The infamous munchies—they’re real, and if you’re ever found yourself in a situation where you’ve hit a bong one too many times and didn’t prepare any nachos beforehand, you know it’s a dire type of hunger that feels like it will never be satiated. It’s kind of great: Finally, you have an excuse to eat an entire pizza by yourself! (And then you can top it off with a pint of ice cream alternated with spoonfuls of chocolate syrup. Om nom.)
Cannabis consumers are more likely than others to be fit: Scientists have found that regular consumers tend to have significantly smaller waist circumferences than people who have never consumed cannabis. According to researchers at the University of Nebraska, the Harvard School of Public Health, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, cannabis actually has the potential to improve insulin control and regulate body weight. It sounds amazing (another win for the cannabis community!), except for the fact that correlation doesn’t imply causation. The munchies are not a hallucinatory experience, and those calories are still real.
Personally, I dictate my lifestyle choices by my desire to wear crop tops all year long, but no matter what your fitness goals, if you’re trying to get into a wellness regimen and have a hard time resisting deep-dish pizza after a sesh, take heed of the following: my “Stoner Diet” tips.
1. Throw out the junk food out of your pantry—and yes, that secret stash of Cheetos under your bed, too.
A nutritionist I once worked with when I was a beauty editor told me that good habits are “all about context.” What she meant is that you need to create an environment where you are encouraged to make healthy choices, not tempted to make choices you’ll regret. When you’ve got the munchies, you feel like you need to eat everything in front of you—and anything else that you find. Don’t deny that appetite—just replace your potato chips with precut vegetables and hummus dip, or your gummy bears with a carton of fresh blueberries. Who knows, you may just ingest more fruits and vegetables than you normally do! (Bonus: Things like fruit are amazing for quelling dry mouth.)
2. Use cannabis as a nightcap instead of sleeping aids.
Even a tiny edible dose will have negligible calories, and smoking and vaping are guilt-free. Also, if you schedule your consumption as a nightcap to ease into a relaxed state before bed, you won’t be up scrounging for midnight snacks later.
3. Get high and then go outside.
Many elite athletes use cannabis for performance improvement or recovery. If you’re not an elite athlete, we still suggest getting high and then heading outside for a run or a long walk if the weather is nice. It’ll enhance your appreciation of the outdoors, even if you’ve always been an indoors kid. Better yet, head to a museum or go gallery hopping—you’ll get some much-needed exercise and enhance your appreciation of art. If you’re smoking or vaping before you work out, choose a sativa strain to keep yourself motivated and upbeat. We also love popping an edible before a run to get motivated, as well as to soothe tired muscles throughout and after you’re done.
4. Replace the alcohol.
People who use cannabis regularly tend to decrease or completely stop their consumption of alcohol. This can save a ton of calories. Additionally, you’ll stop having debilitating hangovers in the morning, which means you won’t be reaching for the bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich to revive yourself. (Or maybe you still will—it’s a good source of protein.)
5. Cook before you get high. Enjoy while you’re high.
Enhance your carefully prepared, home cooked meals with your cannabis—we can all feel like Le Cordon Bleu-trained chefs with the help of the cannabis plant. While your standard veggie pasta may not taste like a Michelin-starred meal while sober, it always seems to while stoned. So cook dinner, then load a quick bowl before you sit down to eat. You won’t be ingesting any more calories than you usually would, and you’ll have a greater appreciation of your own culinary efforts.
6. Eat whatever and whenever you want.
Let’s forget all the above for a second: At the end of the day, no one is here to food shame you. Consuming cannabis is a positive choice for wellness, and enjoying an entire pizza pie by yourself is a simple joy of life. We need both for a truly healthy lifestyle.