How To Health-ify Your Drunk Eating Habits
Eating healthy isn’t so hard during the day. You wake up, eat some fruit and granola, go to work and eat your pre-packed salad, go home and eat your chicken and broccoli for dinner, and call it a night.
But when it’s 2 a.m., you’ve had six mojitos, and a greasy slice of cheesy goodness is staring you in the face, it’s very, very hard to say no.
Many of us have regrettably woken up to a random guy in our bed, but even more of us have regrettably woken up to an empty pizza box. It’s one thing to try to stop drunk-munching altogether, but it’s another to try to be more mindful about what we’re putting into our bodies late at night. We spoke to Erin MacDonald, RDN and cofounder of U Rock Girl, to talk about drunk munching and how to avoid adding on extra calories on top of the alcohol we’ve already drunk late at night.
1. Ditch The Carbs & Cheese for Veggies & Protein
When you’re drunk, anything cheesy looks heavenly. Even more so if it’s cheesy, fried, and full of sugars. Unfortunately, the more sugar you have, the more you crave. So that one donut from 7-Eleven can easily turn to five (after all, they’re only 50 cents).
If you find yourself hungry after a long night, but still want to reach for something a bit healthier, try to stick to a veggie and protein combination. Veggies help prevent water retention and the fiber will make you feel full for longer, Erin said. Likewise, proteins also keep you full for longer and provide a bit more satisfaction than veggies alone.
Don’t worry, you likely already have most of Erin’s designated healthy late-night snacks in your kitchen:
Veggies and hummus
Apples and almond butter
Banana and peanut butter
Veggies and Guacamole
Cottage cheese and salsa (trust me, it works)
Turkey Jerky (although a little high in sodium)
Nuts and Apples (for that crunchy craving)
2. Save Money & Calories By DIY-ing It
Can’t bear the thought of forgoing your late night slice of pizza? Keep your wallet full and your waistline slim by stocking up on frozen pizzas for your late night carb-orgies.
“Some frozen pizzas offer crusts with whole grains, which is better than the white flour crusts of traditional pizza,” Erin says. “Plus, some offer extra veggies for toppings and limit the total amount of cheese, which helps trim the calories. An average frozen pizza ( which is actually 3 servings, but seriously, who eats 1/3 of the pizza?), such as Kashi (thin, whole grain crust, veggies for topping, less cheese), can have approx 1,000 calories. That’s about the size of a small Domino’s pizza, which, depending on the toppings, can have well over 1,000 calories.”
If you’re worried about operating your oven after a long night out, go for a microwavable option. Even a pizza flavored Lean Pocket is a viable choice, because you’re limited to a small portion size, whereas when you order a pizza there’s no telling how many slices you’ll eat (not to mention that hungover cold pizza breakfast in the morning).
Even if you’re not super worried about calories, a large Papa John’s pizza averages at about $20 (without delivery fees), whereas you can score a frozen pizza for about six bucks. Plus, you don’t have to worry about ordering pizza and then passing out before the delivery guy reaches your door (we’ve all been there).
3. Do Re-Con The Morning After
If you wake up hungover one morning to realize you’ve polished off a bucket of cheese fries, instead of stressing, do something about it.
“Power the water!” Erin says. “Then take a walk and nourish youself with a breakfast that’s high protein (think eggs) and veggies – make a veggie-filled omelette. Let the water flush out the sodium from the night before, drink some green tea for some metabolic boosting EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), and fill up with veggies (fiber to move things through your digestive tract) and protein to keep you full for longer.”
4. Make Better Choices When You Order Out
If you’re a slave to Grubhub or always find yourself searching for McDonalds after the club shuts down, try reconsidering what you order. For pizza, Erin says to go with a “thin crust, veggie pizza (and try to stick to one to two slices).” If you’re a McDonalds type of chick, go with a “grilled chicken sandwich (lettuce-wrapped) or salad. If you’re lucky enough to be near a Subway, you can make any sandwich into a salad and double the protein.”
At the end of the day, eating late night is never the best idea if you’re trying to lose weight. If your ultimate goal is to stop binge-ing on snacks after a drunken night out, go you! However, if you’re like me and accept the fact that nothing will stop you from raiding your kitchen at 2 a.m., you can at least choose some healthier options after reading these tips.