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Mindfulness Can Change your Relationship with Food

Aug 9, 2021

Mindfulness Can Change your Relationship with Food

Mindfulness Can Change your Relationship with Food in Positive Ways

I did not understand how mindfulness can change our relationship with food. And then I started a practice myself. All in all, here is what I noticed once I started doing this:

🌱 Plants started talking to me and I decided to stop eating meat.

🥦 I started loving my time at the farmer’s market and eating seasonally.

🎨 I had more “energy” or bandwidth to think about how to nourish myself.

🧬 I began to deeply enjoy the rhythms and patterns of nature that are found in plants.

Mindful Eating Research

A Dutch study explored 65 people who wanted to shift their eating habits. They were randomized into two groups (Janssen, 2018).

⌛️Group 1 received 8 weeks of mindfulness training that offered the following:
🌟 Participants performed formal mindfulness practices as developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn. The practices included body scan, sitting meditation, walking meditation, and mindful movement. They were also provided mindful eating exercises. The sessions focused on themes such as the following:

  • The automatic pilot
  • Perception of hunger and other internal states
  • Creating awareness for boundaries in eating behavior
  • Stress-related eating
  • Coping with stress
  • Coping with (negative) thoughts
  • Self-compassion
  • How to incorporate mindfulness in daily life

Towards the end of the program, participants had a silent day.

Group 2 received Educational Cooking classes to increase awareness about healthy cooking options without any of the other interventions.

At the end of the study, individuals who were in the mindfulness group had higher numbers of “reversal learning” (improved impulse control). Not surprisingly, the more time individuals invested in mindfulness training, the more pronounced the impact.

Study Conclusions

The authors observed that “mindfulness might also contribute to successful weight maintenance by acting on different mechanisms than behavioral flexibility”. For example, stress reduction and increased self-compassion are important aspects of mindfulness-based intervention programs.

Mindfulness may provide more clarity, insight, and awareness on how to eat healthy.

Based on this and my experiences, adding mindfulness is remarkably valuable to support healthy eating habits.

References

Janssen LK, Duif I, van Loon I, et al. Greater mindful eating practice is associated with better reversal learning. Sci Rep. 2018;8(1):5702. Published 2018 Apr 9. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-24001-1

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5890263/

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May your life be nourished and vital! 

*Please note as an amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases which means I will receive a small fee if you purchase them. I have only included things I truly use. This post is for educational and informational purposes only and solely as a self-help tool for your own use. I am not providing medical, psychological, or nutrition therapy advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your own medical practitioner. Always seek the advice of your own medical practitioner and/or mental health provider about your specific health situation. For my full Disclaimer, please go here.

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