Be at Your Best, not Hangry (Angry + Hungry)

Five tips for coping with being hangry (angry + hungry)

Posted Oct 08, 2014

You’ve probably seen the Snicker’s bar commercials with the tag line, “You're Not You When You're Hungry.” In these ads, a very hungry person transforms into someone hyper-aggressive.  We’ve all been there. When you are not well fed sometimes you are not at your best.  Irritable.  Snappy.  Downright angry. 

With my clients, I call this feeling "hangry" (hungry +angry)?  The take home message is that emotions have a huge impact on the way you eat and what you eat has a significant impact on how you feel.      

A recent study found that your blood sugar level may play a big part in this.  In this particular study, couples’ blood glucose levels were tested.  When they were low, the couples were more likely to stick a pin into a voodoo doll representing their significant other.  Sounds a little scary but it’s fairly true.  The person who gets the brunt of your emotional ups and downs are those closest to you.

What can you do?  Prevent “not being yourself” by staying on top of your hunger and how you feel. You will feel hungry from time to time and that is normal and a positive thing.  The issue is feeling overly hungry and not listening to your body.

Five Tips:

1)      Prevention is key!  Eating every few hours and choosing healthy snacks to regulate your hunger and blood sugar levels can prevent emotional ups and downs (almonds, low fat cheese, strawberries etc).

2)      A recent study in the British Journal of Health suggested that 7-8 servings of fruits and vegetables made participants happier, calmer and more energetic the next day.  Don’t just feed yourself, make sure to nourish your body for the best results. 

3)      Listen for Clues.  Sometimes being overly hunger is very subtle.  If you notice yourself getting more irritable, hunger may be the cause.  Take a break.  Don’t reach for chocolate which will cause a spike and crash in your blood sugar.  High fiber or quality protein snacks can help get your body back on track.

4)      Get some Sleep!  Nothing messes up your appetite hormones like missing a night of sleep.  Even cutting one night of sleep short can make you feel hungrier than usual the next day.

5)      Ditch Fad Dieting.  Dieting is a recipe for feeling overly hungry and starving!  Try mindful eating instead—eating slowly, savor each bite and be more conscious of what you eat.

For more suggestions and tips on how to ditch dieting and eat mindfully consult Dr. Albers’ new book, EatQ (ranked in the Top 50 Amazon books, #1 in Weight Loss and #1 in Diets)