I like to think of myself as being a pretty nice person most of the time. I try not to be rude to people. I smile at people. I let people merge ahead of me on the road. I always put my grocery buggy away at the store. However, there’s an ugly, horrible side to my personality, too. When it comes out, it bears a resemblance to the Mr. Hyde side of Dr. Jekyll. It’s not a mysterious potion that brings this dark side to being… it’s a side effect of being hungry that is also known as “hangry.”
You may know the feeling. If you’re like me… when it happens, it happens fast. You go from being a carefree and reasonable human being to one who would steal candy from a baby and bite the head off of anyone who tried to stop you.
It is the sensation of being irrationally angry while feeling hungry. And nothing, I mean NOTHING, will sooth this savage beast until it is properly fed. Nothing is funny. Favorite songs sound like screeching cats. And the endearing habits of the people you love will grate on your nerves like fingernails on a chalkboard. No one likes a hangry person. Hangry people don’t even like themselves!
Hanger is the result of going too long between meals. It’s the result of blood sugar crashing. And it does not bode well for anyone who is trying to eat healthy. It’s a dieter’s worst nightmare because once food is presented, the Hangry Monster does not care WHAT is eaten, as long as there is plenty of it. However, being properly prepared is half the battle to fighting off this beast.
- Don’t skip meals. Especially breakfast. When they call it the most important meal of the day, they aren’t kidding. But make it count. High fiber and protein are the foundation for a great start to your day. Refrigerator oats are a personal favorite!
- Keep some high-fiber snacks in your purse. Ladies, this is a huge advantage we have over men. We carry bags with us wherever we go that are capable of storing an apple, a little turkey jerky, and a pack of almonds. You don’t have to cart a cooler around. There are plenty of snacks that will happily tuck right into a purse.
- Drink lots of water. All day. Make friends with your thirst and keep a water bottle handy at all times.
These steps can keep the Hanger Monster at bay. But sometimes, no matter how well you try to prepare for it and prevent it, you’re going to be in a situation that creates hanger. For instance, you may find yourself unexpectedly stuck in traffic without a snack. Or, perhaps a meeting with the boss may run longer than planned (and of course, as is always the case when you’re on the verge of hanger, no one else in the meeting, including the boss, is hungry).
As uncomfortable as being hangry is – for everyone involved, because let’s face it, being hangry isn’t the most attractive side of a person – try to keep tempers curbed long enough to wait for a sensible meal, so the hanger pangs you experience won’t be replaced with the Guilt Goblins.