Obesity is one of the fastest rising health issues in the world and its innate dangers are difficult to ignore. Many physicians go as far as to say there is a global epidemic of obesity. It is important to point out that becoming obese is not necessarily a consequence of giving up alcohol, tobacco, or drugs. The propensity towards hectic eating schedules, the consumption of high calorie fast food products, binge eating, genetic predispositions, glandular problems, and numerous other factors that produce the same results.
However, we’re here to talk about one of the risks you will be facing in sobriety, namely replacing alcohol with a different vice: overeating. But first, let’s clarify the concept of obesity and underline the differences between being overweight and being obese.
Am I Overweight or Obese? How Do You Tell?
It’s fair to point out that very few people in the world have the ideal weight for their stature. In fact, unless you dedicate yourself heart and soul to regular workouts and 100% healthy diets, it would be impossible to achieve and maintain the perfect weight. Many of us are slightly over or under this “standard of perfection”, but that doesn’t necessarily imply our health is at risk. Being a bit overweight can also imply that you have more muscle mass or that your body is retaining water.
Obesity means having an abnormal amount of fat compared to the muscle tissue. Furthermore, according to the Body Mass Index scale, which is not a precise measurement tool but rather a guideline, a person with a rating between the 25 and 30 is considered overweight, whereas one exceeding the 30 rating would be obese.
Why Do Alcoholics Tend to Put on Weight During Sobriety?
Two main reasons here, folks. Namely that alcoholics utilize an erroneous coping strategy of replacing alcohol with fast food and also because their body is used to obtaining a high amount of calories from booze, a source that now requires a substitute. In addition, ingesting high calorie foods without consuming the excess energy afterwards will make you put on weight. You should also consider that as we age our metabolism slows down; hence, you will gradually start to gain more weight from the same amount of food.
Issues Related to Weight Gain Post Rehab
I’m sure you’re familiar with the general implications of obesity, starting with constant fatigue and lack of energy and ending with coronary and cardiovascular diseases. For the recovering alcoholic, excessive weight gain can also be very problematic on a psychological level. If the former alcoholic starts identifying the weight gain with sobriety, then he could be tempted to confer the newfound state an aura of negativity. At the same time, the more weight he gains, the lower his self-esteem gets. This could eventually plunge him into depression, which could turn to relapse.
The bottom line is that you should do your best to control your weight post rehab by selecting a healthy diet and engaging in regular exercise programs, but also by refraining from binge eating in an effort to suppress your negative emotions or alcohol cravings. Find out how other recovering alcoholics avoided the fast food trap by visiting our forum.