If you’ve ever wandered through IKEA on an empty stomach, you’ll know – ‘hanger’ is no joke.
Call me dramatic – but it seems to me like there are few things worse than trying to make a decision when you can barely hear your own thoughts over the persistent grumblings of your stomach. It’s hard to settle on a bedside lamp when all your can think about is pasta, right?
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Well, experts agree. According to science, it is best to fill your belly before making any important decision, whether it’s deciding whether to accept a job, buy a house or which Swedish lamp will match your bedroom aesthetic.
A recent small study of 50 people found that hunger inhibited people’s decision-making processes by making them more impatient and more likely to settle for a smaller reward that would arrive sooner than a larger reward that would take longer, suggesting we are more likely to make more reckless decisions when we are hungry.
Not to mention when we are hungry, our blood sugar drops, leaving us less mentally sharp, given our brains literally thrive on glucose.
Dr Uma Naidoo agrees, saying we shouldn’t make a decision on an empty stomach, as ghrelin, the ‘hunger hormone’, released when the stomach is empty, can affect our brains – and out rationality, she tells well+good. Predictably, this stops once you eat something.
While the research is limited so far, mostly being conducted on animals or small sample sizes of humans, the results are worth noting. Dr Naidoo recommends eating a balance of wholefoods to help your brain along – and then go and buy the lamp.