Alcohol and drug misuse have far-reaching consequences that permeate every aspect of a person’s life. It may alter outward look, delay metabolism, affect organ function, and negatively impact mental health. Eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet during recuperation will speed up the process of returning your mind and body to peak performance. So, let’s dive into the role of nutrition and meal planning in addiction recovery.
Changes in eating habits and nutrition due to addiction
If you’re in the thick of active addiction, chances are you’re not putting your nutritional needs first. You probably spent more time and effort acquiring, using, and recuperating from the effects of drugs or alcohol than you did on maintaining a healthy lifestyle and eating well.
Addiction may have far-reaching effects on a person’s eating habits and nutritional intake. Addicts often engage in potentially harmful actions when it comes to their relationship with food.
Caption: Addiction disturbs a healthy diet, so the role of nutrition and meal planning in addiction recovery is important.
Not eating enough or eating unproperly
You are either not eating enough, or eating improperly, since, like many addicts, they may have spent all their money on drugs or booze. Therefore, you may have opted for less expensive, unhealthy choices or neglected to eat enough to keep your body fueled and nourished.
Not eating at all
Some drugs, such meth, and cocaine, diminish appetite and can cause serious eating disorders. If you’re under the influence of other substances, such as alcohol or narcotics, you can forget to eat. However, it is not unusual for alcoholics and addicts to fast for brief periods of time.
On the other hand, some experience extreme hunger
Some individuals experience extreme hunger while they are high or when they are coming down from a high, and they may binge eat until they are too full to continue.
Substance abuse causes problems – both psychical and physical
Abuse of alcoholic beverages is harmful to the digestive system, among other organs. Vitamin shortages, diabetes, hormone imbalances, pancreatitis, memory loss, and other health problems have all been linked to alcoholism.
Constipation is a common symptom of opioid dependence, and many individuals who depend on opioids for relief also suffer from the condition. Opioid addicts may attempt laxatives in an effort to void. Unfortunately, this may cause even more discomfort through nausea, indigestion, and perhaps vomiting.
Addiction to stimulants
Stimulants, in particular, are well-known for their ability to reduce hunger. Malnutrition, vitamin deficiency, and dehydration are all possible outcomes of this. Long-term adverse effects of these consequences, coupled with drug misuse, may lead to a multitude of issues, including dental decay, blisters on the arms, hair loss, and fast weight loss.
The good news is that by switching to a healthy diet and getting enough nutrients throughout recovery, you can undo a lot of the harm that poor nutrition and addiction have done. You might end up needing a lot of food supplements too, but when you finally establish a healthy level of all of the needed nutrients, it will be worth it.
How can meal plans help?
Planning a meal can seem like a daunting task. But, whenever you put in writing all the things you ate and are about to eat – it gets easier to track down all the necessary substances and molecules.
According to the addiction recovery experts at Archstone Behavioral Health, after starting therapy, maintaining a healthy diet is essential for forming the habit of cooking nutritious meals on a regular basis. After this attitude is formed, you may continue providing your physique with the essential vitamins and minerals it needs throughout your recovery.
Most facilities that help people overcome their addiction also include nutritional counseling if they need advice on what to eat or how to cook healthy meals. You may have the chance to work privately with a dietician to design a meal plan and discover useful strategies that will assist you in keeping a balanced diet.
Possible dietary suggestions
You may be given dietary recommendations such as:
- Be mindful of how much sugar you eat
- To maintain healthy blood sugar levels, eat at regular intervals
- Eat more protein and fiber
- Reduce your coffee consumption
- It’s best to stay away from processed and quick meals.
- Consume enough complex carbs
- Hydrate yourself by drinking water
Nutritional guidance should be provided from the beginning of the detox process forward for best efficacy. Staying hydrated and eating a balanced diet, even if you don’t feel like eating during detoxing, can help alleviate your symptoms and keep you safe. A proper diet may also help regulate your mood and give you the additional push you need to endure substance and alcohol withdrawal.
Don’t forget to stay active
Being outside and exercising in the clear air can also help a lot with a vitamin D deficiency. A lot of addicts have severe vitamin D deficiency that causes significant health issues. This is a perfect example of how staying active outside and eating healthier can improve one segment of your health (since you can both consume vitamin D by food or get it by staying in the sun).
Meal planning and good nutrition are crucial when it comes to addiction recovery. But they go hand in hand with physical activity. By exercising regularly, you increase your dopamine levels, and you feel more satisfied. That’s why it becomes less likely that you’ll seek some other unhealthy ways of reaching satisfaction. Experts say that staying active is crucial for recovering addicts during this difficult time, not only in nutrition and meal planning.
As you see, the role of nutrition and meal planning in addiction recovery is quite important. If you, or your loved one, are going through this difficult time, we strongly encourage you to try out working on your nutrition. In the best-case scenario, you’ll search for a licensed and experienced nutritionist that will help you along the way. But, if you can’t afford it now, there are many helpful and insightful articles online. And of course, you can always contact us, and we’ll do our best to help.
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