Does it ever seem like your willpower to say no to eating unhealthy treats like chocolate cake and junk food is easier some times than other times? Blame — or credit — your brain, a new study says.
By looking at brain imaging scans of those who are hungry, researchers at Yale University and the University of Southern California learned that when glucose levels drop, our brains lose their ability to say no to high-calorie food. The study found that when glucose levels drop, the hypothalamus senses the change, and then other areas of the brain light up, giving people the desire to eat. In fact, in this hungry state, the prefrontal cortex seems to almost entirely lose its ability to put the brakes on this great desire to chow down, according to ScienceDaily. This eat-now response was particularly strong when obese people were hungry and shown high-calorie foods, according to the study that was published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.
So how do you use this information to your benefit? It's easy, researchers say. Simply eat healthy foods regulalry that maintain your glucose levels over the course of the day. In a nutshell, the brain needs food!
Do you find it harder to resist unhealthy foods when you're hungry? Share your thoughts!
Jennipher Walters is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites FitBottomedGirls.com and FitBottomedMamas.com. A certified personal trainer, lifestyle and weight management coach and group exercise instructor, she also holds an MA in health journalism and regularly writes about all things fitness and wellness for various online publications.