An exploratory examination of mindfulness, self-compassion, and mindful eating in relation to motivations to eat palatable foods and BMI
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Submission date: 2017-07-19
Final revision date: 2017-10-05
Acceptance date: 2017-10-05
Online publication date: 2018-01-30
Publication date: 2018-01-30
Health Psychology Report 2018;6(3):207–215
Preliminary findings suggest that mindfulness and self-compassion training are associated with enhanced weight regulation. However, the associations between these traits and body mass index (BMI) are mixed.

Participants and procedure:
In a cross-sectional investigation, university students (n = 183) were asked to fill in questionnaires on mindfulness, self-compassion, mindful eating, and motivations to eat palatable foods.

The results suggest that mindfulness, self-compassion and mindful eating related negatively to motivations to eat palatable foods. Mindful eating displayed the most significant relationship. Further investigations showed that some subscales of self-compassion, mindfulness and mindful eating related to motivations to eat palatable foods and BMI more significantly. The ability to draw more and better conclusions by investigating the relationship of subscales to health behaviors and outcomes, especially with self-compassion, has been noted in previous rationales and theories. The notable relationships were (a) the enhancement subscale of the motivations to eat palatable foods, which appeared to relate positively to self-judgment, isolation, and over-identification, while (b) the coping subscale related to all subscales within the self-compassion scale.

The current findings support different lines of research that suggest that mindful eating, mindfulness and/or self-compassion support weight regulation. Mindfulness practices could potentially add the right motives to eat palatable foods (such as being motivated to eat when people are hungry), and potentially eat less of the foods that lead to weight dysregulation. The findings are discussed and suggested paths for further research are recommended.

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