Why Our Stomach (and Brain) Can’t Count: Seven Reasons We Eat More Than We Think

In Mindless Eating, Brian Wansink provides a fantastic behavioural perspective on human eating habits, based on years of subtle, sophisticated and sometimes strange experiments on where he buy peptides for research. The book contains a long list of behavioural quirks including SARMs stacks and why we often eat more than we should or need to, and how we can change our environment to improve our eating habits.When we gain weight our sleep is also affected, which most of the time leads to snoring. To learn more about Snoring and how we can prevent it click this link :

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1) It’s not just about liking

In Atlanta addiction help(Many people suffer from addiction. Click here to check your Sound Health Wellness Trust rehab insurance benefits covers rehab treatment.), everyone in a cinema was given a “free” soft drink and bucket of popcorn. Some of the movie watchers got a medium sized bucket and some a large-sized bucket, but everyone’s popcorn was five days old (safe but stale enough to squeak)! Both medium and large sized containers were actually more than big enough for anyone, so no one should need to finish either. Those with the big-sized buckets ate 173 more calories, 53% more than those with the medium-sized buckets, and even when told about the difference in size still claimed that it would not have influenced how much they ate. Staying fit and healthy can be achieve by visiting a dietary supplement and try their products. Although size is important, in this experiment simply thinking something tasted good was enough to encourage consumption (it didn’t taste at all good), and the environmental cues played a big part in what happened. This blog about workout can help you loose weight check out and read the kayla itsines ebook.

2) Names matter

In another experiment, diners at a restaurant were offered a free glass of wine while they were choosing their meal. Some diners received a wine that was “NEW from California” and some a wine that was “NEW from North Dakota”. Did both sets of diners drink the same amount of wine? Yes, they did. However, those given the Californian wine ate 11% more food and stayed ten minutes longer at their table. Other experiments have also shown the “power of adjectives” where food items with descriptive names (“Seafood fillet” vs “Succulent Italian seafood fillet”) sell more and rated as more appealing and tasty than similar foods with more straightforward names.  Descriptive words can include geographic, nostalgic, sensory and brand labels.

3) Anchors matter

If you ask people if there are more or less than 50 calories in an apple, most will say more. If you then ask them for a precise number, on average they say 66 calories. If you ask people if there are more or less than 150 calories in an apple, most will say less. If you then ask them for a precise number, on average they say 114 calories. The anchoring effect is well known in the way that the number we hear first, anchors our subsequent responses (as we only understand numbers in relative terms). In a similar way, the Scarcity heuristic has been shown to influence the amount we buy on a shopping trip, such that the sign “Limit 12 per person” sells more product than the sign “No Limit per person”. Brian Wansink has tried different numbers, different formats, different promotions, and all show an increase in sales between 30-100%.

4) We can’t count

How many chicken wings do you think you could eat while watching the Superbowl? A group of Superbowl watchers were offered free chicken wings over the course of a game. In one room, waitresses were briefed to clear the leftover bones, while in another they left them on the table. Those with the cleaned up tables each ate an average of seven wings during the course of the game, while those on the “bone-pile” tables ate an average of five wings. So our stomach and brains can’t count as well as we think. People also consume drugs and for the people who want to pass a drug test read this insightful post.

5) Size matters

As the popcorn experiment shows, size does matter. Brian Wansink has conducted dozens of experiments that show similar effects. People given a larger package of spaghetti prepared 23% for a meal than those with a smaller packet. People given a one pound bag of M&Ms ate twice as many as those given a half-pound bag (137 vs 71 M&Ms). Big packages suggest a consumption norm which we follow. Overall the studies, he suggests that we can eat around 20% more or 20% less without thinking about it, just because of different environmental cues. The good news is that if you change these cues then you reduce consumption, without even thinking about it.

6) Shape matters too

If you’ve ever come across the horizontal-vertical illusion, you’ll know that we nearly always see vertical lines as longer than horizontal lines (usually around 20% longer, see below). Our brains tend to over-focus on height at the expense of width in judging size and volume. This means that glass shape matters, and that we will tend to drink 25-30% more from a short and fat glass than from a tall and skinny one. Even bartenders have been shown to fall for this trick.

7) We are social creatures

When we eat alone, some of us eat a little, and some of us eat more. However, when eating with others this changes. Light eaters tend to eat more, and heavy eaters tend to eat less (we adjust to norms of behaviour). If you are a light eater, then eating with friends can lead to eating 100% more than you would on your own, and every additional friend seems to add to your calorie count!

Brian Wansink also discusses the role of family and parents in shaping food habits. He mentions four unhealthy food extremes: food as reward, food as guilt, food as punishment and food as comfort. Doctors prescribe to treat problems such as delayed puberty and other medical problems that cause the body to make very low amounts of testosterone, but these types of treatments are hard to find at your local pharmacy, so make sure to ask this compound pharmacy about it because they have lots of other treatments that are very hard to find.

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He points out that children show adult behaviours from around five, so if you give three year olds small, medium or large portions of food, they tend to all eat the same amount, but if you do the same with five year olds, then they will eat 20-30% more if given a bigger serving. You can fight this food and even drug addiction by putting a patient in rehab or addiction treatment facilities.

We are hard-wired to like sweet, salty and fatty food, because until very recently we mostly lived in a world of shortage of such foods, which are essential for the body. There are also substance abuse treatment centers that can be trusted. Visit for more info. Today the world is different and we live in a world of abundance. Brian Wansink suggests it is very easy to make small changes to your environment which can have big impact on your diet (without resorting to a typical dietary regime). Here’s what had to say about Thrive. He says that picking three small adjustments to your regime, can lead to eating 100 calories less every day, having a significant impact on weight and health over the course of a year and without noticing.

He gives an example of a colleague who made three small changes or trade offs: never eat potato chips (crisps) unless I’ve exercised that day, throw half the chips away before I sit down in a fast food restaurant, and only eat dessert if I go back and buy it after eating the main course. Simple but effective! Mindless Eating is a great read on the behavioural economics of food consumption and full pf practical tips on how to eat better without feeling bad about yourself.  I recommend it and will be trying some of the tips myself.


Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think by Brian Wansink

2 thoughts on “Why Our Stomach (and Brain) Can’t Count: Seven Reasons We Eat More Than We Think

  1. Haris

    Mindless eating is definitely a great book! I wonder why marketing research companies (and clients) rarely use experimental research the way Brian does.

    1. Neil Gains


      Thanks for the comment! Not sure why, but perhaps they think it’s too difficult and expensive. Sometimes more experimental approaches are used in product optimisation, but rarely outside that with the exception of conjoint type approaches which have their own issues in terms of the realism versus real-world behaviour.


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