Sunday, August 14, 2011
Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think by Brian Wansink, Ph.D
First of all, the title of this book bothers me. Not the "Mindless Eating" part, but the "Why We Eat More Than We Think" part. It should be stated "Why we eat more than we think we do" or Why we eat more than we think we eat" to be accurate, because as it is stated it could sound like we are thinking less than we are eating and I am pretty sure than unless we are goldfish or paramecium or something, we usually think a lot more than we eat.
My husband said he would never have thought about the title that way though, so, perhaps it only bothers me.
The book "Mindless Eating" is about the psychology of food. It contains interesteing and fascinating research that shows that even the most informed and educated of us still tend to underestimate how much we eat when we eat larger portions. Therefore we are better off using tall thin glasses and smaller plates. We eat more when we eat with other people and when we are distracted and when we have more to grab right in front of us. Most of us don't stop eating when we "feel full", but rather when we clean our plate or when the time is up. If the name or description of a food sounds tastier/fancier, we believe it and it tastes better to us.
The book identifies 5 types of overeaters - The Meal Stuffer, The Snack Grazer, The Party Binger, The Restaruant Indulger and The Desktop Diner (or Dashboard Diner). The book gives suggestions for each type of overeating habit that cuts out calories in a way that we don't feel deprived, yet cuts enough calories to make a big difference in our caloric intake over time leading us to healthier leaner lives.
I learned a lot from this book and I highly recommend it to others.