top of page

How ADHD Affects Your Weight — And How You Can Manage It

ADHD diagnoses have been increasing over the past few years, especially for adults.

From 2007 to 2016, there has been a 123% increase in ADHD prevalence among

adults, growing from 0.43% to 0.96%. With more people becoming aware of their ADHD

diagnosis, it may shed light on certain behaviors that have affected them throughout life,

including why they may struggle with weight management. The inattentive, hyperactive,

or impulsive traits in people with ADHD can make it challenging to address weight gain

and eating behaviors.

While weight management is a struggle for neurotypical people as well, people with

ADHD may face more hurdles due to the condition. However, it’s not impossible to

achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Here’s how ADHD can affect your weight and

how you can manage it:

The link between ADHD and weight

The factors affecting weig

ht gain are complex, and having ADHD may further contribute

to obesity in a person. A combination of genetics, lifestyle behaviors, and environmental

factors may play a role in the link between ADHD and obesity. Eating behaviors like

binge eating, late-night snacking, or skipping meals may also be more frequent with

ADHD, as it can be a struggle for those with the condition to plan ahead or pay attention

to the body’s hunger or fullness cues. Many people with ADHD struggle with sleep, and

excessive sleep disruptions can also affect weight and the ability to manage it.

It’s important for everyone to manage their weight, whether or not they have ADHD.

The difference between overweight and obesity may be only a few pounds on the scale

or a few points on the body mass index, but the impacts on your health can be worlds

apart. Being overweight comes with increased risks for health conditions, but obesity is

a disease in itself and can lead to serious issues, including 200 obesity-associated

disorders. As such, people with ADHD need to manage their weight to improve and

maintain health. Here are some ways people with ADHD can practice weight


Adjust your environment

It’s not easy to start managing your weight right off the bat; your ADHD may make it

hard to stick to a meal plan or routine, and you could end up getting discouraged or

frustrated when you can’t stick to it. Instead, you can start by adjusting your “food

environment” to prevent overeating or consuming less nutritious foods. For instance, if

you experience some disordered eating habits like impulsively snacking throughout the

day, you can switch out your usual snacks for healthier alternatives. Swap out potato

chips for nuts and seeds, or stock up on yogurt instead of ice cream. This can help you

get into the habit of making smarter and more careful food choices for better weight


Strive for balance in your diet

You might be considering calorie counting for weight management, but it might not be

sustainable or healthy for someone with ADHD. Instead of keeping track of calories,

focus on eating a nutritious and balanced diet. In the post on diet advice for ADHD, it’s

recommended that you eat foods across the whole color spectrum. This means

regularly eating something green, like leafy vegetables, or something red, like paprika or

pomegranates. Taking note of the various colors on your plate can help you ensure

you’re enriching your diet with various nutrients.

Plan and schedule your day

Weight management will require you to take control of your lifestyle habits, from eating

to sleeping. If you easily get distracted and end up skipping meals, set an eating

schedule to stick to. You can set alarms or reminders on your phone to remind you that

you have to eat. Planning out your meals can also ensure you don’t spend too long

thinking of something to cook. Setting a sleeping schedule can also prevent you from

staying up too late or getting disrupted. You can create a relaxing bedtime routine that

starts at a specific time to help you unwind so your body and brain know it’s time for



Featured Posts
Check back soon
Once posts are published, you’ll see them here.
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page