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Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think Hardcover – October 17, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
According to Wansink, director of the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab, the mind makes food-related decisions, more than 200 a day, and many of them without pause for actual thought. This peppy, somewhat pop-psych book argues that we don't have to change what we eat as much as how, and that by making more mindful food-related decisions we can start to eat and live better. The author's approach isn't so much a diet book as a how-to on better facilitating the interaction between the feed-me messages of our stomachs and the controls in our heads. In their particulars, the research summaries are entertaining, like an experiment that measured how people ate when their plates were literally "bottomless," but the cumulative message and even the approach feels familiar and not especially fresh. Wansink examines popular diets like the South Beach and Atkins regimes, and offers a number of his own strategies to help focus on what you eat: at a dinner party, "try to be the last person to start eating." Whether readers take time to weigh their decisions and their fruits and vegetables remains to be seen. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Anyone who's tried to follow a strict eating regimen knows how futile it sometimes seems. Nutritional science and marketing professor Wansink explores some of the psychological aspects of overeating to explain why we in fact consume more than we believe we do. He advocates weight-loss diets that cut calories by cutting overall consumption, instead of draconian elimination of intake. Wansink finds the greatest value in retraining one's mind and its perceptions by devices such as making sure one's plate contains at least half vegetables or salad. He suggests that a dieter will automatically eat less in social situations by being the last to start eating and the first to finish. He assesses the dangers of food shopping in bulk-portion stores, where customers are virtually begged to overconsume. Wansink's dual approach emphasizing food knowledge and self-knowledge offers a sensible route to permanent weight loss. A useful appendix arranges different popular diets in tables along with their advantages and disadvantages. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
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As a person who tends to eat slightly more than I need, I learned a lot of practical suggestions.
There are lots of interesting experiments on eating that Dr. Wansink conducted with his lab that will open your eyes to why you eat the way you do and how you can get into the habit to mindlessly lose weight.
This book advocates losing weight slowly and without making you feel deprived by applying the mindless margin principle - you won't notice if you eat 100-200 calories less per day, but that same amount translates into weighing 10 pounds less after a year.
I highly recommend this book!
I couldn't believe some of the results that came out. One example was people eating popcorn at the movies. Even when the popcorn was 5 days old and stale, people still ate it (and some ate more of the stale popcorn just because it was in a larger bucket). It not only opened my eyes to restaurant portions but made me re-think the amount of food I ate at home (or my desk) and how to control it.
This is NOT a diet book on how to make you stop eating as much. In fact, there's rarely any mention of "do this to stop eating as much" advice. This book is simply a great read enlightening us to how much we really eat when we don't realize it. While it didn't come out and tell me not to do certain things, I chose to do them on my own after hearing the studies and findings. Read this book!