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Tips for Eating Healthy When Coping with ADHD

Did you know your ADHD symptoms can interfere with a healthy diet? Distraction and hyperfocus can prevent you from paying attention to your body’s hunger cues. Poor time management can lead to letting grocery shopping and cooking fall by the wayside, or fast food meal options. And impulsivity can lead to eating high calorie treats until the bag or box is empty.

Roberto Olivardia, PhD, a clinical psychologist and a member of the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, took time to talk with us about how a person affected by ADHD can begin to make healthy decisions regarding meal time. His first tip: make sure you eat a high protein breakfast. This one change to your routine can set you up for a better day and even a more healthy dinner. 

“Nobody when they’re starving will be craving broccoli for dinner,” he says. “They’re craving high fat, high caloric foods. To eat healthfully is to never feel hungry, to drink proper amounts of water is to never feel thirsty. This is news to a lot of people with ADHD.”

Other quick tips:
  • Make sure to eat throughout the day. Don’t skip lunch and keep simple, healthy snacks on hand for breaks during the work day.
  • Keep your favorite fruits on hand. You can even purchase them already cut up at the store and store them in single-serving containers.
  • Cook from scratch when you can. Buy prewashed fruits and vegetables or hit up the grocery store salad bar for prepared ingredients to make home cooking easier. 
  • Schedule meal times, with reminders, in your calendar or day planner to make sure you take the time to eat.

Watch How to Start Eating Well When You Have ADHDfeaturing Dr. Olivardia for more tips you can use today.

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This article appeared in ADHD Weekly on April 20, 2017.

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