Many people who have gone to rehab find they also want to make changes to other parts of their lives after they’ve confronted their drug or alcohol addiction. That often includes going on a diet and trying to shed some weight. Post-rehab can be a great time to establish these healthy new eating habits. After all, you’re already introducing a huge change in behavior as you overcome addiction.
Here are some tips to assist you with starting a healthy diet detox program. Remember, even people in good health should consult with a doctor before embarking on a new diet.
Fruits and Veggies
At rehab you learned how to eliminate things from your life, whether they be alcohol or drugs. But you’ll need to add some things for your healthy diet, first and foremost fruits and vegetables. Fresh produce has natural detoxifying properties. It’s high in water, fiber and the sort of nutrients that can help flush toxins from your immune system.
After release from addiction rehab centers, recovering addicts should aim for at least five fruits and veggies per day. Once you meet this goal, try adding in one more serving per day each week, until you hit nine per day. That may sound like a lot, but a large-sized apple actually counts as two servings of fruit, and a salad can equal three or four, depending how big it is.
Lots and Lots of Water
Many recovering addicts find themselves reaching for sweets or soda to distract themselves from their cravings for drugs or alcohol. That can lead to weight gain or, in the longer term, health problems such as obesity or diabetes. Instead of grabbing something sugary, drink a glass of water when the craving hits. Get creative. Flavor your water with frozen berries or sliced cucumbers. Or try sparkling water for a bit of fizz.
Drinking water helps with proper kidney function and can help reestablish healthy functioning of the digestive system, if that was an issue in your addiction. Plus it’s a great habit to establish for the future. Improper hydration can mask itself as hunger, and you may find you’re less hungry when you’re drinking enough water.
Rebuilding Your Body
Drug and alcohol addiction can take a serious physical toll on your body. Some drug addicts, for example, lose hair and have weak teeth, while alcohol can impair liver function. It’s wise to try to rebuild these vital functions once you’ve gotten out of rehab, and supplements can be an important part of a healthy detox diet.
What supplements you’ll need likely depends on your addiction and other pre-existing conditions, but everyone can benefit from a multivitamin. Take it daily at the same time so that it becomes part of your routine. Skin and brain transmitters can get a boost from a daily fish oil supplement, while teeth and bones are strengthened with an extra dose of calcium.
Add Some Exercise
Another vital part of detox is exercise. This doesn’t mean going out and training for a marathon. Low-impact exercise can be just as beneficial to your body as weight lifting or running long distances. Many recovering addicts find yoga a great way to get limber and check in with their inner thoughts as they navigate the new world of sobriety. Others find a long walk can be equally meditative, and it also helps burn calories and get you out in the therapeutic fresh air.