While it may sound too good to be true, it’s not. Eating a snack before shopping—whether it be for groceries or non-food items, online or in-person—makes people less apt to buy things they don’t need, according to new University of Minnesota research. Imagine your pantry without those tempting snacks and a closet without that sweater you’ve never worn. Have a healthy snack before shopping and both can be yours.
To come to these findings, researchers divided a group of hungry university students into two groups: The first half was given cake to snack on, while the other half wasn’t fed anything. All of the participants were shown binder clips and were asked questions about how much they liked them and how many they would like to take home with them for free. Both the hungry and non-hungry participants had equal liking for the clips, however, when it came time to take some home, the hungry group picked up 70 percent more than their satiated peers. These findings piqued the research authors’ curiosity, so they headed to a local department store to see if their findings would hold true in a real-world situation. There, they scanned the receipts of 81 shoppers and had them self-rate their hunger. As it turned out, hungry shoppers purchased more items and spent up to 60 percent more than shoppers who didn’t have the munchies.
The takeaway: Healthy snacking not only keeps diet-derailing dips in blood sugar at bay, which can help you trim down, but also helps you save cash by preventing you from buying stuff you don’t really need. Before whip out your laptop to order groceries or head to the mall to look for a new pair of jeans, eat one of the 50 best snacks for weight loss. Your slimmer, richer future self will thank you!