ADHD and Eating Right

ADHD and Eating Right

Do you have ADHD and want to lose weight? Expert Roberto Olivardia explains why people with ADHD may find it harder to eat healthfully in part 2 of our ADHD and Food videos.

For more ways to eat healthfully when you have ADHD

For more information go to

About Dr. Robert Olivardia
Roberto Olivardia, Ph.D., is a Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Instructor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School. He maintains a private psychotherapy practice in Lexington, Massachusetts, where he specializes in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), executive functioning issues, and issues that face students with learning differences. He also specializes in the treatment of Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and in the treatment of eating disorders in boys and men. He is co-author of The Adonis Complex, a book which details the various manifestations of body image problems in men. He has spoken on numerous radio and webinar shows and presents at many talks and conferences around the country. He currently sits on the Scientific Advisory Board for ADDitude and serves on the Professional Advisory Boards for CHADD, Attention Deficit Disorder Association and the National Association for Males with Eating Disorders.

Don’t forget to subscribe

Please watch: “Strategies for Promoting Positive Behavior in Children with ADHD and Their Siblings”


  1. Boy Grrrl on July 27, 2021 at 8:57 pm

    What’s healthy for one might not be for another. Another thing to take into consideration is samefoods. It’s good to try to get variety but if you end up eating the same thing all the time, that’s ok because at the end of the day food is energy and you need energy. I could go on but yeah 🙂 take care

  2. Micah Simpson on July 27, 2021 at 8:59 pm

    My problem is that I have a family that sabotages my every attempt to lose weight. They constantly buy the worst food all while knowing that I have no self control to just ignore it. The food literally stays in my mind 24/7. I’m fine as along as it’s not in the house.

  3. TRuE BLaZe on July 27, 2021 at 9:00 pm

    I don’t take it during weekends, summer/winter etc breaks, and Wednesday’s. It’s helped me grow more

  4. Morgan Bruce on July 27, 2021 at 9:00 pm

    This explains all my gastrointestinal issues once I hit 21 years old.

  5. Thomas Pearson on July 27, 2021 at 9:00 pm

    As a parent, dealing with this stuff is HARD. Assigning a "type of dinner" for each day of the week has been more helpful than making a plan then being disappointed when the plan fails on day 2…Something like this: Monday: Chicken, Tuesday Taco Day!, Wednesday Dad makes dinner, Thursday Leftovers or Crockpot, Friday Kids Help Day. Saturday Chicken Soup. Sunday Leftovers & make shopping list. Rinse & repeat. Simple breakfasts. For weight loss, think 2/3 plate should be veggies, 1/3 protein. That’s a LOT of veggies. No milk products or sugars for clear skin. All of this is easier said than done. But it helps to keep it simple!

  6. DumpLing MasteR on July 27, 2021 at 9:01 pm

    Nope. I am adhd. And i love eating healthy. But i’ll be lying if i say i don’t go without fast food once a week.

  7. Uncle Bizz on July 27, 2021 at 9:02 pm

    This is so on point..
    I’m thirty and his shit really bothering me right now. When I’m dead sober think I’m high and vice versa.

  8. sad idiot on July 27, 2021 at 9:02 pm

    If you guys are having problems with losing weight and stuff hopefully this helps. Make sure you guys stop taking it on weekends or something I remember finding it a bit strange when I first started as well, the first time I noticed was when I didn’t feel a need to eat lunch at school once although I knew it was a side effect it was still a bit surprising and I wasn’t used to the feeling. I started losing quite a lot of weight and I just wanna tell you guys incase you lose a bit too much. Find any opportunity you can where you don’t have to take the pill. If you have real bad headaches and they make you feel sick and Panadol or that stuff doesn’t work, make sure you eat, at least that always makes me feel a little better afterwards. Hopefully you guys do the best to take care of yourselves

  9. Eugen Sofronov on July 27, 2021 at 9:03 pm

    Eggs cause inflammation, have high concentrations of estrogen hormones in them, are packed with cholesterol … something no healthy kid needs, why promote this for ADHD?

  10. Three sugars? Seven sugars? on July 27, 2021 at 9:03 pm

    I feel like throwing up every time I eat. I’m taking a way higher dose than I should but it’s the only way to get them to work.. I lost 15 pounds and I don’t want to go to the doctor because they will lower the dose and I’ve finally been doing well in school

  11. Severinsen on July 27, 2021 at 9:09 pm

    *DO NOT* listen to the part about forcing yourself to eat breakfast.
    Breakfast has been proven to *not* be an important meal, unless you’re doing heavy duty physical work, and will in fact make many *hungrier* when lunch time comes around.
    Watch any related interview or presentation delivered by experts within the field, like Dr. Jason Fung, and they’ll tell you that intermittent fasting and the likes is much better for you.

    Having ADHD myself, it’s quite apparent that the issue lies in not being able to stop once you finally eat, and if you eat breakfast when you’re not actually hungry, this just makes you eat even more throughout the day.

  12. Hieronymus Newfangle on July 27, 2021 at 9:11 pm

    This is typical of so much advice for people with a ADD from people who do not have it. “If you want to help your JDD just do this thing that you can’t do because you have a ADD.” How the heck am I supposed to plan my meals when I can’t even take a shower or do my laundry? Your advice is useless. you should talk to people who actually have a ADD, like go to their houses and see what their lives are really like, before you go around offering useless advice.

  13. Daniel on July 27, 2021 at 9:13 pm

    i don’t eat bc I’m too lazy and unmotivated to make food even if I’m starving, i usually only eat when someone makes food for me
    (also the whole thing of deciding what to eat is challenging, there are so many options)

  14. ThaliaEatsDonuts on July 27, 2021 at 9:13 pm

    My add made me skip most of the video and I don’t know what to do still

  15. kpro n on July 27, 2021 at 9:18 pm

    Didn’t watch this whole video but I have a hard time eating, I get tired of eating before I get full and sometimes I even forget to eat, I’ll go get the food easy and completely forget to eat it after…….

  16. Mahiuddin Ayan on July 27, 2021 at 9:21 pm

    Wow! I just found website *Agoge Diet* and read their fitness tips and recipes. I can’t wait to get my diet and training plan from that site and transform my body. Summer body, here I come!

  17. Mors Mutual Insurance on July 27, 2021 at 9:21 pm

    my mom refuses to feed me when sometimes i dont eat anything all day, and at night im hungy yet when i rememeber i eat way tooo much

  18. stevezzzful on July 27, 2021 at 9:21 pm

    your brain decides what you will eat factoring in how you will feel and how much energy you will have, eating is for the most part not a decision you make and people should stop talking about eating as a series of decisions, they may start as decisions but how you feel and the way your brain is thinking stops being under your control..

  19. Cyrano Don on July 27, 2021 at 9:21 pm

    even an adhd person can cook organize have time management and so on. I just u are bit frustrating to do that thinking of it its a pain. But when the stomach calls ill go cook!

  20. Dastormcoming on July 27, 2021 at 9:22 pm

    U just explained how everybody feels about food. This info was useless

  21. Cole Duffield on July 27, 2021 at 9:24 pm

    Is it normal to lose my appetite after I have taken meds

  22. Anthony Peters on July 27, 2021 at 9:24 pm

    awwwwwwwwwww sooo no suger treats boooooooooooooo! lol Well death or life?….. How expensive is a funeral for the obese? hmmmm

  23. nvaranavage on July 27, 2021 at 9:29 pm

    Breakfast for me is a coffee, then I usually eat small meals throughout the day that do not take me a long time to make (sliced avocado with a sauerkraut and cheese wrap), plus I also eat a lot of veggies, do a small portion of some type of protein with dinner and do fruit and veggie smoothies (dump everything into blender and grind it up). Everything is fast and quick.

  24. Awkward Potato on July 27, 2021 at 9:30 pm

    i think my main problem is the fact i eat when it’s time to eat, not whenever i’m hungry… but i still skip breakfast somehow…. on school days i take my focusing pills which seem to have a side affect that get rid of the "it’s _____ o’clock so it’s time to eat" but it also stops me from feeling hungry, so i would literally just end up having a sandwich at like 9:30 pm for dinner and that’s it. and maybe a light snack when i come home from school if i don’t have a nap. i don’t take the medication on the weekends or holidays so then the mind set of eating when it’s time to eat comes back…. idk…

  25. yeehaw the yee on July 27, 2021 at 9:30 pm

    I have ADHD and heres my (unhealthy) food schedule
    skip breakfast
    10AM snack
    most likely skip lunch (depends on the food)
    1PM snack
    maybe dinner

    im literally barely 100 poundsss

  26. Mr.Sceptic on July 27, 2021 at 9:33 pm

    Sorry, this is bullshit. Intermittent fasting literally changed my life. As long as you don’t eat fatty stuff, you should be fine.

  27. Hans Kraut on July 27, 2021 at 9:33 pm


  28. oliver bayley on July 27, 2021 at 9:34 pm

    I have ADHD I was diagnosed when I was 12 and I’m now 34. My diet has always been an issue and I take concerts xl 36mg daily. I am also in the chunky side.

    However recently, the last 6 months I have been trying to loose weight and have noticed a significant improvement in my self having lost 4 stone or 46lbs. With no excercise. That’s the next hurdle.

    Healthy eating helps a lot. This is empathy I east in a daily basis and believe me it really helps

    Oats so simple original big bowl with some chia seeds, red berries and honey Greek yogurt. Plus 3 egg whites, 1 whole egg scrambled with some black beans, corriander ( cillnantro for the yanks reading this, oh I’m English btw) tomato salsa and and avocado half in a wrap.

    Frozen grapes
    Houmous and carrot battons

    Lunch and dinner. I make different a week and put them in containers and bung them in the microwave. So I’ll make a massive spaghetti bolognaise, packed with onions, carrots, celery, leeks and mushrooms and then tomatoes.
    Then make potatoe and beetroot salad with horseradish, Greek yogurt and dill, I’ll have that with a piece of salmon.
    And then I try and eat veggie 2 times a week so make mushroom and hallumi burgers. With a chipotle mayo oven chips and coleslaw, no mayo.

    Cooking 3 times a week makes it easy and the wraps can be made 2 or 3 at a time left in the freezer. I just add my avocados in the morning.

    Chia seeds are amazing they give me a natural boost of energy in the morning.

    Hope that helps

  29. Canna on July 27, 2021 at 9:37 pm

    1:25 – amen. Dinner time variaties from 18 in the evening until 3 o clock.In the morning. ( Dinner was prepared and ready to eat then ). THe whole "get ingrediens " and "make" ( or decide what to eat!!_) dinner" is a too often impossible mission. And to unorganised to get food. So staying slim. "yeay" 😜

  30. SugarRainbowRomance on July 27, 2021 at 9:37 pm

    “It’s really hard for people with ADHD because of the executive functioning” “take time with no gratification on a weekend to meal prep for the whole week” … that’s… not going to work for me…

  31. Liam Kuchta on July 27, 2021 at 9:38 pm

    Mental health starts in the gut. Gut health starts in the food.

  32. scribletime on July 27, 2021 at 9:38 pm

    Dads can also plan meals for their children. Just saying

  33. yung Cash register on July 27, 2021 at 9:39 pm

    No wonder I’m fat

  34. R.D. Dragon on July 27, 2021 at 9:39 pm

    Is the cookbook still available? The links on your site don’t work anymore, and I couldn’t find it.

  35. android272 on July 27, 2021 at 9:40 pm

    This video is incredibly insulting and not helpful at all. in fact you get many things wrong and point people in the wrong direction. People with ADHD are fat because they don’t eat healthy which also just so happens to be the cause of their ADHD. We all should not be avoiding fat we should be avoiding trans fats. Our diet needs to consist of 60% fat or more. Trans fats cause some of the issues ADHD people experience and it is incredibly unhealthy in general. Fat is also extremely satiating and makes us fuller faster. Skipping breakfast is not a bad thing. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it is the meal you "break your fast" with. That is why it is called that. Having a late breakfast does not do anything to your metabolism in of its self. What you eat and how many times a day affects your metabolism more than what time of the day you eat. The condition of your metabolism good/bad, fast/slow has nothing to do with your craving fatty foods or high carb/sugar foods. The reason people keep eating as you say here 1:12 is not because the person thinks they are still hungry and that just the way they are. The food the reason people eat and eat and don’t get full is because of the foods they eat. Once again foods high in healthy fats are extremely satiating. Foods that are high in sugars, however, are addictive and over time your body becomes insulin resistant keeping your body from feeling full. ADHD is not a mental disorder it is a dietary issue. You literally are what you eat and if you eat crap then you will become crap. You will not be able to think properly and your body will not function properly. This video was not helpful.

  36. Cloudy Yt on July 27, 2021 at 9:41 pm

    I mean I think I have adhd and I just can’t turn off and if there’s food on the plate my fullness just goes

  37. Alana Fauth on July 27, 2021 at 9:41 pm

    Video about ADHD. Have to Read the whole thing. The click off rate consists of a lot of ADHD. Lol.

  38. Cheese on July 27, 2021 at 9:42 pm

    I have a medicine to help my adhd but I don’t feel hungry.
    So in three days I have gone from belly rolls while standing to see my ribs

  39. TheNitan on July 27, 2021 at 9:42 pm

    My problem with food is just object permenance most of the time. If I dont see smth healthy easily than I dont have it and therefore can’t eat it 🙁

  40. El programador on July 27, 2021 at 9:43 pm

    taking breakfast is so hard.. no appetite generally.

  41. N N on July 27, 2021 at 9:45 pm

    My problems is that when I take my ADHD meds I don’t eat at all so I’m skinny and fit cause I do do a lot of sports

  42. Larisa Pirraglia on July 27, 2021 at 9:46 pm

    N Ow

  43. DJ Hawke on July 27, 2021 at 9:48 pm

    I have cystic acne and am just now realizing I think I have adhd not add and I think nutritionally I need help. I’ve been vegan for two years dairy free for three but I love carbs and high fats and salt. Very active and fit just inflamed skin under and on sides of chin. Doctors laugh at me when I say it’s my nutrition so I have been my own doctor for almost 5 years

  44. Destin Martin on July 27, 2021 at 9:50 pm

    Intro is too long, bedazzled my shoes. Now I have shiny shoes and I’m not sure what this video is about now.

  45. Eunice Gonzalez on July 27, 2021 at 9:51 pm

    My son has been off medication for 8 months now. With the school closing and his routine being affected he has gained like 20 pounds. He is 8 years old and is about 4ft 2”. I need to do something to help him lose weight. He keeps eating and never seems to be satisfied. I want him to be healthy. Does any one have any resources you can tell me about so I can educate my self and help my son. Also forgot to mention he has sensory issues. I also going to talk to his dr. We obviously need help.

  46. Srinivasa M S on July 27, 2021 at 9:52 pm

    Have a meal of a sage

  47. Astro Saurus on July 27, 2021 at 9:53 pm

    Meal planning is a nightmare for me because, while I do like healthy foods, they’re mostly hard for me to acquire, I have to grocery shop and that just sets up traps and temptations for me (whether I shop online or physically), things like vegetables and avocados don’t store easily/go bad too quickly and they take more than 3 minutes to prepare. meal planning in itself takes so much concentration and energy, and shopping and actually cooking take even more energy. I’ve been trying but it seems like unless I cook from an expensive meal kit delivery service, I always have leftovers that go bad OR it just ends up tasting bad/bland. It’s so much work for being a dissapointing waste. I know it’s probably just a learning curve but GOD it’s bad when you have ADHD and this is literally your nutrition and health that’s at stake. The easy meals I do like that are easily available and actually healthy, I get so tired of quickly. It’s just so exhausting and overwhelming and add on the shaming and blaming that everyone likes to do with how other people eat, plus all the misinformation about food, fad diets, food woo, all the confusing bullshit, it’s really hard for me. I WANT to eat healthy, I like eating healthy, want to try new recipes, but so many things are working against me.

  48. JKB Beats on July 27, 2021 at 9:53 pm

    it’s so difficult for me because i need the right nutrients to function right, but i can never bring myself to eat healthily.

  49. Tarun Chauhan on July 27, 2021 at 9:53 pm

    Thank you for such a video as my nephew has been suffering from some mental disorder but thankfully she is able to manage it through herbal medicine taken from Planet Ayurveda…hopefully, she will get better more and thanks for such a good video that helped me to understand it better.

  50. Goodnuff on July 27, 2021 at 9:56 pm

    I’m inclined to disagree. Having bad impulse control, I find it waaaaay easier to just not eat than to exercise portion control. My issue is, once I start eating I just can’t stop. As someone with ADD skipping breakfast (intermittent fasting) is easily the best thing I’ve done for my health.