Let’s be honest, we all get hangry once in a while.
It was fairly early on in our relationship when my fiancé (then boyfriend) experienced hangry Elle. One minute Rob had a sweet, doting girlfriend on his arm. A few minutes later, that sweet girlfriend turned into an irrationally mean, little blonde practically gnawing on his arm.
It’s been well documented that decreased blood sugar, even above what is considered true hypoglycemia, can lead to irritability and aggression. The brain, unlike other organs, needs glucose for energy, so it has every right to get hangry. We get glucose from carbohydrates, which make up a lot of the foods we eat such as breads, cereals, pastas, legumes, fruits, certain vegetables and sweets. Can you imagine how hangry I was when I was on the Atkins Diet back in college? No carbs for over 2 weeks! Yikes.
Hunger cues, the grumbling of your stomach or feelings of hanger, are actually incredibly important because they help us maintain a neutral energy balance (energy in = energy out = weight maintenance). Unfortunately, with food so readily accessible and mealtimes scheduled down to the minute, we tend to override these hunger cues by eating when we’re not truly hungry. It’s actually quite common for someone not not feel hungry once throughout the day. Make that a habit and it’s easy to understand why people hate feeling hungry.
The reality is, hunger shouldn’t have such a negative reputation. Most of us are incredibly fortunate and don’t ever worry about
feeding our brains finding our next meal. Did you know we actually have about 12-18 hours of glucose stores on board to keep our brain fed? If times truly get tough (we’re talking starvation here) our body can even make glucose out of things like muscle. There’s really no need to panic when our stomachs start to grumble!
It’s not always easy but I actually make an effort to feel hungry every day. I have learned to trust my body to tell me when it needs to be fed and I rarely feel guilty about indulging in a large meal (i.e. cheeseburger, fries and a tasty beer) if I wait to feel hungry before I eat again. I have weighed the same (+ or – a couple of pounds) for over 6 years now, since learning to listen to my hunger cues. Coincidence?
I’m going to propose a challenge. The next time you feel a bit hangry or your stomach growls loud enough to turn some heads, smile and try not to bite someone’s head off. Do whatever you gotta do to celebrate your hunger cues. It might seem easy but resisting the urge to chow down until you actually feel a bit hungry can be pretty tough, especially if you’re on a schedule, bored, stressed, or out socializing with friends.
Tell me, do you get hangry? I definitely think this is more of a female than male phenomenon, which is actually really interesting!
Do you associate hunger with negative feelings? When was the last time you felt hungry?
P.S. You’ll be happy to know Rob quickly caught on to my hangryness and now keeps granola bars in the glove compartment, just in case. It’s been a total relationship saver.
P.P.S. How cute is this hangry pillow!? Love Etsy.