British researchers found that hunger can significantly influence the choices we make. For the study, reported in Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, a group of 50 participants answered questions at two separate times, once 2 hours after eating and once after fasting for 10 hours. Participants had the option of immediately receiving a reward (including money) or waiting for a more substantial reward later on.

When the volunteers were hungry, they often focused on the short-term rewards, indicating that the mental decision-making process gets more present-focused when people are famished. So if you have a big choice to make—like deciding if you really need that fancy new gadget—you may want to tame the hunger monster before you hand over your credit card.