31/08/2010 05:39 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Is Your Love Life Ruining Your Diet?

Flickr: miguelpdl

We all know the feeling. If you've been dumped from great height, or are admiring someone who doesn't know you exist, the easiest route to healing a troubled heart often comes via the fridge.

The cliché of cracking open the wine, ordering a gigantic takeaway and getting stuck into a family-sized chocolate bar makes perfect sense when you're suffering from a broken heart.

Just as you may turn your nose up at food when you're swept away by the first wave of new romance, the circle completes itself as you root through your cupboards hunting for sweet treats to make yourself feel better.

Be reassured that by eating chocolates and drinking wine you're only responding to your brain's efforts to heal itself, as proved by researchers from Yeshiva University in Israel.

The scientists carried out MRI scans of participants who had been dumped but were still in love with the person who rejected them. The scans revealed that the ventral tegmental section of the brain lit up when the participants were shown a photo of their former partner.

This section of the brain is responsible for incentives and rewards - so it's no great surprise that a few slices of chocolate cake look so attractive when we can't get the love we crave.

While a little indulgence may be in order (especially in the first 48 hours of heartbreak) remember that nothing will make you feel as good as taking some exercise and eating healthily.

Your reward? A super-fit body, glowing skin and a whole new perspective on your love life.