No Wellness Wankery

76: Forgotten meals, binge eating, struggling to exercise & boredom eating - Is ADHD impacting your weight?

September 05, 2023 Lyndi Cohen
76: Forgotten meals, binge eating, struggling to exercise & boredom eating - Is ADHD impacting your weight?
No Wellness Wankery
More Info
No Wellness Wankery
76: Forgotten meals, binge eating, struggling to exercise & boredom eating - Is ADHD impacting your weight?
Sep 05, 2023
Lyndi Cohen

Recently, a lovely client called Elizabeth reached out to me inside my Keep it Real program - a program to help people recover from binge eating disorder and stop emotional eating. 

She mentioned that she was struggling with binge eating and ADHD. She says she constantly forget that she is trying to ditch dieting, gets bored with exercise and struggles with impulse control.

Did you know people with ADHD are more likely to struggle with binge eating disorder?

But have you ever wondered why?

Forgotten meals, binge eating, struggling to exercise, and boredom eating – if these things sound familiar to you. Listen up!

I am so pumped to have Becca King join me for this episode.

Becca aka @adhd.nutritionist is an ADHDer helping fellow adult ADHDers. 

Becca is a nutritionist and dietitian who will help break down the complexities of ADHD and its link with binge eating disorder. Basically, she's pretty great. 

So, what are we chatting about?

  • the role of various foods and nutrition and eating patterns in managing ADHD.
  • experiments to determine how different foods affect us and satisfy our cravings.
  • the need for a balance between routine and novelty.
  • balancing intuitive eating with meal planning, especially for those times when ADHD medication may make your hunger cues difficult to hear.
  • various ways to honour all forms of hunger.

Want help with binge or emotional eating? I think you'll get a lot of value from my FREE 5-day course, in which I teach you strategies that helped me to skip the cravings and feel in control around food. The course will be delivered via email straight into your inbox.

Want to feel more in control around food? Check out my Stop Struggling With Food Guide, currently on sale for 40% off.
You’ll also find 50 of my favourite recipes to get you inspired!

Get my Free 5 Day Course to help you stop binge and emotional eating. 

Looking for more support to feel in control around food? I'd love to support you in my Binge Free Academy


If you don't already - come follow me on the gram at @nude_nutritionist (no nude pics, sorry).

Want to share some feedback or have an idea for an episode, I'd LOVE to hear from you - hit me up at hello@lyndicohen.com

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Recently, a lovely client called Elizabeth reached out to me inside my Keep it Real program - a program to help people recover from binge eating disorder and stop emotional eating. 

She mentioned that she was struggling with binge eating and ADHD. She says she constantly forget that she is trying to ditch dieting, gets bored with exercise and struggles with impulse control.

Did you know people with ADHD are more likely to struggle with binge eating disorder?

But have you ever wondered why?

Forgotten meals, binge eating, struggling to exercise, and boredom eating – if these things sound familiar to you. Listen up!

I am so pumped to have Becca King join me for this episode.

Becca aka @adhd.nutritionist is an ADHDer helping fellow adult ADHDers. 

Becca is a nutritionist and dietitian who will help break down the complexities of ADHD and its link with binge eating disorder. Basically, she's pretty great. 

So, what are we chatting about?

  • the role of various foods and nutrition and eating patterns in managing ADHD.
  • experiments to determine how different foods affect us and satisfy our cravings.
  • the need for a balance between routine and novelty.
  • balancing intuitive eating with meal planning, especially for those times when ADHD medication may make your hunger cues difficult to hear.
  • various ways to honour all forms of hunger.

Want help with binge or emotional eating? I think you'll get a lot of value from my FREE 5-day course, in which I teach you strategies that helped me to skip the cravings and feel in control around food. The course will be delivered via email straight into your inbox.

Want to feel more in control around food? Check out my Stop Struggling With Food Guide, currently on sale for 40% off.
You’ll also find 50 of my favourite recipes to get you inspired!

Get my Free 5 Day Course to help you stop binge and emotional eating. 

Looking for more support to feel in control around food? I'd love to support you in my Binge Free Academy


If you don't already - come follow me on the gram at @nude_nutritionist (no nude pics, sorry).

Want to share some feedback or have an idea for an episode, I'd LOVE to hear from you - hit me up at hello@lyndicohen.com

Lyndi:

Hello, lovely people, and welcome to this week's episode of no Wellness Wankery Podcast. Today we're talking about ADHD and I'm going to be joined by the ADHD nutritionist and dietitian. And in case you don't know what ADHD is, it stands for attention deficit, hyperactivity disorder, and it's a condition that affects how people pay attention and control their impulses. Now, people with ADHD might have trouble focusing on tasks or sitting still or waiting their turn. They can easily get distracted and have a hard time staying organized, like having a busy brain. That makes it difficult to concentrate on one thing for a long time, and it can also make people forget to eat, then overeat, or binge eat, then restrict, and they can easily get into cycles of disordered eating. In fact, people with ADHD are more likely to struggle with something like binge eating disorder, and I think that's a very important reason why we're having this conversation. In fact, inside my Keep it Real program, which is a program to help people stop binge and emotional eating, I had Elizabeth, a client, reach out to me and she mentioned that she was struggling with binge eating and ADHD. She says she constantly forgets, she is trying to stop dieting, gets bored with exercise and struggles with impulse control. So we're going to talk about those things today, because many people with ADHD find strategies and treatments that help them manage their challenges and thrive in their daily lives, though it might be a little bit different from what most people are going to find beneficial.

Lyndi:

Now this is where Becca King comes in. Becca King is our guest today and she's a registered dietitian and a nutritionist from Charlotte, north Carolina. As an adult with ADHD who has struggled for years with disordered eating, Becca is passionate about helping other adults with ADHD who also struggle with binge eating, chronic dieting and body image issues, and she helps them find food freedom and improve their self-esteem or very important things For her personally. Her life changed when she discovered and implemented the principles of intuitive eating. As I know, that is what happened for me. Welcome to the show, Becca. I'm so happy to have you here. Thank you so much for having me. I'm excited to chat with you Now. You specialize in ADHD and binge eating. You have ADHD yourself. Now, for anyone who's listening, who doesn't quite know what ADHD is, could you explain it to me and also how it differs between men and women? Yes, yeah, so.

Becca:

ADHD or attention hyperactive deficit disorder. It's a neurodevelopmental disorder, basically. So it impacts our executive function. So our ability to plan, organize, execute, complete tasks makes that a lot more challenging. And then there's issues sometimes with focus or paying attention. I think a lot of people think, oh, I don't, can't focus. It's sometimes more so that we might not be able to focus or pay attention to maybe what we should be focusing or paying attention to. So like you might get hyper focused, as some people will say, but it might be on the wrong thing of like. Oh, I should be doing work right now, but I have this really random question and I'm about to just dive in a rabbit hole and find everything there is to know about this one random subject that popped in my head. So I think sometimes people don't understand it's more so being able to regulate our attention and our focus more than like we just can't do it at all sort of thing and the way it could be.

Becca:

I should say there's two types or three types really. There's the hyperactive, impulsive type, which is like ADHD in a 10 of type, which is more ADDs, what other like people we used to call it but we got rid of that term. So the in a 10 of type. And then the combined type is someone who has at least six of the nine like symptoms from each of those types, so it can kind of present different and different people In terms of like the gender differences. For females it's often more internalized in terms of our symptoms, so that might not be something as noticeable Like. I think a lot of people think of the stereotype of little hyperactive boys bouncing off the walls. That's not as socially acceptable for girls. So girls from a very young age learn how to like kind of bottle themselves up, if you will, and so they might not outwardly appear hyperactive, but their brains, you know they might be very active in that sense.

Lyndi:

And why, then, is ADHD correlated with binge eating, and you know all types of disordered eating.

Becca:

Yeah, so I think the executive function piece that comes into of like struggling with being able to plan meals to actually remember what we have in our in our refrigerator, those sorts of things. But also there is a difference in how our brains regulate dopamine basically. So they say 10, that our brains are lower in dopamine. So we're kind of always looking for ways to get more stimulation. And food, especially carbs, can be a you know, for most people a pretty easily accessible and tasty way to enjoyable way to get dopamine, and I think that piece can kind of contribute to overeating or binge eating. I have a lot of clients too that struggle with whether they're medicated or not, recognizing when they're hungry. So they can go really long periods of time without eating and then all of a sudden, oh my gosh, I haven't eaten in six hours. I'm ravenous. What's the quickest, fastest thing I can eat and end up maybe eating a lot of that thing, you know.

Lyndi:

So then, with some for someone with ADHD, you know we have this idea of intuitive eating, which I know you talk about a lot. I talk about a lot because it's such a key aspect of recovery from binge eating. And yet with ADHD, there's also this dynamic of well, we need to actively plan meals and get regular intake so we don't get ravenously hungry. How does that mesh when you're not feeling hunger because you have these stimulating or these medications that are taking away hunger? Is it an act of a bit of a dance between intuitive eating and proactively eating even if you're not hungry?

Becca:

Yeah, yeah. I like to think about practical hunger and use that kind of as my example, or why we should maybe eat when we're not hungry, of like bringing in that logic piece right, Like because I'll have people be like if I ate intuitively.

Becca:

I just wouldn't eat all day, and then I'd binge at night and I'm like, okay, well, we know that doesn't feel good as someone who used to be in that cycle Like, I know that doesn't feel good and I know you don't like that experience. So it's kind of bringing that in like, yeah, I might not be hungry right now, but I know if I don't eat lunch or even if I just, even if I just eat something small, that might help prevent me from I call it the hunger monster that'll come out in the evening when your meds wear off and you finally realize you've barely eaten, or maybe not eaten at all all day of like I need all of the things.

Becca:

That's like okay, how can we keep the hunger monster away? And that might just to like exploring different eating patterns.

Becca:

It might be hey, I may have small, frequent snacks throughout the day because I don't have a big appetite and sometimes for some of my clients they'll find like a really large meal on their meds, just like visually is completely off putting.

Becca:

So we'll explore, you know, ways to get in their nutrition that might not be a full, like meal meal and it might just look a little bit a little bit different. But I love the framework because I like to explain to my clients who don't know about intuitive eating that it's it just removes all the like shoulds that may have, you know, taken in from diet culture. And figuring out what works for you Like intuitive eating is not just like oh, here's the way you do it and you have to eat this way or you're doing it wrong. Like you can explore different eating patterns, what foods make you feel good, and it will look different for everyone, versus it just being this, like you know, like a traditional diet, where it's like here's all these parameters, figure out how to follow them and if you can't, that's your problem, not ours.

Lyndi:

I mean amen. So really you're encouraging people to do these micro experiments. Were they testing?

Becca:

out again.

Lyndi:

If I had a breakfast at this time, how did it make me feel? Then if I had snacks, how does it make me feel? And experimenting with how different foods are going to impact them from a sensory perspective as well. Yeah, you know, for people without ADHD, I think they have a hard time understanding this idea of how food feels sense from a sensory perspective. Can you explain that in a little bit more detail?

Becca:

Yeah, so eating is a sensory experience If you think about. You know we have five different senses involved in eating and all of that like if you think about a kid who's fidgeting or doing like you know, bouncing their foot, or you know I'm playing with a fidget right now like that is some sensory input and so we're getting some of that stem like, that stimulation or dopamine, just from the texture or the taste of the foods, in addition to like it being carbs and that giving our brains dopamine. It also, you know, is the. The crunch for a lot of my clients is very stimulating sweet foods, spicy foods, things with lots of flavors. Sometimes I do also have a subset of clients that are very turned off by those things, but it could be very individual too.

Becca:

Of like, what tastes or textures do I find very stimulating, where it kind of like get my brain all excited and I think it might be different for people who don't have ADHD. So I'm like I experienced those things. So for me I'm like it is just such a part of eating of like, and I never really realized it years ago, but that's what I was doing. Of like I need something crunchy to have, like my two favorite snacks are like carrots and hummus and like an apple with some cheese or apple and peanut butter and like it's the crunch piece. Like people like I don't like fruits and vegetables and like I just get excited to crunch on something and like sometimes that's fruits and vegetables, sometimes it's chips. But like I, you know, being able to figure out some of those things can help drive your food choices to like what do I actually enjoy, especially if you have a little appetite. What parts of like eating do I actually, you know, tend to enjoy and kind of use that to help make make some meals and snacks.

Lyndi:

Well, I love this, I love this, and, as someone with that ADHD, I don't think I really contemplate what is a sensory and what's going to, you know, tick those boxes for me. And so I think something that often happens, or what I've heard from you, is that people can seek out stimulation, and so we're eating when we're not hungry because we need that dopamine. And can we talk a little bit about boredom, eating, about this sensory craving and how this all interplays with each other? Yeah, yeah.

Becca:

So some of my clients will describe themselves, especially if they're diagnosed later in life, like I must always abort a eater you know, it's just someone who graced all the time and was never hungry. I couldn't figure out why and then they realized, oh, it's because I was eating for stimulation. Or they get put on meds and, like, on top of the appetite suppressant effect, their brain is getting that dopamine. So it's not looking for it in other places.

Becca:

And there could be people, not just food, but other not ideal tools for stimulation that we might rely on, like smoking would be another one where it's like oh, I might not need to do that anymore because my brain's not looking for that that dopamine fix anymore. So for some I can describe it as like need something to do with their hands or their mouth, and that can be kind of a sign. Or if there's a very specific texture or a flavor that you're seeking out and like nothing else is going to satisfy you in the world, but that one specific thing could be a craving but also could be just hey, I know that that's what my brain is looking for, especially if you're like doing a boring task or doing something you don't really enjoy and like. This is the one thing that's going to, you know, get my brain going.

Lyndi:

And so if you notice this desire for the stimulation from food I mean, I know, with emotional eating typically it's, it's one of the coping strategies that we have, but what happens is when it becomes disordered is when it becomes the coping mechanism that we turn to all the time. Would this be a similar thing where we don't want to be turning to that, for that sensory dopamine hit every single time.

Becca:

Yeah, and I like to put it when I explain coping with your emotions, with kindness, and that principle for my clients, I lump eating for stimulation in there, because it does feel like boredom eating, or eating to procrastinate, or eating for a reward or some other kind of little ways that it can show up for my clients and so for them, what can we add to that toolkit? Just like eating, because your stress, like eating probably is not going to solve your stress, but there might be times where it's like, hey, I know this is going to help me in the moment and that's okay and I'm not going to beat myself up for it. I kind of like to take the same approach with eating for stimulation, like give yourself permission to do that but also explore, like, what are some other ways that you can get stimulation, so that way food isn't just the go to all the time.

Lyndi:

So some other strategies. I guess practically speaking might be moving your body. It might be, would it be fidgeting, would it be meditating? What are the options? That? What are the other tools? We have Lots of different options.

Becca:

Those would definitely be. Some of the movements are really great one.

Becca:

I know it still could be challenging for any issues to get get themselves to go do it, but it can be very helpful, even just walking, like it doesn't need to be going to the gym and doing structured exercise, like for me it's putting on headphones and like going to listen to a podcast or listening to some music I really like, and going and taking my dog for a walk Like it is not intense aerobic activity but I even just a little 10 minute walk around my block if I'm feeling like stuck and I can't get started on a task or I can tell I need a little bit of stimulation. That little bit can do a lot for me.

Lyndi:

I was just going to say how do you get yourself out the door If you're feeling stuck? I need to do something so I can get unstuck. Is there a little mind trick or something you tell yourself so that you can then move to that next phase?

Becca:

If I notice that I'm stuck, I'll give myself a few minutes, especially if I get like sucked into social media and I'm like we're not doing it and nothing productive is happening. I'm like, okay, give myself like a timer usually like five minutes to scroll a little bit longer, and then I kind of have like a three two, one go, turn on a timer like a countdown on your phone.

Lyndi:

Okay, you've got your case so you can't see back as she's holding up a timer one of those old school like egg timers that your grandma probably had in her kitchen and she's you flick that on. You've got your five minutes. Ding, it goes. And then you kind of do the three second countdown method three, two, one go and you lift up off your chair and then I'm like we're going and now there is momentum.

Becca:

Okay, yes, or the or if podcasts are kind of a boundary with myself, that like, if a new podcast episode comes out and I really want to listen to my podcast, like I have to get my shoes on and go out the door and I can listen to it, and that for me is just a boundary of like helps me get out the door and like I have gotten stuck in the past just like, oh, get out the door, let me put my podcast on.

Becca:

I'll have my like be completely ready to go shoes on, like in some workout here, and then I'll just be standing there and like I'll go in a few more minutes, I'll go in a few more minutes. And so I realized I was like boundary, you can't turn it out until you get out the door and that helps me. Having something that I actually look forward to when I leave can help me a little bit too. I've had other clients who will find like walking somewhere, like I need to go drop something off at the post office or somewhere else, having a purpose behind it, can help a little bit too with like actually getting getting out the door.

Lyndi:

This is so interesting. I love this conversation. I feel this is a thing I want to talk about. Is this in intuitive eating, when we stop binge eating, we're very much telling people to move away from rules and lines and boundaries, and yet with ADHD, it sounds like there is this real benefit to having these healthy boundaries healthy almost Yusuto rules, though, like a little parameters for life that help you live better. So can you talk to that at all? Is, how do you know if something feels like you know a food rule versus a healthy boundary? What is the line?

Becca:

I think if it feels like you should, even for eating, for a simulation, like saying just don't do it, like that's not realistic.

Lyndi:

I should go for a run because that's what I should do for my body versus I like moving my body. I'm just going to get out the door and start moving my body. So it's the language around those things and whether or not you feel like you must, yeah for me it's like I'll be like, okay, I'm going to go for a run.

Becca:

For me it's usually a run walk, because I just can't run the whole time, and that's cool, I'm fine with that. But for me it's like, okay, we're going to get out the door, and for me it's I know this is going to make my brain and my body happy and I'm doing it as a way to take care of myself and not because anyone's making me do it. Like at all, like there's. No, I'm doing this because it's going to change my body size or it's going to. You know, help me make up for what? For whatever I ate earlier in the day or the day before.

Becca:

Like none of those thoughts are going through my head. It is just genuinely. I know that I sleep better when I get movement in. I know that my brain works better. I'm a generally happier person when I move my body. So like it's all the other things. And there are days when I'm going to tell myself you know, I actually don't want to go for a run because it is so freaking hot outside and I don't want to do it. So you know, I'm going to go for a walk or I'm going to do some stretches in my living room and call it a day and just like listen to my body and honor that.

Lyndi:

And with people with ADHD, movement can be feel like something that gets quite boring or repetitive. How do we keep it interesting? So it always feels novel. It sounds like you have new podcasts that you listen to that help you or walk runs feel enjoyable. Are there any other thoughts you have?

Becca:

I also love music, so I like a lot of EDM. So I'll listen to like my favorite DJs on SoundCloud and just listen to their like any live music and I can find and pretend I'm like at a music festival. That makes my brain really happy. I find to like switching up. Switch up like the route that I take, so that helps make it different. I think, switching up your activities too, if you can, if there's like a handful of different things you like to do. Another thing that my clients have helped was like what would make your inner child happy. Like what are things you used to do if you were active as a kid or in your teen years? Like what did you enjoy then and can we bring some of that into adulthood? Of? Like, hey, I love team sports. If like, okay, are there any rec leaks that you can go play in states right now? Like pickleball is huge here. So like, if you like that, it's a great social activity and you get some physical activity and some of those things are really helpful.

Lyndi:

I mean, pickleball is not huge here. What is pickleball?

Becca:

It's like life size ping pong. That's what everyone keeps telling me Like. This is like life size ping pong. You play it on like a tennis court, but it's like miniature and you have like smaller paddles than like a tennis racket and you play with like a little plastic ball. But it's super fun, Sounds fun.

Lyndi:

My brother who has ADHD. He has these moments with movement where he goes through real phases. So you know, one time he's going diving and scuba diving and now he's doing a triathlon and then an ultramarathon and he really gets deep into swimming, I mean very into different phases, and I guess that is something that you can do. You can have these little moments where you get hyper interested in one task, provided that you know you're always moving on to the next thing that you feel exciting and fun.

Becca:

Yeah yeah. Some people describe themselves as hoppy hoppers and I could see that in movement too of like I've done this and this and this, like I got bored of that, so I'm on to the next thing, and so I think being curious is a big thing, even with intuitive eating, but just in general, like what can I do next? Some people like I have to have something, even if it's like I'm going to train for a 5k, just so there's something I have to look forward to or a reason to move. I've seen that be helpful for some of my clients too. But yeah, being okay was like hey, for me actual hobby is in my life. I don't have like painting or like anything that I consistently do, and that's okay.

Lyndi:

Can we talk about ADHD as a superpower? Because? I think it's so often we're thinking, ok, well, this is something that I struggle with and this makes it hard, but I think there are so many brilliant things about the ADHD brain that are far superior. How do you feel like ADHD is perhaps a superhero for you and your brain? Things that you like about your ADHD.

Becca:

I like my ability to hyper focus and I know people in the ADHD community are very harsh, very strong opinions about is it a superpower or is it not Like? Yes, it comes with a lot of challenges and those things can be really awful and suck a lot, but I think it is helpful to highlight some of the ways it can help us in our day to day, and for me, hyper focus is one problem solving. I'm someone who, if there is a question, I will go figure out the answer. I don't care how long it takes me, I will go find the answer, and so those are things I really like. There's a famous psychologist here His name is Dr Hallowell, and I like the way he describes it. He describes it as a gift and it's all about learning how to unwrap your gift. I like that because it's not just like an automatic superpower, but it's like learning how to use your gifts.

Lyndi:

I love that. Thank you for that. There's always pros and cons to everything. I wonder if you can help me. One of my clients, elizabeth, reached out to me with ADHD and struggling with binge eating, and she mentioned that sometimes she forgets that she's meant to not be dieting. Have you ever come across this, and what would you say to someone like Elizabeth?

Becca:

I think there can be that like shiny object syndrome with dieting right, where like a new thing pops up and especially for ADHD, there's to be like new and exciting things and I'm like, oh so, and so is talking about this on social media, or I keep seeing this thing there, like maybe I should try that. I think just pausing and trying, if we can like is this helping me? Or why do I want to do this? I think talking about things too with people who are in your life or your support systems, if they're aware in your life too, of like hey, I said I'm not dieting anymore. If you start breaking up like hey, so I've been to go do this fasting thing, and they're like wait, you know, hey, I thought we, you told me you weren't dieting anymore, just to have.

Becca:

Sometimes we forget or writing it somewhere like that sometimes helps my clients have just a queue of like oh, I don't do that anymore, Like that's not for me. If it's like going back to tracking or things like that, can you delete those apps or those things. So it's not just like an automatic boop, boop, boop and all the sudden I'm in my fitness pal and you're like I don't even know how I got here. Guess I'm going to start tracking again. I think as you get farther down your intuitive eating journey to you start to just see dieting and you're like I don't do those things anymore, Like they're not helpful. I know when I started to a defeating, I was like I got that like urge to get it into my fitness pal again and then I did it for like a day or two and was quickly reminded why I don't use my fitness pal anymore and I was like, okay, less than learned, we don't do, we just don't do this.

Lyndi:

So I think that's a very little spoken about thing. That happens when you start into a defeating the amount of rebounding back to the old way, thinking oh, maybe it wasn't that bad and then you go, no, no, it really was. And you come back to intuitive eating. That can happen several times. Yeah, just stay on the straight in there. You're like I just want to like see how much I'm eating.

Becca:

I remember just being like I just want to like actually calculate it. And then, of course, I was like I calculate at like, and it would just become this weird game and I had again and then I'd be like well let's have one snack and then like it was just a whole awful thing, but it was you do. You get kind of drawn into it and then you'll have like a moment of trying it or doing something sometimes and it's just like whoop nope, I don't like another like reinforcement that that doesn't work for me.

Lyndi:

It's like going back to an X too. You just know it's. The relationship didn't not work, but, as you know, you're just lying in bed and I think you have all the happy memories. No, that relationship is dead. This is why we often talk about it as a relationship with food. Can we talk about this idea of meal prepping or preparing food? When you have ADHD, executive function can be different and needs a little bit of helping hand. So we require executive function to go and cook a meal. What's a tip? That you have to help people get to the point of actually cooking a meal, which is hard enough as it is.

Becca:

Give yourself permission to take shortcuts is one thing I always like to tell people, even if you don't have ADHD. Like nobody needs to cook every single meal or snack from scratch, like I usually recommend just having like some go-tos, so to speak. What are some things that don't have a lot of steps and a lot of ingredients and probably take maybe under 30 minutes that you can throw together a meal, as well? As also another thing would just kind of be thinking through, like what parts of the cooking process do I load, get really overwhelmed at or just a barrier for me, and then explore maybe different ways you could simplify or delegate some of those parts. Like if it's actually going to the grocery store, get pickup or delivery if that's an option for you. Like I have clients who will do meal delivery services.

Becca:

My version of meal prepping is just making extras and then having leftovers the next day. Like I remember starting intuitive eating and being like meal prepping would be helpful, because I was in my internships, like why can't I do this as someone who actually, like I don't mind cooking, I enjoy it and I was like why can't I do this meal prepping thing? And I was like I don't want to spend hours making something and then having to eat the same thing every day and I was like, and then I felt so bad because I should meal prep that way. That was not what really works for me.

Lyndi:

I saw her in one of your Instagrams and I do recommend, if you're not following Becca, that you go ahead and you follow her. She's at adhdnutritionist on Instagram. She has dietitian and nutritionist, but nutritionist is what people know, so you went with nutritionist in here.

Lyndi:

It was very kind. No nutritionist, because no dietitian did not have the same ring to it. I'll put her title in the notes section on the podcast. You can go ahead and listen to her. I want to put a tip. She gave as well is about having a. You know it was like a pre-cooking snack. Can you talk about that and why you might recommend something like that?

Becca:

Yeah. So a lot of my clients again with like, except through functioning, maybe not recognizing you're hungry until like I need food. Now it's like, well, I'm so hungry I can't cook dinner, so you're just gonna start snacking of like being intentional when I've been really stuck, when I've like gotten off of my work calls late at night and I'm like, oh gosh, I have to go make dinner and I'm just staring at my pantry and fridge Like there are ingredients here, but I have to come up with a meal and I'm like, okay, I can't think through this because I'm hungry. So I'll get a snack, something literally really small, but just something to kind of get some food in my system, and usually that kind of will get me going. And then I'm like, okay, now I can think through how to put together ingredients. So it's kind of just like giving my brain a little bit of executive fuel, if you will, or like kind of just especially if it's been a while like getting my blood sugar at least to it like a little bit more of a staple place.

Lyndi:

I love that too. It's kind of like a good example of a snack. You might have to be your hummus and carrot, something that's gonna give you that sensory feeling and also just give your body something to do while you're cooking.

Becca:

Yeah, yeah, and it's kind of that. Or like, if cooking's not fun or you don't enjoy it, like think of ways you can make it more fun, like put on music, like romanticize it a little, call someone and be like hey, I'm cooking right now and I need to finish this task, so like can I talk to you while I do it, and most of the time people are gonna be cool. So if you have friends who have ADHD, they're probably like sure, and then they'll probably be like, oh, I need to make dinner too.

Lyndi:

Thanks for reminding me, so that can help make it a little bit more fun and I guess also you know you talked about this idea of leaving your podcast for when you're out on the walk. There could be another thing that you link with. When I'm cooking I get to do this thing. I get to watch this trashy TV show in the corner of my eye. While I'm cooking, I listen to this trashy podcast, whatever a true crime podcast, whatever you're into, I mean the carrot and it's always there for you when you're cooking.

Becca:

And there might be times when you're like, screw it, I'm gonna do that thing and that's okay. But like I think, yeah, having those little kind of parameters just thinks of like, how can I Make this feel easier or more doable for me or more enjoyable? So I actually do do it, versus the shame cycle of like I didn't do it again and I just ordered takeout for the millionth time and that's not what I'm trying to do, because it's really expensive and it doesn't always make me feel my best to only eat takeout and like my food's going bad in my fridge, I'm like, okay, how can I get myself To do that? That task that I know is, you know, supportive.

Lyndi:

Done is always better than perfect, isn't it just? Yes, can we talk about the hunger scale for a moment and intuitive eating, and does it differ in any way If you're talking about with someone with ADHD?

Becca:

for me personally, when I started intuitive eating, I never really used the hunger fullness scale. I was like I just like it never can connected with me to like quantify my hunger. But I do find the like pleasant, unpleasant, neutral rating can be a little bit easier, because I was like what's the difference between a three and a four? Like I don't, even though I can see. Like you know, you can go find all sorts of different hunger fullness scales that have all sorts of different what you might feel at those places. But a lot of times it's always thinking about, a lot of times just your stomach, and for a lot of my clients they might not experience a growling stomach or a lot of hunger sensations there, and so I think it's helpful to kind of Think of other cues for hunger. Is this a pleasant, neutral or unpleasant sensation that you're experiencing? I have found that to be a little bit more helpful, like, okay, I waited too long to eat and this is not. This is very unpleasant.

Lyndi:

Yeah, I think that's a really beautiful, tangible example of things. So using the words, we're not using the numbers. That can be a little bit more Approachable, easy doable.

Becca:

I invite my clients to use the hunger fullness scale. We still talk about it and I'm like it is there as a tool. If you feel like it's helpful, please use it, like if that is something you want to use, but also, if it doesn't feel helpful, like, don't feel like you're failing at intuitive eating.

Lyndi:

Last question I have for you is talking about good and bad foods and we're eating with the recovery from any Disorder-deating, especially binge eating. We want to remove those labels of good and bad, the moral attachment that we have to food. How does that play in with ADHD, where sometimes something's going to have, you know, give us a sensory pleasure, something like Lollies or something that's really like a sour lolly would have nice sensory benefits to it, or a chewy lolly. How do we do we need to do any further work to detach the moral judgment from these foods, or is it really just reinforcing why that is such an important concept?

Becca:

Yeah, I think understanding why you're seeking those things out can be really helpful. And, yeah, still doing a little work of unlearning some of the language, because I know I still clients will feel guilty of like I'm eating for Stimulation and it's like we have permission to eat for stimulation, if that's really what's going to Help you in that moment. But also, just like when we know why we're doing it, I think it's a little bit easier if this is a tool that's helping me, if putting a lolly in my mouth it's gonna help me finish my emails and that's the only like thing that's gonna help in that moment.

Lyndi:

Like, yeah, I'm gonna do that and I'm gonna do it without guilt, like that's okay because I think sometimes in two of the meeting Eat when hungry, stop when you feel full that can just become another food rule, another thing that we think we're failing it, that we need To do perfectly. You do not. This is simply a guideline, that you're allowed to use it, so it benefits you.

Becca:

It's not some other rule in your life and there can be for for some ADHD years to have like Emotional hunger or like needing to stim. If you don't have traditional hunger cues like that, emotional hunger quote-unquote might actually be a way for you to honor your hunger. And if you're To only say if I only eat when I'm feeling physically hungry, for me personally on my meds I wouldn't eat literally all day long. The only time way I really know I'm hungry on my meds is like my mood will start to shift and I get really frustrated at like Canva or really tiny things and I'm like Becca, the internet speed has not changed.

Becca:

You're getting really frustrated at your computer like when was the last time you ate? And usually that's my cue to go get something to eat. So I think From my clients I will, we'll, I'll put a slide up with my clients of, like all the different forms of hunger that they talk about in Intuitive eating and just be like these are all valid forms of hunger like they're.

Becca:

Valid reasons to eat and that's okay. You know, making sure we're honoring our physical hunger and eating regularly, like it starts. That piece is kind of that foundation and then it's easier to figure out. Am I eating for emotional reasons? Am I eating just because I want some taste, like just want to taste that food or whatever? I want some enjoyment of like why am I doing this and then kind of Allowing yourself to do that? It's actually like what's gonna be most helpful in the moment and not Shaming yourself for that worth it's. Hey, I know this is the only thing that cues me to eat. If that's helpful, then honor that so you don't end up eating. You know, super inconsistent me back, or I love that.

Lyndi:

I just realized I have one more burning question. I find that on social media there is a glorification of the routine, of the turning up and doing the exact same tasks day in, day in it, day out. Having very structured, I'm personally a novelty seeker myself I can't imagine doing the exact same rituals and routine every single day. And yet when we want to be healthy, there's certainly some things we need to do consistently to. We want to move our bodies regularly, we want to get to sleep at a reasonable time so we're feeling well rested. How can we kind of balance these two ideas of of not feeling like we? You know the brain's gonna get bored by having to do the same thing every single day, but still getting through those things that we know make us feel good.

Becca:

ADHD years are consistently inconsistent and that was like the first time I learned I was like. That phrase really helps me understand why. Like meditation, I know meditation is very helpful for me and I struggle with doing it on a consistent basis. But I think having like maybe a set of like what are my non-negotiable things? And maybe, if Self-care or doing some of those things is really hard with your routines right now or you don't have an established routine, start very simple. Like don't make it overly complicated. To be like I'm gonna do these 25 things in the morning. Like you're probably not going to like those. Like aesthetic my morning routine videos on Instagram. I'm like a I don't know how you film these things just in your natural morning. Like I'm way too chaotic in the morning to Record myself doing anything as part of my morning routine and be there so many steps in this process.

Becca:

Like how are you not Exhausted by the time you're done? Like I have like a Three things I do in the morning like I eat breakfast, I take my meds and I take my dog for a walk. Like those are my three Checkboxes for the morning and then I usually end up starting work and then in the evening, you know, eating dinner as my meds were off. I find movement is helpful, kind of with that weird wear off period, and then do something like Relax, like to help myself and wind and relax. But I think keeping it really simple, like and not feeling like every single box has to be checked every single day all the time, or you're failing of like for the most part, like these are the things I do and there might be days. Or like it doesn't happen Perfectly and and that's totally okay, but that's you know for the most part, where I'm, I'm you know.

Lyndi:

I'm at. I love that. Focus on fewer things, focus on the things that have the greatest impact and if they don't happen perfectly all the time, forgive yourself. Becca King, I have loved this conversation. I think anyone listening to this is gonna get so much value. This is a topic that we have not spoken about nearly enough and I'm delighted to have you. Please go follow Becca on social. She talks about this a lot. She gives tips. She is just delightful, as you have noticed this conversation. Thanks for coming on.

Becca:

Thank you so much for having me and talking about this topic.

ADHD and Binge Eating
Exploring Eating Patterns and Sensory Cravings
Healthy Boundaries and Embracing ADHD Superpowers
Overcoming ADHD Challenges With Food
ADHD Self-Care Routine With Flexibility
Value-Packed Conversation on a Neglected Topic