Brian Wansink loaned me the title for this article. I borrowed it from his forthcoming book, Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More That We Think.
The book, which I read in galley proofs, is not only great research but also great writing. I hope that it will be a best-seller, and I have every expectation that it will be. Bantam Books will publish it as a hardcover on October 17 for $25, ISBN 978-0-553-80434-8. You can pre-order it now from Amazon.com .
Professor Wansink, the director of Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab, has spent 20 years studying the hidden cues that determine how we eat. He has worked on more that 250 studies and has written more than 100 journal articles about our eating behavior.
He told me about his new book when I corresponded with him about one of those studies. I reported on that study, “Size Matters,” here .
The book is every bit as useful and interesting as that study of the cues that we get from the size of the bowls and silverware that we use. That ...
When I eat too fast, I eat too much. I knew that, but until now I haven’t been able to help it. Now Juan Ramirez has come to my help. In March I wrote here about “ Eating Too Fast ” and some of the strategies I use. After that article, Juan wrote me about his invention to help us slow down at the table. When we eat slowly, we can avoid overeating and therefore can control our diabetes better. But some of us eat fast because we like our meals to be hot rather than lukewarm. I know that’s my excuse. Now, however, the great food cool off is no longer inevitable. I know this because I bought one of the “HotSmart Gourmet Plates” that Juan Ramirez invented and wrote me about. “I am pre-diabetic myself and I am convinced that eating slowly works to avoid overeating, preventing obesity and type 2 diabetes,” Juan emailed me. “My heat-retentive plates keep food warm, need only one minute preheating, and stay hot for more than 30 minutes. The rim ...
How much we eat matters. It determines our size, which in turn is the most important part of controlling our diabetes.
But what determines how much we eat? It can’t be just because we are hungry, since almost everyone overeats sometimes. We get cues from our environment.
The good news is that we can control one of these cues, which gives us a simple way to guide ourselves to eating less. For a long time some dieters have assumed that this cue works. Now we have the scientific proof that it does.
The size of the bowls that we eat out of and the size of the spoons that we use to serve ourselves matters. Most of us can use smaller bowls and spoons to help ourselves better control how much we eat. On the other hand, people who need to put on weight can use bigger bowls and spoons.
It’s just an illusion. But even when we know that it is an illusion it can help us. After learning about this research, I have shifted from serving myself in big bowls to small bowls and on dinner plates...
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