Why you crave junk food the day after alcohol
- Mel’s weekly food pick:
Organic Smart Chicken
- Mel’s weekly recipe pick:
Super Succulent Seasoned Chicken
If you’ve been reading for the past six weeks, you learned six of the eight Universal Truths that I believe apply to everyone:
Universal Truth #1: What you resist, persists.
Universal Truth #2: You control food; It doesn’t control you.
Universal Truth #3: What you feed your body most, it will crave.
Universal Truth #4: Some foods can heal you.
Universal Truth #5: Some foods can harm you
Universal Truth #6: Some foods are questionable (Dairy; Gluten)
Today, I’ll reveal the last of the “questionable” foods under Universal Truth #6—alcohol.
It never fails, I have one too many glasses of wine (and for me, the magic number is two) and the next day, I am completely unmotivated and feel the need to eat everything in sight! My body never seems to crave its usual smoothie or leafy green salad, but rather it demands processed snack foods, especially salty chips. I gravitate to the pantry like a magnet to a refrigerator and usually wind up eating half of the bag.
This day-after drinking indulgence always frustrated me, until I learned there was a biological reason for it.
As it turns out:
Alcohol in any form, decreases blood sugar levels temporarily and overnight.
Low blood sugar is a signal to ramp up hunger.
And because it’s also a diuretic, drinking alcohol causes you to pee more…so if you’re not consciously rehydrating with plenty of water, dehydration sets in, which your body misinterprets as hunger. Talk about a double-whammy!
And if that’s not cruel enough, because your liver is heavily involved in the process of detoxifying your body to remove the alcohol, it is unable to carry out the important job of releasing stored sugar to counteract falling blood sugar.
Insatiable hunger and a potential for dangerously low blood sugar are the results!
Because I’m not willing to give up red wine, I’ve developed a three-step plan so that I can enjoy my wine without the negative side-effects. It’s sort of like my own little insurance policy against overindulging on the wrong foods the next day:
- Never drink on an empty stomach. I usually take my first sip of wine after I’ve eaten about a quarter of my dinner. This little trick prevents the blood sugar plunge that happens when alcohol hits your system without any food to slow it down.
- To assure I don’t get dehydrated, I always drink 8-16 ounces of water with my glass of wine.
- Limit myself to one serving. Whenever I cheat on this rule, I always regret it the next day!
For your information, the following are standard portion sizes for alcohol:
- Beer- 12 ounces
- Wine (red or white)- 5 ounces
- Hard liquor (vodka, gin, whiskey, rum, brandy)- 1.5 ounces
Although not essential, alcohol can be acceptable in moderation (women: one drink per day; men: two drinks per day) for those who wish to include in their meal plan. But before you decide, I’d like you to keep the following in mind.
When not practiced in moderation, alcohol can:
- Raise your blood triglyceride (fat) levels.
- Elevate your blood pressure.
- Impair gut function.
- Disturb sleep.
- Impair liver function.
- Stimulate your appetite.
- Prevent you from achieving a healthy weight.
- Lead to dangerously low blood sugar levels. This is why you should never drink on an empty stomach or when your blood sugar is already low. If you are unsure, test your blood sugar before consuming alcohol! Symptoms of low blood sugar include any of the following: Confusion, sleepiness, blurry vision, headaches, lightheadedness, lack of coordination, and unconsciousness.
- Reduce the effectiveness of insulin over time.
- Interfere with some oral diabetes medications, so check with your doctor before consuming alcohol.
The bottom line on alcohol: If you are on the fence about whether or not to include it in your life, it’s probably best to abstain. If you can enjoy it in small amounts without any negative side-effects, then do so. Just be sure to follow my three-step plan:
- Don’t drink on an empty stomach.
- Drink 8-16 ounces of water with each drink.
- Limit yourself to one serving (if possible).
Stick with me and next week you will learn all about one of the most powerful ingredients for healthier blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure in Universal Truth #7: Dietary Fiber is Key
Mel’s weekly food pick:
Organic Smart Chicken
Organic Smart Chickens are exclusively fed a certified organic, certified non-GMO diet, and are never given antibiotics, hormones, or animal by-products.
Smart Chicken is the only chicken producer in the country to maintain both certified organic and certified humane status through the HFAC (Humane Farm Animal Care) association. HFAC takes the National Organic Program standards a step farther, adding rigorous limitations on stocking density, handling, and access to feed and water, among other requirements. Every chicken is free to roam, with access to outdoor pastures.
Say goodbye to dry chicken! Smart Chicken is 100% pure air chilled, without added water. Air chill technology makes quite a noticeable difference in the tenderness of the meat. Natural juices are preserved, not diluted, and the meat is better able to absorb any seasonings or other ingredients during the cooking process, unlike water immersion-chilled chicken. Taste the difference for yourself!
Mel’s weekly recipe pick:
Super Succulent Seasoned Chicken
Chicken doesn’t have to be dry my friends! I’ve made this recipe at least a couple of dozen times and it always turns out perfectly moist and tender.
Being a “born-again” meat eater, I was a bit nervous about cooking meat. After all, the year 1994 marks the last time I actually ate meat…and it was prepared by my mother. 🙂
This recipe is so simple and uses nothing but spices, sea salt, and extra virgin olive oil.
Looking for quick lunch ideas throughout the week? Prepare double the recipe and store the leftovers in the refrigerator! When you’re ready:
- Slice into strips and add to a green leafy salad.
- Cut into chunks and mix with avocado oil mayo, diced grapes and chopped red onion and celery!
- For a warm and savory lunch, shred and stir into a small bowl of prepared steel cut oats, along with diced avocado, fresh herbs, and leftover veggies from last night’s dinner.