The need to find fuel to generate energy is a profound drive within the biology of all living organisms: we all need food to survive. So it’s not surprising that our bodies have such a complex system to control food intake, driven by hormones.
Because of leptin and ghrelin’s actions, we annoyingly feel more hungry when dieting and less so when gaining mass. The horrible irony of this means we need some ways to control our appetite, so without further ado:
Before anything else, make sure you’ve covered the basics:
You should not feel hungry at the very start of a well-designed diet.
It might be a good idea to keep your diet flexible, because rigid dieting may lead to binge eating tendencies. Even if you’ve been doing everything perfectly, fat loss increases hunger for biological reasons.
If you still find yourself straying on your diet, binge eating, or fighting your own willpower to stay on track, relax, practice mindfulness and some self-compassion, and discover the root causes.
Three experimental studies examined the counter-intuitive hypothesis that hunger improves strategic decision making, arguing that people in a hot state are better able to make favorable decisions involving uncertain outcomes. Studies 1 and 2 demonstrated that participants with more hunger or greater appetite made more advantageous choices in the Iowa Gambling Task compared to sated participants or participants with a smaller appetite. Study 3 revealed that hungry participants were better able to appreciate future big rewards in a delay discounting task; and that, in spite of their perception of increased rewarding value of both food and monetary objects, hungry participants were not more inclined to take risks to get the object of their desire. Together, these studies for the first time provide evidence that hot states improve decision making under uncertain conditions, challenging the conventional conception of the detrimental role of impulsivity in decision making.
A new study links low blood sugar to relationship stress.
We’ve all known people who should have to wear a flashing red “DANGER!” sign if they miss lunch. We instinctively know to steer clear of someone who’s running on empty. A grumbling stomach means a drop in blood sugar, and through excruciating experience, most of us realize that means trouble.
But could the blood sugar/anger connection lurk behind more relationship conflicts than we realize?
I have a relative who claimed they got hangry but I dismissed it because they were characteristically hotheaded and somewhat dramatic… The author closes with an interesting hypothesis:
I’d love to see a follow-up study that attempts to track these results against the blood sugar roller coaster associated with fast food-laden diets. I have a suspicion that glucose-related aggression isn’t solely about how much or little food we eat, but also the sorts of food we eat.