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So many things in our lives can either contribute to our addictions or our recovery, but not all of them are obvious or direct. The biggest factor when it comes to successful recovery is doing the little things when it comes to your health, specifically diet, sleep, and exercise. Depending on the lifestyles choices we make, these little things can either supercharge our recovery or drag us down.

 

We are what we eat

Our diet is probably the most difficult to identify and change because we don’t always feel the immediate effects of the food we eat. Unlike exercise where you feel endorphins as soon as you finish, or feeling terrible as soon as you wake up because you stayed up all night long, the effects of a diet aren’t always readily apparent. Think about it, you don’t gain weight after eating one donut. It is a gradual process. This is exactly why diet is so important. Not only does our body’s reaction to certain foods mirror our reaction to porn (dopamine release, cravings, etc.) but a good diet is all about consistency, habit, and self-control, three things that definitely apply to recovery.

Here are some of the do’s and don’ts of food that can help your on your way to building a positive porn-free life.

Sugar

Here’s the science: sugary foods have repeatedly been shown to trigger the reward centers in our brain. This process is closely related to dopamine release, which means sugar can actually become a trigger. Humans have evolved to respond to sugar for survival. Quick and easy energy stores were hard to come by when we lived in caves, but now, high-fructose corn syrup gives us instant satisfaction. While this isn’t ideal for our health, waiting around a few thousand years for our genetic code to re-write itself is probably a bad plan. So just like in recovery, self-control is key. Too much sugar messes up our energy levels, libido, and our ability to get rid of toxins. In some cases it has also been linked to the same emotional and mental issues like anxiety and depression. Sound familiar?

Consistency is key

Don’t skip meals and don’t binge. This disorganized habit messes up your metabolism and make it harder for your body to properly use what you give it. Health reasons aside, inconsistent eating patterns usually go hand-in-hand with a lifestyle that is messy and out of control. For example, sleeping late instead of getting up in time to eat breakfast is a small example of letting things happen to you instead of you making things happen. Self-control is huge in recovery and eating at regular times is a great way to practice that.

Avoiding binging is huge as well. How often have you held off watching porn for while just to fall back into and go overboard? With food, binging is just as unhealthy. Eat small healthy snacks throughout the day and be sure to have three nutritious regular meals. Grab an apple for after breakfast and a granola bar for between lunch and dinner. Consistency and self-control are the foundation to a healthy diet and overall lifestyle.

You’re also what you drink

This is sort of an extension of the principles we discussed when dealing with sugar but drinks deserve their own category because there is so much to watch out for. Our bodies digest liquids much easier than solids, which means we can be more affected by their contents. On top of this, so many different types of drinks are unbelievably unhealthy. Alcoholic beverages, energy drinks, anything high in caffeine or caffeine substitutes, sodas (even “diet” drinks, still bad) and most juices from concentrate are the top culprits. All of these drinks are notorious for sugar content, and not having much nutritional value. Instead of going through every ingredient that we can’t even pronounce, try this instead: drink water. Water is how our body gets rid of what we don’t need and replenishes our hydration stores. If we are drinking liquids full of sugar and who knows what else, we will feel the effects. Water may not be the most exciting choice, but trust us, once you get in the habit, you’ll feel refreshed with every glass of H20.

Eat like a human

If you’re reading this and getting totally stoked for a health overhaul that consists of eating only kale and protein powder, please stop. Diet fads can often be as unhealthy as they are healthy. For example, everyone hates on carbs, but good carbs are necessary to sustain proper hormone development in your body. Hormones are also totally thrown off by something else: frequent porn viewing. Your hormones not only control your sexual health but also things like your hair and skin health, muscle development, bone density and energy levels. Basically, just eat food that can contribute to a balanced life. Include all the food groups and broaden your dietary horizons. You should also try to eat food that actually has to be prepared, whether that be a couple eggs in the morning or even a small pizza that doesn’t come in a box. This is the easiest way to avoid always eating high-sugar, high-starch and processed foods. The second benefit is that you now have one more healthy activity in your life instead of porn. Cooking your own food is productive in more ways than one. It’s all about being informed and being in balance. Take care of your body and your brain will thank you.