Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training (MB-EAT) is an intervention developed by clinical psychologist Jean Kristeller, PhD. This 10 week training program combines mindful eating and meditation practice. It is often used to help those with binge eating disorder, diabetes, and obesity, but may provide benefit for any individual. The course includes three main foci: awareness of hunger, awareness of satiety, and how to savor food [i].
One study found that those with binge eating disorder who participated in MB-EAT decreased bingeing from four times per week to one time per week, with binges being much smaller and feeling less out of control. Another study found that those with obesity who participated in MB-EAT maintained their weight compared to the control group, whose weight increased. Improvements in depression have also been reported [i].
Kristeller explains, “‘Our taste buds are chemical sensors that tire quickly…The first few bites of a food taste better than the next few bites'” [i]. By focusing on savoring the food, and being attuned to the moment when the food stops being as enjoyable, it is easier to eat more appropriate portion sizes to help maintain weight and improve health overall [i]. For more information on MB-EAT, take a look at this article from the American Psychological Association. For additional articles on mindfulness, check out previous posts in our Mindful Corner series.
[i] Novotney A. (2012). Bite, chew, savor. Psychologist Profile. Monitor on Psychology, 43(10): 42. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/11/bite-chew