Have you ever went grocery shopping and realize that your cart is fuller than usual and with items that you don’t really need? Why would that be? Well, maybe because you were a bit hungry when you’ve decided to hit the grocery store and buy all those goods.
But don’t worry! You’re not the only one! Researches have shown that people who didn’t eat in a while tend to purchase more high-calorie food products than a person who just ate. We know! You’re thinking that you are a strong independent adult who cannot be influenced by an empty stomach. But studies show otherwise. So let’s take a closer look at this phenomenon and understand why a person shouldn’t go grocery shopping when on an empty stomach.
What studies say
Two studies conducted by Cornell’s University research team suggest that people who go shopping on an empty stomach tend to purchase more high-calorie food and more junk food. Half of the participants (aged 18-71) were required not to eat anything between 12 pm – 5 pm and then shop online in a virtual store. The other ones were instructed to eat crackers until they feel satiated.
The funny thing is that every high-calorie food product had a low-calorie replacement (fruit, vegetables, unprocessed food, etc.) that people could choose from. Normally, everyone would expect that the hungry folks were going to buy more food, right? Well, that’s not entirely true. Even if they did buy more food (20% more than the satiated guys), the hungry people purchased more high-calorie food like chips, candies, junk food and most food that you can eat right from the package.
Why do people have these shopping patterns when they are hungry
Nobody has an idea regarding why hungry people buy more than the satiated ones (marketing agencies would love to know that, right?). However, the most pertinent conclusion is that when hungry, your brain cannot see beyond that sensation and will use all its resources to convince itself that it needs food, a lot of food.
Also, the need for processed food and fast-food comes from the immediate need for eating, without waiting to cook or heat a certain dish.
If you really need to shop on an empty stomach
If you just arrived from work, you are starving but you really need to go shopping, then you should create a routine, in order to avoid overbuying. The best thing that you could do is set a clear shopping list before entering the store and stick to it… no exceptions.
If you can’t do that, then you should allow yourself one or two exceptions, but no more. After that, your routine will get in your system and you won’t need a shopping list anymore.
Some Final Thoughts
Are you still worried that you’re going to break the bank after going grocery shopping on an empty stomach? Don’t worry about it! All you need to do is either eat something before hitting the grocery store, either make a shopping list and stick to eat. Just avoid shopping without a plan and you will be safe.