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Slim by Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life Hardcover – Sep 23 2014

3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Slim by Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life
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  • Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think
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  • The Diet Fix: Why Diets Fail and How to Make Yours Work
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1 edition (Sept. 23 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062136526
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062136527
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2.9 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 703 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #18,046 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“Backed by 25 years of research and buoyed by its simplicity and no-cost implementation, Wansink’s book may well be the healthy lifestyle Holy Grail for which many are searching.” (Publishers Weekly)

“This book is a revelation! Based on proven psychology, it outlines the simple, easy, low-cost things that can be done to fat-proof your home, company break room, grocery store, favorite restaurants, and school cafeteria…Every plant or office manager, school lunch supervisor, restaurateur, and parent should have this book.” (Library Journal (starred review) on Slim by Design)

“[Slim by Design] is crammed with ideas to make it easy to eat healthier-without even noticing that you’re making changes. The book is fascinating, and surprisingly lively and funny-this isn’t a dry review of the literature. It’s a fun read.” (Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project)

“Wansink’s hotly anticipated new book, Slim By Design, is packed with research that shows how we can change the way we interact with our environments to make eating healthy a no-brainer.” (Oprah.com)

“Slim By Design provides tons of practical and useful tips to help you and your family seamlessly improve your eating habits and make better food choices.” (Parents.com)

“[Slim by Design] outlines concrete strategies for designing homes, restaurants, grocery stores, workplaces, and schools in ways that surreptitiously encourage healthy eating habits.” (Slate)

“In his new book, Slim by Design, eating-behavior expert Brian Wansink shows us how to get our kitchens working better.” (Houzz.com)

“Professor Wansink’s Slim By Design theory is about changing your eating environment to lose weight.” (dailymail.co.uk)

From the Back Cover

The Future Is Slim by Design!

In this paradigm-shattering book, leading behavioral economist and food psychologist Brian Wansink—dubbed the "Sherlock Holmes of food" and the "wizard of why"—offers a radical new philosophy for weight loss. The answer isn't to tell people what to do; it's to set up their living environments so that they will naturally lose weight. Using cutting-edge, never-before-seen research from his acclaimed Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University, Wansink reveals how innovative and inexpensive design changes—from home kitchens to restaurants, from grocery stores to schools and workplaces—can make it mindlessly easy for people to eat healthier and make it more profitable for the companies who sell the food).

In Slim by Design, Wansink argues that the easiest, quickest, and most natural way to reverse weight gain is to work with human nature, not against it. He demonstrates how schools can nudge kids to take an apple instead of a cookie, how restaurants can increase profits by selling half-size portions, how supermarkets can double the amount of fruits and vegetables they sell, and how anyone can cut plate refills at home by more than a third. Interweaving drawings, charts, floor plans, and scorecards with new scientific studies and compelling insights that will make you view your surroundings in an entirely fresh way, this entertaining, eye-opening book offers practical solutions for changing your everyday environment to make you, your family, and even your community slim by design.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Truth be told, I'm a long-time Brian Wansink fanboy.

For those who aren't familiar, Brian is a professor of consumer behaviour and nutritional science and he has dedicated his career to the consumer psychology of eating.

His first book for the public, Mindless Eating, is an engaging and entertaining tour of many of his various studies including the one that determined movie goers would eat more awful stale popcorn when served in a large bucket than small, the one that demonstrated the perils of eating from a bottomless soup bowl (you don't stop), and the one that determined the worst place to put your office candy.

His latest book, Slim By Design, he describes as his "magnum opus", and what it provides is a cookbook of sorts to apply the lessons he's learned in his research to re-engineer your environment such that you'll eat less without even thinking about it. It's designed not only for the individual who is hoping to rejig their own personal surroundings, but also for business owners and public health advocates who want to improve the choices of others.

Broken down by section there are recipes for restaurants, workplaces, grocery stores, schools and homes, and each comes with its own best practices check list.

When it comes to our own homes, Wansink and his team explored the kitchens of folks with and without obesity and looked for patterns. True, at this point they're primarily associations and not necessarily causal, but they're compelling.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Format of book didn't appeal
Much of the information pertained to eating out, which isn't helpful to me
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa679e944) out of 5 stars 100 reviews
69 of 74 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e873b4c) out of 5 stars Awareness is the first step to changing your eating habits Sept. 24 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I read Brian Wansink's last book "Mindless Eating" and learned a lot about the startling ways we underestimate how much we eat (while at the same time overestimating how much we are SUPPOSED to eat), and how eating for many of us has become something that we have lost awareness of. For example, I work from home, which means I usually eat while I'm working and I am not focused on what or how much I'm consuming. Overeating is par for the course! I really enjoyed this book and have tried to keep it on my reread pile on my nightstand as I can always find something interesting to consider or a gentle reminder of what I should be doing. When I saw this book yesterday, I grabbed it. I'm reminded yet again how much information comes at us from so many directions about what/when/how and why to eat. There are so many cues around us that we're just not aware of, and as the saying goes - awareness is the first step! Loved the ideas about sharing high/low points during family dinners, and remembering to take a step back and be grateful. It's like forcing your mind to change gears. At this point, having read two of his books, I would read anything Wansink writes, because I think what he explores is so fascinating. As someone who struggles with eating the right things, or at least not too much of the wrong things, there's a lot of food for thought in this book. (And I'm sorry about the pun.)
45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e914a14) out of 5 stars This books helps you to create a world where you and your family become slimmer and healthier, Nov. 14 2014
By Dr. Russ L'HommeDieu, DPT - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Wansink is a very clever researcher that has uncovered some amazing weight loss “life hacks” that have helped me to lose and MAINTAIN a 200 pound weight loss.
After over a decade of working with people to help them lose weight, I have come to the conclusion that almost no one wants to lose weight. That said, it is also true that almost everyone wants to weigh less but, I’ve never met anyone who is excited about what they need to do in order to get there.
While on the surface, the problem seems simple. If you could just eat less and exercise more, you would be skinny. Most people already know that and yet they remain overweight and frustrated. The real problem is that the human mind, programmed by habits and driven by emotion does not always respond the way we want and this is particularly true for food.
Dr. Wansink is the only person to consider the question, “Is there a way to lose weight without even thinking about it?” Amazingly, he discovered, there is and it’s literally all around you. While it makes sense that our environment has an effect on what and how much we eat nobody ever took the time to discover how to use that bit of common sense to actually help people weigh less Dr. Wansink has.
Slim by design expands on the “weight loss life hacks” uncovered in Mindless Eating by organizing your food environment in five separate areas: 1. Your Kitchen, 2. Your Workplace, 3. Your Grocery Store, 4. Your Favorite Restaurant and 5. Your Kids School.
In the book, Dr. Wansink provides real tools for you to begin re-engineering each of these areas for maximum weight loss and health. By dividing the book up in this way, he gives the reader permission to focus on just one are which avoids overwhelm.
I noticed that some of the reviews in this book were not that positive. Frankly, I am confused. One reader said, “I ordered this book based on an article that said it would give information about how to design a kitchen with slimming principles. That topic was covered in one brief chapter.” For me, it’s the fact that you could simply re-tool your kitchen for weight loss with the information in one brief chapter that's so amazing. My question to the reader is, did you take the assessments? Did you try the ideas? I did and, I actually lost a few pounds. I am a weight loss expert and I did not know the stuff in this book. The catch is you have to actually do some of it.
Each section is jam packed with cool tips and assessment tools to get you started in your own life as well as some ideas for you to begin to raise awareness in your community as well. The fact is that, like it or not, we really do have an obesity crisis in this country and this book gives you really simple tools you can use to help you and your neighbors lose weight without the torture associated with weight loss.
Listen, I grew as a fat kid. I was unmercifully bullied as the “fat kid” and, moreover, my early life choices were limited by my massive size. I wish my community, my school and my parents knew half of what Brian talks about in this book. All you need to do is make a few of these changes and you could change a lot of lives . . . including your own.
81 of 94 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e6cc4a4) out of 5 stars and I'm pretty disappointed. I loved "Mindless Eating" Oct. 4 2014
By Terry Parrett - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've been waiting for this book for a long time, and I'm pretty disappointed. I loved "Mindless Eating", easily one of the best books on the topic of diet and eating I've ever read. Unfortunately, "Slim By Design" doesn't come close. Far too many pages devoted to telling you to try to convince your local fast food chains and restaurants to add healthy options to their menu; less of the terrific insightful ideas from his first book. There were too many repeat suggestions and ideas from the first book, and the writing style was annoyingly informal. I REALLY wanted to like this book, and I will buy his next one, but this one was a real letdown.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9eac2a5c) out of 5 stars I ordered this book based on an article that said ... Oct. 23 2014
By Nick's Mom - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I ordered this book based on an article that said it would give information about how to design a kitchen with slimming principles. That topic was covered in one brief chapter. The majority of the book was focussed on restaurants, grocery stores, and advocacy which was really not of interest to me.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ea97588) out of 5 stars Interesting stuff but just not that applicable Nov. 26 2014
By Dennis Mitton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Wansink, by any account a very smart guy, has collected lots of interesting data about thin and fat people. Where they sit. What they eat with. How many times they chew. What lights they are drawn to. If you thought this was a book about healthy eating you are only partly right. If you find statistical correlations between the color of your kitchen cabinets and your eating style interesting – I do – then there is much to like about this book. If you think that learning that you will eat less if you call your exercise a ‘scenic walk’ rather than ‘exercising’ is a waste of your time then I would keep on moving.

This is not a book about what to eat or what it healthy. It is a statistical analysis of health habits rewritten for popular consumption. Only the first chapters discuss the home. The advice is good but rather obvious: to cut down on unhealthy snacks put the chips in the back of the pantry and keep a bowl of fresh fruit on the counter. But as obvious as it may be, how many of us do it? And that’s the premise of the book: We all know that an apple is a healthy snack. So why do we grab a Snickers Bar instead? One of Wansink’s goal is to help make healthy an easy choice and unhealthy a little tougher to get to.

I don’t really know who the target audience is for the bulk of the book. It’s interesting to me to learn more about how grocery stores work and how they promote certain things. Same with restaurants. But most of the book talks directly to grocers or cafeteria owners with instructions about how to remodel their establishments to promote healthy eating. I’m not sure it’s the goal of these places and skimmed through most of it.

I haven’t read his Mindless Eating and from the title it sounds more applicable for the questions most people have. There is good stuff here but it can be hard to find and much is simply not applicable to the average reader.

Three stars.