Pig out more at Thanksgiving – Shop less on Black Friday

In “We Are What We Consume: The Influence of Food Consumption on Consumer Impulsivity,” Arul Mishra and Himanshu Mishra show how the types of food consumed during Thanksgiving can influence impulsive choices; for instance whether consumers buy on sales the next day or not.

“Most of us don’t connect what we eat to our subsequent choices,” Arul Mishra said. “However, our research shows that types of food, such as turkey, make people behave less impulsively. Such people are less likely to buy products available at a discount and will find it easier to restrain their impulsive urges and choices.”

In other words, if you’re looking to spend less this holiday season, eat a good Thanksgiving meal…

The combination of tryptophan-rich foods like turkey and carbohydrates like mashed potatoes increases levels of serotonin, a chemical produced in the brain that affects many functions in the central nervous system, including mood, appetite, sleep and some cognition.

Serotonin levels have also been shown to correlate with impulsive behaviors. The researchers conclude people who have increased levels of serotonin, such as someone who recently ate a large turkey dinner, are less prone to impulsive purchases. Most meats (e.g., turkey, chicken) and tofu have the amino-acid tryptophan that synthesizes serotonin.

Har! Any excuse will do – like being too sleepy to get up the next morning and stand in line at Best Buy.