Sunday, December 17, 2006

NOTES: "Mindless Eating" by Brian Wansink

I recently read Brian Wansink's "MINDLESS EATING: Why We Eat More Than We Think", and found it to be very interesting!

Here are some quotes / notes from the book:
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p.10 - "This book is not about dieting extremism -- just the opposite. It's about reengineering your environment so that you can eat what you want without guilt and without gaining weight. It's about reengineering your food life so that it is enjoyable and mindful.
.... [it] uncovers the hidden persuaders in our life that lead us to overeat and shows us how to eliminate them."

p.23 - "...They mindlessly ate. That is, once they were given a free glass of "California" wine, they said to themselves: 'This is going to be good.' Once they concluded it was going to be good, their experience lived up to confirm their expectations. They no longer had to stop and think about whether the food and wine were really as good as they thought. They'd already decided..."

p.24 - "Almost any sign with a number promotion leads us to buy 30-100% more than we normally would."

p.25 - "We are all tricked by our environment. Even if we 'know it' in our head, most of the time we have way too much on our mind to remember it and act on it. That's why it's easier to change our environment than our mind."

p.30 - "If we eat too little, we know it. If we eat too much, we know it. But there is a calorie range ~ or "mindless margin" ~ where we feel fine and are unaware of small differences... over the course of a year, this mindless margin would either cause us to lose 10 pounds, or to gain 10 pounds."

p.32 - "The best way to trim 100-200 calories per day is to do it in a way that doesn't make you feel deprived. It's easy to rearrange your kitchen and change a few eating habits so you don't have to think about eating less or differently. And the silver lining is that the same things that lead us to mindlessly gain weight can also help us mindlessly lose weight."

p.33 - "Cutting out our favorite foods is bad. Cutting down on how much of them we eat is mindlessly do-able."

p.46 - ** "...the faster we wolf down our food, the more we eat..." **

p.47 - "...This is one reason why the "clean your plate" notion is so powerful. The clean plate gives us a set target to aim for so we don't have to constantly ask ourselves, "Am I full yet?"... We can dish it out, space out, and eat until it's gone."

** Stop eating when you no longer feel hungry....
not when you're "full" or have "cleaned your plate". **


p.60 - "Why do we automatically eat (or pour) more from big packages? Because big packages (like big portions) suggest a consumption norm ~ what is appropriate or normal to use or eat.... we can eat about 20% more or 20% less without really being aware of it. Because of this, we look for cues and signals that tell us how much to eat. One of these signals is the size of the package."

p.71/72 - "...if people are offered an assortment with 3 different flavors of yogurt, they're likely to consume an average of 23% more than if offered only 1 flavor.... This behavior results from what is called "sensory specific satiation". In other words, our senses get numbed, or sated, if they continually experience the same stimulus."

p.72 - "Sensory specific satiety also affects our taste buds. The first bite of anything is almost always the best. The second is a little less, and the third less again. At some point we're tired of the yogurt & cake. But, if we add two more types of yogurt, or if we add ice cream to the cake, our taste buds are back to the races."

p.79 - "We eat more of these visible 'see-foods' (foods left where we can see them) because we think about them more... Out of sight, out of mind. In sight, in mind."

p.80 - "The more you think of a food (ahead of time), the more you'll eat of it."

p.90 - "...you'll eat more from these huge (bulk) containers for the first 7 days. After that you'll start slowing down because you become tired of the food."

p.94 - "When we eat, we often follow 'eating scripts'. We encounter some food situations so frequently that we develop automatic patterns or habitual behaviors to navigate them... some we're clearly aware of, but many more lurk beneath the surfaces of our daily activities."

p.190 - "...because we can tend to view foods as black or white, we can always fall into the trap of thinking something is either 100% healthy, or that it's not."

p.209 - "We can reengineer our personal food environment to help us and our families eat better."

p.210 - "Our body and our mind fight against deprivation diets that cut our daily calorie intake from 2000 to 1200 calories a day. But they don't really notice a 100-200 calorie difference because they're not as sensitive within this range ~ it doesn't ring the starvation alarm in our body's metabolism."

** Make 3 small, 100-calorie changes, and by the end of the year we'll be as much as 30 lbs lighter than if we didn't make them. **

** Not every day will be perfect, but the idea is to start slowly, building the right habits. **

1 comment:

Ellie said...

Gosh, Jenn, you've included so many quotes I hardly need to read the book now :-) Great review (including your actual review), and thanks!