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July 5, 2024 4 mins

It's easier to eat a snack than to undo a bad decision

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:03):
Welcome to Before Breakfast, a production of iHeartRadio. Good Morning,
This is Laura. Welcome to the Before Breakfast podcast. Today's
tip is a reminder not to make decisions when you
are hungry. Almost no one is at their best when

they are hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. You might not
be able to do much about the last three, at
least not quickly, but the first one you definitely can.
So you might have heard the acronym HALT that is hungry, angry, lonely, tired,

describing the situations where people tend to make worse decisions
or lash out at other people if you haven't slept well.
It is easy to make us stink in situations where
you might have been more otherwise. Unfortunately, it is often
not that easy to grab a nap right before a

meeting or a decision if you are angry or lonely.
Those can be hard to deal with immediately too. Perhaps
a heart pounding workout could help dissipate that anger, but
good luck making that happen between that very contentious ten
am meeting and the eleven o'clock one where you need
to approve something major. Hungry, on the other hand, is

almost immediately solvable. I try to carry a little pack
of peanut butter crackers in my purse or a fruit bar,
because these give a quick hit of energy. Other options
might be a granola bar or some sort of beef jerky,
your dried fruit or trail mix. If you keep some
of these in your backpack or a desk drawer, or
at least somewhere reasonably accessible during times when you are

going to need to summon your best self. Then if
you find yourself feeling irritable and you know you are
going to have to be level headed, you can just
avail yourself of your snack. It really is almost miraculous
how much less desperate things seem when you are not starving. Suddenly,

you pause before volunteering for that thing you don't actually
want to do. You think about which plane ticket you
are going to buy, and you remind yourself that a
late night lifeover is going to be terrible. You calm
down before sending that angry or desperate sounding email. I'm sure,

like many things, it is all evolutionary. Our bodies need fuel,
and they don't perform well when they are not well fueled.
In the modern world, there seems to be food everywhere,
but not all of it is all that great. Those
of us who can't eat a lot of regular snack food,
in my case, for my dairy issues, can wind up

having trouble finding stuff that will work. But packing a
snack can be as easy as packing your phone. Most
of us don't leave home without that, or perhaps a wallet.
A small snack can really be similar, even if you
don't actually eat the snack. I find that having it

available can make me feel better. I know I can
have a snack if I need one, so all is
calm and all is bright. If I don't have the
snack readily available, I am edgier. I am sure my
decisions are worse, So aim not to make decisions. Hungry

hunger can be solved quickly, whereas bad decisions can take
a lot longer to unwind. Best to take the quicker
solution in the meantime. This is Laura. Thanks for listening,
and here's to making the most of our time. Thanks

for listening to Before Breakfast. If you've got questions, ideas,
or feedback, you can reach me at Laura at Laura
vandercam dot com. Before Breakfast is a production of iHeartMedia.
For more podcasts from iHeartMedia, please visit the iHeartRadio app,

Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to your favorite shows.

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Laura Vanderkam

Laura Vanderkam

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