Dr. Brian Wansink, the author of Mindless Eating has claimed that if people think more about what they eat, they would lose significant amount of weight, rather than being on a diet.
Having established the Food and Brand Lab in 1997, the food scientist states that there is a 'mindless margin' where people consume about 200 to 300 kcals a day without being aware, and this could add up to 10 pounds over a year. It is this mindless margin that must be tackled by being more conscious of what we eat.
The best way to get around this problem is to only eat food which tastes "good", says Wansink, which he admits is "harder than you'd think". He adds, "Don't take 'good enough' as being the benchmark, it has to be 'good'. That can help a lot."
Studies have proved that people depend on external signals and social cues, not on what their bodies tell them, to stop eating. If they are with a bigger group, they would eat 80 per cent more than they normally do.
According to Wansink, the key to tackling overeating is to understand how your mind works. There are ways to avoid or ignore the signals which push you to overeat. For example, if it is pleasant association which makes you to 'comfort eat', then have pleasant associations with healthier foods. Or, if you overeat because food is easily accessible, then make healthier options within reach.
As Wansink explains, "The key to solving mindless eating is to make small changes in your environment so you mindlessly eat less, rather than mindlessly overeat."
Called the Sherlock Holmes of Food, he states, "I show the real answers [to overeating] are environmental cues that we can control. If you remember Holmes always had a simple answer but one that wasn't obvious."