Do this and you won't get hangry
Do you get angry or irritable when you're hungry? Here's how to keep your hangry monster at bay.
When your blood sugar levels drop too low, it can cause you to get hangry – hungry to the point where you're angry or miserable. If this happens, you'll quickly find yourself going from pleasant and level-headed to cranky and irritable. Studies have shown changes in mood due to low blood sugar in both healthy and diabetic individuals.
Some people are more susceptible to becoming hangry than others, but there are steps you can take to make it less likely that your rumbling stomach will also negatively affect your mood or general demeanor. Try these:
Don't skip meals. It's easy to get so busy that you forget to eat, but going more than 4 – 5 hours without food can cause your blood sugar to get too low, which can lead to a case of the hangries. Even if you don't have time for a meal, choose a healthy snack to keep hunger at bay.
Include protein and fat in every meal. One sure way to wind up feeling hangry is to eat a meal or snack that's comprised primarily of carbohydrates. Protein and fat take longer to digest and keep you feeling fuller longer. Opt for lean protein, such as skinless chicken, Greek yogurt or seafood, as well as healthy fats, such as nuts, avocados or olive oil.
Eat more fiber. Fiber keeps you fuller longer and has also been shown to level out spikes and dips in blood sugar levels. To add more fiber to your day, choose plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and opt for whole grains instead of refined grains. You can also add in other fiber-rich foods to your diet, such as beans and lentils.
Avoid sugary drinks and snacks. Eating foods with lots of simple carbs, like sugar, can cause your blood sugar to quickly spike and then even more quickly fall. So if you feel like you need an afternoon pick-me-up, don't reach for a caramel macchiato or a candy bar. Instead, choose a well-rounded snack with some staying power, such as dried fruit and nut mix, carrots and hummus or apple slices with peanut butter.