What Happens To You When You Get Too Hungry?

Grr...Sunny hungry. Hulk SMASH!

I am shoving stir fry into my mouth as I write this. Why? BECAUSE I’M FREAKIN’ HUNGRY. I waited too long to get lunch (it’s been six hours since breakfast), and it’s a code red hunger situation.

I used to be very afraid of that feeling. I was putting so much extra food into my body that the real physical sensation of an empty stomach was foreign—and frightening. I think part of the fear was also a holdover from my dieting days in high school and college, when I’d walk around hungry a lot of the time. It sucked and I never wanted to go back there.

I’m not afraid of hunger anymore, and know that it’s natural, normal and healthy to feel the need for a meal deep in your belly and your body. That said, when I wait too long to eat, I sort of Hulk out. Yes, like the Incredible Hulk.

Before I got myself lunch, I was getting angry at emails; angry at Pandora for playing the same song too often; angry at my low-waisted denim leggings for sliding down on my hips. And, as I was waiting to pay for my lunch at the cafe in my office building I had the strongest urge to oh-so-subtly push a girl who was crowding me. (Yeah, hi Evil Sunny—why don’t you have some chicken and broccoli?)

The other thing that happens when I get too hungry is that I eat too fast, and then I’m not satisfied and I feel like I need more food. My stir fry’s gone, btw, and now I’m on my way to the vending machine to buy the healthiest thing there—most likely pretzels or the unsweetened trail mix.


What happens when you guys get too hungry? Does it scare you? Make you irritable? Trigger overeating?


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4 Responses to What Happens To You When You Get Too Hungry?

  1. Trish says:

    I don’t necessarily get irritable, but I definitely eat WAYYY too much when I go too long without eating. For example, I went shopping today in NYC with my mom and sister, and we were so caught up in the great sales Lord and Taylor had on boots that we went far too long without eating. My mom and my sister have such better control of their eating than I do…and I ended up polishing off an entire rack of ribs from the ESPNzone for dinner (seriously, sometimes I wonder if I’m even a girl — gross). Went to the gym for a serious workout when I got home though, and now I feel pretty good! I didn’t feel like I had to go to the gym to punish myself though — it was more about balancing out the day. I guess I really am starting to change the way I think, right?

  2. Morgan says:

    For me, getting too hungry is never a good idea. It affects almost every other aspect of myself (mood, demeanor, energy, etc.) when I let myself get too hungry, and I always have to remind myself (after the fact) to not let it happen again. In the past, I have worried that it is a sign of weakness that I can’t go for a long time without eating, but then I realized that it is actually me just knowing myself well enough to know what my bodies needs are and make sure I meet them! So really, I am smarter for recognizing this and addressing it. Also, I try not to panic about the idea/feeling of hunger, but instead how I can manage it in a healthful and helpful way.

  3. LG says:

    My reaction to hunger is exactly the same as yours. I get so angry and mean! Sometimes I come home from work and tell my husband I can’t talk to him for 15 minutes, until I have a snack and it reaches my bloodstream. Then I’m back to my normal self again. :0)

  4. Kristine says:

    As you said, when I get hungry I scarf down my meal and then am not satisfied. Definitely a trigger for a binge.

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Sunny Sea Gold

About the Author

Sunny Sea Gold is a media-savvy advocate and commentator specializing in binge eating disorder, cultural obsessions around food and weight, and raising children who have a healthy body image.