How to Survive a Case of the Munchies
I once ate half a baguette and several slices of ham in the rain on a street corner in Amsterdam.
The next morning, I woke up with greasy hands, ashamed of myself and my tendency to overeat while (very rarely) high.
If you’ve ever been especially stoned, you know that a euphoric state accompanied by a case of unrelenting munchies is inevitable. Here’s some insight into why we crave such terrible food when we’re high and how to eat a little healthier if you’re trying your best to avoid it.
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Your hormones are responsible for your case of the munchies
According to Janice Newell Bissex , a registered dietician and holistic-cannabis practitioner, your unstoppable hunger isn’t a figment of your stoned imagination. “When your stomach is [empty], your body releases this hormone called ghrelin,” she said over the phone. “When you consume cannabis, particularly THC, it triggers a surge in ghrelin—so there is some physiological reason why you have more of an appetite.”
In addition to that euphoric glow, THC can also increase your sensitivity to both taste and smell, Bissex added. “It heightens the pleasure of eating, too, which is why it’s such a useful tool for people who are undergoing chemotherapy or are elderly and their appetite is decreased,” she said. “This is really a good thing for them; it will increase their appetite and they’re more inclined to eat.”
Your brain, too, plays a role in your sudden need for Cheetos. “There are neurons in part in the hypothalamus, like POMC , and these neurons also tell you not to eat when you’re full,” she said. “That response is blunted by THC, so if your neurons aren’t telling your body is full, you have more of an appetite.” In other words, it’s not your fault—you have your bodily reactions to blame.
How to stop overeating
According to Bissex, it’s partially because of that increased sensitivity to taste and smell that we tend to lean on junk foods when we’re especially high; you’re probably not going to find any real pleasure in chewing on a celery stick when you’re in a euphoric state. If you’re trying to stop yourself from overeating, Bissex recommends drinking as much water as possible before you get high. “You want to make sure you hydrate before you medicate,” she said. “It’ll fill you up a little bit.”
Elegant Stoner (!) also has some solid advice on munchie prevention which includes distracting yourself as much as possible, whether it’s a particularly intoxicating movie, or eating a big meal beforehand so you won’t be as hungry while stoned.
But let’s face it—you’re probably going to eat anyway (that’s part of the fun, after all), in which case, Bissex recommends keeping away from more indulgent snacks and sticking with “healthier” foods like popcorn. If you’re ambitious, she also recommends sticking to vegetables but adding some good dips, so you don’t feel totally restrained. Elegant Stoner also recommends budgeting your snacks out in advance; set aside a container with a specific amount of Oreos, so you might be less inclined to go for the entire pack.
If you’re feeling a little too high in the clouds, Bissex added that you should avoid fatty foods, as difficult as that’ll likely make the problem worse . “Eating something with fat in it will increase the absorption and prolong the effect, which is a good thing if you’re taking this as medicine,” she said. “We want to give people extended relief. But if you’re using it recreationally and you do get uncomfortably high, eat things that don’t have fat like fruits or vegetables.”
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I once ate half a baguette and several slices of ham in the rain on a street corner in Amsterdam.
4 Ways To Enjoy Weed And Avoid A Case Of The Munchies
With the legalization of recreational marijuana in four states and counting, smoking weed is becoming increasingly more acceptable in the mainstream.
Go America! WeвЂ™ve come a long way since the days of “Reefer Madness.”
Now that having an occasional joint after work is beginning to become as normalized as having a beer when you clock out, itвЂ™s time to discuss the implications this may have on your ability to maintain the body and health you desire.
ItвЂ™s true that smoking weed alone is not going to directly lead to you putting on body fat, but there is this side effect you may have heard of.
It’s called “the munchies.вЂќ
That’s right, I said it.
As much as I am pro-marijuana, I want to address the elephant in the room that вЂ” for me вЂ” has led to a ton of overeating.
As you may have guessed, there is some science out there explaining “the munchies.”
Some emerging research points to a specific cannabinoid called tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC), which contributes to a increased sense of smell.
This can also often lead to an increased appetite.
When youвЂ™re hungry, you want to eat more. ItвЂ™s as simple as that.
I know there are those among us who have been smoking so long that they now claim to be immune to the appetite-increasing effects of marijuana.
This may be true, and in that case, this article is not for you.
Personally, IвЂ™ve been smoking weed for over 12 years now, and regardless of how high my tolerance gets, I still feel the need to eat everything in my general vicinity.
If you fall into this category,В then this article is for you.
And within this article, my main objective is to answer the age old question, вЂњHow can you smoke weed and not binge eat?вЂќ
Way back when I weighed almost 250 pounds,В I had not yet mastered the art of smoking weed and getting (or staying) lean.
It was the same old routine.
I would tell myself I would stick to eating a certain way or working out, but once I smoked weed, I immediately came down with a severe case of the вЂњF*ck Its.”
“The F*ck Its” is a term my old college football coach introduced me to.
It’s when you are supposed to do something, but then you smoke weed and say, вЂњF*ck it, I’m going to completely disregard my previous responsibilities.”
(For me, this usually meant going to get a monster-sized quesadilla and playing Guitar Hero for three hours).
He warned us that if we smoked weed, we would be especially vulnerable to coming down with a severe case of вЂњThe F*ck Its.вЂќ
Then, we wouldn’t study for our tests, we’d skip classes and we wouldn’t be able play on his football team.
Anyhow, over the years, I wised up a bit and was able to manage both smoking weed and achieving success in the areas of my life I cared about most.
Then, I eventually dropped down to my maintenance weight of about 190 pounds.
My personal physical transformation was made possible in combination with my recreational weed smoking habits by applying some very simple principles I’m about to teach you.
Here are four rules to follow to prevent yourself from binge eating when you smoke weed:
1. DonвЂ™t rely on willpower.
We all feel super confident in our ability to stay disciplined right up until we eat an entire bag of Double StufВ Oreos and a carton of Ben and Jerry’s.
DonвЂ™t put yourself in that position. I
nstead, just get rid of all the unhealthy foods in your house, so if you do go on a little binge, it will be on healthy food.
Personally, I just donвЂ™t bring junk food in the house because I know it will be eaten about 45 minutes after I smoke.
In general, this is a smart strategy. even if you arenвЂ™t smoking weed.
Research tells us willpower is a finite resource that takes both mental energy and motivation.
Get rid of the temptation, and willpower is no longer needed.
2. Be prepared.
LetвЂ™s face it: YouвЂ™re going to eat something.
Unless you are a part of the few people who donвЂ™t experience the munchies, youвЂ™re going to be at risk ofВ experiencing a significantly increased appetite.
Be prepared with a ton of healthy and nutritious options for food in your pantry and refrigerator.
I usually have green juices, veggies sticks, fruit, beef jerky and occasionally some low-calorie Pop Chips on hand to keep me satisfied.
3. Get your workout in early.
I personally like to smoke and then workout, but many people donвЂ™t.
If you know youвЂ™re likely to skip a workout if you get high, make sure you get your workout in before you indulge in smoking.
ItвЂ™s simple, but this needs to be mentioned, otherwise you will fall victim to the “The F*ck Its” syndrome.
This also goes for anything else important that you have on your agenda.
If you need to get something important done, donвЂ™t let yourself fall into the trap of, вЂњIвЂ™ll do it later.”
You probably wonвЂ™t, so just do it before you smoke.
4. Have clearly defined, realistic goals.
Research tells us that if you have a clearly defined, realistic goal that has been previously established, it will beВ much easier to follow through with whatВ you said you wanted to do.
If you decide you are going to be eating in a calorie deficit for the next week, then you know you cannot go off the hinges when you smoke.
YouвЂ™ll have a set amount of calories youвЂ™re supposed to eat, and you can hold yourself accountable to that.
MyFitnessPal is a great tool to use for budgeting calories.
To make this all easier for you to follow along with, weвЂ™ve created an infographic that you can print out and put on your fridge.
If you have any other questions on how to live green and be healthy, drop them below in the comments.
With the legalization of recreational marijuana in four states and counting, smoking weed is becoming increasingly more acceptable in the mainstream. In a recent survey conducted in 2015, 58 percent of Americans say cannabis should be legal. GoвЂ¦