This extraordinary book explores how food psychology (and the marketing experts who use it to their advantage) affects how we eat—and how we can work to fight our own mindless eating. As the author writes, “This book is about reengineering your environment so that you can eat what you want to eat without guilt and without gaining weight.”
You’ve probably heard that the size of the plate that food is served on affects how you perceive the portion. That is, 6 ounces of food sitting on an 8-inch plate might look like an entrée serving, but like an appetizer when placed on a 12-inch plate. But did you know that leaving “food evidence” when eating at a buffet—for example, leaving Buffalo wing bones on the table instead of clearing them off—will serve as a cue of how much you’ve eaten and cut down your consumption considerably? Or that your brain is better able to estimate liquid amounts in tall, thin glasses than short, wide ones? Or that food companies infuse scents into their microwaveable packages to trick you into think that the food you’re heating up has more flavor than it really does?
Brian Wansick offers ingenious tips throughout the book to counteract these cues, which he says short-circuit the body’s natural hunger and taste signals. This is certainly no diet book, but incorporating some of the author’s “reengineering strategies” may help you cut unwanted calories while still living a “food life that is enjoyable and mindful.”
What we liked:
- The studies presented throughout the text are fascinating and make for an easy, fun read that just happens to educate you along the way.
- The concept of the “mindless margin” states that you can eat between 100 and 200 fewer calories than you normally would each day without the brain or body noticing the change. Using the author’s tips to eliminate even 100 calories a day would lead to a 10-pound weight loss in a year. And how do you eliminate those calories? Simply by keeping that candy on your office desk in an opaque container instead of a glass bowl!
What we didn't like:
October 9, 2009