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What are you Eating After a Night Out?

eating at nightThe weekend is just around the corner…

And yea, we all love a good night out.

Lots of drinking, dancing and mingling.

But what happens when it’s all said and done?

What happens when the music stops and the lights go out?

You want food.

You want it bad. You want something to quickly fill that empty space in your stomach that is currently flooded with beer and yager bombs.

But the question is – what are you eating? And how much?

A recent study shows that more than one in three drinkers admit that they are likely to eat more than they usually would when under the influence of alcohol.

So yea you’re more likely to eat more after a night out drinking and partying.

But what exactly is there to eat at three in the morning?

As expected, the options are limited:

  • Street meat
  • Fast food joints & pizza places
  • Your fridge

Let’s take a look at these in detail.

As you step out of the pub or night club, you’re hit with the front line – the hot dog/sausage stand. They’re literally parked right next to the exit and you’re instantly punched in the face by the overwhelming smell coming from the little smoky cart.

The little old man behind it knows this. He is using your sense of smell to reel you in.

And majority of the time it works. You know it does.

Most people can’t resist the stand. In strategic locations, these guys make a killing selling garbage food to people looking for a quick hunger fix.

We’ve all fallen for it.

But what exactly is in street meat?

Get ready for this…

A sausage in a bun from your typical street vendor loaded with various condiments stands at 560 calories, 24 grams of fat, a ridiculous 64 g of carbohydrates, 22 g of protein, and an astonishing 2,239mg of sodium (see why this is too much sodium).

That’s more than a quarter of your daily recommended caloric intake. That’s WAY more sodium than your daily recommended sodium intake. And that’s enough carbohydrates to put your blood sugar levels through a roller coaster ride.

Basically it means that all those goofy dance moves were essentially for nothing.

If you’re strong enough to resist street meat, pat yourself on the back.

But don’t let your guard down. There’s still work to be done.

Next up, we got the fast food joints and pizza places. These places are open 24 hours and most of them (at least the fast food joints) are run by teenagers who need money and couldn’t give two shits about your food.

But guess what, these places are packed.

Next time you’re driving home on a weekend at 3am, drive by a fast food joint and take a look (I didn’t say go inside). It looks like Future Shop on boxing day.

But people fall for it. The food is cheap, quick and it satisfies your cravings.

I’m not going to go into the details of telling you what fast food and pizza can do to your body. You know it’s garbage and that you shouldn’t be eating it if you want to build a better body.

If you’ve managed to drive home without pulling over at a drive through, you should give yourself another pat on the back.

You’re doing really well.

But here comes the last line of attack.

Your fridge.

You get home and you’re hungry. You can’t take it anymore. You head to the kitchen, usually before even taking off your shoes, and raid the fridge.

You kill it. You’ll take whatever you can find, combine it into one lump and down it as if your life depended on it.

The problem is that when you are ‘under the influence’, your decision making abilities go out the window. You’re incapable of making healthy choices.

My solution?

Prepare ahead of time. If you know you won’t be able to fight your cravings, prepare something healthier ahead of time and put it in the fridge. Go ahead and even put a note on it:

“You drunk? Eat me”

So when you come back home at 3am and you’re drawn to that fridge, you’ll have something healthy waiting for you.

So go on. Have fun this weekend. Drink, dance and party your face off. Just watch what you eat when it’s all said and done.

How do you control your post-party cravings? Share in the comments below.

Robert - February 26, 2012

“And that’s enough carbohydrates to put your blood sugar levels through a roller coaster ride.”

I think this is often an overlooked fact. Grains and other carbs can really do a number to your insulin levels, so it’s best to avoid them if possible. I know everyone will not want to give up bread, so if I’m not mistaken whole-grains have less of an impact on insulin than other types of grain.

Another practical way to mitigate the damage from booze and the binge eating that results is to try and plan ahead as you said. Having healthy food prepped beforehand is a great suggestion. Another tip is if you know you are going to go out later in the week for drinks, then try and cut back on your calories. This will help give you more leeway with your diet, and those nights out won’t be as disastrous.

    Test - February 27, 2012

    You’re right Robert, whole-grains (or complex carbohydrates in general) are slower absorbing, but they can definitely still do a number on your insulin levels. It is best to regulate your intake of overall carbohydrates and avoid going over 100 to 150g per day.

    That’s definitely a great tip – looking at your calorie intake on a weekly basis, for example, as opposed to a daily basis can help you regulate your overall intake. Giving yourself extra ‘room for error’ can be very beneficial.

Keith - February 27, 2012

Good post Srdjan,

The truth is, most people don’t get fat from drinking alcohol. They get fat because they eat all the crappy bar foods that come with alcohol like you said.

The best thing to do would probably just be to eat one big meal per day or just do some form of intermittent fasting the day after your drunken mess 🙂

    Test - March 6, 2012

    Hey Keith, fasting is probably one of the better options. Alcohol has its own negative effects on the body, but the ineffective decision-making state that it puts you in doesn’t really help matters. Thanks for your comment.

Alykhan - The Magic Trio - March 1, 2012

Srdjan,

I agree with Robert. It’s way too hard to curb drunken cravings when you’re in the moment. The best way to mitigate the damage is to plan ahead and fast throughout the day. There are days when I don’t eat anything until the evening and then consume 2,000 calories in food and/or drinks. Not a terrible total intake for the day when you look at the big picture. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should do it all the time. It’s just a damage control measure.

Alykhan

    Test - March 6, 2012

    Hey Alykhan, you’re right it’s all about damage control. Have you ever tried fasting on the days after the binge? I’ve found that to be more effective for me.

      Alykhan - The Magic Trio - March 9, 2012

      I have tried fasting both before and after the binge. I find that if I drink a lot, though, getting some food in my stomach helps with the hangover lol. So I usually won’t fast for a full day after.

        Test - March 10, 2012

        Yea that makes sense. For some reason I can do a full day of fasting the following day. Must just be me 🙂

Anna Dornier - March 6, 2012

Great post, Srdjan! I’m glad my college party days are long over since this post definitely reminds me of how I hate back then…lol. I still party of course although I seem to have control of my alcohol consumption. I did notice that whenever I drink and party, I seem to get hungrier so I try to stay away from alcohol as much as possible. Since I don’t like alcohol that much, that seems to help. Having a safe kitchen zone like you mentioned helps too of course.

    Test - March 6, 2012

    You bring up a good point Anna. You’ve discovered that alcohol is a trigger for your hunger. Simply staying away from your triggers (alcohol in your case) can help prevent unnecessary binges. Thanks for your comment.

Richie Rich - April 2, 2012

Mmmm….. Yager Bombs (Insert drool)… lol

You’re right Srdjan, the past few times I was completely “wasted” I made a few bad dieting decisions. Fortunately these are usually few and far between and I think it’s because I’ve accepted that building an “impressive” body is a lifestyle change. Which means, you may have to remove yourself from situations that make you susceptible to “binge behavior” as much as possible.

But hey… I get it… life happens and sometimes these “binge behaviors” sneaks up on even the best of us. Which is why I carry an “emergency” protein snack where ever I go. (yes, I’ve pulled protein bars out of my pocket while being checked to go into clubs)

The way I see it, I’d rather eat a protein bar at 3am than “street meat” any day.

Never tried the fasting though. Might try that if I ever go “overboard” with the binge eating.

Great post bud.

Rich

    Test - April 4, 2012

    I love your comment Richie. You sum things up very well. Building a better body is really about making lifestyle changes and sometimes that does mean making sacrifices and either removing yourself from certain situations or abstaining from various indulgences. But, with that being said, nobody is perfect (and that’s fine) and having a backup plan is necessary. I love the protein bar idea. I should’ve thought of that! I’ll have to try that next time, thanks for the idea lol 🙂

Melissa - May 25, 2012

If I know I’m not going back to my lace where there is sure to be a healthier snack, I’ll just pick a less evil option. Like the Fillet of Fish or a 6 pack of nuggets or the mini seared chicken snack wrap (all around the 300 cal mark from the McDonald’s Australia website) with a small diet cola or water. That way you get what you crave, but without the guilt the next day 🙂

    Test - June 11, 2012

    That’s sweet if you can get away with a mini snack like that. I feel as if most people wouldn’t be able to stop at just 300 cal.

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