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.
Go America! We’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, it’s time to discuss the implications this may have on your ability to maintain the body and health you desire.
It’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.”
That's right, I said it.
As much as I am pro-marijuana, I want to address the elephant in the room that — for me — 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 you’re hungry, you want to eat more. It’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, I’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, then this article is for you.
And within this article, my main objective is to answer the age old question, “How can you smoke weed and not binge eat?”
Way back when I weighed almost 250 pounds, 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 “F*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, “F*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 “The F*ck Its.”
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. Don’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 Stuf Oreos and a carton of Ben and Jerry's.
Don’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 don’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 aren’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.
Let’s face it: You’re going to eat something.
Unless you are a part of the few people who don’t experience the munchies, you’re going to be at risk of 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 don’t.
If you know you’re likely to skip a workout if you get high, make sure you get your workout in before you indulge in smoking.
It’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, don’t let yourself fall into the trap of, “I’ll do it later."
You probably won’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 be much easier to follow through with what 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.
You’ll have a set amount of calories you’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, we’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.