? Integrative Health Partners: Mindful Eating

Mindful Eating is Healthy Eating

taught by Mary Connors, Ph.D.

Our course in Mindful Eating is designed to help people who are preoccupied with food and weight loss, who are dealing with problems of compulsive eating, or whose eating and dieting habits feel unhealthy and ineffective. Compulsive eating is:

  • often done on ‘automatic pilot,’ so we are not really aware of what we are eating or how it tastes
  • a habitual response to stress and emotional challenges
  • not regulated by feelings of hunger or satiety
  • often a consequence of compulsive dieting

We take a mindfulness–based approach to this common problem. This course teaches a variety of meditative techniques to help you find emotional balance and respond more effectively to the stresses that can trigger compulsive overeating.   We help you learn to be more aware of your real needs regarding food, and more capable of being truly self-nurturing. Mindfulness provides a way to actually be present with your eating, and so helps you experience greater enjoyment and reduces the ‘automatic’ nature of overeating problems. It is actually impossible to binge while eating mindfully!

The majority of our participants have struggled with diets and weight loss programs for years. Often, dieting can result in being even more detached from the guidance our bodies can provide on the path of healthy eating and natural weight loss. Most ‘chronic dieters’ have found that their years of being on and off diets have actually been counter-productive. Our approach to healthy eating is oriented toward being in touch with the wisdom of our bodies, rather than alienated from them. We have developed our course to help you change your relationship to food, so it can become a true source of pleasure rather than a source of conflict or shame.

The next Mindful Eating class begins Summer, 2014 .
Call Dr. Mary Connors at (312) 372 5501 or email her through our Contact Form.

Is Mindful Eating Right For You?

We developed these classes to help people who feel caught in compulsive eating or dieting patterns, and who want to find their way to a more natural and satisfying relationship with food. You might be asking yourself, "Are mindful eating classes the right approach for me?" To find out, try considering these statements:

  • I sometimes binge or eat compulsively
  • I've tried restrictive diets and they don't work for me
  • I know I sometimes eat because of stress or emotional needs
  • I'd like to feel less guilty about my eating and my weight
  • It would be easier to deal with my eating if I could manage my stress better
  • I want to learn to eat in a way that nourishes and respects my body
  • I really value health and wellness, and would be willing to spend a half hour a day to develop this area of my life
  • I've been interested in meditation, yoga, or tai chi
  • I'd like to develop more patience, acceptance, and forgiveness
  • I've been able to apply myself to activities that require home practice, like music lessons, workouts, or schoolwork
  • I would like to give and receive help with others in my situation
  • I'm open to taking a new approach to eating

The more you agreed with these statements, the more likely you are to find our classes helpful.

Psychotherapy for Eating Problems

Eating disorders, such as Binge Eating Disorder and Bulimia, are often best addressed in a comprehensive and collaborative psychotherapy. Our approach integrates education and skill training (as taught in our Mindful Eating classes) with individual counseling in which the emotional basis of your eating problem can be fully understood and addressed.

Our clinicians are sensitive to the need to frankly address troubling eating symptoms in the context of a supportive and healing therapeutic relationship. We know that years of guilt, frustration, and shame around eating issues require a sensitive and empathic approach. We believe that everyone can make significant progress toward knowing themselves better and responding to their nutritional and emotional needs with wisdom and compassion.

Any of our clinicians would be glad to answer your questions about therapy for eating problems. Please visit the page about Our Staff to learn more about our therapists.

Additional Information

If you are interested in mindful eating, you might like to see our blog, Live Mindfully, for more reflections on mindfulness. Our Resources Page also has mp3s and other supports for your mindful eating practice.