One of the interesting things that often happens particularly early on in recovery and most strongly with those whose drug of choice was alcohol, is sudden and incredibly strong cravings for sugar. This can be incredibly hard to deal with but makes sense in light of the fact that alcohol is primarily made up of sugar. When you take away that sugar that you are getting in the form of alcohol, it makes sense that your body notices it is not getting the sugar it is now accustomed to and does what it can to get you to ingest sugar in other forms. This often leaves people struggling with overwhelming cravings for sugary foods and drinks.
This can understandably be frustrating and somewhat concerning for many people who are struggling with this issue. So how do we tackle this need for sugar if it comes up in our recovery? I think the biggest thing to keep in mind is that this craving for sugar typically doesn’t last forever. It can be hard to sit with certainly, but it does lessen over time. Being gentle on ourselves is an important part of this as well. It’s ok to have more sugary food then you might normally when you feel you need to. Recovery is hard, and beating ourselves up about what we are eating during this journey is not going to make it any easier.
Also, as I am also a strong proponent of intuitive eating, I am always an encourager of listening to your body when it comes to food and trusting that our cravings and hunger/fullness cues will naturally stabilize. If you do these things still don’t see your need for sugar decrease over time? Then maybe it’s time to talk to a therapist if you aren’t already, and work with them around both recovery as well as food and body image concerns, ideally someone who operates from a Health At Every Size perspective.
Questions around the need for sugar in early recovery or anything else addiction related? Please feel free to get in touch!