Do Eating Habits Affect Recovery?

Many people don’t think about how their eating habits can affect their recovery. While there are many ways that a person’s eating habits can have positive effects on his or her recovery, there is also the other side of the coin. There are those who pick up poor eating habits in their recovery, which can be an early warning sign of relapse. If the person can learn about the benefits of eating habits in recovery and stick to them, they’ll have a much better chance of staying sober.

Eating Habits in Addiction
In a person’s addiction, one of the last things on his or her mind is their personal health. Depending on a person’s substance of choice, he or she may gain or lose a lot of weight. In either case, people who develop an addiction to drugs or alcohol often aren’t thinking about healthy food choices.

Drastic weight gain or loss isn’t healthy. People who develop a dependence on drugs like opiates, meth, or cocaine will often lose quite a bit of weight. Each of these substances can decrease a person’s appetite, but some simply cannot hold down their food because of the stomach issues associated with substance abuse. For some, their lack of caring about their diet causes drastic weight gain, and this can be associated with alcohol as well as some drugs.

New Eating Habits Help with Recovery
Any good treatment program for drug and alcohol addiction is going to put an emphasis on nutrition. Maintaining a good diet in recovery has a laundry list of benefits. Many people take for granted the power that some of these foods have to not only increase a person’s physical health, but their mental health as well. For many people getting sober, simply learning or re-learning about nutrition is crucial.

Body positivity plays a major role in a person’s recovery, and it’s important for people to learn to love themselves. One of the best ways to feel better is to begin to see a healthy change in body type. For some, this may be weight loss, but others begin to see the positive change by gaining a healthy amount of weight.

Healing the Body 
Throughout a person’s addiction, they’re doing much more damage to their body than he or she realizes. Withdrawal as well as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) can sometimes be so painful and uncomfortable that people relapse. One of the best ways to deal with these symptoms is through a healthy diet as any muscles and nerves are damaged during prolonged substance abuse.

It’s common for those who suffer from the disease of addiction to have also developed health issues like heart disease or diabetes. Alcoholism is a common factor when it comes to diabetes, and it’s also a contributing factor for heart disease as well. Opiates, cocaine, and other drugs can also cause problems with the heart. In many cases, the heart can become enlarged and have difficulty pumping fluid throughout the body.

Those who pick up healthy eating choices and follow up with a doctor can begin to see health improvements within months and sometimes weeks. The liver is responsible for filtering out toxins, so it’s also important to find foods for a healthy and clean liver. Some of the best foods to heal and cleanse the liver include garlic, grapefruit, avocado and leafy greens. A healthy diet and lifestyle change play great roles in how well recovery works.