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Edited by: EARTHSEAME at: 4/23/2020 (17:00)

 current weight: 164.0 
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A Look at the Research: 6 Proven Benefits of Eating Mindfully

Eating mindfully is not just a fad or a pet project promoted by its enthusiastic creator. It has proven benefits ranging from the physical (e.g., pounds lost) to the psychological (e.g., reduced anxiety about eating).

Here are a few of the ways mindful eating has been shown to be effective:

Does it Help with Weight Loss and Dieting?

The answer here is a resounding “yes!” Mindful eating is not only good for your mind, but it’s also good for your body too. Researchers have found a positive relationship between mindful eating and healthy eating. Trait mindfulness is associated with less impulsive eating, reduced calorie consumption, and healthier snack choices; further, results suggested that mindfulness is related to having a preference for healthier foods (Jordan, Wang, & Donatoni, 2014). Another study found that a mindfulness-based weight loss program led to greater mindfulness, cognitive restraint around eating, and significant decreases in weight, eating disinhibition, binge eating, depression, perceived stress, physical symptoms, and negative affect (Dalen, Smith, Shelley, Sloan, Leahigh, & Begay, 2010).

An intervention focused on mindful eating at restaurants proved to be effective in helping women manage their weight; women who participated in the intervention lost weight, lowered their average daily caloric intake and fat intake, and enjoyed increased diet-related self-efficacy (i.e., felt more confident about their ability to lose weight; Timmerman & Brown, 2012).

Can it Help Treat Eating Disorders?

Mindful eating is also an effective way to help those suffering from eating disorders.
A review of a mindfulness-based eating awareness training found that mindful eating can decrease the frequency of binge eating episodes, improve self-control when it comes to food, and reduce symptoms of depression in those with binge eating disorder (BED; Kristeller & Wolever, 2010).

Another review of 14 separate studies confirmed these results, showing that mindfulness is effective in reducing binge eating and emotional eating (Katterman, Kleinman, Hood, Nackers, & Corsica, 2014).

Finally, a mindful eating group used in conjunction with more traditional eating disorder treatment resulted in a reduction of disordered eating symptoms over a 10-week intervention (Hepworth, 2010).

Edited by: EARTHSEAME at: 4/23/2020 (16:59)

 current weight: 164.0 
4/21/20 2:19 P

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What is Mindful Eating?

According to researchers Celia Framson and colleagues, the creators of the Mindful Eating Questionnaire (more on that later), mindful eating can be defined as:
“… a non-judgmental awareness of physical and emotional sensations associated with eating”.

In other words, mindful eating is all about being aware of how we feel when we eat.

To break it down even further, there are four characteristics of mindful eating; when you are eating mindfully, you are:
1. Staying aware of what you are doing and the effects that it has on your body—both good and bad.
2. Using all of your sense in choosing and experiencing food that is both satisfying to you and nourishing to your body.
3. Acknowledging your responses to food based on your senses without judgment (e.g., like this texture, hate that taste).
4. Practicing awareness of your emotions, physical hunger, and the cues that let you know your hunger has been satiated (Fletcher, 2016).


Mindful Eating vs Intuitive Eating

If you’ve heard of intuitive eating, you might be wondering how this is different. There is a lot of overlap between mindful eating and intuitive eating, but they are two distinct methods.
While both involve paying more attention to what and how we eat, intuitive eating is more of a response to unhealthy trends and fad diets, while mindful eating is more of a lifestyle change that accompanies greater overall mindfulness.

According to the “Original Intuitive Eating Pro,” there are 10 principles to intuitive eating:

Reject the Diet Mentality
Honor Your Hunger
Make Peace with Food
Challenge the Food Police
Respect Your Fullness
Discover the Satisfaction Factor
Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food
Respect Your Body
Exercise—Feel the Difference
Honor Your Health (Intuitive Eating, n.d.).

These ten principles underpin the intuitive eating movement and define it as a method of eating that acts as a stark juxtaposition to the all-carb, no-carb, fasting, and carefully planned meal diets that circulate our social media feeds. The point is to get physically healthier while becoming psychologically healthier is a happy by-product.

Mindful eating, on the other hand, is all about improving psychological health and your relationship with food, and any physical benefits gained are a welcome side effect of this process.

The Mindful Eating Cycle

"Am I hungry?"

That’s the question Dr. Michelle May wants you to ask yourself. She’s seen people suffer from unhealthy relationships with food and overly restrictive diets, and she put together a framework for mindful eating that can help people rethink the way they eat.
Dr. May coined the term “The Mindful Eating Cycle” and used it as the basis of her Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Program (May, 2018).

Here’s the full cycle:

Why? Why do I eat?
When? When do I want to eat?
What? What do I want to eat?
How? How do I eat?
How Much? How much do I eat?
Where? Where do I invest my energy?

Let’s dive into this cycle and flesh out the questions that guide you at each step.

Why do I eat?
Why do I think I eat?
Am I really aware of all the situations and/or emotions that trigger me to want to eat when I’m not hungry?
Do I find myself eating even though I said I wouldn’t? Why?
Have I tried a lot of diets? What happened? How did they work for me long term? Why?
When do I eat?
How often do I feel like eating? Why?
How do I know if I’m hungry?
Can I tell the difference between physical hunger and head hunger?
How could I redirect my attention away from food until I’m hungry?
What could I do to cope better with my emotional triggers for eating when I’m not hungry?
When does “I want a brownie” really mean “I want a break”?
What do I eat?
What do I eat in a typical day?
Would an Awareness Journal help me recognize patterns?
What types of foods do I feel like eating when I’m eating for emotional reasons? Why?
Do I restrict myself from eating certain foods, then later give in and overeat those foods?
Do I feel guilty when I eat?
Am I afraid of losing control when I eat certain foods?
What health issues do I need to be aware of when deciding what to eat?
What could I eat that would help me feel better and become healthier?
Are there any areas of my diet that I could improve right now?
What specific change would I like to make at this time?
What kind of foods could I keep on hand to eat when I’m hungry?
How could I make the perfect food choice every time to satisfy both my body and my mind?
Is it really possible to eat anything but not everything?
How do I eat?
What do I eat in a typical day?
Do I eat while I’m distracted?
Do I truly eat as though I love food?
Do I eat fast, barely tasting my food?
Do I eat differently in private than I do in public?
Could I write an article for a gourmet magazine about the last meal I ate?
How much do I eat?
How do I feel when I’m done eating?
Do I like the way I feel?
Do I feel compelled to clean my plate?
If I’m not hungry when I start eating, how do I know when to stop?
What situations or emotions trigger me to overeat?
What could I do to address my triggers for overeating more effectively?
What do I do after those times I eat too much anyway?
Where do I invest the energy I consume?
Am I physically active?
Do I watch too much TV or spend too much free time in front of the computer?
How do I feel about exercise?
Do I exercise? What do I like to do?
Do I use exercise to punish myself for eating or to earn the right to eat?
What else do I do with my energy (i.e. play with my children; work on my hobbies; volunteer; travel; spend time with friends…)?
Is there anything else I’d like to do that I’m not doing now?
What are my goals for my relationships, my career, and my life?
Do I practice regular and meaningful self-care in order to buffer myself from life stress?
Does my life reflect wellness and wholeness in body, mind, heart, and spirit?

Asking yourself questions such as these can help you break any unhealthy eating cycles you have and replace them with a healthy mindful eating cycle. Instead of counting calories and worrying about what you eat, you can build a positive and enjoyable relationship with food, leading to a happier and healthier you.

Edited by: EARTHSEAME at: 4/23/2020 (16:57)

 current weight: 164.0 
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