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
Tweet @Foodtrainers has a @slimbydesign #giveaway http://foodtrainers.blogspot.com/2014/11/you-must-read-slim-by-design-and.html
What are your favorite nutrition books? Are you familiar with Mindless eating? Anything except for fruit on your countertop?