You wake up. Your insides feel like gravel, your mouth like you have been sucking on a dry sponge. You know you need water, but the thought of lifting your head to hydrate is too much to bear. You lay motionless for a few minutes longer, half hoping you will fall back asleep, half trying to piece together last night’s decisions.
When you shift positions and roll onto your side so you can survey your living space, you finally see the wreckage. one shoe on the floor, the other on your foot. Your jacket on the ground next to the splayed coat rack. A series of bottles lined up on the kitchen counter– ironically the tidiest aspect of your entire apartment. You lift your head an inch further from the mattress and you see it. Suddenly you realize the abdominal discomfort is not simply from last night’s whiskey and Jäger. Rather, it is a wretched combination of said poison and greasy pizza with anchovies, smothered in tartar sauce. Or perhaps it is several cans of vienna sausages, or maybe even a brick of cheese dipped in a tub of hummus. Whatever your drunk food pleasure may be, it is best experienced with moderation and control. And that becomes tricky once you have imbibed.
Late night eateries often take advantage of our poor judgment and lack of self-control and sell their pizza and curry and burritos for exorbitant prices. One survey found that those who drank a significant amount of alcohol were more likely to binge eat that night, and eat several thousand calories the next day in order to nurse their hangovers.
So why do you crave greasy fattening foods and sugary sweets when you get drunk? When you drink alcohol in excess it screws with your liver, which regulates your blood-sugar, resulting in a crash. You then crave foods high in glucose in order to bring your blood sugar back up before you pass out leaving behind a destructive wake of pizza crust and greasy cardboard.
So what can you do about it?
Well for starters you could just not get drunk. Ever. Then this wouldn’t be an issue. But for those of us that just won’t accept such a simple solution, let us look at some other options:
You can bring out a limited amount of cash, so that you are forced to decide whether you want to use it to drink your calories or to eat them. If you prefer eating in the comfort of your own home, cook something moderately unhealthy and reasonably portioned, and buy it before you start drinking. Something that will leave your tipsy self satisfied, but won’t make your hungover self miserable. Don’t think along the lines of a salad, you won’t be satisfied, but don’t think about a Chipotle burrito either—that is not reasonably portioned.
Whatever you decide to do, definitely do not skip dinner in order to save room for a drunken meal. That will end in a disaster and then a horrendous hangover.
I myself have come to accept my drunchies—I truly believe food tastes better while intoxicated, so I try plan accordingly as I might plan any other meal.
And as for that Sunday morning hangover brunch—sometimes that’s just got to happen.