Obesity expert Brian Wansink says the secret to weight loss isn’t starvation dieting, but adjusting your environment to prevent mindless eating.
Wansink has studied eating habits for years as the director of the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University. He said how much you eat is often dictated by your environment.
“For 90% of us, the solution to mindless eating is not mindful eating. Our lives are just too crazy and our willpower’s too wimpy,” he wrote in his new book, Slim by Design: Mindless Eating Solutions.
Wansink said restaurants and supermarkets intentionally design their layouts to induce you to eat and spend more. Not surprisingly, the corporate emphasis on the bottom line has resulted in ever-increasing waistlines among consumers.
Wansink previously discussed how mindless eating has contributed to the epidemic of obesity in his bestseller, Mindless Eating.
For instance, a person who has potato chips on their kitchen counter is likely to weight 9 pounds more than a person who doesn’t.
Similarly, having soda in your kitchen can cause you to weigh 25 pounds more than a person who doesn’t.
Wansink also noted that people who walk through their kitchen first when they come home are likely to weigh more than those who enter their house through another room.
Another way to be “slim by design” is eat from a smaller plate or a plate that’s a different color than your food. You’re likely to eat 18% more if your plate matches the color of your meal, Wansink’s research shows.
Also, simply keeping food off your kitchen counter (out of sight, out of mind) helps you eat much less than if snacks are placed visibly throughout your home.
You’re five times more likely to eat the first thing you see than the third thing, so you should keep healthy snacks instead of junk food visible on your kitchen counter, especially if you have children. These little tips can add up to inches and pounds over the course of months and years.
Fortunately, little adjustments are all it takes to take control of your weight and your life, said Dr. Wansink. Find out more of his weight loss tips in Slim by Design.