You may not have had the healthiest lifestyle when you were drinking or using drugs, giving way to the thought that pretty much anything is an improvement. But, if you truly want to get clean and sober, eating a healthy diet can be an essential part of that formula.
Unfortunately, this can be a challenge thanks to food cravings that could arrive in drug rehab. The good news is that most addiction treatment centers address nutrition and discourage the overconsumption of sugar.
What Do Food Cravings Have to Do With Addiction Treatment?
When you detox from alcohol or drugs, your body and mind go through some drastic changes. A drug rehab center will help ease the transition with medication-assisted treatment where necessary, but you will still be subject to some physical and emotional effects.
Many people suddenly become incredibly hungry once they have completed the detox process. This is likely a positive sign since you may be underweight or in poor health thanks to your drug or alcohol use. The difficulty is that many of the food cravings are for sugary substances, which are not necessarily the best choice.
Why Are You Craving Sugar in Addiction Recovery?
When you are trying to break from alcohol or drug addiction, you may have a tendency to consume too much sugar. The body will convert alcohol to sugar, which results in elevated blood sugar levels. When an alcoholic stops drinking, those blood sugar levels will drop, and they will crave the sugar replacement.
Sugar also has an effect on the brain’s dopamine levels. Both alcohol and many drugs affect this reward center of the brain. This explains why a drug addict has sugar cravings as well during early recovery.
While some sugar in the diet is fine in addiction recovery, addicts and alcoholics are in danger of switching one addiction for another. Overconsumption of sugar can also be a health risk for obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other serious issues. It is for these reasons that experts warn about consuming unlimited quantities of sugar and instead recommend opting for a healthier diet.
How a Nutritious Diet in Drug Rehab Can Aid in Your Recovery
Eating too much sugar will just lead to more sugar cravings. This is a familiar addictive cycle that you would probably like to avoid. Instead, you can control these cravings and rebuild your health by eating regular meals that are rich in protein and nutrients.
Some of the healthy meals that you might eat in a drug rehab include:
- Breakfast: Pancakes, bagels, waffles, or muffins.
- Lunch: Chicken breast, deli sandwich, ham steak, tacos, or pizza.
- Dinner: Salmon, pork chop, top sirloin, pasta, or chili – with vegetables and salad.