Why Does Alcohol Make Me Crave Chocolate?

This question was not sent in by a CBG reader.  Instead, it  is one that I am asking myself. Whenever I have 2 or more drinks, I get this incredible craving for chocolate. While I love  chocolate at any given time(yet am usually able to control myself from indulging), for some reason I become obsessed with finding it after I’ve had a few drinks. And even stranger, I crave Funny Bones – which isn’t the highest quality chocolate in the world.

Here was the sceniero:
This past Saturday night before heading out with my friends, I ate an “appropriate” dinner that included adequate  protein, carbs and fat. I always make sure I eat something before having a few cocktails for 2 reasons: 1. It helps to prevent hangovers the next day (in my opinion!) and 2. It helps to slow the effects of alcohol. Back to the story, so after 3 (or 4?) glasses of wine over the course of 2-3 hours or so, we were ready to call it a night. As I was walking home, all I could think about was chocolate. Not just any chocolate would do – it had to be Drakes Funny Bones! I tried to talk myself out of it, but I was on a mission to find these Funny Bones. Luckily (or rather not so luckily), I live in NYC where there is a different deli on each corner. Soon I had the goods in my hands.  (Pic is from night out with girls, Nadine, Paula, Debby, Esther – yes, Esther from Esther’s weight loss journey and me)

Needless to say, I wasn’t interested in reading the food label at the time, so right now I just checked out The Daily Plate .  It said the 3 pack of Funny Bones I inhaled had 450 calories and 19 grams of fat. Great. It also said I needed to do 52 minutes of “vigorous” push-ups to burn this off. Not so good for the surgically repaired rotator cuff …


Why does alcohol make you hungry?
This is not the first time I’ve written about alcohol inducing hunger. I hear the same story from my clients all the time. After a few drinks, some people crave sweets, others prefer fattening diner food at 2 am (burger and fries) while others raid their cereal boxes when they get home. For many people, this hunger can occur regardless if they’ve just had a l arge meal. So the reason for the post drinking hunger can’t be low blood sugar.

Studies have shown that in the short term, alcohol stimulates food intake and can also increase subjective feelings of hunger. Other studies have shown that the stimulatory effects of alcohol on food intake are controlled by hormonal regulation of satiety and satiation. Here is a link that discusses alcohol and hunger. But I have yet to find a good scientific explanation for this hunger.  

 Tips to control post-drinking munchies
Obviously I don’t have foolproof tips, otherwise I would use them myself … but here are some tips that have worked for some of my clients:
1. Try to eat something prior to drinking for the reasons I mentioned above.

2. If drinking makes you hungry, it is very important to have a little snack waiting for you when you get home. If you tend to crave sweets, maybe a fat free chocolate pudding or skinny cow bar. Or pick up a 100 calorie bar (like a chocolate Pria bar) earlier in the day and have it waiting for you.If you crave salty foods, pop a mini 100 calorie bag of popcorn and have it ready. Or have a 130 calorie bag of Baked Lays waiting for you.

3. The trick is to have the snack waiting for you when you get home. The worst thing you can do it go into a deli or grocery store after you’ve had a few drinks.

4. Avoid going to diners or pizza shops with your friends at the wee hours of the night. Head home. If you are really hungry, pop a low cal frozen dinner in the microwave.


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I especially love problem-solving, whether it’s helping women defeat issues plaguing them for years, helping a busy executive find practical ways to get heart healthy, or providing tips to help you reverse diabetes. That’s why I’m on a constant quest to expand my knowledge by staying on top of the latest research.

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