You haven't eaten in hours. Your energy levels are completely depleted, you feel weak and even a bit dizzy, your stomach growls, and you suddenly noticed that you are quick-tempered and irritable – do you sound familiar? What started out as a bit of hunger can quickly change our personality and soon we all snap around us – we are officially "hungry".
It is interesting to notice and observe others. My husband skipped sugar for a while and I always noticed that when he came back to it, a "Hangry" episode could follow (everyone, duck!). I'm the same – if I don't eat regularly, the mood can change quickly and you might not want to look at me the wrong way (my kids will confirm that!). All jokes aside, this can really be the cause of adult tantrums.
One of my previous clients described the feeling as so extreme that he had to run his car over for fear of falling into a tantrum (he hadn't eaten in 6 hours) … mmm, maybe we should drive around with protein snacks for angry drivers ? It could be a sideline!
Is it really happening?
Yes, it is. Research shows that hunger tends to make negative feelings worse, and people who haven't eaten for hours tend to express more feelings of stress and anger. This is what happens: the time after your last meal, the amount of these nutrients circulating in your bloodstream will begin to decrease. If your blood sugar level drops enough, your brain will perceive this as a life threatening situation. Unlike most other organs and tissues in your body, which can use a wide variety of nutrients to keep them functioning, your brain relies on glucose for its work. Simple things can get difficult when you are hungry. You may find it difficult to concentrate or you may make silly mistakes. Your brain is literally not working.
Hunger appears to activate many of the same physiological systems as emotions. Hunger causes the body to release the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. The hungrier you are, the more hormones are released, causing stress and stimulating us to action, just like when you hit yourself with anger. When you are hungry – like when you are caught in a strong emotion – it can temporarily change the way you view the world. Elizabeth Davis, a psychologist at the University of California, says, “(Hunger) signals to us that something is wrong – that it is time to eat, but as humans, we can wrongly attribute this aversive feeling to something external before investigating what is ours The body tells us. "
What is related to weight?
Getting hungry can be avoided – and absolutely should be if you are concerned about your weight (no matter how it affects our loved ones!). Why? Because when we get hungry, we're much more likely to reach for sugary foods or overly processed carbohydrates to regret later. The body cries out for sugar to help fix chronically low blood sugar levels. Ironically, and to the surprise of many, many new customers in our clinics are people who don't eat as much during the day. However, it turns out that starving during the day and then overeating at night is possibly one of the worst things you can do for your weight and health.
How can I avoid getting "hungry"?
1) Eat more often
When we are distracted, we can lose touch with our bodies and their needs. Then we snap at our children or partners. However, this should be a rule that you never or rarely break: you need to eat every 3-4 hours and make sure each meal has a good source of protein. Your body needs a steady supply of fuel if you want it to function both mentally and physically.
Watch out for the side effects of low blood sugar: headaches, anxiety, and restlessness – make a vow never to get him to this stage. If you need more persuasion, think about it: While you may think that eating less during the day is good for your weight, research shows the opposite is true. In fact, when you fast this fast, you lose lean muscle mass, which means an overall slowdown in your metabolism – it's the opposite of what you want! If it helps in the beginning, program your mobile alarm to remind you to stop and have your lunch and snacks throughout the day. My favorite snacks are a protein bar or a pack of pumpkin seeds or almond nuts that I always have in my handbag.
2) Fill in the fiber
This is important if you want to regulate the blood sugar and insulin response, which leads to a slow release of energy over a long period of time. Most people consume around 15 grams of fiber a day, but the goal should be closer to 25 grams.
Try to have vegetables at every meal – mushrooms or tomatoes for breakfast and the usual salad and vegetables for lunch and dinner. Swap out refined grains like white rice for whole grains and try new sources of protein that are full of fiber like lentils or chickpeas (a great way to get them is in the soup). Incorporating nuts and seeds (like chia seeds) into your meals will also increase your fiber intake. These also contain a lot of protein, which is crucial for regular incorporation throughout the day – both for blood sugar balance and for maintaining optimal muscle mass (in addition to regular exercise ideally).
Perhaps you could take advantage of the added benefit of private one-on-one weight loss sessions. Book your first consultation today and take your first step towards a life without hunger.
The post Why Hangry Isn't a Joke first appeared in Motivational Weight Management.