Have there been times when you have felt so hungry that it made you feel downright irritable and all you just wanted to do was yell at everyone around you? This common feeling is often referred to as being ‘hangry’ and the experts say that it is a very real psychological and physical phenomenon.
Being Hangry Is Real
“When we do not eat, blood sugar goes low ” explained Dr. Deena Adimoolam, an Assistant Professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, in an interview with Health.
The Dr explains that when we haven’t eaten for several hours our blood sugar levels drop and our body automatically responds by releasing the hormones epinephrine and cortisol to try to bring the levels up again.
Epinephrine which is also known as adrenaline, is released from the adrenal glands and nerve endings and works on the liver to encourage sugar production. Cortisol also comes from the adrenal gland and is a steroid hormone.
The problem is that both of these hormones can also make you feel downright irritable and this means that the hungrier you get the more hangrier you can feel.
There was also a study carried out by Ohio University in 2014 that documented the hangry physical and psychological phenomenon among married couples.
The researchers discovered that the level of an individual partner’s blood glucose were directly related to how angry they got with their spouse over everyday things. They even showed that those with low blood sugar were more likely to jab multiple pins into voodoo dolls of their spouses.
Why Do You Get Hangry?
How To Prevent Getting Hangry
We each vary quite a lot on how we react to hunger, though I know that there are a lot of us who find that we do need to normally eat something every three hours or so, in order to keep both our bodies and minds happy.
Personally, I always make sure that I start the day with a decent breakfast that has an adequate amount of protein in it, as I know that I can often get so engrossed with my work that I forget to eat on time. One of my regular go to breakfasts involves just soaking some rolled oats over night. Then I just add some eggs whilst cooking and I find that this can normally keep me going till around lunch-time.
As sometimes it is not always possible to get a proper meal into our bodies at the right intervals, a good habit to get into is always having at hand both some water to sip and a supply of healthy snacks, to help tide you over and keep those hangry feelings at bay.
While often when those hunger pangs hit you will probably crave for a quick fix food such as chocolate or processed junk food these are a really bad idea. Even though they will satiate your hunger temporarily they are also high in sugar and empty calories. This will lead to a massive sugar rush followed by an even bigger crash and can ultimately lead you to feeling even worse.
Following a healthy diet is not always easy so try to plan your meals and snacks for each day of the week ahead of time, so that you know in advance what your menu is for each day. A good time saving habit to get into is meal prepping for the week ahead, so that each of your meals and snacks are not only planned but also prepared at the same time. Meal planning and prepping also helps you have total control over your macros and avoid the temptation of eating an unhealthy take away.
This planning and prepping also saves you time and money in the long run, as you can buy everything you need on one trip to the grocery store and don’t spend unnecessarily on take-outs or eating at restaurants.
You’ll always have something ready to eat for whenever you start to feel hungry, which means that you are fueling your body properly on a regular basis, plus it can also prevent you from going so long that you end up overeating when you finally do get some food in front of you.
Getting the right types of food in a regular basis is not only essential for our bodies to function but for optimal mental health too.
While not getting one meal on time can make you hangry, a new study by the University of Guelph suggests that the impact of constant irregular eating habits could even have a long term detrimental effect on our moods and possibly lead to depression.
Try to make it a habit to have a substantial breakfast and always try to keep a supply of healthy snacks with you when you are out and about.
It is a great idea if you can get into the habit of planning and prepping your weekly meals ahead of time. While it may seem a bit of a drag to start with, you will soon realise that it is the best way to ensure you have a supply of healthy food options, along with saving you time and money in the long run.
Last but by no means least try not to wait until you are totally ravenous before you reach for something to eat, so you don’t end up getting so hangry that you say something you shouldn’t or even end up lashing out at the wrong person.
If you have ever felt hangry and found this post useful please do leave a comment below as I’d love to hear from you…