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Eat Something Before You Get Too Hungry Or You May Get Hangry

Eat Something Before You Get Too Hungry Or You May Get Hangry

Your last meal was a while ago and you find your stomach is rumbling — but this is not all. You also begin to feel yourself getting testy and agitated. You snap at your partner or someone at work and immediately regret it and wonder why you felt so angry. Does this sound familiar?

You may be suffering from something called “hangry”; the word is a combination of hungry and angry. This is a phenomenon where some individuals feel irritable and short-tempered when they have gone too long without food.

But why does hanger occur? What happens inside our bodies to cause us to get so angry when we are in need of food?

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What happens in our body when we are hangry?

Your brain is solely dependent on glucose in order to function. If the blood-glucose levels drop enough, the brain reads this as a life-threatening event. You may have experienced a lapse in concentration or you may have found yourself making silly mistakes when you are hungry. When your blood-glucose levels drop, your brain cannot function to its maximum capacity.

Another thing you may have noticed is that when you are hungry, you become less able to abide by social norms. For example, you may snap at friends or be bad-tempered with your work mates.

How is glucose produced?

Glucose (and other simple sugars) are produced when you eat carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Amino acids and free fatty acids are also created. After you eat simple sugars, amino acids and free fatty acids pass into your bloodstream and are taken up and used as energy by your organs and tissues. The blood-glucose level in your blood drops as time passes since you last ate.

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Glucose counter-regulatory response

There is another reason that you may become hangry when you get hungry. This is due to the glucose counter-regulatory response.

When your blood-glucose levels fall below a certain level, your brain sends out messages to various organs in your body to synthesize and release hormones. These hormones work to increase the levels of glucose in your blood.

Four hormones are released. One of these hormones is adrenaline. Adrenaline is a stress hormone that is released into the blood stream in various stressful situations. You may have heard of the “fight or flight” response that can occur when you are scared or see something threatening. Well, adrenaline is one of the main hormones released into the blood stream during a “fight or flight” situation. During such situations, you may find yourself tempted to scream in anger; a similar feeling can be elicited when adrenaline is released during the glucose counter-regulatory response.

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Hunger, anger, and Neuropeptide Y

When nutrient levels in the body get low and you experience hunger, the brain releases a chemical called neuropeptide Y. Neuropeptide Y does a few things, including causing us to eat more. Neuropeptide Y also acts on various receptors; one of which is the Y1 receptor.

Neuropeptide Y and the Y1 receptor not only control hunger, they also work to regulate anger and aggression. Some people may show more impulsive, rash, and aggressive behavior because they have high levels of neuropeptide Y in their cerebrospinal fluid.

What to do to prevent hanger

The best way to deal with hanger is to eat something before you feel yourself getting very hungry. It is best to eat something nutrient-rich, as this will help to relieve the hunger for as long as possible. Junk foods will increase the blood-glucose levels in your body but only for a very short time; soon, the blood-glucose levels will drop rapidly and you will be left feeling hungry again.

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Eating straight after you wake up

Eating breakfast can help improve your mood and cognition. It is advisable to eat breakfast within an hour of waking up. You are less likely to overeat later in the day if you eat a good breakfast early in the morning.

So, what is best to eat in the morning? Ideally, you should eat a balance of whole grain carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fat. You should avoid high-sugar and processed foods.

As we have seen, there are various reasons you may experience hanger when you haven’t eaten in a while. The best way to prevent hanger is to eat before you get too hungry. Also, eating a good breakfast can help to ward of hanger before it creeps up.

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Rebecca Beris

Rebecca is a wellness and lifestyle writer at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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