The key to living longer is not just in how you treat your body (though that’s a starter). Food is a key component to living a healthy, happy life in recovery. Diets are not a great way to restrict food intake or challenge your body on a regular basis. Healthy eating should become a lifestyle, not a one-off change or diet plan. Once you are off the diet, your body rebounds and you can end up back where you started. One way to consider a healthier way of living is to eat smaller portions more often than eat less, bigger meals. Consider the following tips when developing your health and nutrition plan in recovery.
Avoid the Junk
Calorie-restricted diets are a hot thing for many people. Humans need a certain amount of calories to be healthy and maintain a healthy lifestyle. The challenge is realizing you can restrict calories to lose weight or train your body a certain way can harm the body over time. Your body already went through enough with addiction, so restricting junk food is just going to put your body at greater risk. Some key things to consider:
- Restricting calories can work for short periods of time
- The process is like a nutritional detox for the body’s cells
- Weight loss goals should be done with long-term habits in mind, not short term losses
Fuel is necessary to live and function well. The vast majority of calorie intake boosts the body’s cells and keeps it healthy. A balanced diet with nutrient-dense foods is going to be the best way to support long-term health and weight goals. Counting calories is hard but processed foods and sugar-laden treats are not going to help you feel better. What you need is food that brings healthy energy and helps heal your body. You will actually need to eat less food to sustain health if you consume less healthy food than more carb-loaded, unhealthy food.
Less is More
The key to maintaining a lifestyle where you eat less for better health is to find healthier food options when you cook and eat at home. Eating out can be expensive and hard to find good options. Things to keep in mind:
- Eat five to six smaller meals and portions throughout the day
- Eat less sugar
- Consume most calories earlier in the day, eating less before bed
- Exercise consistently every day at least 30 minutes
- Watch out for overabundance of breads and grains in your diet
- Consult a physician and treating team before restricting calories on a diet
If you are looking to lose weight and feel great, that is a lofty goal in recovery. Weight is not always the most important factor in health, so long as you maintain a balance. Speak with a treating team who can support your nutritional needs in recovery and find the program that is right for you.
A Step in the Right Direction provides quality care for clients seeking support for addiction recovery. We teach people how to live a sober life through programs, therapeutic support, and evidence-based therapies. Our recovery program is staffed by people who understand the power of addiction. For more information sober living programs for men and women as well as recovery programs, call (877) 377-3702.