Mindless Eating

Mindless Eating

Why We Eat More Than We Think

Book - 2006
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Random House, Inc.
In this illuminating and groundbreaking new book, food psychologist Brian Wansink shows why you may not realize how much you’re eating, what you’re eating–or why you’re even eating at all.

• Does food with a brand name really taste better?
• Do you hate brussels sprouts because your mother did?
• Does the size of your plate determine how hungry you feel?
• How much would you eat if your soup bowl secretly refilled itself?
• What does your favorite comfort food really say about you?
• Why do you overeat so much at healthy restaurants?

Brian Wansink is a Stanford Ph.D. and the director of the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab. He’s spent a lifetime studying what we don’t notice: the hidden cues that determine how much and why people eat. Using ingenious, fun, and sometimes downright fiendishly clever experiments like the “bottomless soup bowl,” Wansink takes us on a fascinating tour of the secret dynamics behind our dietary habits. How does packaging influence how much we eat? Which movies make us eat faster? How does music or the color of the room influence how much we eat? How can we recognize the “hidden persuaders” used by restaurants and supermarkets to get us to mindlessly eat? What are the real reasons most diets are doomed to fail? And how can we use the “mindless margin” to lose–instead of gain–ten to twenty pounds in the coming year?

Mindless Eating will change the way you look at food, and it will give you the facts you need to easily make smarter, healthier, more mindful and enjoyable choices at the dinner table, in the supermarket, in restaurants, at the office–even at a vending machine–wherever you decide to satisfy your appetite.

Baker & Taylor
A food psychologist identifies hidden factors, motivations, and cues that cause overeating and offers practical solutions to help avoid these hidden traps and enjoy food without putting on excess pounds.

& Taylor

A food psychologist identifies hidden factors, motivations, cues, and land mines that cause readers to overeat and furnishes practical and effective solutions to help avoid these hidden traps and enjoy food more, without putting on excess pounds. 65,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Bantam, 2006
ISBN: 9780553804348
Characteristics: p. ; cm


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Mar 07, 2018

As soon as I started reading this book, I realized I have read it before. But this book is worth reading twice as a good reminder for healthy ways to cut calories and live a healthier lifestyle without going on a diet. I really liked that all of the suggested strategies had interesting case studies. I had forgotten about the half plate method and when I brought it up at the dinner table, both of my kids had already been taught this method in Health class. I'll be using the strategies to not only improve my own health, but to improve good eating habits with my family.

Jan 28, 2016

I read this book after reading this author's Slim by design. The order in which you read them does not really matter although Slim by design helps you redesign your environment to help control your eating while Mindless Eating helps you realize why you eat mindlessly. This book gives more than a dozen changes you can easily adopt to lose up to 30 pounds in one year without dieting. Filled with interesting studies, you can recognize your own behaviors while reading this book. Excellent book. Do read Slim by design as well.

Jul 18, 2015

An interesting look at how we fool ourselves with respect to portion size resulting in calorie over-consumption. Some of the ideas in the book have been proven to be incorrect such as a " calorie is a calorie" and the cumulative effect of increased calories. Essentially reduce your portions but as much as possible abstain from processed foods and simple carbohydrates. Definitely worth reading. ( As an aside people claim that if a calorie is not a calorie then it violates the law(s) of thermodynamics. There are 3 noted laws, and the fact that calories from fat or protein are processed differently then simple carbohydrates by your body does not violate the 2nd law which essentially deals with the dissipation of energy in chemical processes.)

ksoles Jul 29, 2014

Stanford-educated director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab Dr. Brian Wansink knows food. Moreover, he knows the psychology of food: why we eat what we eat and why what we eat sometimes seems out of our control. In his amazing, entertaining and often scary book, Wansink navigates through some of the 200 food choices we make each day and illuminates the ease with which we mindlessly consume extra calories.

"Mindless Eating" shares the results of many fascinating modern food experiments: people will eat more popcorn, even if it’s stale and tasteless, when they receive it in larger buckets; people think wine tastes better when it boasts a fancier label or comes ostensibly from California as opposed to North Dakota; that, in pitch darkness, people eating chocolate-flavoured yogurt can be tricked into thinking it tastes like strawberry, and that people will eat fewer candies when they have to walk to the dish compared to when the dish sits within easy reach.

Taking these results outside the laboratory, Wansink can help a person "mindlessly" lose about 20 lbs per year. The key lies in eliminating the 100-200 calories a day that he calls the "mindless margin." How? Use smaller plates and tall, skinny glasses. Put all food on a plate instead of eating out of a box or bowl. Put junk foods somewhere inconvenient. Eat slowly and don’t multitask while you’re eating.

Even those convinced they know better can fall victim to mindless eating. Wansink finishes his book with a simple plan anyone can use to lose weight mindlessly as well as a description of the most common mindless eating patterns. This wise and interesting book proves that "the best diet is the one you don't know you're on."

Oct 09, 2011

A book based on the researcher's own studies on food psychology. What makes us eat a little bit more? a little bit less? Providing young children with exposure to many foods and flavors is likely to prepare them for a healthier adulthood, as they learn better self-control. So many interesting ideas in this book, some have already been imbedded in the mainstream, others not.

Jul 11, 2011

Whether you want to lose weight, get your kids to eat more healthy food, throw a great dinner party or make smarter choices in grocery stores and restaurants, this book is full of interesting and useful information. This is an approach that works with human nature rather than against it. Highly recommended.

Jun 27, 2011

Boring book

Mar 23, 2011

Very few books cause me to take notes on it - there aren't that many out there to begin with. This was is such a book. Easy to read, informative, revealing, and organized. this book explains more about food than you think you even know. As it turns out, how we eat is greatly influeced by our environment - whether or not we know it. Plate sizes, eating company, and decor all affect how and what and how much you eat. But it doesn't stop there - there is much more to learn. And there are to do lists (meaning that the author clearly lists dos and don'ts at the end of each chapter that sums of the chapter and gives you directions of how to eat better today...right now). Diagrams make concepts easy to learn and use as well. Very well written. If you are looking to lose weight and get healthy, this book is a must.

Feb 09, 2010

Amazing and fun read. It's just amazing how we operate without ever considering what we are actually doing and end up eating Mindlessly all the time. I really loved the sense of humor the author had. It seems a lot of the experiments conducted, while had real implications, were often a lot of fun. One example was they left almonds on a desk for people of both normal and obese weight to see who would eat more almonds if the almonds were still in the shell. I wont spoil the surprise but one group would not eat almonds if they had to go through the effort of shell them.

This book will open your eyes to the amount of calories we consume and don't even know it. I have no doubt that if you follow the suggestions in his final chapter and make small changes you will loose permanent pounds. Good read for anyone who is serious about changing their life and loosing those pesky pounds that Fab diets could never take off.

Jan 02, 2010

Great book to explore the idea of losting weight without the burden of going on a diet. Interesting studies that help one to see ways to control eating and lose weight.

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Jul 12, 2011

The best diet is the one you don't know you're on.

Jul 11, 2011

We all think we're too smart to be tricked by packages, lighting, or plates. We might acknowledge that others could be tricked, but not us. That is what makes mindless eating so dangerous. We are almost never aware that it is happening to us.

Jul 11, 2011

Our body's metabolism is efficient. When it has plenty of food to burn, it turns up the furnace and burns our fat reserves faster. When it has less food to burn, it turns down the furnace and burns it more slowly and efficiently. This efficiency helped our ancestors survive famines and barren winters. But it doesn't help today's deprived dieter. If you eat too little, the body goes into conservation mode and makes it even tougher to burn off the pounds.

Jul 11, 2011

We have millions of years of evolution and instinct telling us to eat as often as we can and to eat as much as we can. Most of us simply do not have the mental fortitude to stare at a plate of warm cookies on the table and say, "I'm not going to eat a cookie, I'm not going to eat a cookie," and then not eat the cookie.

Jul 11, 2011

In the hundreds of studies we've done on food, it became increasingly clear that the stomach only has three main settings:
1) Starving
2) I'm Full but I Can Eat More
3) I'm Stuffed

Jul 11, 2011

Eat before you shop, use a list, and stick to the perimeter of the store. That's where the fresh foods hang out.

Jul 11, 2011

We are hardwired to love the taste of fat, salt, and sugar. Fatty foods gave our ancestors the calorie reserves to weather food shortages. Salt helped them retain water and avoid dehydration. Sugar helped them distinguish sweet edible berries from the sour poisonous ones. Through our taste for fat, salt, and sugar, we learned to prefer the foods that were most likely to keep us alive.

Jul 11, 2011

It's hard not to feel the frustration of friends and family when their love of life is weighed down by having to estimate the calories in the the salad dressing they have "on the side," or in the baloney-thin slice of birthday cake they carefully cut. With more than 200 daily decisions to make about food, this much microthinking can joylessly grind a person down.

Jul 11, 2011

We can turn the food in our life from being a temptation or a regret to something we guiltlessly enjoy. We can move from mindless overeating to mindless better eating.

Jul 11, 2011

The best part of a dessert is the first two bites.

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