Yes it's no fun having a hangover, and the binge eating can make you feel even worse, but it's not really a matter of willpower. It's actually bio-chemical. It's Sunday morning, you open your eyes and are met with an instant, splitting pain through your brain. You blink hard, and try to focus your eyes. A wave of total desolation washes over you. "What the hell? How much did I drink last night? Where did this hangover come from?" Flashes of last night come back to you. Nothing coherent, just fragments. You feel for your cell and see a few missed calls. You try to focus on the screen as you scroll through the list of your incoming and outgoing texts and cringe. Yep, you've got a hangover. The rest of your day is spent oscillating between bouts of nausea, soul destroying self-loathing and anxiety. To add insult to injury, the healthy living you practiced all week goes out the window, because when you finally feel like eating, you stuff your face with high fat, high calorie junk - (forget about trying to workout). Why is it so hard to fight this craving for less than ideal food choices when you’re hungover? There are a couple of reasons. One is that alcohol destroys our willpower. If you’re hungover, your body is still trying to process the alcohol. In other words, you’re still (technically) drunk - it’s just not so ‘fun’ anymore. As David Levitsky, professor of Human Ecology and Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University explains, “All mammals gravitate to eating the most energy-dense foods. Fat is the most energy-dense food available.” Dr Leigh Gibson, Reader in Biopsychology at Roehampton University, explains further: “From an evolutionary point of view, junk food cravings are linked to prehistoric times when the brain's opioids and dopamine reacted to the benefit of high-calorie food as a survival mechanism.” So our biological makeup is working against our waistlines as well. We crave these foods because they release feel-good chemicals when we are feeling hopelessly low. It’s very similar to how we tend to crave comfort foods when we’ve had a bad night of sleep - we want a little pick me up. It’s evolution. It’s near impossible to fight - UNLESS of course, you just practice moderation when you drink (or don’t drink at all) and always try to get a decent sleep. Easier said than done? Well, there are things in our control in life, and things not in our control. You CAN control how much you drink. You can’t always control the quality of your sleep. Do a little damage control and adopt the adage of trying to control the things you can, and accepting the things you can’t.

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