Monday, November 10, 2014

You must read Slim By Design & Giveaway

Whenever I am asked food or nutrition books I recommend, Mindless Eating tops my list. So when I learned that Brian Wansink has a second book out, called Slim by Design I couldn’t wait to read it. That’s actually an understatement, I felt like a groupie who had to get their hands on that brand new album. The premise of this book and much of Wansink’s research is that our environment (think kitchens, offices etc.) influences the way we eat. From the opening lines of the book “becoming slim by design works better than trying to become slim by willpower. It’s easier to change your eating environment that to change your mind.” And the book is a page-turner (what, you don’t think that’s possible with a book about eating?) there’s humor and anecdotes, my family was making fun of me because I couldn’t put it down.

Some of my favorite lessons were:
  • In buffet situations slim dinners scan all the options first, seat themselves as far away from the food as possible and do not face toward the food. Think about this the next time you’re in a cafeteria, food court or holiday (ahem) situation
  • It’s probably not ideal to change too many things about your eating at once.  People most successful losing weight focused on a couple of changes but followed through on these at least 25 days a month. 

  • Clear counter clutter, all food, except for fruit, should live behind closed doors. The most dangerous counter food? Cold cereal (which is also an LBT break up food).  If you haven’t broken up, you should know that women who have cold cereal visible in their kitchens weight 21 pounds more than those who do not.
  • As far as the dinner table the only serving bowl that should strategically stay on the table is the salad bowl. The others should stay on the stove or counter top so access isn’t as easy.
  • Wansink explains that the size of your dinner plates influence what you eat. The ideal size is 9 to 10 inches (or less). My son and I took a ruler to our plate, 11 inches. That night, we used salad plates for dinner. We had Indian food (my son who measured the plates joked that with a small plate he had much more of a mess) but I noticed there was more food left over.
  • When you’re at the supermarket try the “half-cart” rule. Put your purse or jacket at the midline of the cart. One half of the cart should be produce and the other can be dry goods. And another trick, chewing gum short circuits cravings because we can’t imagine the “sensory details of crunchy chips or creamy ice cream.” I’m not a gum fan, wondering if a mint will work as well or if it’s the chewing action?
There are sections on cafeteria eating that I felt applied more to organizations than individuals but I could list a couple dozen other tips I jotted down while reading.
And the best news? Slim by Design has a signed copy of the book for one lucky reader.
To be eligible for the giveaway, by Sunday 11/16
Comment below
Tweet @Foodtrainers has a @slimbydesign #giveaway

What are your favorite nutrition books? Are you familiar with Mindless eating? Anything except for fruit on your countertop?


  1. Love the concepts presented here (I checked out the website), but definitely want to read the book! Currently I have a bag of onions & a spaghetti squash on my counter! One of my favorite nutrition books has to be Pollan's Food Rules!

  2. This book sounds great. I tried to tweet, hope it worked. Only none veg/fruit on my counter is quinoa, and chia in pretty containers, and coffee pods.

  3. Would love to read this and there is no food on my countertops. Of course my favorite nutrition book is Little Book of Thin:)>

  4. Sounds like a great read! Just downloaded Mindless Eating. Thanks for the recommendation.

  5. Let me know what you think Kristen, actually enough new here in this book that both work a read. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Ahhh best answer.

  7. ok you're entered Nina (if you tweeted) thanks for commenting.

  8. Watch out for those coffee pods in a weak moment (love that coffee went in the "food" category).

  9. Love food rules and like Randi above (and her coffee pods) I'm pretty sure it's better to have onions than cold cereal on the countertops. My dog food is safe too.

  10. Sounds like a really good book. I once read an article that said that if you want to be thin, do things that thin people do. Things that you mention (like cereal in the cabinet, or not in the house at all, and the buffet situation) are really good examples. The only food on my countertop is fruit. Mostly because I hate clutter, but it's partly a conscious effort to keep only healthy foods within arms' reach.
    Alas, I won't be winning because I do not tweet - but I may put this on my holiday wish list!

  11. Already on my Amazon Wish List, so I'll leave a comment and hope to win! :-) All great take aways from the book that you shared! We pretty much do them all, and I think the tip to change only a few habits at once is spot on. Confession: I have cookies on my counter top, but they're made w/ beans and pecans, and I'm pretty good at only eating one each day. Mostly :-)

  12. Great tips! Interestingly, my European dinnerware from Ikea fits the "ideal" measurements you mention... When I lived in France, I often heard that a painless solution to drop weight was to eat with dessert plates.