Weight Loss and Food Choice: 200 Food Decisions a Day

According to the Director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, Brian Wansink, PhD, we make 200 different food decisions a day.

No, that’s not a typo. I did mean “200.”

Think of all the food choices we have: whether or not to eat that dessert, whether to have a snack before dinner, whether to drink that small half-bottle of soda or go for the large one, whether to super-size my coffee, whether to add mayo to my sandwich.

I could go on forever.

Think about the food choices that you’ve already made today. I bet that even if you’re reading this blog first thing in the morning, you’ve already made a handful (or more) of food decisions.

At the time, some of these food choices must seem pretty minor, yet in retrospect, this may not be the case.

Take the snack that you ate recently. Did you eat a prepackaged serving or did you eat right from the box/carton/bag?

If you prepackaged the serving, you probably ate less than if you ate right from the larger container.

Why? Because Wansink’s research has shown that (1) we aren’t very good at “guestimating” a serving size and (2) the eating of a prepackaged snack generally provides us with a visual cue that we’re finished.

Without this visual cue, we are more likely to continue eating – for example, rather than eating just 3 cookies, we may finish the row of cookies, which would then be the visual cue to stop eating.

Now, let me ask you this . . . how would thinking about exercise affect your choice of how much to eat? The operative word here is thinking about exercise. Would that affect your choice?

You need to see this video.

I found these food studies so intriguing that I asked Dr. Wansink to be a part of our Teleseminar Series on Mind-Body Medicine. In this series we covering:

• We Make 200 Food Choices a Day: Help Your Patients Make the Right Ones
• Food Psychology: Why We Eat What We Eat
• How Environmental Cues Guide our Food Choices
• The Mindless Margin: How to Lose Weight Mindlessly
• How to Mindlessly Eat Better

You can find out more information and sign up for the series by clicking here.

What types of food choices are most detrimental to your patients’ health? Please leave a comment below.


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  3. Andy says:

    Good post, thanks for sharing. I am looking forward to reading more in the future. Andy

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  5. Joan Bell says:

    Thanks for sharing this information. I was actually speaking with a client yesterday about how we are personally affected when we enter an “all you can eat” buffet. We both agreed that the amount of food on display actually turned us off eating.

    Mindless eating, I agree is one of the major factors in obesity and overweight in today’s society. The methods mentioned here are key to making positive changes.

    I look forward to the rest of the series.

    Joan Bell,

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