Mindful eating involves paying attention to what and how individuals eat, helping to become more aware of the body’s natural hunger and satisfaction cues. The process can help individuals become aware of the reasons behind their hunger and help to reduce cravings, control portion sizes, and develop long-term healthy eating habits.
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It’s easy to rush through meals and snacks without pausing to enjoy the experience while refueling the body. Like meditation, individuals focus on what they are eating, how it smells, tastes, and the bodily sensations experienced. It is a way of checking in with the mind and body throughout a meal or snack. Mindful eating puts the individual in touch:
Individuals do not have to go all-in but can adopt some principles of slowing down and tuning into the body to improve health. Benefits include:
Mindful or intuitive eating has been shown to improve:
Cherpak, Christine E. “Mindful Eating: A Review Of How The Stress-Digestion-Mindfulness Triad May Modulate And Improve Gastrointestinal And Digestive Function.” Integrative medicine (Encinitas, Calif.) vol. 18,4 (2019): 48-53.
Espel-Huynh, H M et al. “A narrative review of the construct of hedonic hunger and its measurement by the Power of Food Scale.” Obesity science & practice vol. 4,3 238-249. 28 Feb. 2018, doi:10.1002/osp4.161
Grider, Hannah S et al. “The Influence of Mindful Eating and/or Intuitive Eating Approaches on Dietary Intake: A Systematic Review.” Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics vol. 121,4 (2021): 709-727.e1. doi:10.1016/j.jand.2020.10.019
Hendrickson, Kelsie L, and Erin B Rasmussen. “Mindful eating reduces impulsive food choice in adolescents and adults.” Health psychology: official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association vol. 36,3 (2017): 226-235. doi:10.1037/hea0000440
Morillo Sarto, Hector, et al. “Efficacy of a mindful-eating program to reduce emotional eating in patients suffering from overweight or obesity in primary care settings: a cluster-randomized trial protocol.” BMJ open vol. 9,11 e031327. 21 Nov. 2019, doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2019-031327
Nelson, Joseph B. “Mindful Eating: The Art of Presence While You Eat.” Diabetes spectrum: a publication of the American Diabetes Association vol. 30,3 (2017): 171-174. doi:10.2337/ds17-0015
Warren, Janet M et al. “A structured literature review on the role of mindfulness, mindful eating and intuitive eating in changing eating behaviors: effectiveness and associated potential mechanisms.” Nutrition research reviews vol. 30,2 (2017): 272-283. doi:10.1017/S0954422417000154
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