Along with nausea and headaches, hangovers bring on cravings for fatty, greasy foods. “All the sugar from alcohol and mixers causes low blood sugar the next morning so you wake up craving calorie-dense foods, and fats are the most calorie dense,” explains Susan Blum, M.D., assistant clinical professor of preventative medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in Manhattan. Rather than piling guilt on top of feeling like hell on earth, try these healthy substitutions for your favorite hangover cravings.
1Craving: Egg and cheese on a roll
Bite into: An English muffin topped with a veggie sausage patty and a slice of low-fat cheese. “This whole thing is half the calories of a breakfast sandwich,” says Howard Shapiro, a New York City weight loss specialist and author of Dr. Shapiro’s Picture Perfect Weight Loss book series.
2Craving: A greasy side of bacon
Bite into: Canadian bacon. “It has 35 percent less sodium, 65 percent fewer calories and 75 percent less fat than traditional bacon, but still satisfies your cravings for meat and salt,” says Forberg.
3Craving: A cheeseburger
Bite into: A bison or turkey burger open-faced on a whole-grain bun with low-fat cheese. “This is leaner and lower in calories,” says Forberg. Better yet, substitute a veggie burger on a bun with tomato, relish, onions, pickles and ketchup, suggests Shapiro.
4Craving : French fries
Bite into: A baked potato with salsa. “This fills the same starch craving for just 150 calories compared to a medium serving of French fries for 360 calories,” says Shapiro.
5Craving : Pizza
Bite into: Portobello pizzas. Use an inverted portobello mushroom cap for the crust. Top with marinara sauce, cheese and crumbled turkey sausage, suggests Forberg. Bake at 400 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes and enjoy your guilt-free version of pizza.