Encouraging ‘Mindless Eating’

I have just finished reading the book Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think and I can’t recommend it enough. This book is not only for anyone who has ever struggled with their weight. It gives valuable insight into what external cues motivate people to eat/drink or not. This is perfect for the household shopper and cook who wants to get their family to eat a little healthier. It’s terrific for the host who wants their guests to be impressed with their visit. It’s even great for the closet psychologist who is secretly fascinated with what makes people tick.

Not only that, it’s life changing. I’m personally invested in this book. Allow me to tell you my story…

My story…

Eight weeks ago today I, along with some 30 other participants, embarked on a weight loss endeavor to be the biggest loser among us. Upon submitting my $10 participation fee and start weight of a portly 174.2lbs (39.1% Body Fat), I committed myself to a veritable Brewsters Millions of caloric deficit and expenditure. 16 pounds and 2 months later, I feel good…but I’m getting an eerie sensation of déjà vu.

Déjà wha-?!

Over a year and a half ago I had a successful weight loss experience, I started out at around 175lbs and with the support of my friends and family I got my weight down to 150lbs. And I felt good. Then I proceeded to gain each and every blasted pound back. All within a year.


How could I lose weight and then gain it all back so quickly? The reason is that in my calorie spending spree, I was depriving myself of the things I loved. Passing on the things I craved. Denying myself the relaxation I desired, instead pounding away at the gym. I was relying on willpower to achieve my goal. willpower is unnatural. It’s what people force themselves to do in extreme situations. willpower is NOT sustainable! Sure, you can do it for a while, but at some point, you will return to what is natural to you. And you’ll not only return to what’s natural, you’ll compensate for all the deprivation by binging and wallowing in a sedentary lifestyle. This is not good!

The solution…

Oh, thank goodness, there’s a solution. The solution is to create caloric deficit, without feeling deprived. This is where the Brian Wansink’s Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think comes in. Through a series of studies, Brian and his colleagues found secrets to eating behaviors that their subjects were not even aware of. We all know that feeling of surprise when your fingers scrape the bottom of the popcorn tub. The knowledge that you’ve just mindlessly eaten 1,650 calories without even tasting it. This book tells you how to mindlessly eat better. I suspect this book will be the most worthwhile $10.08 I’ll spend this year. I strongly encourage you to consider reading it. You can buy it on Amazon. I’d lend it to you, but I’ve already given my copy to Liz.