Because sometimes things get way too out of hand.
First, make sure you’re legit eating balanced meals throughout the day, because skipping meals will only make your cravings worse.
When people skip meals, their blood sugar drops and they tend to get more cravings for sugar and simple carbohydrates, Jones says. Simple carbs and sugar get those blood sugar levels back up stat, but at a price: “The problem is when we have that quick release of energy, you can potentially crash because it's not a stable release of energy into the bloodstream. Afterwards, we might crave even more simple carbs and snack foods,” Jones says.
One way to prevent that cycle is eating at least three balanced meals a day, Jones says. “Ideally, you want half your plate to be vegetables, a quarter to be complex carbs, and a quarter to be protein,” she says, adding that healthy fats will also keep you satiated.
Even if you're incredibly busy, Ewoldt says that eating SOMETHING (like an apple and string cheese) is better than nothing. You want to take the edge off your hunger, so that later on you're not going hard AF on a meal or uncontrollably snacking on a mountain of chips, candy, cake, or whatever other simple carbs you can get your hands on.
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On that note, get acquainted with your hunger cues, and don’t ignore them.
Obviously a growling tummy is one of them. So are headaches, lightheadedness, stomach pain, fatigue, and, of course, feeling irritated — aka HANGRY, Jones and Ewoldt tell BuzzFeed Health.
But sometimes we don't really listen to these cues. “A lot of people, if they're working or studying, will just tune that hunger out and keep on doing what they're doing,” Jones says. And that can lead to overeating when, later on, your appetite grows out of hand and you want to eat everything in sight, she says.
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And don’t fall for the myth that drinking water is going to get rid of your hunger.
Yeah, you really can't go wrong with drinking a lot of water since it'll keep you hydrated. But if you get hungry, no amount of water is going to fix that, both experts say.
“We still need nutrition: macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals,” Ewoldt says. “So you want to make sure you're eating your scheduled meals throughout the day.”
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