Mindless Eating–Brian Wansink


This is a great book. The author is a food researcher and basically, unless you are consciously thinking about every bite you ever eat, you have no idea what you are doing. You may think you’re making decisions for yourself but nope nope nope, you are not.

For example, if you’re watching a movie and eating popcorn, you’re eating more than you think. If the container is bigger, you’re eating more, even if the popcorn is terrible.

If you’re eating in the dark, you might not know what the hell you’re eating. That strawberry yogurt might be chocolate yogurt, actually.

Basically, this is a fun book to read and tell your friends about how you’re all so easily tricked by your environment, but the biggest takeaway for me, diet-wise, is that your body does not really feel a 20-30 percent difference in calories either way. In other words, you can eat about 30 percent more calories than you normally do without realizing it and gain about 10 pounds in a year, or you can cut yourself back that much and lose that much without even noticing it.

Which explains what happened when I took that desk job where you could get homemade waffles every Friday for a dollar in the cafeteria. It did not go well for my weight, is my point.

This is not, despite what the other people on the internet seem to think, a diet book. This is mostly a psychology book, about the psychology of how we make decisions, specifically about food. Each chapter DOES have some take-aways on how to apply that chapter’s information can help you improve your diet and weight situation, but it’s not really a diet book. Don’t go into this thinking you’re going to lose a bunch of weight immediately. Take it for what it is.

It is really interesting and fun, though.


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