Category Archives: Mental Health

Those Pesky Evening Snacks!


If you’re trying to lose weight, you may want to stop eating in front of the TV at night. A recent study presented at the European and International Conference on Obesity adds to the growing evidence that when you eat can matter almost as much as what you eat.

Researchers found that the average adult consumes nearly 40% of their daily calories after 6 pm, and hunger typically peaks at about 8 pm. Unfortunately, that’s long after you’ve probably completed most of your usual physical activities. Late night meals and snacks also tend to involve less nutritious food choices. You’re more likely to open a bag of chips than to toss a green salad.

That means you’re likely to go to bed with elevated blood sugar, which leads to storing more calories as body fat and increasing your risk of diabetes. Plus, digesting heavy meals can disrupt your sleep, causing an increase in appetite hormones and more weight gain. Breaking the cycle will help you to eat healthier and slim down. Scary stuff!Try these suggestions for changing your eating schedule to one that supports your health.

How to Eat More of Your Calories Earlier in the Day
  1. Change your bedtime. Do you skip breakfast because you run out of time? Go to bed earlier so you can avoid the rush and wake up feeling refreshed.
  2. Drink water. You lose about one liter of water due to breathing and perspiring each night. Rehydrating will make you feel more alert and stimulate your appetite.
  3. Go outside. Morning light gives you energy too. Make breakfast more appealing by working out outdoors first and eating on your balcony.
  4. Choose delicious foods. If you think cereal and milk is boring, try less conventional options. Eat grilled fish or black bean soup for the first meal of the day.
  5. Make it convenient. A nutritious breakfast can be simple. Heat up leftovers from last night’s dinner. Prepare the ingredients for a smoothie the night before and store it in your refrigerator.
  6. Stop for lunch. You’ll be more productive if you leave your desk for lunch. Pack a balanced meal you can bring with you. Browse online to find nearby restaurants with healthy takeout menus.
  7. Carry snacks. Keep a cooler in your car filled with healthy treats. Put them in your desk drawer too. Smart choices include nuts, string cheese, high protein cereals, and cut vegetables.
How to Cut Back on Late Day Calories:
  1. Plan your menu. Decide what you’re going to eat in advance. That way you’ll be less likely to accidentally binge on pizza or a whole pint of ice cream.
  2. Cook at home. Making your own meals lets you control the ingredients. Restaurant fare usually has more fat, salt, and sugar. I can’t be the only one who needs. nap after eating Chinese
  3. Limit portions. Serve meals on individual plates instead of family style bowls that encourage additional helpings. Buy single-serving snacks or take out 2 cookies instead of bringing the whole bag into the TV room.
  4. Leave the table. Lingering around the dinner table may extend your eating time. Go to another room or clear away the dishes if you want to talk.
  5. Focus on protein. Your body uses protein more effectively if you spread it out throughout the day instead of eating most of it at dinner. For evening snacks, a little protein will help you to feel full and stabilize your blood sugar.
  6. Brush your teeth. Try to stop eating at least 2 hours before bed. Brushing your teeth may remind you that the kitchen is closed until morning.

Knowing when to eat can make losing weight and eating a nutritious diet easier. Enjoy a hearty breakfast and lunch and lighten up on dinner and evening snacks with these strategies.

To Your Success,
Juan

Self Care Guide: Adults with ADHD


While medication and talk therapy can help you manage the symptoms of ADHD, daily habits pay a big role too. Regular doses of skillful self-care can boost your mood and make it easier to fulfill your responsibilities.

Paying attention to your physical, mental, and spiritual needs is essential. The more you love and nurture yourself, the greater your capacity to deal with troubling symptoms and pursue your goals.  Make your wellbeing a top priority. Use these self-care strategies for getting organized and staying healthy.

Simple self-care routines.

  1. Clear away clutter. Tidying up your home and office, reduces anxiety and cuts down on time spent searching for lost keys and remote controls. Give away possessions you rarely use or donate them to charity. Use shopping lists to cut down on impulse purchases, so you’ll have fewer things lying around.
  2. Go paper free. How much of your clutter is unread mail and magazines? Cut down on paper with digital subscriptions and online banking.
  3. Schedule your time. Maintaining a calendar can be a major challenge with ADHD. Find a basic system that works for you and set aside time each day to plan your activities.
  4. Use reminders. Take notes, make lists, and set alarms. Being proactive can often protect you from the consequences of forgetfulness.
  5. Act promptly. Procrastination is common when you have ADHD. If possible, complete a task immediately while you’re still thinking about it, so you can check that one off your list.
  6. Limit distractions. Figure out where you’re wasting time. Resolve to watch TV for two hours or less each day. Check your messages at designated times instead of watching your phone during meetings and meals.
  7. Browse for apps. See what technology can do for you. Free apps can help you record your to-do list, sort your photos, and relax in between.

Staying Healthy

ADHD can take a toll on your body and brain. Your stress levels rise when tasks become more difficult and relationships more complicated. You may also have trouble remembering to take your prescriptions and schedule doctor’s visits. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Exercise daily or as often as you can. Physical activity trains your mind too. Strengthen your focus along with your muscles. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week.
  2. Take frequent breaks. Pause in between tasks and move around. Go outside to take a walk or work in your garden.
  3. Change your diet. Some research suggests that what you eat could reduce ADHD symptoms. Foods rich in protein help to stabilize blood sugar and balance brain chemicals. Smart choices include fish, beans, and dairy products.
  4. Sleep well. Do you find it difficult to fall asleep and wake up frequently during the night? Try going to bed and waking up on a consistent schedule. Keep your bedroom dark and quiet and avoid heavy snacks and alcohol before bed.
  5. Ask for help. Inattentiveness and mood swings can lead to misunderstandings with family, friends, and coworkers. If you feel comfortable, let others know about your symptoms and the steps you’re taking to make positive changes. They may be eager to support you.
  6. See your doctor. Tell your physician about your self-care program and any natural remedies you use. That way, they can coordinate your care and make other recommendations based on your individual needs.

ADHD affects many aspects of life, but consistent self-care will help you to enjoy greater life balance and peace. Healthy habits and a supportive environment give you more opportunities to use your unique strengths and increase your happiness and productivity.

Self care is the best care. To close out the month, the final post will offer some Natural Approaches to ADHD.

Until the next post,

To Your Success,
Juan

Adult ADHD: The Facts


 

May is here!

Hopefully, you are having a much better Spring weather.  

If this is your first time stopping by, a big hearty WELCOME.  To my faithful subscribers, you are appreciated! If you ever need to get in touch, please send a message using the Get In Touch tab. I respond to all messages within 24 hours. In continuing with the mental health series,  ADHD is the focus for this month.

 

According to the American Psychiatric Association,Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common mental disorders affecting children. ADHD also affects many adults. Symptoms of ADHD include inattention (not being able to keep focus), hyperactivity (excess movement that is not fitting to the setting) and impulsivity (hasty acts that occur in the moment without thought).  It is more common among boys than girls.

STATS
About 4-5% of the population were diagnosed with adult ADHD before the diagnostic criteria changed in 2013 to include adults. That number may be substantially higher now. 60% or more of those who have ADHD symptoms as children or teens continue to have these traits as adults, including those who were never officially diagnosed. Only 10% of adults with ADHD are currently getting treatment. (Russell Barkley, 2010)

Causes of ADHD
Lower activity levels in the Prefrontal Cortex where attention is controlled is believed to cause ADHD. The lower activity levels are caused by:  

  • Genetics  
  • Lack of Dopamine and Norepinephrine 
  • In less than 10% causes may be environmental, due to illness or head injury, including birth. 
  • Fewer than 5% of these are believed to be from use of alcohol, drugs or nicotine during pregnancy. 

ADHD Diagnosis:
Previous DSM- IV guidelines specified that symptoms must be present before the age of 7; in the DSM-V, that has been changed to age 12.  

  • Adults need to exhibit five symptoms from at least one category, primarily hyperactive or primarily inattentive, or symptoms from both for the diagnosis of ADHD Combined Type. 
  • The symptoms must  lead to impairment in at least two areas of life: work, relationships, social, financial, parenting, home, etc.  
  • Adults with ADHD must have symptoms present since childhood unless caused by a head injury or other trauma.
  • The symptoms must occur in two or more settings.
  • Many adults with ADHD were not diagnosed as children, but find they still have problems in adulthood. If the symptoms have been present since childhood, particularly problems in school with academics and/or behavior, is is possibly undiagnosed ADHD.  (DSM-V, 2013)

Symptoms:

  • Many people have characteristics/traits, but do not show problems with executive functions.
  • They may be very active and high energy, but do not interrupt others, losing track of thoughts, forget things, struggle with disorganized, have problems listening, etc. 
  • These people generally do not meet the criteria for ADHD, and should be evaluated for Anxiety, Bi Polar II or Cyclothymia.

Until the next post, Dealing with ADHD At Work,

Best,

Juan