DON’T talk to me, I’m Hangry

Clear skin model

..I need to eat! Ever get that feeling where you’re just so hungry that you start feeling seriously irritable, and before you know it, you’re snapping at your poor friend / partner / parents?!

Feeling ‘hangry’ – hungry + angry – is an emotional state that can leave us feeling bad-tempered or irritable as a result of hunger. Sound familiar?

Well, you’re not alone. And there may be a biological reason you might sometimes feel this way.

When blood glucose levels drop, it triggers a stress response which releases hormones including the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol can cause feelings of aggression and anger, which may lead to those familiar feelings of irritability. If you’re getting Hangry rather than just hungry, consider this – if your blood sugar is on a rollercoaster throughout the day, your emotions and stress levels may unfortunately also be along for the ride.

So how do you know if you’re on a blood sugar rollercoaster…?

Do you get hungry again 1-2 hours after a meal?

Do you crave high-energy / carby snacks like crisps, chocolate bars, cookies, french fries, or bread?

Do you feel sleepy after a meal, or in the late afternoon?

Do you need coffee, sugar or cigarettes to keep you going?

Whilst individual symptoms vary, a yes to any of the above may indicate that your blood sugar levels need some support.

Simple carbs – things like bread, pasta, cereal, pastries, cookies and cakes – contain sugars that are absorbed comparatively quickly into the bloodstream, making a sudden crash or dip in blood sugar levels more likely in the 1-2 hours following a meal.

How many of your meals per day are based around these foods? It’s not about demonising certain foods or achieving dietary ‘perfection’ (whatever that may be!), but including certain types of foods at certain times of the day can really set our energy levels and blood sugar levels on the right or wrong path.

So, how do I get off the blood sugar rollercoaster?

Firstly, aim to include a good source of protein and fat at each meal, especially at breakfast. Many of us have grown up in cultures where eating cereal or toast for breakfast was normal, but these foods are unfortunately quite nutrient-poor. Try adding some smoked salmon and a poached egg to your toast, or some smashed avocado and crumbled feta. Nuts and seeds are a great addition to porridge, and nut butters make a great snack with sliced apple.

Including sources of protein and fat like eggs, salmon, avocado, olive oil, and nuts can start your day off differently and set you up for a more sustained release of energy, helping to avoid those energy dips and crashes.

Try it for a few days in a row and note down in a journal the differences you feel in energy levels, appetite, tiredness and even sleep patterns, or any other symptoms you may have, especially dizziness, trouble focusing, brain fog, headaches or joint pains.

Take a look at my instagram post for more ideas, or drop me an email for more information on the nutritional therapy packages I offer.

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Kim, Founder of Wilder Nature Nutrition
Kim, Founder of Wilder Nature Nutrition

Kim Haslam is the founder of Wilder Nature Nutrition, a nutrition-led clinical healthcare practice that specialises in helping clients with skin issues such as acne, eczema and rosacea. Kim is a BANT-registered Clinical Nutritional Therapist (British Association of Nutrition and Lifestyle Therapists) and associate member of the Royal Society of Medicine, and takes a holistic Functional Medicine approach to health, focusing on identifying the root causes of her clients symptoms to help them heal from the ground up.

Her inside-out approach to skincare is a truly personalised system that gets to the bottom of bad skin for good. By mapping her clients’ individual health factors such as hormonal balance, nutritional status, stress and inflammation levels, liver detoxification, microbiome diversity and genetic predispositions, she creates a map of factors that are contributing to her client’s less-than-optimal health. This generates a clear path forwards on the journey towards clearer skin and better health in ways that that will really work for her clients as individuals.

Clients have praised Kim for her clear and easy-to-digest ways of explaining complex health problems, her supportive attitude and her compassionate, non-judgemental and solution-oriented approach. Her innovative all-round approach to skin often has the side-effects of reducing depression and anxiety, strengthening the immune system, improving overall digestive function, eliminating period pains and improving general sense of well-being and quality of life.

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