NUTRI­TION

Men's Health (South Africa) - - THE EXCHANGE -

I al­ways eat crap when I drink al­co­hol. How do I put a stop to that? Zeke, Um­tata

Pre-game your eat­ing. Pre-emp­tive mea­sures while you’re still sober can work. By “crap”, we’ll as­sume you mean food that’s sweet, salty, en­ergy-dense, or all three. Those are ex­actly what hu­mans have an in­nate lik­ing for, says Martin Yeomans, a U.K.-based ex­per­i­men­tal psy­chol­o­gist who’s been study­ing eat­ing and drink­ing be­hav­iours for 30 years. Al­co­hol turns Thought­ful Zeke into Un­in­hib­ited Zeke, mak­ing these foods harder to re­sist. There is even ev­i­dence sug­gest­ing that al­co­hol has a di­rect phar­ma­co­log­i­cal im­pact on ap­petite, Yeomans says. Be­fore you go out, eat some nuts or avo­cado, says Bos­ton Uni­ver­sity nutri­tion­ist Joan Salge-Blake. Healthy fats stay in your stom­ach longer than carbs do, and help de­lay your body’s ab­sorp­tion of al­co­hol – pos­si­bly help­ing you make more de­lib­er­ate food choices as a re­sult. At the bar, al­ter­nate be­tween al­co­hol and wa­ter or soda wa­ter. And if a crav­ing does hit, try pop­corn. Its vol­ume will quickly make you feel full, so there’s less room for crap.

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