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Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think (Audio CD: Unabridged)
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Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think (Audio CD: Unabridged)

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  5,903 ratings  ·  856 reviews
In this illuminating and groundbreaking new book, food psychologist Brian Wansink shows why you may not realize how much you're eating, what you're eating-or why you're even eating at all.
- Does food with a brand name really taste better?
- Do you hate brussels sprouts because your mother did?
- Does the size of your plate determine how hungry you feel?
- How much would you
Audio CD, 5 pages
Published October 24th 2006 by Books on Tape (first published 2006)
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I fear of dying from hunger. It’s a very unreasonable fear because what are my chances of dying from hunger? Yet, this is what I must fear because each time my dinner arrives I eyeball it cautiously wondering whether it is enough. All sorts of food sharing events are a particular torture because I'm a slow eater, so the food is usually gone when I'm barely starting to eat. So I stuff my face, I barely chew; because I worry that everybody will walk away full and satisfied and I will be left hungr ...more
Feb 28, 2009 Trevor rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Trevor by: Richard Wood
My friend Richard recommended this to me with this review.

It seems there are an endless supply of books coming out at the moment about how our judgement can be lead astray and what we can do about it. This one is particularly good. Simple advice on how to lose weight by explaining why we might put it on in the first place.

When I was a child my mother told me not to cheat at patience (Solitaire) because you are only cheating yourself. I had always thought
Mar 15, 2010 Richard rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any dieter, or anyone curious about the problem of obesity in general
See an important related article in the New York Times: "In Obesity Epidemic, What’s One Cookie?" (10 March 2010) by Tara Parker-Pope.

Wansink's book combines diet instructions with lessons on the cognitive flaws in the human psyche that make dieting necessary for so many of us.

He runs a "food psychology lab" at Cornell University, where he and his colleagues study how we make out eating decisions and how they can be manipulated. That gives this book a twist, since it is as much a book on human c
I breezed through this book in just a few hours. Much of its advice is common sense, but the fact it is backed up by actual research studies gives it more weight. The studies conducted are fascinating - especially those conducted on behalf of the Army on how to get stressed out troops in combat environments to eat MORE - and Wansink's voice is fun. Nothing is belabored and he advocates making a few changes to ones habits and looking for longterm results since the body responds to "diets" by stor ...more
Sep 29, 2007 Samantha rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Shelves: miscellaneous
I bought this book at a conference after reading just the title. Fully aware that I myself am a mindless eater (most of us are, so don't think you're immune!), I was curious to see what the book had to say about our eating habits.

This book was very interesting and laugh-out-loud funny in parts, too. (Believe me, I got a few odd looks as I was reading this during the conference's keynote address.) The experiements that the author has conducted in his lab and elsewhere to reveal the hidden cues th
I read this book for work. It was one of my goals this year. I am an oncology dietitan by day since my husband seems to think that we need actual food to eat and books just won’t cut it (pah!).

I was amazing! I absolutely loved it. I have presented his information 3 different times to other dietitians and doctors. It is so interesting that I even got my doctors to engage in dialogue with me about it. It is easy enough that anyone can read it and understand it, but it is interesting enough to kee
Mindless Eating

By Brian Wansink, Ph.D.

The best diet is the one you don’t know you’re on.

A. Introduction

B. Mindless Margin

a. cut out 200 cal per day

b. serve 20% less on your plate at a meal

c. for fruits and veg. Think 20% more.

C. See All you eat

a. put everything you want to eat on a plate before you start eating.

b. Put snack in a bowl and leave box or bag in kitchen.

c. You’ll eat less if you see what you’ve already eaten. If you leave all the plates on your table at the chuckwagon……….leave al
Mike Kowalczyk
Jun 07, 2013 Mike Kowalczyk rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: dieters, psychologists
What an interesting book! In short, it examined our (humans') tendencies with respect to eating: what makes us eat, what makes us enjoy food, what causes our eating habits. Through psychological studies, the author demonstrates that almost all of our decisions about food and eating are psychological and even if we believe we control them, we don't. He presents many cases and analyzes many different scenarios, all of which are very interesting.
Aside from this, the overall premise of the book is t
I picked up this book because one of its studies was cited in another book I read, and I was interested in reading about things that influence our eating habits--but I was disappointed. I wish it would have focused more on presenting the research and less on giving weight loss advice. The research itself was interesting and I'd enjoy reading more about the findings, but the advice was mostly not new. I'd heard it all before from many sources. The research could have made those points or suggesti ...more
Elissa Washuta
I found Wansink's accounts of his research to be totally fascinating. He writes about his experiments carried out at Cornell University's Food and Brand Lab that gave his team insight into how packaging, surroundings, and other cues influence how and how much people eat. While I loved reading about the experiments, I found it unfortunate that this book seemed to pose as a diet book. Wansink gives recommendations for changing eating behaviors based on his research, which I find unnecessary--the f ...more
A fascinating book about the psychology of food and eating. It is primarily written by an American for Americans and it highlights so many differences between the US food culture and our own in the UK.

It is filled with records of sociological and psychological studies done in food labs and in resteraunts and with amusing anecdotes from the backgrounds of some of the studies too. Of all the other books I've read, the one it most reminded me of is Watching The English. It is not just about one na
Jennifer Perry
I know it sounds trite, but truly this book changed my life. Or rather it helped me immensely at a point when I was already changing my life. I had weight loss surgery two years ago and read this book during my recovery from surgery. In the first year after my surgery, not only did the surgery itself help me loose weight, but becoming aware of all the things which caused me to eat when I wasn't necessarily hungry also helped me loose weight.

Learning to NOT eat mindlessly is helping to keep the
Very straightforward, entertaining, and informative. I've read a lot of statistics that came from studies, and it's nice to see the studies fleshed out a bit more here.

This book made me hungry! Actually, this book made me hungry while I was reading it, but as soon as I put it down to get a snack, the hunger vanished.

I think that the main messages of controlling portion sizes (e.g. don't eat until you're full, instead eat until you're no longer hungry) and of creating a food environment at home
Alex Timberman
The author, Brian Wansink, is an expert in his field. He is a professor at Cornell University in the Marketing and Nutritional Science department, or something of that sort. His expertise is on the interdisciplinary relationship of marketing, nutritional science, and economics. If you read some books on behavioral economics like Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman or Nudge by Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler, you will quickly get the psychology behind this book.

The question he tries to an
"The best diet is the one you don't know you're on."

That's the last line of the book. This isn't really a diet book, but more of an culmination of behavioral research when it comes to eating. Not only do we drastically underestimate the amount of food decisions we make daily, we underestimate our caloric intake. This little book is chock full of fun food and eating experiments. I thought this book was going to be similar to The End of Overeating but I was wrong. That book is more about the sweet
Leonidas Kaplan
So here's the subjective rundown. We eat mindlessly most of the time. Why? Because we are on autopilot.

But also because it is cultural in the west. People in the east (Japan, for example), eat to 'not feel hungry'. Westerners (Canada, U.S., for example), eat until we 'feel full'. As a result, getting fat, or eating too much is much easier for us than we care to think.

A big plate will trick you into eating more. More variety, such as different coloured M&M's will make you eat more (think bu
Holly B
I ran clinical trials for a couple of drugs being developed for obesity and used this book as a teaching tool. When you do randomized placebo controlled trials there has to be something in it for everyone. In the case of our studies it was the counseling part. What is most interesting about the author’s approach to mindless eating is the political angle. He presents study after study demonstrating how manipulated we are in the current food environment. Much of the research is conducted by the mi ...more
"The best diet is the one you don't know you're on."

Wansink is a Ph.D. who has run food labs at different universities and independently. His book is a friendly, rather chatty account of his findings, which include:

* Your stomach can't count. It doesn't know how many spoonfuls of soup (or whatever) you had, so it will encourage you to keep eating until the plate is clean, the bag or box is empty, or the TV show is over. That's evolution, baby.

* It takes about 20 minutes for your stomach let your
How do we determine how much we eat? Surely it depends on how hungry we are and how tasty the food is, but Brian Wansink argues that it depends just as much on external cues, like how much is on our plate, the shape of our drinking glasses, how fast other people at the table are eating, and so forth.

The best parts of this book are when he describes his experiments: the famous bottomless soup bowl, for example, or the chicken wing Super Bowl party experiment. (In the former he finds that if your
Els Dehaen
Key Takeaways:

- Half-plate rule: 50% of your plate should be vegetables
- Enjoy comfort food in small doses. If you deprive yourself of everything, you'll give up at some point.
- You can't trust your stomach, it can't count and it only feels full because of external cues.
- See it BEFORE and WHILE you eat it: if you're doing other things, and you've not carefully chosen a portion, you'll end op eating everything
- Optical illusion: buy smaller plates
- Variety makes us eat more, don't offer a wide
Julie Reade
This is perhaps the best book I have read in a long time. Here's why. I enjoyed reading all the experiments done and the results. I enjoyed the "re-engineering strategies" at the end of each chapter. I appreciated the authors no non-sense approach and also his realization that one size does not fit all when it comes to diet. He clearly put the responsibility on our shoulder to figure our the best strategies. By claiming the responsibility, we also claim the success! I saw so much of myself and o ...more
Interesting market research about the various things that affect how much we eat, such as the size of a dinner plate and how quickly items are cleared away from a restaurant table. It's not a diet book, but at the end of each chapter Wansink does give tips on ways to easily cut out the 100-200 calories of mindless eating each day that make us gain weight over time.

I would recommend the book to those who liked "Fast Food Nation" and other pop sociology, such as Malcolm Gladwell or the Freakonomi
Marypat Meuli
I picked up this book on a whim, since it sounded like it went into some of the science behind eating. If you eat, read this book. Really; it's pretty interesting to learn more about why we do what we do when it comes to food.

This book opened my eyes about why we eat more than we think, and introduced a concept called "the mindless margin". The premise is that in the same way that you gain weight over time without realizing it (mindlessly eating), you can also lose weight. Not lightning fast, bu
Nazrul Buang
Finally finished reading "Mindless Eating: Why We More Than We Think" (2006) by Brian Wansink. A book I spontaneously bought as a bonus to myself, it turned out to be one of the most clever and quirky ones I've ever read by shedding light on what influences people to eat what they eat, especially in terms of overeating.

Wansink's extensive research is impressive, stretching over 20 years at his very own laboratory. It explores and identifies the smallest of cues, such as plate size, coloring and
Geek Girl
Mindlessly Eating was an interesting & informative book about the psychology of eating & food choices. It reinforces the idea that the best 'diet' is the one you don't know you're on (p219) & it gives practical tips for how you can turn the mindless margin to your advantage, to easily lose weight & eat healthier foods. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has struggled to stay slim, who wants to improve their own or their families nutrition or who is just curious about food ...more
This book is more about the psychology of why we eat the way we do than how we should eat or how to diet. Of course there are some suggestions along the way of how you can change your habits to diet without noticing.

There are a few times when the book does seem to vacillate between a psychology book and a diet advice book. I would actually lost that as being one of the weaknesses of the book. another weakness is that some of the introductions and transitions seem contrived.

Over all I really en
The main point of the book for my was that one cannot be continuously conscious of all the stimuli around that cause someone to behave impulsively. People eat food impulsively based on habit.

Some things one can do to eat less is
eat from smaller plates
drink from taller glasses (short glasses fool you)
Watch out for nutritional gatekeepers, people who set the tone of what is being eaten. In traditional families it would be the parent that does all the shopping for food.

Atkins Diet
Atkins diet worked
What I've learned so far: If someone can mindlessly eat more, they can mindlessly eat less as long as it's in the 1900 - 2100 calorie range.

It takes 3500 extra calories to add a pound, whether you eat them in a week or an entire year.

Don't deny yourself your comfort foods. You'll only want them more. Just make small changes. Eat 20% less of a comfort food and try to replace that with veggies.
Schon einmal Nachschlag genommen, obwohl sich längst ein Sättigungsgefühl eingestellt hatte? Den Rest vom Kuchen aufgegessen, obwohl er nicht (mehr) schmeckte? Warum essen wir weiter, obwohl wir satt sind oder es gar nicht schmeckt? Weil unsere Umgebung uns Signale und Hinweise gibt, denen wir unbewusst folgen. Doch wir sind ihnen nicht hilflos ausgeliefert, wenn wir uns diese bewusst machen. Wie wir diese aufdecken, wird vom Brian Wansink verraten, einen Professor für Marketing und Ernährung.
Kohl Gill
It's a decent review of the pop science on eating. One warning, though: Wansink writes in a very industry-friendly way, disregarding the idea that junk food is addictive, or that there is any way to tax foods to change behavior. This may be because he's not a neurologist or an economist; in any case, he shouldn't comment on food policy without this kind of understanding.
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Brian Wansink is an American professor in the fields of consumer behavior and nutritional science and is currently serving as the Executive Director of the USDA's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP), which is charged with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines and with promoting the Food Guide Pyramid (MyPyramid).

Wansink is best known for his work on consumer behavior and food and for popularizi
More about Brian Wansink...
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“The best diet is the one you don't know you're on.” 13 likes
“We overeat because there are signals and cues around us that tell us to eat. It’s simply not in our nature to pause after every bite and contemplate whether we’re full. As we eat, we unknowingly—mindlessly—look for signals or cues that we’ve had enough.” 0 likes
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