Mindful eating: A values-based approach in eating behavior
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Center For Health Services Research, Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece
Publication date: 2022-05-27
Corresponding author
Konstantinos Zervos   

Center For Health Services Research, Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Niovis 11 Galatsi, GR-11146, Athens, Greece
Public Health Toxicol 2022;2(Supplement Supplement 1):A106
Mindful eating is the non-judgmental awareness of physical and emotional sensations while eating or in a food related environment and can be defined as the practice of enjoying food with understanding and compassion. The practice of mindful eating develops an awareness of the relationships between food and our body, our feelings, our mind and the interconnectedness of all these aspects.
Examining our relationship to food can provide a valuable picture into how the most basic processes of the body, become highly conditioned and enveloped within constructed meaning. It is extraordinarily common in our food abundant society for “unwise” eating patterns to develop and become entrenched, resulting in eating disorders and obesity.
Dietary regimes rely on external rules or avoiding “bad” foods, which leads to weight obsession, disordered eating patterns, body dissatisfaction, lower self-esteem and an increase of body weight over time. Dieting is associated to poor awareness of psychological and physiological states, such as bodily hunger and an inability to recognize motivations to eat.
The emphasis only in calories or nutrients take people away from the ingredients, processing methods, quality of their foods and the holistic nourishment. It’s a barrier for creating an authentic relationship with the food.
A number of factors can affect a person’s ability to flourish, including low self-esteem, a lack of self-acceptance or by experiencing disorder eating behaviour. Values-based approach recognises that a person’s social environment and personal relationships can greatly impact in eating behaviour.
The mindful self, is feeling, sensing and experiencing, as opposed to the place where we are being driven by our narratives, our conditioning, and our critical voices. If a person can be aware of his instinctual desires and emotional needs, he can enjoy himself, his life and his food. Health, is the outcome of living well and finding balance in life.
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