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Saturday, April 6, 2013

Tips for ADHD people to find good health

Image from Flickr, by Life Mental Health
People with ADHD have special challenges if their quest is good health.  The impulse control issues we experience make life that much more difficult when you're trying to eat good, healthy food and maintain a training schedule.  It ain't exactly easy if you're not ADD/ADHD, so the unique challenges make things oh-so-interesting.

So, how does someone with ADD/ADHD actually make it into a healthy lifestyle?

1.  Clean House!

Yes, I use this advice a lot, but it's particularly important for ADD/ADHD folks.  The  poor impulse control issues we experience make it far more difficult to exercise "will power". For us, it just doesn't exist. 

That means you need to hit your pantry and cabinets and get rid of anything that isn't healthy.  This is especially true of anything that might be quick and easy to fix while being unhealthy.  The fact is, we ADD/ADHD folks have a tendency to take the easy way out. I know it's been the story of my life.  If you make "the easy way out" something healthy, then you're good to go in the long run.

2.  Eat before shopping for groceries

This is common enough advice, but is extremely important for the ADD/ADHD person.  When you're hungry, you're more likely to make impulse purchases.  This is true for anyone, but when you look at someone who's ADD/ADHD?  Give. It. Up.

That's why shopping on a full stomach is so important.  If you're not hungry, you're far less likely to have those evil impulses in the first place.  While this piece of advice, it's usually given as a way to keep from spending excess money. Here though, I give it as a way to keep from buying excess crap that will kill your goals.

3. Avoid circumstances that could sideline you

Maybe your family is having a big get together where everyone eats and has a good time, but the food isn't healthy.  Well, that makes things really hard.  This is especially true if you have someone there who's likely to push for you to eat whatever is there.

Sometimes, it's not really possible to just not go.  However, eating before you go can help alleviate a lot of the pressure. Just a polite, "No thank you, I've already eaten" may be just what you need to fend off the persistent but well meaning loved ones.

4.  Plan ahead

Yeah, planning isn't always something that ADD/ADHD people excel at.  However, that's not to say it can't be done. 

Folks like us have to make sure food is in the fridge if we're going to eat well.  There's just no option otherwise, because if there's no healthy food in the fridge, then it's a call to Pizza Hut or where ever else we may want to eat.  This. Is. Not. Good.  You know it.  I know it.

Also, make sure you either have meat thawed out or the means to thaw it quickly.  The more frustrating the experience, the far more likely you will be to make that phone call.  Again, this is not good.

I'm not saying that the plan has to be written and detailed days in advance.  It could be as simple and just grabbing something out of the freezer that morning.  However, you need to do it.

So, there's four tips to help the ADD/ADHD individual - such as myself - navigate all the potential distractions and keep focused on a healthy lifestyle.  Feel free to share any tricks you have developed as well!

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