If you have ADHD, you probably find that you have to work twice as hard as your peers to produce the same results. Losing weight is no exception. In order to lose weight and eat healthy, you need to have impulse control and the ability to stay consistent with your diet plan. A study from the University of Toronto found that almost 30% of overweight individuals had ADHD symptoms.
The ADHD brain is often looking for ways to trigger more dopamine. This can make it difficult to control our impulse to eat more simple carbs and sugars. Dopamine creates a feeling of reward and helps us feel motivated and focused. The chemical also improves our memory and ability to learn.
Here are five tips from Healthline to help you increase dopamine without hurting your waistline:
- Eat protein-rich foods
Amino acids found in eggs, turkey, beef, legumes, and dairy play a critical role in dopamine production. For healthy options, choose lean meats and avoid added sugars that are often added to dairy products.
- Reduce saturated fats
Large quantities of saturated fat may disrupt dopamine signaling in the brain. However, this research is based on animals and not on humans, so more research is needed.
- Add probiotics to your diet
Our gut health also affects our brain health. Certain bacteria living in our gut are capable of triggering dopamine production. Probiotics have been shown to improve mood and may be related to dopamine production. Supplements for probiotics are available. They are also added to some yogurts.
- Cook up some velvet beans
Research for Parkinson’s disease found that velvet beans boost dopamine and reduced their patients’ symptoms. This occurred 1-2 hours after their patients ate 250 grams of cooked velvet beans. Be careful of exceeding the serving recommendation on the product label as high amounts can be toxic.
- Try supplements
Consult with your doctor to determine if your body is deficient in certain vitamins and minerals. Your doctor can do bloodwork and confirm whether you need to take a supplement. Your body needs several vitamins and minerals to regulate dopamine production.
When changing your diet, consult with your doctor about what might work best for you and make gradual changes, so it does not feel overwhelming. Maintaining a healthy diet is a lifestyle and you should not make drastic changes overnight. Set small achievable goals and keep a food journal to track your success.
Play Attention has specific exercises that will teach you how to stop, think, and then react. Part of executive function is inhibitory control. The cognitive exercises within Play Attention strengthen executive function. You see your success in real-time and strengthen neural pathways for improving impulse control. To schedule a free consultation to learn more, call 800-788-6786.