Ah, January. The month of fresh resolutions. The month of extra-crowded gyms. The month of lots of hangry people running around town.
What is hanger you ask?
It’s the agitation and anger that results from being ridiculously and/or perpetually hungry. Hence, the term “hangry.”
The last time I got hangry
tried to travel in a fasted state back in November. Instead of trying to make good choices at the airport restaurants, I thought I’d just forgo food for the 10 hours.
I was severely agitated by every little thing. The gate agent wasn’t annunciating enough? The child across the gate area from me that wouldn’t stop sneezing? The dude next to me who was humming? The fact that I couldn’t buy a bottle of water with a flip-top lid cause they were all screw-on caps?
All those things triggered a white hot fury in me. Then I realized what was going on – Lauren was hangry.
Hanger of this magnitude is also a common side effect when one decides to diet by cutting calories and eating less.
You go from eating up a storm to enjoying a half cup of cereal at breakfast, a tiny salad at lunch, and some sort of pared down version of your normal dinner. Possibly accompanied by nasty steamed veggies.
After a few days of eating like this, who wouldn’t be hangry?!?
Guess what? It doesn’t have to be this way!
You can cut calories without getting hangry!
This is possible if you start thinking about dieting in a different way.
Instead of eating the same garbage as usual, just less of it, pick foods that you can eat more of – foods that are low calorie so that you can eat A LOT of them.
Hint: these types of foods tend to be high in protein, fiber and water.
Lean meats (high in protein and water) and fibrous vegetables (high in fiber and water) are excellent choices for filling you up and do a better job of keeping you full between meals.
And let’s be honest, as former athletes we’re used to eating mass quantities of food. Remember carbing up the night before a game? Or loading up your dinner plate at the cafeteria after practice?
This is one reason I love to eat meals stuffed full of protein and veggies.
I get to eat till I am plenty full without worrying about how this will affect my calories for the day. And I have a BIG APPETITE so it takes a lot of food to fill this girl up!
An example: How I keep “Hangry Lauren” at bay
I make a BAS (big ass salad, as Jill Coleman likes to call it).
Get the biggest mixing bowl you have, roughly chop a bunch of veggies and lean protein, add in some sort of healthy fat, toss it all in the bowl. Then using a pizza cutter, chop the shit outta everything in the bowl till it’s in tiny pieces (or whatever size you desire).
This is a stupidly easy way to eat more vegetables and protein (and not spend 2 hours chomping on a giant pile of leaves or develop TMJ from all said chewing).
The chopping reduces the volume of mass quantities of veggies to a more manageable portion (see, you’re now eating a TON of low calorie items
Plus, I think most salads taste better when they’re all chippity-chopped up like this.
If you’re not willing to put your mixing bowl and pizza cutter through this, then you need an OXO Salad Chopper. It’s essentially the same thing, but the bowl is plastic, continuously round in the basin, and the “pizza cutter” is double-bladed.
Oh and if you’re not into making your own salads, go to Subway and get one of their salads. Then ask THEM to chop it to kingdom come!
Now go forth and end your hanger today.
Choose to eat foods full of protein, fiber and water. Choose to chop your salads with a pizza cutter. Or choose to pay Subway to do your dirty work. Either way, eliminate the hanger in your life and still cut your calories.
Your family, friends and coworkers (and that poor person that looked at you the wrong way in Starbucks this morning) will thank you.
Oh and if you’ve ever experienced hanger before, please leave your story below in the comments. I have a feeling it might prove to be a rather hilarious and enjoyable read.