Drug Rehabilitation Blog

Weight Gain in Addiction Recovery

How Common is Weight Gain in Addiction Recovery?

Addiction can produce a multitude of effects upon an individual’s body, health, and mental state. I t can take tremendous strength, effort, and resolve for an individual to overcome addiction. Once a person is in recovery, these effects of long-term substance use can continue to affect them in some ways. Something that happens with many individual’s bodies when they get sober is that they gain weight. You need to understand that weight gain in addiction recovery is not a bad thing. People have neglected their health and well-being for a very long time.

Reasons for Weight Gain in Addiction Recovery

While this can be quite concerning for many people, the reality is that it is quite a common occurrence. In fact, a significant amount of those in recovery ends up gaining weight due to different factors. Statistics have even been claimed as high as 65% of those in recovery gain weight.  The reasons for weight gain during recovery can include things such as:

  • Your Body’s Repairs – Addiction very thoroughly deprives the body of nutrients that are needed for it to function well, and for processes to be duly completed. During the beginning period of sobriety, the body is going through many healing processes and needs many nutrients like proteins, vitamins, and healthy fats. Weight gain in addiction recovery can be the body’s way of repairing itself.
  • Overeating – Unfortunately, a common occurrence in addiction recovery is overeating. Foods can stimulate the brain in similar ways as drugs by activating the reward center, which produces chemicals such as dopamine. Some individuals turn to food to essentially replace or substitute their previous addiction without realizing it. Food can be used as a way to cope with cravings for many, which can lead to overeating when there are huge cravings. An interesting thing to remember with this is the fact that, just as with drugs, tolerance can be built up to food, which requires the person to eat more and more to achieve the same effects. Substituting food for drugs is not a healthy reason for weight gain in addiction recovery.
  • Relearning Proper Habits – During addiction, a person does not pay much attention to the types of foods they are eating, and whether they are adequate and nutritious meals. Addicts often consume very unhealthy, processed, or junk foods, and some may eat very little in general. There is also the factor of exercise, which is also generally neglected during addiction. It often can come down to simply relearning these proper habits so that the body can once again begin to operate healthily.

The fortunate thing is that a person is not stuck with this weight gain, and several things can be done to start to handle it.  It can require some effort and commitment, but weight gained during recovery does not have to be permanent. You can start to learn proper habits again, such as eating healthy and exercising to begin to shed those extra pounds.

Best Drug Rehabilitation Can Treat Your Or Your Loved One’s Addiction

Overcoming addiction can be a very tough battle, and sometimes a struggling individual needs some help. When this is the case, proper inpatient treatment can assist a person significantly. It can help an individual to address their addiction in general, as well as the underlying difficulties and issues that contributed to it. Not every treatment center addresses these underlying problems as part of the dependency, but these are important to handle as part of therapy. Here at Best Drug Rehabilitation, we work to address both the addiction and the underlying factors with a comprehensive program. We tailor a program for each that is admitted into our facility. Take the first steps toward a long and sober life and give us a call today.

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