How to Quit Drinking Without Gaining Weight
Not everyone gains weight when he or she begins an alcohol recovery program but there are many people who do
The average gain is about ten pounds but there are many people who gain a significant amount of weight.
This weight gain is discouraging because with alcohol, it is generally easier to stay thin. The weight gain also
discourages other alcoholics from recovery because they know there is the possibility of a significant amount of
The important thing to realize is that a person would have to gain 150 pounds for the weight gain to be
unhealthier than the excessive drinking.
The most important components to quitting alcohol without weight gain are:
1. Physical activity - Most alcoholics are not physically active because they spend most of
their time drinking and/or acquiring their alcohol.
The addition of a minimum of just 30 minutes of physical activity a day will help keep away any additional
pounds that may come on from eating instead of drinking.
The physical activity will also help to pass the time that may have normally been spent drinking so that the
activity of drinking will not be missed as much.
2. Healthy eating - Alcoholics have a tendency to be unhealthy eater because they do not
typically eat full meals but they eat snack type meals a lot throughout their awake hours.
Getting rid of junk food and substituting alcohol for healthy foods and snacks will help weight stay off and
keep the person from unhealthy weight gain.
3. Manage cravings - It is important to plan activities that can substitute for time normally
spent with alcohol.
Cravings are worse during times of boredom. Remember H.A.L.T. and never get too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired
because those things will exacerbate the alcohol cravings.
4. Positive attitude - A positive attitude can be the key to success during the recovery
period. It is important to focus on the fact that recovery is a healthy choice and is quite possibly the best
choice a person could ever make for himself or herself.
When going into recovery it helps to know ahead of time what situations may promote weight gain so they can be
avoided or dealt with properly.
Longer meal times are one situation that can be a problem. Many alcoholics will hurry through their meals so
they can get back to serious drinking.
Without the anticipation of the alcohol, many people will spend more time sitting at the table, which can lead
to eating bigger amounts of food and for longer periods. Another problem can be the oral cravings for the
The alcoholic is used to the taste of the alcohol and actually keeping their mouth and hands busy so they fulfill
the craving with food.
Social situations are a big problem for recovering alcoholics because when everyone else is drinking they will
need to find something to do with their hands. This can lead to high calorie drinks and heavy snacking.
It is best to avoid situations where there will be alcohol simply because it can cause a relapse but if it is an
event the person must attend, they need to plan ahead of time what they will do instead of drink.
Recovery without weight gain can be a reachable goal with some planning and awareness of the