Have you ever been hangry? I’m sure you have. You eat a meal, but two hours later you’re starving and complaining because McDonald’s needs to throw in another batch of fries. To stave off this feeling and quit being the whiner in your group of friends, eat more PROTEIN and FAT. And by protein I mean animal protein, and by fat I mean animal fat, oils (olive and coconut, NOT vegetable or corn), avocado, and some nuts and seeds. These are the things that tell your noggin that you are full. You food geeks out there that want to look up the science behind it can google “leptin.” Leptin is the hormone that says, “I’m full!” You know what hurts that signal from getting to the brain? Being obese. Yes, excess body fat reduces the sensitivity that your body has to leptin, something called “leptin resistence.”
So, how you best mitigate the feeling of being “hangry”??
1. Avoid refined carbohydrates (even things like “whole grains”) because they spike your insulin and store body fat. Two hours later, you’re starving because of the blood sugar crash and BOOM, you’re hangry.
2. Eat more protein and fat. This helps the feeling of satiety through the release of leptin.
3. Get rid of excess body fat by doing strength training and short, high intensity training (NOT 30-60 min. “cardio”) This increases your leptin sensitivity.
4. Stay away from high consumption of fructose. (yes, this includes both high fructose corn syrup AND multiple servings of fruit) Fructose also decreases leptin sensitivity. The good thing is that as you get your ducks in order, your need for “sweet” tastes decreases. Wait, let me say that again, as you increase your leptin sensitivity, your need for “sweet” tastes decreases. So those of you out there that say “I could never give up ice cream/candy/etc.” well, actually you can.
Don’t get me wrong, I get hangry every now and then, but definitely less frequently than before my switch to a paleo/primal diet. And I get absolutely no afternoon slumps or crashes like I used to when I was eating pasta, grains, and other carb-rich foods. The roller coaster ride of energy has evolved to smooth sailing.
-Has anyone else experienced hangriness?
-If you changed your food habits, have you changed your hangriness?