The 3 Biggest Obstacles To Losing Weight With ADHD


The 3 Biggest Obstacles To Losing Weight With ADHD
Have you ever wondered why people with ADHD struggle with their weight? This article tells why!

By Leslie Rouder, LCSW Cht.

There has been a lot of research lately on the relationship between ADHD and eating disorders, as well as problems with obesity that would indicate that having ADHD may predispose individuals to difficulties regulating their weight.   A study done in 2004, found that 10% of individuals with ADHD suffered from an eating disorder at some point in their life time compared to the general population of .6 to 4.5 %.  In another study done at an obesity clinic in 2005, 58% of overweight teenagers were diagnosed with ADHD as opposed to 35.7% of the general population.  In looking at these numbers one might ask, what are the reasons for these differences and what do we do about it? In answer to those questions, I have written the following article.


Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not act, but a habit.” However, when one has ADHD, developing healthy habits can be a big challenge due to problems with self-awareness, as well as self-regulation.  The 3 biggest problem areas facing individuals with ADHD that would affect one’s ability to maintain a healthy weight are the following;

1.  Difficulty with Planning and Organization
Eating healthy food requires planning, making the time to shop for the right foods, and making the time to prepare one’s meals.  This can be tricky for someone with ADHD, due to difficulties with executive functioning, that could impair one’s ability to plan and organize one’s meals as well as one’s time in shopping and preparing them.  Very often individuals are juggling work, family and other social obligations and find that it is just easier to eat on the run, which could lead to fast food and poor food choices.


2. Difficulty with Self Awareness and Regulation
Being able to identify when one is actually hungry as well as satiated means one must be mindful.  Paying attention to one’s internal messages can be a challenge in the face of the many distractions and responsibilities an individual may have.  In addition, some individuals with ADHD have a tendency to hyper- focus which may lead to skipping meals only to find themselves starving and later overeating or binge eating as a result.  Another difficulty for many individuals with ADHD is in the ability to regulate ones sleeping habits.  Since getting enough sleep is vital to maintaining a healthy weight, for those individuals with ADHD, who find it difficult to fall asleep or cannot regulate their sleeping patterns so that they are well rested, lack of sleep adds to the challenge in maintaining a healthy weight.  In addition, many individuals with ADHD will often eat while studying, watching TV, or doing some other activity, not even paying attention how much food they are eating or the amount of calories they are actually consuming.


Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Leslie Rouder


Leslie Rouder, LCSW, Cht. 

For further articles pertaining to women and women's issues please go to

For further articles on ADD or to sign up for my free ADD Newsletter. go to


Location: Boca Raton, FL
Credentials: CHT, LCSW
Specialties: Anxiety Issues, Empowering Women, Holistic Coach
Other Articles/News by Leslie Rouder:

The Great Slut-Shaming Hoax: Ladies, Don't Buy It!


Gloria Steinem once said that "any woman who chooses to behave like a full human being should be warned that the armies of the status quo will treat her as something of a dirty joke." I realize how true this statement is as I consider a recent blog posting that was placed on the Internet by the ex boyfriend of a good friend of mine. He referred to ... Read more

Why Answering This One Question Changed My Life


What do words mean to you? To your relationship? And how long do you remember what your partner tells/asks you? Author Leslie Rouder talks about the profound question a therapist asked her thirty years ago and why it still matters today. The lesson learned? Words matter.  Back in the 1980s, while living in New York City, I saw a therapist named ... Read more

Help! My ADHD Partner Never Hears Me


The great Carl Jung once said that "Loneliness doesn't come from having no one around you, but from being unable to communicate the things that are important to you." Although this is a universal truth, in the case of those who have ADHD, communication can certainly be a bigger obstacle to intimacy than to those who do not. Not only for the person ... Read more

See More

Latest Expert Videos
Must-see Videos
Most Popular