During the detox process, many patients experience weight gain. This is because when the drugs begin to leave their body, their appetite starts to increase. Physicians check their weight closely since it can become risky if a person gains a lot of weight in a short span of time.
There are many health consequences if a person eats a lot of food. For example, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity may develop along with other health problems. But a healthy increase in appetite can be good for patients who entered the recovery program who have low body weight.
There are some patients who find it challenging to eat properly during their detox phase. With marijuana and alcohol withdrawal, appetite loss is a common symptom. Opioid withdrawal can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea. Doctors have to ensure that the patients in addiction recovery do not lose too much of their weight during this time.
Some of the prescription meds used during the detox phase can also complicate the patients’ diet plans. For example, disulfiram and naltrexone are known to cause vomiting and nausea. Acamprosate, on the other hand, can increase one’s appetite but it can also make food taste different. Buproprion, buprenorphine, and methadone’s effects include appetite changes and constipation.
What is Nutrition Therapy?
Patients during detox usually have structured meal plans. This healthy diet has positive effects that will become more apparent as they progress through their recovery program and start therapy.
The recovery can be really fast when the patients have structured meals. A good rehab facility serves the three basic meals and snacks. When there’s more structure, the chances for recovery are more likely.
The meals have to have a good balance between carbs and protein. Each of the meals has to include vegetables and fruits. With nutrition therapy, it’s not just about ensuring that the patients eat good food while they are in treatment. The dieticians also educate the patients on the difference between craving for drugs and craving for food.
Other than that, patients are also taught about how they can build their own healthy meal plans so that they’ll know how to shop for food and then prepare nutritious and well-balanced meals in their own homes. This way, after their treatment in the recovery centre is completed, they’ll know how to ensure that they’re getting their nutritional needs.
How Eating Disorders are Treated
For patients recovering from drug addiction and also have eating disorders, they need a more intensive kind of therapy compared to those who are only being treated for their drug addiction. Such patients go through individual therapy and also have regular appointments with the dietician.
When a patient has the habit of purging or binge eating, the therapy is about how to reduce the problematic behaviours and how to stay safe. For example, if an individual always purges whenever eating a particular food, then it is most likely that they won’t be served with that food until such time that they can learn healthier coping skills. They are taught not to associate that food with the act of purging.
Another common kind of therapy is exposure therapy which is used in helping patients to overcome the anxiety that they feel whenever they are presented with certain foods. There may be times when “challenge foods” are given to them so that they will be exposed to those foods.
Dining out is also practiced as well as practicing how not to eat more than what’s in their diet program. If the patients will eat more, then they may feel that they need to purge or do other harmful behaviours.
When maintaining sobriety, there is a higher chance of success if the body is nourished and healthy. To do this, comprehensive meal plans need to be provided during drug addiction treatment.
People who are going through recovery ought to learn how to prepare their own healthy meals and stick to a good diet. This ensures that they are energized and feel good about themselves. A healthy diet prevents relapse and greatly helps in the recovery of the patients.
How to Build Healthier Eating Habits
When it comes to food, people with drug use problems typically go for easier choices. These are usually processed foods that have a lot of sweeteners, fat, and salt. Such foods offer a sugar rush and instant gratification. Corn syrup and sugar in themselves are addictive and will not help at all in an already dysfunctional lifestyle.
However, if a person will learn about good nutrition and proper planning, they will make better choices when it comes to the food that they’ll eat. They also need to be committed to sticking to a healthy diet. Eating healthy will pave the way to bigger changes in a drug addict’s life.
In building healthier eating habits, there are two fundamental guidelines that may be accomplished at the same time. The first one is eating less sugar. One way to do this is to start reading labels. Avoid foods that have corn syrup, HFCS, or high sugar. You can see if the food has them in the ingredients list.
The second is eating less processed food. You’ll know if the food is processed when you start seeing that it has ingredients with plenty of words that you are not familiar with. You wouldn’t want to put those inside your body.
Those are the two things to remember on what not to do. Now, let’s take a look at the things that ought to be done to have a healthier diet. The rule here is actually quite simple; eat plenty of whole foods. These are legumes, vegetables, brown rice, and whole oats, among the many.
Know what healthy fats are and choose those instead of unhealthy ones. Some sources of healthy fats include seeds, nuts, flaxseed oil, and olive oil. You can enjoy a wide variety of healthy foods that will give proper nourishment to the body.
Building Better Habits for Self-Care
Nutrition is vital to supporting one’s drug addiction recovery. It creates better mental and physical health. Learning how to choose good food has so many benefits. It makes you feel good about yourself for taking on such responsibilities and being able to do them well. When you fail to choose good food and stick to healthy habits, then you’re not taking care of yourself enough.
During recovery, habits are very important. You’ll learn to discard the bad ones and create healthier habits that help in making you happy and keeping you healthy. It may not be easy at first but with enough practice, it will be easier as you go along. Hopefully, you’ve learned a thing or two on how to build healthier eating habits during drug addiction recovery.