Shopping on empty stomach = dieting disaster

SEATTLE -- Heading to the grocery store on an empty stomach can sabotage your diet, scientists say.

A new study from the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab tested 68 people who hadn't eaten for five hours. Some were given Wheat Thins as a snack and others were not given anything before being asked to make purchases at a simulated grocery store. The hungry shoppers who did not eat the Wheat Thins bought 18.6 percent more food than those that had eaten. Their purchases also included 31 percent more high-calorie snacks.

In a follow-up study, researchers found that late afternoon shoppers bought 26.7 percent fewer low-calorie foods than who people shopped after eating lunch.

The best advice from researchers? Avoid missing meals -- even a small snack could help prevent filling your cart with fattening foods.

"Make sure you don't skip a meal, or at least have a snack like apples or string cheese in your office," study co-author Brian Wansink Ph.D., wrote in the article "Fasting Fattening?."

Wansink said the most common skipped meal is breakfast.

You can read more about the study here.