Can what you eat affect your mood? Learn more about the undeniable relationship between the food you eat and your mental and emotional health.
Whether we realize it or not we all have a relationship with food. For some people it is a good relationship and for others not so much.
But, regardless of whether it is a good or bad relationship, eating is a really intimate experience that affects our emotions. We literally are what we eat, and our health is directly determined by our food choices.
The food we chose to eat, greatly affects our emotions which in turn affects our relationships. It is so important to consider the relationship you have with food because food affects your relationship with yourself and with others.
Are You Suffering From “Hanger”?
Food can especially affect our intimate relationships. I know from personal experience! “We” my girlfriend and I, discovered this phenomenon on an extended Euro backpacking trip a few years ago.
I am a very positive upbeat person, but I began to experience what I later learned was “hanger” as known as angry as a result of being hungry.
The “hanger” would usually strike while taking long train rides between countries. My “hanger” would eventually result in a snarky comment which then would lead to an unwarranted silly argument.
Now that I think about it, I am pretty sure she was also suffering from “hanger” as well.
What Is “Hanger”?
“Hanger” is actually a result of a drop in blood sugar leading to a physiological state change leading then to an emotional state change.
On a physiological level “hanger” is a drop in blood sugar also called hypoglycemia which can happen from not eating enough or not eating on a regular schedule aka going long periods of time without eating.
Signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia (happen quickly!) can lead to – shakiness, nervousness or anxiety, sweating, chills and clamminess, irritability or impatience, confusion, rapid/fast heartbeat, light headedness or dizziness, hunger and nausea, sleepiness, blurred/impaired vision, tingling or numbness in the lips or tongue, headaches, weakness or fatigue, anger, stubbornness, sadness, lack of coordination, nightmares, seizures, and/or unconsciousness.
As you can see from the list above hypoglycemia can manifest in many different physical and emotional ways.
How To Stop “Hanger” In It’s Tracks
The first step to overcoming “hanger” is to eat on a consistent schedule. A lot of people struggle with eating on a schedule, but our body’s calibrate to our routines. A perfect example of this is your sleep/wake schedule.
Ever notice after several weeks of waking up at the same time with an alarm clock, that your body’s inner alarm starts waking you up at about the same time even when you would like to still be asleep?
Or maybe you poop at about the same time everyday? These are just two simple examples of how our bodies adapt to our routines and schedules.
To beat hanger eat three meals consisting of a lean protein such as wild-caught fish, bison, organic chicken or turkey, a green vegetable (any green vegetable will do) and healthy fat like an avocado.
Eating 3 well balanced meals on a consistent time schedule will help balance the blood sugar rollercoaster which leads to being “hangry”.
Try to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner around the same time each day if when possible. This process becomes a much easier when you plan your meals out before your week begins.
It is also a good idea to keep a healthy snack around such as an apple, banana, almond butter or a health bar like a GoMarco bar for eating emergencies and for times that life simply gets in the way of your eating schedule.
Overslept and no time for breakfast? Keep some healthy snacks ready to go and accessible for moments of chaotic haste.
Eat meals that are high in fiber and good fats. Foods that are high in fiber are sprouted grains, green leafy veggies, fruit, beans, and seeds. Foods that are high in “good fats” include flax, hemp and chia seeds, nuts, avocados, and coconut.
So next time you are feeling a bit irritable or angry for no reason, take note of when the last time you ate was. Also, did you eat a healthy meal full of fiber, nutrients and good fat? Or was it a meal full of sugar and void of nutrients? Do not be a victim of “hanger”.
Eat well, eat on a schedule and be happy!
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