Put A Halt On Hangry

Many if not most adults have been hangry at one point or another in their life; so hungry that they are angry. So hungry that it affects their focus and performance and even their personality. Irritability comes to mind - when thinking of others who have been hangry, of course.

Being hangry is so commonplace that there are advertising campaigns based on the concept. The humorous Super Bowl ad featuring an angry Betty White comes to mind.

While we joke about being hangry, we should be more serious about the negative impact food, or a lack of it, on our health. This includes mental health, especially during times of stress like a pandemic, and during periods of recovery from illness.

It is time to put a HALT on hangry.

While literally meaning to stop, “HALT” is also an acronym that stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired. When one or more of these areas are out of balance, it is more likely we will struggle with health and our overall well-being.

Hunger –

Think about how poorly you feel when you are hungry. When your blood sugar gets low, you may get a headache, become irritable, or find it difficult to concentrate. These effects are the result of the brain releasing certain chemicals that interfere with the production of serotonin, a feel-good chemical.

We might jokingly say we are “hangry,” but this is a real thing. Hunger can put the body in an imbalanced state that can lead to mood swings, affect our ability to make decisions, and lower our impulse control.

When you get physically hungry, it’s important to refuel your brain and body with nutritious food.

Anger –

When we are angry or experiencing negative emotions, we may not be able to think rationally.

If you feel angry, it is important to take some time to calm down first. Try to talk through what you are feeling with someone. Then you may feel better able to address a problem.