Updated 05 January 2016

Why you are losing self control

Scientists have found that self-control relies on glucose as an energy source, and that when our glucose levels are low or cannot be mobilised effectively to the brain (i.e., when insulin is low or insensitive), we are more prone to losing self-control (overeating when you're tired?) The researchers found that when glucose was restored, subjects' self-control behaviours - such as controlling attention, regulating emotions, quitting smoking, coping with stress, resisting impulsivity, and refraining from criminal and aggressive behaviour - was improved. Then, ever wondered why you lose self-control after a couple of drinks? It's because alcohol reduces glucose throughout the brain and body, thereby impairing self-control. The glucose-self-control theory could also explain why many ex-smokers turn to sweets when they quit.


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