Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think Mass Market Paperback – Dec 28 2010
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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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
"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."
The only disappointment I had with this book was that it did not directly address the wider social issue of why people's eating patterns are so different now than in previous generations. When did "snacks" become mini- (or not-so-mini) meals? Why do people feel compelled to eat constantly in certain situations? Why is there a constant move toward larger sizes and portions? What are the ramifications?
Despite that, this book has lots of meaty (pardon the pun) information and will open the reader's eyes to the many subtle cues and manipulations we all face when doing that most mundane of daily activities -- eating.
As for me, i found this book incredibly interesting, so i gave it 5 stars.
I saw one of the researchers mentioned in the book speak at a nutrition conference I attended and very much appreciated the research on thepsychology behind food and why we eat.
Brian Wansink has done a great job using his food lab and various test subjects to portray the picture of how mindless eating has brought our country to where it is today.
Most recent customer reviews
Not a very interesting book. I shouldn't have bought this.Published 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
Listening to it in the car gives me something productive to do. Don't have time to read at home all the time. Nice break from listening to music.Published on May 30 2013 by Becky Scott
Très bon livre vulgarisateur sur l'ère de l'alimentation de masse et ses dérives.
L'auteur nous apprend à devenir un détective alimentaire. Read more