Establishing Healthy Eating Habits While in Sobriety


Recovery from an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol is a process that involves learning healthier coping mechanisms and reestablishing habits that support health and sobriety. Living under the influence of drugs and alcohol is counterproductive to self-care, as a person often neglects basic needs in pursuit of the substance to which one is addicted. One important part of self-care that is often lost is healthy eating habits and general good nutrition. This can result in a myriad of side effects and negative consequences for the person struggling with addiction.

Building New Healthy Eating Habits

Being in recovery from addiction allows a person to rebuild new habits that support their health and wellness once again. Learning to eat adequately and nourish one’s body appropriately through nutrition is an important step in the recovery journey.

Depending on the severity of an addiction, a person may not be used to eating normal meals or even know what foods to eat to support health and nutrition.

Nutrition Can Be Overwhelming

Learning to eat healthy can be overwhelming for any person, especially for someone who has struggled with an addiction to drugs or alcohol. It is important to know that this process can happen gradually and by making small changes over time.

You may consider working with a professional, such as a registered dietitian, who can offer you guidance on eating with your eating habits. Having a basic meal plan can give you a foundation for building eating habits that support your long-term recovery.

Small Changes to Make for Healthy Eating Habits

Man walking in forest thinking about his new Healthy Eating HabitsSmall changes that you might consider making include eating small, frequent meals, aiming for variety and balance, and eating foods that incorporate food from all the food groups, including lean proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables, low fat dairy and whole grains.

Healthy eating habits include moderation, balance, and learning to listen to and honor your body’s hunger and fullness cues. Another important aspect of healthy eating is hydration. Ensure that you are drinking enough fluids throughout the day, including water, fresh juices, milk and teas.

Learning to eat healthy once more is a process that can happen gradually with commitment and effort to the process.

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer a discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from multiple physical, emotional, environmental, and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Published on August 22, 2015
Reviewed and Updated by Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on January 12, 2021
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