Drinking your calories

They seem to come up with new terms and definitions for anything and everything these days.  Case in point, drunkorexia.

Drunkorexia: depriving oneself of food as a way of “saving calories” for booze. 

I’m fairly certain this phenomenon is mostly seen in the college age bracket, but you never know.  I lived in a sorority house for two years and there was definitely a mix of healthy and unhealthy dietary habits – as well as drinking habits.  You don’t need to be a registered dietician to know that replacing vital nutrients with alcohol is a bad idea.  Depriving your body of key vitamins and minerals is bad enough.  But filling the calorie gap with EtOH almost seems worse. 

Personally, I tend to do the opposite.  I’m a “lightweight” and I know it, so there’s no way I can handle drinking on an empty stomach. 

For the college kids out there (or alumni), have you noticed drunkorexic behavior?  Is this a thing?


Me, getting “iced” at 7 am before heading to Vegas for my bachelorette party.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Comments (41)

  1. sam

    i’m a college sophomore and i’ve def been guilty of this. but it always backfires because i end up drunkenly gorging on anything i can get my hands on later at 2 or 3 am……

  2. Jessica Cali

    I definitely see this all the time! But I wouldn’t say its actually an eating disorder (unless the person already has some other symptoms with it.) Most of the people I know who reduce eating the night before drinking will spend the next day hungover eating cold pizza. Not really healthy eating but not necessarily disordered eating…

  3. Elise (Post author)

    like the bank account theory – splurge one day, thrifty the next

  4. Jessica Cali

    sidenote: I swear university is the only time you can drink four days in a row and no one is worried you’re an alcoholic…

  5. Jessica Cali


  6. Elise (Post author)

    four…ten…whatever 😉
    seriously, though. i look back in awe and wonder. how i maintained a decent gpa is still a marvel to me. thank goodness i got it out of my system!

  7. Kinley @ Better Off Barefoot

    I know I have been guilty of this when I used to drink… normally skipping dinner to A) save calories and B) make the drinks count more. And probably why I don’t really enjoy drinking anymore 🙂

  8. Katie @ Peace Love and Oats

    It’s definitely a thing! I always had a bowl of oatmeal in college before heading out because I knew my friends wouldn’t be eating dinner so they could just start drinking and get drunk more quickly. Lol, I was all about having something solid in my stomach.

  9. Courtney @ The Granola Chronicles

    I feel like I’m hearing about this more and more. Really, it’s just sad. It’s definitely not healthy! I lived in a sorority house for two years also (yay!), and I didn’t notice this behavior. Maybe because I just didn’t know (at the time) that people actually did this – or maybe because I went to school in the midwest. I’m *not* saying issues like this are not present in the middle of America and this is a big generalization, I’m just wondering if maybe that might be a reason!

  10. Alexa @ SimpleEats

    Such a big college thing! When I did do that in college (sadly) I hated the feeling of alcohol on an empty stomach…it burns!

  11. Jess

    Haha sometimes I’m surprised I survived college at all—though it’s probably less about the quantity of alcohol than the “good stories” it often led to…Totally ran into a friend who was out for a run once as I was doing the walk of shame at, like, 2 pm. Oh dear.

  12. Fran

    Definitely. I have done this – not often, but still I am not proud of this. when I first got to uni, I remember being shocked at kids bragging: “we only ate lettuce all of fresher’s week, to save calories for alcohol!” etc – and then seeing this behaviour admired by others. How come you’re asking? Where did you stumble upon this termin?

  13. Christine (The Raw Project)

    I’m a lightweight too and would pass out if I tried that! Love that you had a bachelorette party in Vegas, how fun!

  14. Sarah

    i definitely wouldnt call myself drunkorexic (lol) but if im going to be drinking that night i do tend to cut down on food that day.

  15. Red Deception

    When I was in college I never deprived myself of vital nutrients so I could booze it up. Um, I just boozed it up!

    I couldn’t imagine touching the stuff now. I haven’t had a drink in years. Bleh.

  16. Lou

    I’m a lightweight when it comes to drinking too… if there isn’t anything in my tum I either get really sick or just want to curl up and sleep. Man I want to go to vegas ……

  17. Sarah

    I also wanted to comment and say that i love how real you are in your posts. You dont seem to sensor yourself and always bring up real life issues. Not to mention im a nurse as well so i love reading your stories! And your recipes!

    I know this is semi rude to ask (maybe) but ive been reading your blog from the begining and find you to be so inspirational. I recently caught the blogging bug and started my own. Except… i have no readers. Id feel honored if you would maybe give my lil blog a shot out on one of your posts? If not i understand, but it never hearts to ask right??

  18. Coco

    Yup I’m with you- I’m def a light weight.. I need to at least snack while I drink or I’ll be wasted in a hott minute. Haha I think people have too much time on their hands and just have taken to making up names for everything..

  19. Gabby

    When I was a SOPHOMORE IN HIGH SCHOOL there was a girl that sat at my lunch table who ate somewhat normally (at least at school) but worked out like crazy every single day to burn off booze from the weekend.

  20. Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine

    My freshman year roommate totally did this. So does one of my best friends. It’s kind of gross, to be honest, and it pisses me off that girls do this…

  21. Kailey (SnackFace)

    I’ve seen people really restrict their intake for the day, and then there are those like me, who just go out for a drink before dinner and it turns into a night out! I am such a lightweight anymore that I HAVE to eat beforehand. In college, things were a little different. I don’t know how I lived through my last quarter….

  22. Emily

    I’m a junior at the University of Michigan and “drunkorexia” is most definitely a common thing. Many girls “save up” calories for the day or over exercise on the weekends to make up for drinking.
    I’ve overheard quite a few girls saying they don’t eat before drinking because they get drunk quicker.
    It’s so sad.

  23. MacKensie Gibson

    I just graduated from undergrad and was also in a sorority. There’s no question, this definitely a thing. Knowing that alcohol is tons of calories motivates lots of girls to save up before binging on alcohol later that night. I’ve never heard the term “drunkorexia” though! Very interesting. And dangerous. I’ve seen plenty of ladies have to end their night in the E.R. for this very reason.

  24. Emily

    “Drunkorexia” was SO common when I was in school. And frankly, it still is with a number of my friends. It’s horrible!
    I’m in the exact same boat as you. Being a huge lightweight, eating before I consume alcohol is absolutely necessary. Otherwise, the night becomes a shit-show (for lack of a more sophisticated term).
    These days, I rarely drink and, when I do, I definitely know my limits!

  25. Elise (Post author)

    interesting point. id be curious to see if there was a geographic pattern, but really, im thinking it just wasnt common among your friends.

  26. Elise (Post author)

    haha…oh the stories!

  27. Elise (Post author)

    the article above. i was reading my typical huffpo/latimes health news and the article came up…just curious about others’ reactions.

  28. Elise (Post author)

    its such a silly vocab word that it makes it hard to take anything about the article seriously. i think cutting down isnt what they’re talking about though…thats a fairly normal thing to do on a day youre indulging (i think)

  29. Elise (Post author)


    i drink wine occasionally now, but i cringe thinking of my college years…yikes.

  30. Elise (Post author)

    have you been?

  31. Elise (Post author)

    hi sarah! thanks for the very sweet comment. it means a ton to me. also congrats on starting your own blog. i will definitely check it out.

  32. Elise (Post author)

    seriously. i could make up random terms for anything and everything and see if they stick. should i?

  33. Elise (Post author)

    wow. now THATS an earlier age than i was expecting!!!! scary. very very scary.

  34. Elise (Post author)

    its sad is what it is.

  35. Elise (Post author)

    thats what im wondering about my whole time at college. im amazed i graduated.

  36. Elise (Post author)

    man. this really is sad. i dont think the exercising the next day is so bad as long as its within reason…but combined with restricting…sounds disordered. and not good. thanks for sharing emily.

  37. Lou

    No! I would so so love to (me and Viper are getting married next year, and I really wanted to elope to Vegas and get wed by an Elvis impersonator…. but my Mother-in-Law to be has forbidden me!) I just want to go to the States, anywhere would be awesome, but I’m always keen for a party 🙂

  38. Elise (Post author)

    what a fun night to work in the ER…

  39. Elise (Post author)

    no kidding. i will be on the floor in five seconds if i booze without eating first. not pretty.

  40. Elise (Post author)

    oh my gosh that would be so awesome!!! hahaha…but maybe best not to cross your future MIL from the start, eh?

    come to the states!! come to CA!

  41. Lou

    Dude, I will, one day! MIL said she would never forgive me, so best to start off on the right foot I suppose. She has to love me though, I gave her a Grandson 🙂

Comments are closed.