Does Substance Use Treatment Require a Nutritious Diet?

Treatment is hard. It takes confronting problems that have been buried or masked by substance use, enduring the physical and mental toll of detox, and restoring relationships. Therefore, when you enter treatment, the focus should be on improving the things you can control in your life. Among the things that you can control is improving your diet.

Why Do I Need to Worry About My Diet?

Is it required to have a nutritious diet during treatment? The short answer is no; it is not required. If you want a successful recovery, then the answer is yes. A nutritious diet will benefit you.

Balancing Out Your Weight

A fairly common symptom of substance abuse disorder is a fluctuation in weight, which can mean weight gain or weight loss. Further, it can also be discouraging when you look in the mirror and see a body you do not recognize.

Nutrition and Exercise

Introducing and maintaining a nutritious diet can help get you back to a healthy weight. In addition, exercise might need to be included to help ensure a healthy lifestyle. The inclusion of a healthy diet mixed with exercise will provide your body with the nutrients and energy it needs to support treatment and exercise. Maintaining this regimen will also promote a feeling of positivity.

Helping With Detox

As mentioned earlier, detox can place a huge strain on the body. With active addiction, substance use becomes the priority over everything else. Therefore, you will want to include and maintain a healthy diet. While this is not the case for everyone, it might be helpful to look into the nutrients your body is missing and what you can do to improve the situation.

For example, when you have to fight off a cold or virus, giving your body a boost of vitamins and minerals helps ease the symptoms and allows you to recover faster. Good nutrition will do the same in helping manage withdrawal symptoms experienced during detox. It can be hard to keep food down during detox, so you may need to take vitamin supplements or drink a smoothie.

Mental Health Benefits

A 2020 study in the journal Nutrients focuses on the benefits of incorporating fruits and vegetables into your diet. The study concluded that introducing these types of food into your diet increases your overall mental health. Good nutrients reduce psychological distress and ambiguity and protect against depressive symptoms.

Incorporating healthier food choices also promotes optimism and self-efficiency. Such benefits are key in helping you through the detox process, continuing treatment, and eventually getting on the road to recovery.

Creates Healthy Habits

When you first enter detox, it can feel like your whole world is being turned upside down. Detox is the first step to rebuilding your life into something better and stronger than you had when using substances. Therefore, when you set out and establish healthy practices, you set yourself up to sustain long-term results.

Lack of Understanding

Alternatively, you might not understand what a healthy diet looks like. Recent research found that there is a lack of education when it comes to healthy lifestyles and habits. There is a possibility that you or someone you know has never been exposed to a nutritional diet even before there were issues with substances. There is no shame in that. Remember, just because you never learned about nutrition does not mean you cannot learn now.

Overall Benefits and Implementing Change

As stated earlier, it is not required to have a nutritious diet during treatment. Keep in mind that the benefits are incredible. Switching to a nutritious diet will only make the recovery process easier. This does not have to be a drastic change overnight. Being patient and persistent with meeting your goals will take you much further than trying to change everything at once. Therefore, small, incremental changes over a period of time are key.

Good nutrition leads to an overall better sense of self; it helps with sleep and provides the energy you need to handle the challenges of everyday life. Therefore, implementing good nutrition is just the beginning. From this, you can shape a regimen that will help you long after detox. Let good nutrition be the seeds that become the forest for a healthy recovery regimen.

Plan With a Professional

Consult a professional if you have questions and concerns about treatment. A licensed professional will work with you prior to entering treatment. This usually involves creating a plan. Having a plan going into treatment will provide motivation, direction, and accountability. When you discuss a plan, make sure to involve good nutrition.

Creating and maintaining a nutritional diet is not always an easy path. It can seem overwhelming, and it can be more difficult if you struggle with a substance use disorder. However, the ultimate goal is to establish a plan to put your recovery needs first, and good nutrition plays a key role. At NorthStar Transitions, we understand that treatment is not one-size-fits-all. Treatment requires a balance of conventional and holistic practices to address an individual's needs appropriately. Our experienced staff will help you navigate treatment to set you up for success in recovery. If you or someone you know needs treatment, the time to get help is now. Our admissions staff is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to ensure you will always have support when you need it. To learn more, call us today at (303) 558-6400.  

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