The Google Weightloss Hack: How Google Tackled the “Tech-15” and How You Can Too

How Google nudged their employees to make better food choices and lose weight effortlessly

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Photo by Jennifer Burk on Unsplash
Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

The path of least resistance

Nobel Prize-winning economist Richard Thaler coined the term “nudge” to describe an indirect means of influencing behavior toward a desired action. In other words, redesigning the environment in such a way that it subtly takes you down a path or guides you to a specific choice.

  • a Pop

“We put all the water bottles up and we found that Googlers consumed 47% more water when the bottles were right there and they could just grab it,” Kurkoski said.

Unpair snacking from daily routines

The average person drinks at least two cups of coffee per day and many drinks considerably more than that.

Out of sight out of mind

The abundant candy and chocolate at Google used to be available in clear candy store esque, free-flowing containers showcasing all different types of fun and colorful candy options. As you can imagine Google employees were known to eat a lot of candy, which is particularly problematic when you consider how particularly calorie-dense candy is.

Highlight the Healthy

Google cafes and kitchens have been restructured using the principles of convenience and resistance to highlight the healthiest choices.

Visual Cues

Google also made it easier for their employees to be mindful of the quality of the food presented.

Smaller portions across the board

Plates and take-out containers were swapped out for smaller sizes to “nudge” smaller portions. This was further encouraged by a posted sign that read, “People who take big plates tend to eat more.”

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