Han•gry [ h·ng gree ]
- feeling very annoyed because you are hungry
- a combination of hungry and angry
We’ve all experienced it: the short temper that comes from being hungry, better known as being “hangry.” Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of life, eating can become a secondary priority. Unfortunately our brains and bodies aren’t meant to function without food and so we get hangry. Low blood sugar and a grumbling tummy can turn us into less-than-pleasant parents, partners and coworkers. So in spite of all the messages out there saying eat less, hear this message instead: Eat sensibly when you’re hungry. Here’s why (and how):
Skipping meals can cause you to overeat. If you wait to eat until you are extra hungry, you may eat faster and not realize you’re full until you’ve already eaten more calories than your body needs. Aside from tummy aches, this can also cause weight gain.
Studies show that people who eat smaller meals or snacks throughout the day often eat less than those who eat fewer, larger meals. Keep snacks like almonds or a piece of fruit in your car, your desk or a coat pocket for a quick and easy energy boost.
Eating on the run may cause you to choose less healthy food options. Though not all fast food is bad, it often has higher calories and less nutritional value than a sack lunch you bring from home. Pack a lunch with fruits, veggies, lean protein (chicken, turkey), whole grains and healthy fats (nuts, avocado).
Mindless eating when you’re rushing between meetings or appointments can also cause you to overeat. Since your brain isn’t able to fully process the sight, smell, flavor and texture of your food, your brain may not recognize when your stomach is full as quickly. Schedule in a lunch break each day and take time to enjoy your food.
Not only is letting yourself get hangry bad for your health, it can rub off on the people around you. Save yourself, your family, your friends and your coworkers the frustration and nourish your body so you don’t get to that point. For more nutrition tips, check out past blogs and some of our upcoming free and low cost nutrition classes at Swedish.