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

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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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More by this author

Rebecca Beris

Rebecca is a wellness and lifestyle writer at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on January 13, 2022

10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

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10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

A honeymoon is important.  The wedding is over.  The months, or even years, of stress and planning are finally over.  It’s time for the two of you to relax, settle in, and start enjoying your time together as you embark on your first journey as a family.

To make the most of this time for the least amount of money, it’s important to focus on what you want out of a honeymoon.  This isn’t your typical list of touristy honeymoon locations everyone goes to.  Rather, it’s a list of cheap honeymoon experiences a couple can enjoy together, regardless of where it’s at.

1. Camping

A week long camping trip is a fantastic way to see how you mesh together as a couple.  You’re put in a low impact “survival” situation where it’s just the 2 of you and nature.  You have a chance to see how your new spouse handles themselves when left with the basics of life.  There are amazing national parks all over the United States where you can camp for a week for $20-30, disconnect from technology, and enjoy some of the natural wonders our nation has to offer.

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2. Staycation

You don’t have to go anywhere for a honeymoon.  In fact, the tradition of taking a honeymoon vacation is a relatively new one.  Prior to the 19th century, a honeymoon involved staying home together for a month to get to know each other physically.  Think of how blissful it could be to take a full month off work, disconnect from the outside world, and focus entirely on projects together.  You may not be wowing your friends and family with pictures of some exotic location, but they’ll be envious of your escape from the rat race nonetheless.

3. Island Getaway

People tend to overspend on their honeymoon vacations to Hawaii, Tahiti, etc.  Going to these places doesn’t have to be expensive.  You don’t need to stay in a 5 star resort when you’re on a Best Western budget.  You’re there to be in the atmosphere of the island, not a hotel room. Book a cheap flight and sleep in a hotel alternative, on the beach or in your car.  It’s the view in paradise that really matters.

4. Fancy Resort

Book an expensive resort, spa, or retreat in the city you live in.  While this may seem counterintuitive as a cheap destination, when you consider your savings on airfare and other travel costs, you can afford to be treated like royalty within your own city limits.  If you book a honeymoon package, you’ll end up with a lot of free amenities and extra attention.  There’s no need to fly halfway across the world to live the good life.

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5. Road Trip

The journey is often more fulfilling than the actual destination.  If you fly out to some exotic locale, you’ll be stuck on a plane for 8-30 hours.  Rent a luxury car, pick a handful of places you each have always wanted to visit, and go on an adventure.  You can keep food costs down by packing your own snacks, but it’s always a good idea to sample the local delicacies wherever you go, even if it’s only a few states over.

6. Charter a Boat

If the ocean is your thing, a week-long cruise can cost you $1500-$3000 per person, depending on the destination.  You also have to factor in travel costs to and from the cruise, alcohol, souvenirs, and on-shore excursions.  You’ll also be surrounded by people.  For the same price (and often much cheaper), you can charter your own boat and enjoy the experience in private.

7. Las Vegas/Atlantic City

If gambling is your thing, these are the places to do it.  Which one you choose depends on your preference, budget, and proximity.  The way to make this vacation cheaper is to gamble smart.  Stay away from low odd tables (i.e craps, roulette) and read up on the MIT blackjack strategies to beat the house.  If you do it right, you can win enough for a free trip (and gain a valuable team skill in the process).

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8. Themed Retreats

There are weeklong retreats all over the world where you can fully immerse yourselves as a couple into a hobby you’re both passionate about.  Go on a yoga/meditation retreat, a ranch, a vineyard/farm, a backpacking adventure, treasure hunt, or whatever you’re into.

9. Working Honeymoon

Your honeymoon doesn’t have to be a vacation.  For a truly memorable experience, dedicate a week to a charity or volunteer organization.  You can drive out to a campground to help restore it in the offseason.  Maybe you’ve always wanted to volunteer to help out your local animal shelter, plant trees, help the homeless, etc.  Use the time to do something together as a couple that will fulfill you spiritually while contributing to the community.  Just because you’re on a honeymoon doesn’t mean you can’t be productive.

10. Festivals, Fairs & Special Events

Every city, state, and country has festivals, fairs, and special events.  Find one you’re interested in.  If you time your wedding right, your honeymoon can be a trip to one of these festivals.  Burning Man, SXSW, Bonnaroo, the Renaissance Fair, regional harvest festivals, Mardi Gras, New Years Eve in Times Square, a movie premiere, or whatever you’re into.  If you plan your honeymoon at the right time in the right place, the possibilities are endless.

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Featured photo credit: Josue Michel via unsplash.com

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