Weight gain is common during early recovery after addiction. Studies have found that two possible mechanisms might provide an explanation: a rebound of appetitive processes that were suppressed during active addiction and addiction transfer – with some individuals responding to cravings with eating.
While addiction treatment centers can provide a controlled environment in which you can manage food intake and exercise routines, it’s important to have the tools necessary to continue with a healthy recovery once you leave. Here are a few helpful tips for managing weight gain after addiction recovery:
Seeking treatment at addiction treatment centers in Tennessee and further afield can see you provided with the wraparound support needed to put you on the path to addiction recovery. Nutritious meals and exercise can often form part of the treatment, and these two important things can be just as important once you leave the safe and secure environment of an addiction treatment center.
Now that you’re nourishing your body with food, you need to remain healthy. Fortunately, exercise can be fun, easy to do, and affordable. Go for walks with friends, swim at your local swimming pool, or take up cycling. You might also see the value in a group exercise class or one-on-one personal training at your local gym.
Ask Friends for Help
It’s easy to feel like you’re on your addiction recovery journey on your own, especially if you’re the only one in your friends’ circle or family who has struggled with addiction.
However, you don’t have to navigate the challenges associated with post-addiction weight gain alone.
Talk to people you trust about what you’re going through and see if they can help motivate you to start exercising and eating more nutritious food. Whether it’s an old friend you had before your addiction or someone you met during the recovery process, it’s important to have someone you can rely on when you need them the most.
Talk to Experts
Just as you spoke to experts when you needed help recovering from your addiction, you can do the same when you’re struggling with weight gain during and after your recovery. Experts like dieticians and your recovery support network can be valuable sources of information. It’s important to seek help when you feel like weight gain could contribute to you thinking about taking extreme measures to avoid it, such as starving yourself or relapsing.
Change Your Eating Habits
When you were in the throes of your addiction, stimulants may have caused the suppression of ghrelin secretion, resulting in a reduced appetite. As a result, you could eat any type of food and likely wouldn’t gain weight because you weren’t eating enough.
Now that you’re clean and free from addiction, you’re likely eating more frequently because your appetite is no longer suppressed. While you might be consuming the same food as before, it’s possible that you’re eating more of it, leading to weight gain.
A balanced diet can contribute to a healthy weight, so don’t underestimate the importance of changing your eating habits. Fruit, vegetables, and whole grains should form the majority of your daily menu.
Weight gain after addiction recovery isn’t unexpected, but it can come as a shock to many. Fortunately, weight gain is entirely manageable with the right support network, an exercise routine, and a healthy diet.