ORIGINAL PAPER
Dieting, mindfulness and mindful eating:exploring whether or not diets reinforce mindfulness and mindful eating practices
 
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Birmingham City University, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Submission date: 2019-07-09
Final revision date: 2019-08-12
Acceptance date: 2019-08-15
Online publication date: 2019-09-23
Publication date: 2019-09-23
 
Health Psychology Report 2020;8(1):59–67
 
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Background:
Research into dieting and mindfulness has primarily focused upon how mindfulness and mindful eating affect dieting. However, the effect is bi-directional, with the process of dieting also impacting on mind-set and eating. We therefore aimed to investigate how people on different diets experience mindfulness and mindful eating. The present research aimed to explore whether or not specific weight loss diets are likely to prompt more of the elements described in mindfulness and mindful eating theory.

Participants and procedure:
A community sample (N = 312) who were dieting at the time of recruitment were asked to fill in mindfulness and mindful eating measures, where commercial weight loss programmes (CWLP), low carbohydrate (LC), and intermittent fasting (IF) were used as dieting methods, as well as general healthy eating (GHE). Analyses of variance were conducted with the intention of comparing those groups in mindfulness and mindful eating, as well as their corresponding sub-constructs. The questionnaires and demographic information were provided through an online database, as well as other information relating to the diet, duration and history of dieting.

Results:
The results showed intermittent fasting dieters to score higher across mindfulness and mindful eating scores, although the differences from the rest of the groups were not significant. Investigating mindful eating further through the subscales revealed that CWLP scores were significantly higher in ‘routine’ when compared to GHE. Trait mindfulness subscales displayed no significant differences, except ‘describe’, which was higher in CWLP over LC dieting.

Conclusions:
Specific emphasis is given to future directions, and the potential to identify diets that are theoretically and prac-tically consistent with the theory and practices of mindfulness and mindful eating.

 
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