We’ve all been there. Had a few too many drinks and then decided the best solution was to mow down on fast food or cereal or whatever was eye-level in your pantry when you got home. There’s something about alcohol, when I am *just drunk enough* that convinces me that I am hungry, even if I am not.
In fact, studies show that these munchies, otherwise known as the “drunchies”, are hard-wired into our system. The combination of alcohol with your brain chemistry triggers the hypothalamus, which controls metabolism. As a result, we are more responsive to food smells, ergo food eating.
So how can you counteract that impulse to eat when you’re under the influence? Check out a few of our tips below and let us know your own tips in the comments section! Gosh knows I could use all the help I can get 😉
Eat before you start drinking.
To be honest, it took me a while to take this seriously. When you’re younger, if you eat more, then maybe it takes you longer to feel a buzz. Who wants that? Eat less, party more. It’s as easy as that. But at the same time, I would be too hungry – and I would end up feeling the influence very quickly. As a result of that, I would often find myself getting sick to my stomach and having to leave a party. Or in the event that I could stomach my drinks on empty, I would house whatever was in front of me. In college, this was usually $5 pizzas that the group had ordered in bulk. By eating prior to drinking, you’re giving your body an opportunity to feel full, potentially limiting the amount of alcohol you intake – and by default, limiting the amount of food you’re seeking to drunkenly consume.
Snack a little while you are drinking.
Now to be fair, there is a difference between snacking on hor d’oeuvres and finishing off half a pizza once you’re three sheets to the wind. If you’re at a gathering and there’s a bowl of pretzels or a veggie plate, help yourself. Alternate your eating with drinking a glass of water here and there, so you are finding balance between nutrients and empty calories.
Fight the urge to eat before you sleep.
If you are tired enough when you get home that you can’t stay awake to watch a thirty minute show, don’t grab a bite to eat. It’s incredibly easy to say of course, and much harder to do. I can’t tell you how many times I brought food up to my bedroom and woke up in the morning with stomach ache wishing I had made different choices. Was it completely necessary to have those gummy bears? No. It never is. Plus, if you fall asleep before brushing your teeth, you’re also at risk of getting cavities, which speaking from experience again, is an expensive, ongoing pain in the ass.
Create signs to divert your drunken self.
In some cases, willpower isn’t enough. You want food. You need food. You will not deny your body sustenance. Except that’s your silly buzzed self saying these things. You can overpower that ‘party goblin’. You just need to be prepared. Before you go out to drink or party, put a couple of friendly (or not-so-friendly) notes on your fridge and pantry doors. Assuming you still have the capacity to make out your handwriting, it’s a great way to avoid overconsumption.
Have a stockpile of hard candies on-hand.
This is probably my go-to lifehack for avoiding the munchies. I am also fully aware that it makes me sound like a grandma. But if you want to avoid waking up with a belly full of regret, it’s probably your best bet. Find a candy you like. Something that will occupy your tastebuds long enough to forget that you would prefer a bag of chips. I typically have a handful of Werther’s or Dum Dums available for such moments. If one doesn’t do the trick, try another. The goal is to avoid visiting a fast food joint or your freezer in search of something to fill you up. There is a difference between mouth hungry and stomach hungry. Identify which you are feeling and make your call based on that.
Be mindful. Be healthy. Love your life.