HALTA popular tool used in addiction and recovery programs is known as “HALT.” This acronym stands for hungry, angry, lonely, and tired. It suggests that a person should consider if any of these factors are present when a person is presented with thoughts of relapse. It is based on the idea that when someone’s basic needs aren’t met, the ability to reason and make sound decisions is impaired. Hunger must be sated and in a healthy way. By not fulfilling your body’s nutritional needs, you may lose the ability to function up to your potential. It’s also safe to say that hunger and being tired (the H and T in HALT) are closely related, and not eating properly can lead to fatigue, which in turn can lead to cravings for junk food or high-calorie meals. For these reasons, it is not hard to see why eating balanced meals during recovery can be vital in avoiding relapse. The following dietary tips can be very helpful in relieving some discomfort during acute withdrawal, as well as promote long-term sobriety.
HydrationHydration is vital for people in general, and it is especially essential when withdrawing from alcohol because it is a substance that has dehydrating properties. In clinical environments, people undergoing detox may be given water intravenously, and are encouraged to drink lots of fluids that will promote proper hydration. If you are detoxing at home, you should follow this advice, as well.
Fruits and VegetablesDue to having high amounts of fiber, fruits and vegetables digest quickly and may stave off hunger more effectively than some other foods. Also, people detoxing from alcohol often have cravings for sugar. This is because alcohol consumption can affect blood sugar levels significantly. Fruits contain sugar, which can fulfill sugar cravings and may be healthier alternatives to other sweet foods. Experts have suggested that among the most beneficial are raspberries, strawberries, oranges, bananas, and pears.
Whole GrainsCarbohydrates are essential for recovery, as they provide both fiber and energy, which people undergoing detox may be lacking. While refined grains (e.g., white bread) also have carbohydrates, they are less than ideal in the long-run. Whole grains contain more fiber and can result in feeling fuller and may be less likely to cause digestive issues.
Vitamin BProlonged, heavy alcohol consumption often leads to a lack of vitamin B, so it is vital to replenish it in the body’s supply. Vitamin B supplements can be taken, though it is recommended that people going through detox eat foods high in vitamin B, which include a wide variety of options, such as the following:
- Whole grains, such as brown rice and some bread
- Meat, such as poultry or beef
- Eggs and dairy products, such as milk and cheese
- Legumes, such as beans and lentils
- Seeds and nuts, such as sunflower seeds and almonds
- Dark, leafy vegetables, such as spinach
- Fruits, such as citrus, avocados, and bananas