The National Mindless Eating Challenge

Last year I blogged about (and recommended) Brian Wansink’s book Mindless Eating: Why we eat more than we think . The book has great insights, tips and strategies for curbing eating we don’t even know that we do. It’s really an interesting and helpful read and an invaluable tool if your goals are to have more control and awareness of your eating.

Now, in conjunction with the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, Brian is offering another great (free!) resource: The National Mindless Eating Challenge.

When you sign up for the challenge (did I mention that it’s free?), you fill out a brief survey about yourself, your goals, and your lifestyle. As the website says, this isn’t a challenge based on height and weight and BMI, it’s about taking steps that allow you to become more mindful of the way you eat, and make food choices that leave you feeling healthy, and give you the energy you want to have.

The program allows you to choose from a variety of goals. Again, this is not a weight loss challenge, although you could definitely use it to develop some habits that will help you lose weight. Don’t tell anyone, but I chose “improve my family’s health without their knowledge” as my primary challenge goal.

Once you’ve completed the survey, you will receive concrete suggestions about how to make small, relevent changes to your behavior that are customized to your survey responses. The program provides a checklist that you can use to track progress, periodic emails, and new challenges each month. I like the way the program had me chose achievable goals and actually asked me to do some strategizing around potential hurdles I might face in achieving them.

Finally, I love this quote from the Mindless Eating Challenge website:

“Food is such an important part of our life and our world, it shouldn’t be the source of frustration and concern that it is to so many people. Our hope is that we can help you (and your family) make small, painless changes that can help you eat better and enjoy food more.”

I’ve just started the challenge, but so far I give it two thumbs up!


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