December Blogs

What is Mindful Eating?

 by Coleen Nolan, RD

Mindful eating is a way of eating that connects us with hunger and fullness cues (physical and other types of hunger), allowing us to choose foods for their satisfaction and nutritional value, while cultivating flexibility, curiosity and self-acceptance.

 

This lifestyle choice is based on living mindfully.  One definition of mindfulness is: “a cognitive state, marked by attentional stability [or awareness], that disengages habitual reactions, allowing inner wisdom to emerge” (Kristeller, n.d.).  Put more simply, being mindful means being in the present moment, without judgement.  

Mindful Eating - It makes sense, but does it really work?

 by Coleen Nolan, RD

In last week’s article, you were introduced to the concept of mindfulness as a state of awareness, without judgement. When we practice mindful eating, we use our inner wisdom, (our awareness of hunger and fullness cues, stress level, feelings, etc.) combined with our outer wisdom (what we know about healthy eating and lifestyle).

 

But does mindful eating really work?  

Mindful Eating: The 7 Types of Hunger

 by Coleen Nolan, RD

Last week, we reviewed some exciting research that showed a mindful eating program achieved similar beneficial results compared to an established diabetes self-care program in a group of adults with type 2 diabetes.   However, this has yet to answer the question how do you eat mindfully?

 

One place to start is with hunger.  According to pediatrician and mindful eating proponent Jan Chozen Bays  there are 7 types of hunger.  

How to Eat Mindfully

 by Coleen Nolan, RD

Previously, we reviewed the 7 kinds of hunger, which are described in more detail in Jan Chozen Bays’ book, “Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food”. You may recall these include: eye, nose, mouth, cellular, stomach, heart and mind hungers. When we practice mindful eating, we focus on which type of hunger(s) is/are involved, and assess the extent of each type. This, like most healthy habits, requires regular practice. Although it is straight-forward in theory, putting the principles of mindful eating into regular practice is no easy task. 

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