WHY WE DRUNK EAT
It’s a common scene: it’s 2:00 in the morning, you and your friends have partied all night, and you’ve just entered the “chill” part of your time together—talking, maybe watching a movie and playing games. That’s when someone in the group realizes you’re all STARVING. So you order a pizza. Or five. The pizza comes and and everybody takes a slice. Or five. Or 10! Before you know it, you’ve binged away your entire week of low-carb, hi-protein, “get SWOL like a bruh” eating regimen. Whole 30…pepperonis in my mouth.
Why do we do this? Even the world’s best scientists are a little stumped by the phenomenon, since there is no biological reason for it. Countless studies show that alcohol doesn’t actually increase your appetite at all—your body will not be hungrier just because you’ve knocked back a few. There’s no increase in calorie or energy use either, medically speaking.
But still we binge. After hitting it hard at the bar or club, we head home and scarf down a double double or 20-piece nugget. Why? The answer is more psychological than physical.
The most simple way to put it is this: liquor messes with our nutritional discipline. In essence, your “don’t eat bread if you want to reach 5% body fat” mindset gets broken, you forget what you have eaten or what you’re even supposed to be eating in the first place, and your nervous system is confused AF as to if it’s hungry or not—so it’s likely to just send “better eat then” messaging to your brain… over and over again.
HOW TO TAME THE DRUNK EATING BEAST
Eat a Full Meal Before You Drink
Now that you know WHY we want to binge like Homer Simpson on a donut run when we drink, the important question is HOW do we get our party on and not blow all of our New Year’s resolutions? The first trick that will change your life is eating a full, protein-rich meal BEFORE going out. If your body is already satisfied with the rights foods, the likelihood that your neurons will misfire and think your body is super starved later on will greatly decrease.
Stock Your Fridge with Healthy Options
If, after a night out, you’re unsure whether or not you’ll even make it home in one piece, much less with your health goals intact, it will be easier to resist having your Uber or Lyft driver stop at Del Taco when you know there are GOOD choices at home already. Stock your fridge with already-prepared snacks and meals that’ll be ready to go when you are. The less you have to think about your food, the more likely you’ll be to eat it at a pivotal moment.
Drink Coconut Water…or at Least a Full Glass of H2O
If you really want to fight tomorrow’s migraine, coconut water is the ticket for hydration. The more hydrated you can be tonight, the easier 9 am will be tomorrow…so keep a case in the pantry and you’ll always be ready. Or if you’re fresh out, at least chug a full glass of water right before you hit the sack.
Go to Sleep Straight Away
Sometimes we head home before we hit a wall and may still be wired and ready to party when it’s actually time to get some rest. Do your best to let your arrival home be the time to unwind and prepare for sleep. A warm shower, a cup of herbal tea…whatever it takes to let the party stay at the club, do it when you get home. Your body will thank you in the morning for a decent night’s rest.
Eat Brunch the Next Day
After a night spent out, brunch food can be a welcome comfort. But instead of going ham on a stack of buttermilk pancakes, order something more balanced like a spinach quiche, fruit cup, or whatever option that fits within your dietary preferences. Your main objective is to consume protein, vitamin-rich veggies, and a healthy carb—a balanced, hearty meal that will realign your juju and be a great jumpstart back into your normal routine.