Food Psychology! “Mindlessly Eating” by Brian Wansink, Ph.D.

Book Review “Mindlessly Eating” by Brian Wansink, PH.D.

If you love food then you probably love reading about it too. Though I’d have to agree, eating it is the funner of the two. I find psychology really interesting so when I saw this book about food psychology I just had to get it.

Some things you probably didn’t know:

  • People eat more when you give them a bigger container. We look for cues around us to tell us when we are full, such as when there is nothing left in a popcorn container. Brian Wansink did a study and found that those people who were given big buckets of popcorn ate 53 % more than those given medium buckets.
  • Just thinking that a meal will taste good before you eat it will lead you to eat more. At a restaurant lab The Spice Box, they tested this idea by serving the same exact wine but with different labels. One side of the restaurant was given wine with a label “New from California” while the other side was given “New from North Dakota”. The ones drinking the North Dakota wine had bad reviews to give about it, because they had set themselves up for disappointment. Before even eating anything, their mind had already decided for them that the meal would taste horrible so they ‘mindlessly ate’.
  • Most diets are deprivation diets where we deprive ourselves of something whether it be meat, icecream, candy, etc.

These diets don’t work for 3 reasons

-our body fights against them

-our brain fights against them

-our day to day environment fights against them

This is where the mindless margin comes in. A margin basically where you can either overeat or undereat within a margin of 100 calories and not be aware of it. So instead of depriving yourself of your favorite foods, try eating smaller portions of them and it will add up over time.

An easy way to estimate the number of pounds you will lose in a year is just divide the calories by ten. The book gives some examples like- one less 140 calorie soft drink a day = 14 fewer pounds a year

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