The 5 Levels of Hangry

One thing I talk about often in my blog is my inability to be civil while hungry. If I say, “I’m hungry” to my family, it elicits no less than one “uh-oh” as they look around the room for the nearest escape route. If you kept me fed, I’m as happy as a little lark. Deprive me of food and I will throat punch anyone that gets in my way.

Last week in California, I began to go through what I like to call the levels of hangry. It was at this time I realized, there really are stages of hangriness. Like the stages of grief, everyone goes through it a little differently and we must respect this. Here is the standardized Hot Mess Pyramid of Hangriness:

5 levels of hangry

Level 1- Inquire about other’s hunger

I begin to ask everyone around me if they’re hungry. If they respond yes, I secretly pat myself on the back for making them aware of their hunger. These compatriots will prove useful in getting the ones that aren’t hungry, to a restaurant quicker.

“Are you hungry?”

“How about you?”

20 minutes later I forget I already asked the question.

“Are you hungry?”

Level 2- You begin to talk and think only about food

This is when I begin to think about past delicious meals. I may begin to fantasize about the restaurant we will go to for dinner this evening. Despite hating to cook, I may even bring up a recipe and begin to discuss it with those around me.

Level 3- Every smell makes your stomach rumble

It doesn’t matter if it’s someone’s cologne or a dead skunk in the road. My stomach doesn’t know the difference. And if I actually smell real food, it only gets me to level 4 quicker.

Level 4- Lashing out

At this point, I’m a horrible person and bark at everyone. On the rare occasions I’m mindful of level 4, I opt to say very little and avoid all human contact. This limited communication is so I don’t offend family and friends. It’s like temporary Tourette syndrome, spewing obscenities.

Level 5- Only food can fix this now

This is the most dangerous and critical level. I’m not me at this point. This is also when any semblance of a diet is thrown out the window. If White Castles are the only thing available, 6 are going in my mouth. If all I have is a vending machine with an array of disgusting sun chips, I’ll get one in every flavor.

I also eat desperate at this level. You know what I’m talking about. Like you’re an extra on the movie Alive, and you’re just days away from eating the pilot because you’re so hungry. For example, I’m at a hotel right now for a soccer tournament and the minute my steak and potatoes arrived, I flung the container open and began to inhale the mashed potatoes. Not wanting to take the time to cut the steak (and because I’m alone right now), I considered picking up the entire filet and just eating it by hand. Fortunately, the mashed potatoes bought me some time and I was able to cut the steak with a plastic fork, like the respectable woman I am.


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