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If a food expert opened up your kitchen cabinets and got a good look at the snacks you eat on a daily basis, what would those snacks reveal about your personality? Well, we found out when we asked food psychologist Brian Wansink, Ph.D., author of “Mindless Eating” and the upcoming book, “Slim by Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life,” to take a peek at the snacks YouBeauty editors reach for on the regular. Based on photos of our munchies of choice, Wansink weighed in on what our snacks say about our eating habits and personalities and even guessed our weight, carnival-style—without ever having met us. How accurate was he? Find out.
Valerie Fischel, YouBeauty Creative Manager
Wansink’s take: “This person leads a more balanced life and has fewer mood swings during the week than most others. A more disciplined and focused person, she probably spends less time thinking (i.e. obsessing) about food throughout the day than most other people in their profession. She’s a calm, but energetic and happy person.”
Wansink’s weight guess: 8 pounds lower than actual weight
Valerie’s response: “Dr. Wansink is pretty on point with his analysis of my snacks and lifestyle. I also get hungry all the time, so I feel like I do obsess about food all day in general, but I don’t calorie count—just try to avoid the bad stuff and eat the good stuff. I am very happy and energetic and like to think of myself as balanced and mood-swing free, so giving myself credit for that, I’d say he nailed it.”
Laura Kenney, YouBeauty Editor-in-Chief
Wansink’s take: “This person has a more balanced lifestyle, probably with a spouse and children. Instead of eating foods to simply not be hungry, this person eats to feel satisfied. I think she is less prone to food regrets compared to many of her co-workers and possible friends.”
Wansink’s weight guess: 15 pounds higher than actual weight
Laura’s response: "What gave away the kids—the string cheese or the Nutella?! Having kids in general has made me a much more balanced eater. I used to have bare cupboards, but now it's important to have a smorgasbord of healthy choices and lots of fruit, and I'm benefitting hugely from this, too!"
Rachel Grumman Bender, YouBeauty Health Editor
Wansink’s take: “This person is a continuous snack grazer. They are highly portion controlled and probably use unit-based rules of thumb to control what they eat rather than calorie counting. This can be a successful strategy during the week, but it often falls apart during weekends, and I’d guess this person would weigh two to three pounds more every Sunday night than they do Friday morning.”
Wansink’s weight guess: 14 pounds lower than actual weight
Rachel’s response: “He’s spot on about my being a ‘grazer’—I love to munch on a variety of most-healthy snacks throughout the day and try to be mindful of my portions, but on weekends, I tend to snack more and indulge on Saturday night dates with my husband.”
Amanda Schupak, YouBeauty Science Editor
Wansink’s take: “She eats lots of fiber-fillers that focus more on a drive to feel full on as few calories as possible. There’s going to be a lot of reliance on eating out, and this restrained eating style is going to be difficult to sustain once this person is married and even more so if little kids come along. A solution would be super-high fiber whole grains, extra firm tofu, and heavy spices—try curry cubes and new salsas.”
Wansink’s weight guess: 13 pounds lower than actual weight
Amanda’s response: “Restraint is not my strong suit—and that's exactly why I'm very careful about what snacks I keep at home. I don't really have an off switch and can't be trusted around sweets of any kind. Hence, this finicky taste spectrum of quasi-nutritious filler foods.”
Courtney Dunlop, YouBeauty Executive Editor
Wansink’s take: “A life-long city person, she is a very brand-conscious individual, probably in terms of clothing preferences and more. Although independent-minded in many ways, this person can also be a fad-surfer. She has a reasonably higher need for social approval, which could lead her to enjoy foods less than they otherwise might.”
Wansink’s weight guess: 10 pounds lower than actual weight
Courtney’s response: “His analysis is so funny! I’ve been in New York City for 13 years but was always a city girl at heart. I’ve never considered myself a fad-surfer, but then again, I did try a juice cleanse even though I knew I’d hate it. Brand-conscious—I could see that. I have some snobbery in me. And he’s right about not enjoying food as much as I could. Spot on, actually.”
Amy Marturana, YouBeauty Editorial Assistant
Wansink’s take: “This points toward a stronger start in the morning, less crankiness before noon, and generally healthier lunches when you do decide to eat out. I’m suspecting there’s a lot of desktop lunches or even skipped lunches. In general, this shows a balanced and healthier view toward eating and toward life. Not much of a dinner entertainer, but this is a person who’s fun to eat out with.”
Wansink’s weight guess: 6 pounds lower than actual weight
Amy’s response: “A good breakfast is definitely important to me, and I am indeed a desktop luncher—I love to cook and eat healthy food, so I will usually bring leftovers to eat for lunch. However, he was off on one thing: I would never dream of skipping lunch!”
Julie Giusti, YouBeauty Social Media Manager
Wansink’s take: “Everything here seems to point toward eating few calories at home, but that’s not always good news. If there’s not a lot protein at home—especially for breakfast—this can lead to an overdependence on eating out. I’d estimate her to be a very hungry girl.”
Wansink’s weight guess: 10 pounds lower than actual weight
Julie’s response: “He’s spot on! I rely on takeout way too much because I never stock up on the basics and plan out my meals. This guy is like the snack whisperer.”
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