I am in the process of transcribing the enthralling interview I conducted with Mindless Eating author Brian Wansink this past Friday morning.
In the meantime, I want to share a little bit of what Dr. Wansink presented later in the afternoon when he addressed 150 New York University students and faculty members about details of his research.
His talk, titled "How To Turn Mindless Eating Into Healthy Eating," encouraged professionals in the nutrition field to shake up the traditional research model that commences in isolation in a laboratory and instead begin by thinking about human application first (rather than leaving it for last).
It is precisely this alternative research model that led Dr. Wansink to become a pioneer in the science of consumer behavior as it relates to diet and nutrition.
One of the most important phenomena he encountered during his research was the ripple effect one small change can have on individuals.
In one recent study, Dr. Wansink and his team recruited individuals to take on one small nutrition-related change -- such as eating on smaller plates or not eating in front of the television -- for 90 days.
While collecting data, Dr. Wansink observed that the vast majority of these people (roughly 70 percent) were losing weight in increasing amounts each month. Weight loss was not occurring at a steady rate, but actually doubling -- and even quadrupling -- in many instances.
What was happening? Was the "small plate" group shrinking plate size even more? No -- they simply began to implement more changes when they saw how painless their first behavioral modification was!
A month into eating from smaller plates (and, therefore, almost mindlessly consuming less food), most of that cohort noticed the accompanying weight loss and thought, "Hey, this is painless! I'll keep doing this AND cut down my soda consumption."
As a result, Dr. Wansink has seen many individuals lose up to thirty pounds in the course of one year without ever feeling like they had "started a diet" or "sacrificed everything."
Stop by tomorrow to read my full interview with Dr. Wansink!