Recovered Alcoholic Dopers - did you find yourself eating all the time while quitting?

So, I’ve decided I’d be a lot happier, more productive, and generally healthier if I stopped drinking. I’m almost a week into sobriety, and it’s going fairly well, except one thing: I find myself standing in front of my fridge almost all the time. The first few days I accepted this; after all, an extra five or ten pounds was well worth regaining control over my life, and no longer fearing a horrible, bloated, jaundiced death, but it is starting to worry me a bit. Thankfully, I don’t keep a lot of unhealthy snack food in the house, but still, picking off the leftover roast chicken all day starts to add up. And I’m constantly craving donuts, ice cream, candy, soda, and every other junk food under the sun.

Have any other dopers experienced this? How long does it last? Should I worry about it? I assume this is my body’s way of trying to fulfill the craving I’m actually having for alcohol, so when the worst of that is over, will I be able to go back to moderate eating?

I’ve heard the explanation is actually pretty simple - your body is just adjusting to all those missing calories you were consuming in liquid form.

Quitting smoking did much more of a number on my weight than quitting drinking did.

For me, the main thing was not eating per se, but my sweet tooth came into play, which is about not just the calories missing but the carbs/sugars you’re no longer getting from booze. Rather than keep it in the house, I’d go ahead and order cake or a brownie or whatever with the coffee I was drinking when I went out with people after going to a meeting (I’m a fan of AA/NA).

Short term, quitting drinking is more important than gaining a few pounds, which you can always take off later.

Smoked and ate a ton. It passed, don’t worry too much about it. :slight_smile:

Alcohol has a lot of sugars in it - even if you were consuming straight (80 proof) spirits. It’s all fermented sugars.

This is really common among alcoholics who quit drinking. Your body is still craving the sugars. It will get better over time.

It’s a relief to hear it’s temporary. I’m excited about shaking off one major health problem, I’d hate to pick up another in the process.

My dad went from eating damn near nothing to having a ravenous appetite. It was one of the things we didn’t expect at all when he went sober. He suddenly got this interest in food and would go grocery shopping with Mom, which was unheard of!

It’s balanced out, but he still has a sweet tooth.

I found that things tasted a lot better too, like when I quit smoking- food had been bland and boring for so long, but now every bite was exciting! :smiley:

Yeah, when I first cut back (I wasn’t heavy alkie at the time, just 8-16 beers a day in the evenings at my apartment) my wife-thing at the time suggested I might be very hungry. She was a sciency type and made up some explanation and it made sense, so, sure enough, I got more hungry.

It is going on a pretty extreme diet if you’re consuming upwards of 10 or so drinks per day – but the good kind of diet.

Just out of curiosity, if 8-16 beers a day isn’t heavy drinking, what is?

3-6 beers a day.

I don’t know – for me between 20 and 30 units (spirits or wine) seems pretty heavy, and when done for consecutive days, makes it rather difficult, and possibly dangerous, to go cold turkey. When it’s got that bad, I’ll drop down to a few six packs for a few days, and then I’m pretty much good, except for the shaking, paranoia, sweating, and compulsive masturbation (I never went for a record, but 8 times a day was not unusual – something about a bad hangover and wanking just seems to go together) during the tapering period. Obviously, 8-16 (that’s 1-2 six packs of “tallboys” [16 oz. cans]) is far too much, but not enough to give me hangovers or interfere with my life, at the time.

Mind you, this was part of my past, not these days.