Have you ever been hangry? How eating healthy snacks can help manage hunger.
It’s 11:45 a.m., you’re at work, your boss asks you for a favor and you feel incredibly annoyed. You wonder why you’ve been so irritable for the last 30 minutes. By one o’clock you feel relaxed and once again you have a smile on your face. What changed in such a short amount of time?
Well, you had lunch!
In recent years, a new phrase has been coined “HANGRY”. What does this mean? When hunger and anger collide and your inner monster comes to life. When you are “hangry”, you might experience feelings of irritability, impatience, anxiety, restlessness, difficulty concentrating and completing simple tasks, among others. You might also blow up at others for no good reason. The truth is that food plays an important role in our lives, not only to maintain our physical health, but also our MENTAL and EMOTIONAL health.
Thus, healthy eating habits must become a priority, as the aftermath of hunger can have an impact on your relationships, your work, and your overall well being. You also want to keep that inner monster tamed, especially if you are someone who already has a tendency to lose your temper without the assistance of hunger. Anger has a reputation of wreaking havoc in our lives when we have trouble managing and regulating it. Romantic relationships, friendships and careers have all been compromised due to anger being left untreated.
Anger is a normal, human emotion AND it is also an emotion that is often ill-managed. If we don’t make an effort to regulate this emotion, it can turn into AGGRESSION. Aggression is a behavior that can create chaos around us, hurting those we love and hurting ourselves. Examples are, raising your voice at others, cursing, throwing things, slamming doors, breaking objects or going as far as physically hurting someone else.
The physiological reason for the “HANGRY” phenomenon lies in a drop of blood sugar. Given that there is a scientific basis for why hungry people often exhibit signs of hostility, the answer to avoiding it appears simple: just eat.
There is some controversy surrounding snacking regularly, due to the high level of social pressure to maintain a trim physique. However, we must all strive to achieve mental and emotional balance as much as we value our physical well-being. Healthy snacks that are planned, in terms of nutrition, are a great method of avoiding the “HANGRY” feeling.
Here are few tips that will help you avoid hanger:
Eat a well-balanced breakfast
The first meal of the day should set you up to be in good spirits. Make sure that you eat a meal that is satisfying in terms of nutrition and taste. Eating a tasty first meal is bound to elevate anyone’s mood!
Take into consideration the tasks of the day. If you are anticipating a day filled with errand running, high energy activities, meetings, or only having brief intervals to eat, make sure that you carry snacks in caloric proportion to the demands of the day.
Carry snacks that are nutritious and tasty
Don’t wait until you are starving. If hunger begins to set in, you should eat. It is advisable not to eat just because there is something available (like those tasty donuts at the office…), as that promotes unhealthy eating habits. However, you should eat when you need to recharge.
Eat a well-balanced and healthy lunch
Make sure to take breaks when needed and try to have lunch away from your desk. Have a healthy and satisfying lunch that will give you the energy to get through your day.
Consult with a doctor
If you are not sure what snacks or meals are healthy for you or you have a medical condition, please contact your primary physician to consult and find out what meal plans are best for you.
Need help managing your anger?
If you struggle with anger, please contact (818) 990-0999 to find out about my anger management support groups. I strive to help you discover and apply new ways to manage your anger and aggression so you can lead a more peaceful life.
Anita Avedian, LMFT, CAMS-IV
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Certified Anger Management Specialist IV
Director of Anger Management 818
Disclaimer: The recommendations given in this article are not a replacement for medical advice. Please consult with your medical provider if you have a medical condition. If you have a medical or psychological emergency, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. Thank you.
Oxenham, Simon. (2017). Being ‘Hangry’ Exists: Why a Lack of Food Can Change Your Mood. New Scientist. Retrieved from www.newscientist.com/article/2119406-being-hangry-exists-why-a-lack-of-food-can-change-your-mood/.