How to Safely Combat Post-Addiction Weight Gain

How to Safely Combat Post-Addiction Weight Gain

Weight gain at the time of rehab or recovery from alcohol or drug addiction can be a real problem. Individuals who overcome a great deal of suffering by combating addiction face yet another hurdle in the form of weight gain. A majority (65 percent) of those combating addiction face weight gain after quitting, and around 20 percent even become obese. Post addiction gain of weight can exacerbate health issues too. You can struggle with diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

Why People Face Weight Gain Post the Addiction Rehab?

Many struggle with weight gain post recovery from addiction for a variety of reasons. While recovering from addiction, the dopamine receptors in the brain’s reward sensors fall in number. This leads to poor emotional control and regulation. These brain changes happen in a gradual way after the addiction is overcome. It can be extremely enticing to process oily foods high in fat to get the dopamine receptors rush the drug used to earlier provide.

Drug and alcohol addiction mimics the dopamine rush and impacts the brain in the same way as high fat, processed junk foods. Consumption of food that is processed and comes with a wide amount of fat, salt and sugar activates the brain’s reward centers.

It also stimulates natural opioid substances and trigger feel good dopamine. Consuming unhealthy foods can have an impact on the body akin to that of consuming drugs, when it comes to weight gain. It can result in weight gain and overeating.

The Perfect Diet For Recovering Addicts

While recovering from the addiction, you need to ensure that your body gets the right energy and fuel as well as nutrition to ensure health remains optimal post recovery. Eat healthy fruits, veggies and unprocessed foods across the day.

Consuming nutritious food in 3 whole meals along with light snacks can maintain energy levels and encourage the brain to release feel good neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephine and serotonin. Eating nutritious food regularly ensures you do not miss out on key nutrients and vitamins.

Common nutrients that people with addiction combat include vitamin B, D, amino acids and Omega 3 fatty acids also contribute to excellent digestive health.

Along with eating healthy foods, you need to ensure that these are unprocessed as well. This keeps your body from missing out on key nutrients. Along with the perfect diet, you need to follow a certain routine and healthy exercise habits as well. Stay healthy and feel happy because this can stop you from binge eating.

Link Between Substance Abuse and Physical Appearance

Link Between Substance Abuse and Physical Appearance
Photo By: 13Smok/CC BY

It is important to note the link between alcohol/drug abuse and physical appearance. Substance abuse harms the body in diverse ways. It leads to negative changes in the lifestyle such as lack of proper diet and irregular eating, apart form sleep deficits and extreme weight loss. Continual weight loss can lead to further problems.

Recovery from drug/substance abuse impacts the body in many ways including the metabolic rate, organ function and mental health. Excellent nutrition can help heal the body and the mind. The toll active addiction takes on the mind and the body is dangerous. Nutrients need to be supplied to ensure that the body organs remain healthy and fend off infections. Additionally, once recovering addicts go off the drugs, there are chances that the brain which is starved of nutrition goes into fat storage mode once food actually becomes available.

Promote Health, Avoid Relapse

Those with substance abuse disorders are more likely to have a relapse if they suffer from poor eating habits. Those who have been addicted to drugs and alcohol can even mistake drug cravings for hunger pangs and vice versa. Consider whether or not you are hungry if you start getting the cravings.

You can consume nutritious meals and snacks and also get adequate rest to boost your chances of avoiding a relapse. Also, avoid caffeine and nicotine products for the best outcome. Additionally, apart from avoiding rich fatty foods, you need to take supplements like calcium. vitamin and minerals and sleep aids such as melatonin if you have a problem in sleeping.

Avoiding Weight Gain in Recovery

Appetite returns to normal during recovery. As a result of this, people are likely to overeat especially if the stimulants were taken during active periods of addiction. During recovery from substance abuse, dehydration also results and folks may mistake thirst for hunger and overeat. Rather than doing this, you need to ensure you take plenty of fluids and remain hydrated.

Try eating regularly and eat a low fat diet, avoiding high calorie foods that are low in nutrition. Also, increase the intake of complex, not simple carbs, and proteins as well as fiber rich foods.

Additionally, make sure you take vitamin and mineral supplements such as vitamins A, C and B complex as well as zinc. This can prove immensely beneficial during the recovery phase.

Overcoming Food Addiction

Overcoming Food Addiction
Photo By: Roos Rojas/CC BY

Once you quit drugs or substances, you can end up getting addicted to food. There’s binge eating and emotional compulsive eating as well. Weight gain during recovery can be a real issue even triggering relapse or food addiction.

Here are the common elements between drug addiction and over eating or excessive consumption of junk foods.

Common Brain Responses

Repeated use of substances like alcohol and drugs trigger the same areas in the brain as processed, fatty junk foods with a huge amount of sugar, fat and salt. This triggers dopamine to make us feel good, the overeating therefore triggering a replacement of drugs by food.

Countering Reduced Dopamine

Those facing a lack of dopamine rush can also suffer from emotional dysregulation and binge eating. Stress is a significant factor for relapse from drug addiction. Stress is a risk factor for overeating as well. Stress can trigger emotional eating as well, creating a vicious cycle.

Avoid Disordered Eating

Those with a history of substance abuse can place you at a higher risk for disordered eating and eating problems. Incoming clients need to be tested for the capacity to develop eating disorders. Many women and men who suffer from substance abuse disorders face eating problems at a later stage. Binge eating and rapid weight gain can also be a real problem as a recovering addict seeks to satisfy cravings for drugs or alcohol by resorting to food instead.

Combat Depression and Anxiety

Untreated depression or anxiety can lead to problems in overeating. Nutrient deficiencies that come about with drug or alcohol usage can lead to substance linked mood disorders. Treatment for anxiety and mood disorders or attention deficit disorders lowers the risk for over consumption of food as a co-morbid disorder.

Stave off Cravings

You need to avoid particular foods rich in sugar, salt or fat. The changes in taste preferences are given a scientific backing. Excessive taste for rich foods can lead to weight gain. It is important to undergo nutrition and lifestyle guidance and education. Lessons in nutrition and changes in diet can significantly increase the post recovery confidence, according to researchers.

Prevent Sobriety Weight Gain

Prevent Sobriety Weight Gain
Photo By:Engin Akyurt/CC BY

It is important to understand why folks gain weight post addiction and during the recovery period. Replacing drugs with food activates the reward centers of the brain triggering dopamine. Processed foods need to prevent being substituted for drugs or alcohol consequently.

Working on will power and stress management can provide the support needed to overcome anxiety, depression and weight gain. In addition to diet, exercise ensures lasting weight gain and prevents weight gain once sobriety is attained. For the best results, numerous diseases can be avoided with the CDC recommending that 30 minutes of moderate level exercises 5 or more days in a week. Exercise protects the metabolic rate and burns extra calories and fat effectively, ensuring stable moods.

Stay Mindful

It is important to consider the factors that come into play while warding off lack of emotional control. Bolster your will power and stay strong in the face of temptation. Staying mindful is important because this can make a big difference to relapse rates and post treatment recovery.  If you are looking for more information regarding drug addiction and post-Addiction Weight Gain, Please visit

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *