Overcoming “Homicidal Hunger”
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How to Manage Your Hunger

huger management

My friend Anne some time ago coined the term “homicidal hunger” to sum up the ravenous hunger often experienced when you get home in the late afternoon after a long day of work without having enough to eat. Homicidal hunger is a state where you feel like you could literally harm someone if they stood in front of you and the fridge. The most common time of the day that people feel this way is often in between lunch and supper since it has been many hours since the last meal. If it has been more than 3-5 hours since your last balanced meal you will likely feel a dip in your energy, mood and emotions. You are also not likely to make healthy nutrition choices in a state of homicidal hunger and instead will reach for whatever is quick and loaded in carbohydrates. Your brain will naturally crave sweets, potato chips and other carbohydrate containing foods when your blood sugars drop too low. This happens to dietitians too! As the chocoholic dietitian you know that I will be reaching for chocolate mid-afternoon if I have not had a good snack between my lunch which is typically at 12:30 and my supper which is often close to 7pm. Instead of trying to rely on will power which inevitably always fails, why not set yourself up for success by trying out the following tips.

Survival tips:

  1. Make sure your lunch contains both protein and carbohydrates. Carbohydrates in foods such as grains/starches, vegetables and fruits are essential sugar sources for your brain and muscles. If you don’t get enough carbohydrates you will more likely become emotional, tired and unfocused throughout your day. At the same time, if you only carbohydrate-rich foods without a source of protein you will feel like you are on a rollercoaster ride with highs and lows in your energy levels. Protein-rich foods such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, dairy, legumes, soy foods, nuts and seeds are critical in a meal to help you stabilize your blood sugars leading to better focus, energy and a sense of fullness.
  2. Eat every 3-5 hours for maximum energy and to prevent getting too hungry and overeating. If lunch was at 12 noon then by 3-5pm plan to have a snack.
  3. Make sure you stash your office and home with healthy snacks that are visual. Food psychologists have shown that the more convenient the healthy foods are the more likely it is we will eat them. If your veggies are stashed at the back of the fridge and require peeling and chopping you may decide to skip them. If your fruit is tucked away in a fridge drawer often you won’t see them and think to eat them. Instead put fresh fruit displayed attractively in a fruit bowl on your counter or on the corner of your desk in your office. Spend a half hour per week and pre-chop your veggies so they are easy to grab with hummus or veggie dip as a snack.
  4. If you are tempted by the vending machine quick fixes of chocolate, chips and pop at work you may wish to try what my client Julian discovered. Julian decided not to bring cash and coins to work anymore and found by only carrying a debit card and/or credit card vending machine snacks quickly disappeared.

Top 10 Snack Attacks

  • Yogurt parfait (yogurt, berries and cereal)
  • Oat bran or bran muffin and cheese
  • Dried fruit (such as raisins/craisins/apricots/dates) and nuts (such as almonds/peanuts/cashews)
  • Raw veggies (such as snap/snow peas, carrots and mini tomatoes) and hummus
  • Fresh fruit or dried fruit bar and milk or soy milk or a smoothie
  • Canned fruit cup or applesauce cup and cottage cheese
  • Grapes and cheese cubes
  • Whole grain crackers and mini-can of flavored tuna/salmon
  • Protein bar and unsweetened juice
  • Coffee Shop latte, steamed milk or chai tea

Thanks for reading!

Andrea Holwegner
“The Chocoholic Dietitian”

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"I am a psychologist in private practice and it is very important to me that my clients have the best care with other health care professionals. For that reason Health Stand Nutrition is my only source for exceptional Dietitians. Andrea and her team provide highly knowledgeable, compassionate, and real world support to my clients who require assistance with food lifestyle. I trust my clients to them and you would be in excellent hands making them part of your health care team."
Adele Fox, Psychologist
“This is the first time I feel satisfied; my cravings have diminished dramatically and I have a whole new relationship with food. I am eating guilt-free for the first time in my life. My energy has also dramatically increased and I feel great!
Rhonda Jenkins, Nutrition Counseling Client
“The Dieticians at Health Stand Nutrition help you to take action on the science behind eating well by making it practical, understandable, and fun. Their office is cozy and not at all clinical or intimidating. I felt like I was sitting down with a really smart, caring friend who wanted to help me make the best choices for my lifestyle and food preferences. They really are the best in the business.”
Marty Avery, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I have come to think of the program as a one stop shopping excursion for everything one needs to know about creating a joyous relationship with food and our bodies. In a single word, the course has gifted me with freedom from the punishing rigidity of disordered eating, old stories that never were true, and body dysmorphia that did nothing but make me lose sight of a body that has done everything I've asked, despite my careless dismissal of her needs. Now when I look in the mirror I find myself shifting from harsh criticism to gentle gratitude.”
Lynn Haley, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“I spent 3 hours when first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I learned more from my Dietitian about food in those 3 hours than I had learned in all the years of my life. I also love the newsletter, there is always something to learn.”
Peter Whitehead, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I didn’t realize how strong my “diet mentality” was, and all the rules I had in my head about food. I was in a cycle of reward/punish/binge/cringe. I booked with your business very reluctantly, on the repeated advice of my doctor, to get my slowly rising cholesterol levels in check. I thought I knew everything about food, and my behaviour with food, but I was definitely re-schooled. My weight is creeping down, I feel good about my diet, exercise, body image, and lifestyle.”
Amy Floyd, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Thanks Andrea for an amazing presentation, I have heard all positive remarks from attendees and the evaluations show the same sentiment. It is really gratifying when a speaker does their “homework” and weaves in our profession’s day to day challenges within their content, you did an awesome job of this! You truly took the “die” out of Dietician! Your information on healthy eating and simplifying how we can work towards this as we are all so busy really hit the mark. Andrea connects very well with her audience; she is energetic, funny, and very approachable.”
Carole Ann LaGrange, Transfusion Medicine Safety Officer

Event Planner for Laboratory Diagnostic Imaging Annual Event

I am a family physician who sees patients with a myriad of eating concerns – from wanting to know how to plan healthy meals for active families, to weight loss, to eating disorders, and so on. I cannot recommend the Health Stand team highly enough. I have worked with (and been to!) other Dieticians in the past and too often find that they just ask for food logs and make suggestions that are easily obtained online or in books. The Dieticians at Health Stand offer much more than just telling clients what they “should be eating.” In contrast, the team really does more of a counselling practice, and they work hard to help their clients learn more about why their eating habits may be off track and not optimal for them, as well as helping people to effect change at a deep level that, most importantly, is sustainable for lifetime health.”
Dr. Deb Putnam, Family Physician

Nutrition Counseling Client & Referring Physician

“I am a busy mom, with kids in high level sports, working full-time downtown, and running our home acreage outside the City. I now have the knowledge and tools I need to plan for and manage the chaos of meal planning.”
Gillian Gray, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“As a construction company, we select speakers who can relate to our industry and its employees. Andrea’s message was delivered with humor and empathy. She makes people feel as though they can make changes without leaving behind every favorite food. Andrea focused her presentation on healthy eating as a way to keep energy high throughout the day. This message and the way it was delivered resonated with our predominantly male, blue collar culture. I would highly recommend Andrea as a speaker for groups such as ours. She will get your message across without alienating anyone in your audience – which is a huge hurdle when trying to introduce a wellness program in the workplace!”
Stephanie Wood, HR and Safety Manager

Fisher Construction Group, Burlington, WA

I found my Dietitian warm, funny, and skilled at teaching nutrition concepts without the overwhelm. The general approach of each session was to mix science with emotion, which was exceedingly effective in helping me shift my perspective on food from one of anxiety to one of joy and curiosity.”
Erin Kronstedt, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Excellent presentation! What a refreshing change to have a speaker inspire rather than “lecture” about nutrition. Your captivating stories, tips and overall approach to healthy eating uplifts and puts people at ease. It was great to hear we don’t need to strive to be perfect eaters, and that small changes really can make a difference in how we feel and in our health. Thanks to Andrea, we have solutions to our everyday nutrition challenges that can actually work in real life!”
Tina Tamagi, Human Resources

ARC Resources Ltd.

“Had I not joined this course I would have struggled with no focus, low energy, and mindless eating. Excellent teaching and motivation. This is not just a course, it is a nutrition club with mentorship, support, and connections with other people with similar situations.”
Lorri Lawrence, Pursuit of Healthiness online course participant

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