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Guidance on How Improving Your Diet Can Support Your Sobriety
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Guidance on How Improving Your Diet Can Support Your Sobriety

June 19, 2024
9 min read
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A team of researchers and psychologists who specialize in behavioral health and neuroscience. This group collaborates to produce insightful and evidence-based content.
June 19, 2024
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Certified recovery coach specialized in helping everyone redefine their relationship with alcohol. His approach in coaching focuses on habit formation and addressing the stress in our lives.
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Recognized by Fortune and Fast Company as a top innovator shaping the future of health and known for his pivotal role in helping individuals change their relationship with alcohol.
June 19, 2024
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Reframe Content Team
June 19, 2024
9 min read

Embarking on a journey towards sobriety is a commendable and life-enhancing decision. While the focus often lies on abstaining from alcohol, it's equally important to consider the role of diet in supporting this journey. Improving your diet can significantly bolster your efforts to maintain sobriety, providing your body with the nutrients it needs to heal and thrive. Let's delve into how a nutritious diet can aid your sobriety, including foods to favor and foods to avoid.

The Benefits of Sobriety

Guidance on How Improving Your Diet Can Support Your Sobriety

Committing to sobriety can transform your life in numerous ways. For instance, a year of sobriety can lead to improved health, better sleep, enhanced mental clarity, and stronger relationships. The Benefits of Getting Sober For a Year highlight how abstaining from alcohol for an extended period can significantly boost your overall well-being.

The Role of Diet in Sobriety

Foods to Favor

  1. Lean Proteins: Incorporating lean proteins such as chicken, turkey, and fish can help repair tissues and maintain muscle mass. Proteins are essential for the production of neurotransmitters, which can stabilize your mood and reduce cravings.
  2. Complex Carbohydrates: Whole grains, brown rice, quinoa, and sweet potatoes are excellent sources of complex carbohydrates. They provide a steady release of energy and help maintain stable blood sugar levels, which can prevent mood swings and reduce the urge to drink.
  3. Fruits and Vegetables: Fresh fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These nutrients can help repair the damage caused by alcohol and support overall health. For instance, berries, citrus fruits, leafy greens, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and Brussels sprouts are particularly beneficial.
  4. Healthy Fats: Including healthy fats such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil in your diet can support brain health and reduce inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish like salmon and flaxseeds, are especially important for cognitive function and mood regulation.
  5. Hydration: Drinking plenty of water is crucial for flushing out toxins and maintaining optimal bodily functions. Herbal teas and natural juices can also be good options to keep you hydrated.

Foods to Avoid

  1. Sugary Foods: High sugar intake can lead to spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels, which can trigger cravings and mood swings. Avoid sugary snacks, desserts, and beverages.
  2. Fried and Greasy Foods: These foods can be hard on your digestive system and may contribute to feelings of lethargy and discomfort. Opt for baked, grilled, or steamed options instead.
  3. Processed Foods: Processed foods often contain additives, preservatives, and unhealthy fats that can negatively impact your health. Stick to whole, unprocessed foods whenever possible.
  4. Caffeine: While moderate caffeine intake can be acceptable, excessive consumption can lead to anxiety, restlessness, and sleep disturbances. Limit your intake of coffee, energy drinks, and caffeinated sodas.

How Diet Supports Sobriety

Repairing the Body

Alcohol can damage various organs, including the liver, heart, and brain. A diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants can help repair this damage. For example, eating foods high in antioxidants, such as berries and leafy greens, can help reduce oxidative stress and promote healing.

Stabilizing Mood

Mood swings and irritability are common during the early stages of sobriety. Foods that stabilize blood sugar levels, such as complex carbohydrates and proteins, can help maintain a steady mood. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and flaxseeds can also support mental health and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Reducing Cravings

Certain foods can help reduce cravings for alcohol. For instance, foods high in fiber, such as whole grains and vegetables, can keep you feeling full and satisfied, reducing the temptation to drink. Additionally, staying hydrated with water and herbal teas can help curb cravings.

Supporting Sleep

Good nutrition can improve sleep quality, which is often disrupted by alcohol use. Foods rich in magnesium, such as nuts, seeds, and leafy greens, can promote relaxation and better sleep. Avoiding caffeine and heavy, greasy meals before bedtime can also enhance sleep quality.

Enhancing Energy Levels

A balanced diet provides the energy needed to stay active and engaged in life. Complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats offer sustained energy, helping you stay motivated and focused on your sobriety goals.

Building a Healthy Routine

Incorporating healthy eating habits into your daily routine can provide structure and a sense of control, which is crucial during recovery. Planning and preparing nutritious meals can become a positive and rewarding part of your sobriety journey.

Practical Tips for a Sobriety-Supportive Diet

  1. Plan Your Meals: Take time to plan your meals and snacks to ensure you have healthy options readily available. This can prevent impulsive eating and reduce the temptation to reach for unhealthy foods.
  2. Cook at Home: Preparing your meals at home allows you to control the ingredients and portion sizes. It can also be a therapeutic and enjoyable activity.
  3. Stay Mindful: Practice mindful eating by paying attention to your hunger and fullness cues. Eat slowly and savor each bite, which can enhance your enjoyment of food and prevent overeating.
  4. Seek Support: Join a support group or community that focuses on healthy eating and sobriety. Sharing your experiences and challenges with others can provide encouragement and accountability.
  5. Stay Educated: Continue learning about nutrition and its impact on sobriety. Reading books, attending workshops, and consulting with a nutritionist can help you make informed choices.

Support Your Sobriety

Although it isn’t a treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD), the Reframe app can help you cut back on drinking gradually with the science-backed knowledge to empower you 100% of the way. Our proven program has helped millions of people around the world drink less and live more. And we want to help you get there, too!

The Reframe app equips you with the knowledge and skills you need to not only survive drinking less, but to thrive while you navigate the journey. Our daily research-backed readings teach you the neuroscience of alcohol, and our in-app Toolkit provides the resources and activities you need to navigate each challenge.

You’ll meet millions of fellow Reframers in our 24/7 Forum chat and daily Zoom check-in meetings. Receive encouragement from people worldwide who know exactly what you’re going through! You’ll also have the opportunity to connect with our licensed Reframe coaches for more personalized guidance.

Plus, we’re always introducing new features to optimize your in-app experience. We recently launched our in-app chatbot, Melody, powered by the world’s most powerful AI technology. Melody is here to help as you adjust to a life with less (or no) alcohol. 

And that’s not all! Every month, we launch fun challenges, like Dry/Damp January, Mental Health May, and Outdoorsy June. You won’t want to miss out on the chance to participate alongside fellow Reframers (or solo if that’s more your thing!).

The Reframe app is free for 7 days, so you don’t have anything to lose by trying it. Are you ready to feel empowered and discover life beyond alcohol? Then download our app through the App Store or Google Play today! 

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At Reframe, we do science, not stigma. We base our articles on the latest peer-reviewed research in psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral science. We follow the Reframe Content Creation Guidelines, to ensure that we share accurate and actionable information with our readers. This aids them in making informed decisions on their wellness journey.
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