Feeling Hangry? How to Avoid Food-Related Mood Swings

Food that you eat is processed into simple sugars, free fatty acids and amino acids. The nutrients are moved into the bloodstream where they are assimilated by organs, tissues, and other parts of the body to be used for the production of hormones, chemicals and fuel for your body’s systems.

After eating, the nutrient level in your blood gradually starts to drop. In some cases, your nutrient level can drop low enough for your brain to think that your life may be in danger.

Your brain’s initial response to a lack of glucose is to make it difficult for you to focus on other things aside from your hunger. Other side effects of low brain glucose are slurred speech, making mistakes, or difficulty completing basic tasks.

All of this brain confusion temporarily changes how your brain operates. Rather than complying with social norms, all rules and regulations fly out the window until your brain feels fueled again.

This can result in a reduction in social filters that would ordinarily prevent someone from acting irritated. Hunger can cause you to feel grumpy and irritated by everything and everyone around you.

If your blood-glucose levels fall too far, your brain tells your body to send glucose reserves to the bloodstream to keep glucose levels regulated. Two of the hormones that are produced during this response are cortisol and adrenaline, which are also triggered during times of stress.

Too much of these hormones floating around in the body can trigger the fight-or-flight response. When this happens, it is much easier to lash out against others as they are subconsciously perceived as a source of danger.

Being hangry is a good thing

Hunger and our response to it has been finely tuned over millions of years. One chemical released in the brain during periods of hunger is known as neuropeptide Y, which works to control hunger and regulate anger and aggression.

A study from 2012 published in Biological Psychiatry found that individuals who have high levels of neuropeptide Y were more likely to be aggressive and impulsive.

The researchers theorized that the link between anger and hunger evolved as a biological response that made hungry people more likely to act aggressively during the search for food.

This not only would guard against others trying to steal your food, but also would make you more likely to go out and hunt for food, even if danger was involved.

How to prevent hangry mood swings

As science tells us, being hangry used to be a good thing, but in today’s world, there are far more consequences for snapping at your co-workers when you are hungry. Use these strategies to prevent hanger-related mood swings.

Eat often

What is the easiest way to prevent hanger? Don’t ever get too hungry. Eat something when you first feel the initial pains of hunger. Stock healthy snacks so you aren’t tempted to indulge on junk food when hunger strikes.

Set an eating pattern

A 2014 study published in Cell Metabolism found that when rats restricted their diets to a nine or 12 hour eating window, even if they did not restrict calories during this time, they maintained a healthier weight. This study indicates that if your body knows when it will get food, it will self-regulate and prevent some of the hormonal spikes seen during starvation periods. Scheduling your eating times will train your body to expect food at certain times and may help prevent some feelings of hanger.

Avoid sugar crashes

Junk food is high in sugar, but because of that, it also causes dangerous glucose crashes. This can put your body in an endless cycle of highs and lows, which only fuels hanger. Rather than eat sugary junk foods, eat healthy foods throughout the day, including vegetables, fruit, and protein.

Understanding hanger is the first step toward preventing hunger-related mood swings. Use these tips to keep your hanger at bay wherever you are. 

Test Your Financial Advisor’s Loyalty with These Simple Questions

You have a financial advisor in order to make certain you have budgeted your money correctly, have planned for future financial needs, and, in some cases, to turn some of

Sell Puts the Smart Way: Get Out Before Expiration Nears

Selling put options can be a great way to help increase the value of your portfolio without taking on too much risk. At its core, a put sale allows investors


4 Pros and 1 Con of Refinancing Your Home

Two years ago the 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 4.6%. Today it is 2.9%. If your mortgage is in the high threes, you should consider refinancing. Refinancing would lower your

Easy Finance Tip: How to Calculate Your Net Worth

To calculate your net worth, just subtract your liabilities (what you owe) from your assets (what you own). While the equation is simple, it's important to get a snapshot of

Just a Few Bad Market Years Can Slam Your Retirement: How to Cut Your Risk

I believe one very underappreciated risk for investors preparing for retirement is the concept of “sequence of returns.” Sequence of return risk is the danger that the timing of withdrawals

Tai Chi Can Benefits for Those with Chronic Diseases

The Chinese martial art of tai chi can be beneficial to people suffering with chronic illnesses, according to research in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (2015), conducted by Dr.

Two Measures of Options Volatility That Matter

Most people often have a notion of what volatility means. They understand, at least conceptually, that it has to do with data of situations that vary over time. Weather is

3 Financial Habits to Adopt Before You Retire

Nobody wants to work until the day they die. We all want to get to a point where we can simply sit down, relax, and enjoy life.  Consider adopting these

11 Ways Eating Limes Can Protect Your Eyes, Heart, Joints and More

Most of us hear lime and think Corona beer or ceviche. Surprisingly, this little bright green fruit has many excellent benefits for your health and wellness. Limes are often overlooked

Why You Should Take Social Security Early and Invest

Social Security is a government program, so it is unnecessarily complicated. Working or retired? Married or divorced or both? Disabled? Private or public employer? All these factors affect your Social

5 Benefits of Opening a Health Savings Account

The tax advantages of a healthcare savings account are like those of a traditional IRA, a Roth IRA, or a 529 college savings plan. The account can be used like

A Simple, Easy Way to Lower Your Blood Pressure

According to the American Diabetes Association, one in three Americans have high blood pressure, and this condition may lead to other chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes. There are