Hello this is The Adulting with ADHD Podcast. Self-empowerment and tricks and tips for women with ADHD. Today I’m going to talk about intermittent fasting. Unless you’re living in a bunker somewhere you’ve probably heard of it and you may or may not want to hear about it. I know I wasn’t really that interested in it. And then my cousin piped up and shared her story with me and I’m just blown away by this stuff. And so today’s episode is going to be why this type of eating works really well with people with ADHD. And so it might be something you want to look into. It definitely has helped me over the past month that I tried it.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
So first of all what is intermittent fasting? It’s basically a way of eating, it’s been around for a very long time. I’m going to recommend the book Delay Don’t Deny by Gen Stevens. I think that’s the author, if I mess that up I’m sorry. But Delay Don’t Deny. I would send you that way for the better explanation. But I’ll tell you how it I understand it. It’s a way of eating, you’re eating during a certain window, you’re not fasting like for two days or whatever. I’ll give you an example. I’m starting real simple and just I stop eating at 8p.m. and then I don’t eat till noon and so there’s like a fasting period where your body is kind of cleaning itself and detoxing itself. And then there’s an eight hour window where you’re eating. So 16 hours of fasting, eight hours of eating. And during the eating period there are no restrictions so you can pretty much eat whatever you want. But I would say within reason and you’re going to want to eat within reason during the eight hour window just because I did try to just eat whatever I want, it’s a party and your body doesn’t feel good when you overload it like that after a fast. So you’re naturally going to want to just be reasonable about it. But trust me this girl has had some doughnuts in the past month.
Why Intermittent Fasting for ADHD?
And so many little reasons why this is really good for people like us with ADHD. The first thing I think, this is what sold me on is … oh and by the way people have been losing a ridiculous amount of weight on this but that’s not even my number one motivation but if you are looking in the weight loss it’s great but it helps people of all kinds even if you’re not trying to lose weight. But the first reason I like it is like the reason that convinced me to do it is that it’s like no fuss, no muss. Like I am so tired of thinking about what I’m going to eat, having to plan ahead, having to buy the right foods, having to count things or only stick to a certain family of foods. Like I’m over it. I’m way passed that. But I obviously want to still take care of myself.
No Fuss, No Muss
So the fact that it’s like alright if I can just hang tight for 16 hours and then during this eight hour window I can eat whatever, I don’t have to think about it, I don’t have to plan it, I don’t have to portion, I don’t have to blah blah blah. It’s been very liberating for me and especially us impulsive types. We don’t know what we’re going to want to eat until right before we eat. And so we have an idea, like you can stock your fridge with a few of your greatest hits but I love not being bound to “Well my diet says I have to eat this today.” So it’s really awesome in that sense of just getting through your day and planning your day. Especially when you have children and it’s a full time job planning their food and getting them fed. I love that I don’t have to think about food any more. It took up so much head space that I could be using for other parts of my life. And I just I adore that.
A Sharper Mind
Second benefit is it sharpens the mind and some people take this lifestyle just to sharpen their mind, it’s like the only thing they’re interested in. And I really don’t know the whole science behind it. So again I’m going to send you over to Delay Don’t Deny but it really does sharpen my brain and the days that I don’t do it I have like such a fog of just everything’s foggy, my energy and focus are off. Now I will say that for the first three or so days it does take some getting used to. Like you’re going to be looking at the clock and it’s going to be actually hard to focus because you’re hungry, because you might be a breakfast person, you might be used to having breakfast every morning. So I mean give it three days. But I will say now that I flipped and now that I’m used to that I have like this mental sharpness that is so awesome. And I love that it’s natural and it’s just boom.
A Better Relationship With Food
The other thing is that you get to indulge when you’re in that 8 hour window. And I’m not saying like go crazy but being able to not deny yourself for me has been so healing. My relationship with food has completely healed during this exercise. Food isn’t a big deal for me anymore. I don’t even weigh myself. Everyone keeps saying how much have you lost. And I say I stopped weighing myself. Like I realized I was having a bad relationship with the scale but I will tell you I’ve had people, I just saw family who hadn’t seen me in a while and they did say I looked slim down. But for me it wasn’t even the point. I’m glad that that’s happening because I am overweight and for health reasons I need to get my weight under control. But I think it’s going to take care of itself if long term, this is like a long play. I’m not trying to fit in to a wedding dress, like this is it for me.
So I’m cool with what’s happening. I feel good. My brain’s sharp. My relationship with food is healing. I don’t have guilt which don’t we all have enough guilt as it is. I mean I don’t want to generalize. Maybe you don’t have guilt but I know with ADHD there’s a lot of balls that can get dropped if you don’t have it under control. And some of us have in our history a sense of guilt of things we’ve screwed up. So if you’re one of those kind of people and the seating plan relieves you of guilt that’s one last thing you have to feel guilty about which is fantastic because I’m already going to feel guilty about losing the mail and all those other things. Like I have enough to be guilty about. I don’t need to be worried about what I’m eating.
And so I my cousin she’s already lost 40 pounds, her husband’s lost 15. That’s usually what gets people listening, like “Oh you have my attention. OK. Your weight’s flying off.” And I will say according to this book the first few weeks your body’s kind of repairing itself and the weight may not come off but it’s supposed to fly off after your body’s repaired itself. And like I said I’m not even going to try to get into the science of it all. But she relies on a very reliable body of work. All these other books, The Obesity Code, a lot of different scientific studies, like this isn’t some hokey mumbo jumbo, like this is actually legit stuff. And the reason I recommend her book is because well it’s what my cousin recommended but she was a schoolteacher and she’s real, like she just can explain it to you in a way that makes sense to you. It’s not over your head and it’s not boring, like she has a very cool conversational style. And it’s a quick read, you could sit there and read it in one or two sittings.
So if you’ve been hearing about that and you’re curious about it my two cents is in addition to all the benefits that already come with that lifestyle it’s a fantastic fit if you’re living with ADHD. And with that I’m going to peach out. I’m going to go start my work day but I really just I couldn’t wait to tell you guys. I went home and told my family about it and that’s how I find out because my cousin was so excited she told our family. So our family is hearing about it from multiple people, like hey man because our family we’ve tried everything and I really believe in this program so I thought I’d share it with my listeners. And so with that I’m going to head out, happy adulting until next week. Bye.