Nutritionist Cath MacDonald shares her top tips to avoid hunger pangs:
1. Hangry management is better than a hangry cure - stave off any danger of a hangry episode by choosing protein-based foods over carb or fat-based options; research shows that when eating meals of equal calories, those with a higher protein content help to keep you fuller for longer
2. Stay fully hydrated - dehydration can be deceptive, making you think you’re hungry when actually you’re just thirsty - remember to drink plenty, especially in fluctuating temperatures
3. DO NOT miss breakfast - the age-old mantra of ‘breakfasting like a king’ is one that still rings true; you should always eat a substantial breakfast, choose something speedy to make like our Avocado and Prosciutto Crunch Omelette… no excuses!
4. Not any old breakfast - it’s vital that you don’t load up on sugary carbs at breakfast time. Help to avoid hangry related rage on the road, or tantrums on the train, by opting for high protein brekkie options like Fast Florentine eggs; the high protein content will keep hanger at bay until lunchtime
5. Stay satiated – choose foods with low energy but high nutrient density and eat them frequently. If you don’t like big meals, or your lifestyle isn’t conducive to the traditional ‘three square meals’, make sure you graze on the right foods. Hangry feelings can make you reach for a quick fix sugary snack but picking a protein-based power snack instead – like Spicy Potato Scotch eggs – will deliver just enough carbs to stem the hanger while the eggy protein will give you protection against future hangry outbursts
6. Know your carbs – alongside protein choices, pick wholegrain carb sources which, thanks to their higher fibre content, will supply the brain with a gradual supply of glucose, preventing peaks and troughs in blood sugar levels which can be responsible for some hangry feelings
7. Don’t opt for carbs alone – especially those ranking highly on the glycaemic index (GI); research shows that eating high GI foods can increase feelings of hunger – not decrease them – which can lead to overeating, and ultimately, weight gain! Enough to make anyone hangry!!
8. Don’t skip meals – this might seem like a legitimate approach to weight loss, but it is often counterproductive so there’s really no excuse. All too soon hanger can take over and you’ll be reaching for the nearest sweet treat
9. Eat plenty - make sure you’re eating enough! Your hanger might simply be hunger!! We’re all told to watch what we eat and sometimes this can mean we under eat, which of course can lead to genuine hunger. Make sensible food choices and this can be avoided
10. Know your limitations – don’t cook meals that take hours to prepare; if you’re waiting around for food to cook, you’re at risk of picking and snacking at anything in sight. Choose fast and easy meal solutions - for instance egg-based recipes - which are quick to cook and packed with nutrients, including satiating protein. Guaranteed to keep hangry thoughts at bay!
11. Avoid pre-packed or processed – cooking from scratch doesn’t have to take longer than using processed foods, in fact it can be much less expensive and is almost always the most nutritious option. A simple omelette is nutritious and delicious and if you’re cooking it for longer than three minutes, you’re doing it wrong… so get cracking! Conversely, a microwaved lasagne would take at least as long to cook and is likely to contain plenty of hidden sugars and salt
12. Get enough sleep - beating hanger related irritability could be down to tiredness. Not enough sleep can interfere with hormone levels but at its most basic level, lethargy and irritability can cause weakness, mimicking hangry symptoms making you feel hungry when you’re not
13. What do you mean ‘there’s no steak?? - Hanger is real, so don’t ignore it. As a particular TV presenter will attest, ignoring hangry feelings can have dire consequences, so try to keep a high protein snack to hand at all times. Try Crunchy Spiced Pea and Kale Cubes
For more information call the British Egg Information Service on 020 7052 8899