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The Science of “Hangry”

I always used to wonder why I would so easily get irritated or even angry when I was hungry.
My friends used to say, “uh oh, Elisa’s ‘hangry’ again! Quick, get her food!”
Another sign you are “hangry” is your inability to focus and make rational decisions. This is exactly what makes vending machines and Seamless so darn appealing: quick and easy, and usually sugary/carb heavy!
Your brain runs primarily on glucose. Glucose is created from the consumption of all carbohydrates and even during times of excess protein consumption (those 35 gram protein shakes are a bad idea).
As hours pass after each meal, the level of glucose in your blood stream lowers. When blood glucose levels gets too low, your brain starts to go into full blown stress mode: it perceives low blood sugar as a life threatening situation.
When your blood sugar drops significantly (hypoglycemic) and when it spikes (hyperglycemic), your entire body is impacted. This fluctuation in blood glucose trigger a chemical cascade of hormone signaling that impacts your mood, memory and yes, your decision making.
Fun Fact: Even if you don’t eat white sugar, (good for you!) you can still fall victim to being “hangry”.
Yes, I said it…avoiding white sugar is great but it is only ONE piece of the puzzle to maintaining healthy metabolic function.
Why is maintaining healthy metabolic function so darn important and why do I keep talking about blood glucose levels?!
Remember that seemingly unavoidable diseases like Dementia & Alzheimers are rooted in metabolic dysfunction.
Even Cancer, has been shown to be heavily influenced and exacerbated by metabolic health.
I know, it’s a lot to take in because after all, we eat food every day. We make thousands of food choices daily and to think so much of what we eat can be linked to the onset of disease is scary.
I’m not here to scare you but I am here to empower you to think differently about prevention and it starts with your breakfast.
In the 22 Day Sugar Cleanse, I teach the essentials that must be included in your daily breakfast routine. No, skipping breakfast is not a good way to start your way!So, here are my 3 tips for avoiding the “hangry” experience and maintaining energy for at least 3–4 hours after each meal.

  • Eat more fat. Fat doesn’t make you fat, but skipping meals and eating sugary foods does.
  • Eat more fiber: fiber slows blood glucose absorption, resulting in longer levels of stable energy AND helps improves bowel movements (a win win!)
  • Eat protein: Protein helps curb cravings and I recommend eating both animal and plant based forms of protein throughout the day.

If you want expert guidance on how to maintain healthy metabolic health for weight loss, disease prevention and high energy this spring, join me for the 22 Day Sugar Cleanse!

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