Are You Hangry?

Posted by Kellie Carbone on Wednesday, October 3, 2012

When I’m hungry, I become a different person.  Silly as it sounds, it took my mother to point out that when I’m in a bad mood I’m usually either hungry or tired.  I guess it takes the one who attended to your cries as a child to realize that those basic needs never really change.  As an avid Pinterest user, I came across a humorous description for my condition- “hangry.”  “Hangry” is a state of anger caused by lack of food; hunger causing a negative change in emotional state.  All jokes aside, I believe that there is something to be said about the fact that this feeling resonates with enough of us that it meandered its way into the realm of social media.  Why are we letting ourselves get hungry to the point that it alters our mood? Is it because we are trying out the latest fad diet or because we are just too busy?  Whatever the case may be, I think it is important that we start listening to our bodies.  As living beings, we need to take in energy to survive.  When we don’t, there are physiological, psychological, and hormonal changes in our bodies. Ignoring your hunger sets off a cascade of events beginning with a change in hormones.  When your body needs nutrients, gastric hormones will send signals to your brain which will trigger the message that you need to eat.  If you ignore this message from your brain, your body will take over and eventually shift its metabolic processes to breakdown energy stores (including your own muscle) in order to provide itself with the nutrients needed to function.  Not good!   It has also been shown that when we get hungry there are changes in the levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that affects mood.  Now, keeping in mind that all of these changes are intricately intertwined, it is easy to see why ignoring your hunger could lead to negative mood changes.  So for the benefit of your mind and body(and those around you!), let’s do our best to stop the “hanger” and start listening to what our bodies need to be happy.  

Written by: Kelly Bissonette

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