Hi there, Mamas! I’ve recently finished reading Slim by Design by Dr. Brian Wansink. Dr. Wansink is a researcher and professor who studies consumer behaviors regarding food.
The book details information that he has learned over years of research on small changes people make in their homes, workplaces, and schools. It even covers tips to discuss with your favorite restaurants and grocery stores. Many tips, tricks, and tweaks that can help make people and communities “slim by design,” while restaurants and grocery stores continue to be profitable.
This book covers so many topics and I won’t spoil them all for you, but I will share a few of my favorites – and encourage you to pick up your own copy of the book and join in the Slim by Design movement in your own community.
1) The first one I already covered in my post A Healthy See-Food Diet. Clearing your counters of clutter can help make the space more accessible for cooking (rather than munching on ready-made food). Also ridding your counter tops of cereal, cookies, and soda (regular or diet) is helpful to reduce excess weight. Adding a fruit bowl can help, too – people who have a fruit bowl on their counters tend to weigh less than those who don’t.
2) Bring your lunch. This seems like such an overused tip. “Bringing your lunch helps your wallet and your waistline!” While that is true it never necessarily made sense to me why that was. It’s not like everyone who brings their lunch is an inherently healthy eater. However, Brian’s explanation made so much sense! People who bring their lunch tend to pack it either after dinner the night before or after breakfast in the morning. They pack it right after they eat. This may seem like a minor detail, but because lunch-packers tend to do so even they’re full, they are more likely to think with their heads and less likely to be thinking with their stomachs. People who buy their lunch, on the other hand, tend to either go to the cafeteria or restaurant when they are ready to eat. They are hungry! What sounds better when your stomach is eating itself: A mouth-watering, hunger-crushing bacon cheeseburger and fries, or grilled chicken with a garden salad? It’s so much easier to make a healthy choice if you’ve already done so when you weren’t starving. Mind. Blown.
3) Divide your cart while grocery shopping. Make half of it for fruits and vegetables and half for all other foods. People who do this buy twice as many fruits and vegetables as people who don’t divide their cart. Not only is this helpful to encourage people to eat more produce (you have to buy it before you eat it), but it limits the amount of less nutritious foods you can add to your cart, as well. It also fits in great for those using the Plate Method when eating – “make half of your plate fruits and vegetables.” You’ve already won half the battle since you’ve purchased half fruits and vegetables.
4) Be picky about where you sit at a restaurant. People who were seated in a well-lit area or near a window were much more likely to order a salad. Those in the back or a darker area of the restaurant were prone to ordering dessert. People who sit by the bar tend to order more caloric (alcoholic) drinks, and those by televisions ordered more fried foods. Even if you’re not able to choose exactly where you sit while dining out, being mindful of these trends may prime you to make a healthier choice.