

Song Suggestion: “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran

5. Task: Organizing Your Desk

Hack: Use the Pomodoro technique to break down organizing your desk into manageable chunks. Set a timer for 25 minutes and work on decluttering. When the timer’s up, take a 5-minute dance break as a reward.

Song Suggestion: “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen

Remember, the goal is to infuse a sense of playfulness into these tasks to make them more engaging. The power of music can turn dreaded chores into enjoyable moments, and you might even find yourself looking forward to these activities.

So put on your favorite tunes and get ready to conquer those tasks with a swagger and a smile on your face!

× Send us a message