Mindful Eating with Diabetes

Mindful Eating with Diabetes

Mindful Eating with Diabetes

Lee esto en EspañolLearning to be more mindful can help us calmly think through situations. For people with diabetes, the values of mindfulness may even help them practice better self-care.

What is mindfulness? It is being tuned in to your thoughts, feelings and body. Once you’ve done it for a while, mindfulness may help you break free from old patterns of thinking, feeling and acting. It promotes balance, choice and acceptance.

Mindful Eating

Mindful eating is eating with intention. It can help curb food intake and control diabetes. Along with encouraging healthier food choices, mindful eating can boost happiness with those choices. It can inspire people to eat less.

Food is often used as a way to cope with stress and hard situations. Many people who struggle with diabetes have issues linked to food. When people are diagnosed with diabetes, their relationship with food becomes even more strained. It can create a perfect storm for mindless eating and overeating. 

When you practice mindful eating, it calms the storm. With mindful eating, you:

  • Become aware of the positive and nurturing side of food choice 
  • Use all your senses while eating food that is pleasing and wholesome
  • Respond to food (your likes and dislikes) without worry
  • Recognize your physical hunger and fullness cues
  •  Use these hunger and fullness cues to start and stop eating
  • Make choices that support health and wellbeing

 Here are some useful tips to support mindful eating.

  • Sit down when you eat.
  • Eat without distractions such as TV, reading or work.
  • Give yourself enough time to enjoy the feeling of dining. Spend at least 15 minutes on nothing but eating your meal.

Want to learn how to get started? A registered dietitian can help you put it into practice. To find one in your area, visit eatright.org. leaving site icon

Handling Diabetes

Check out some of our other helpful info for managing diabetes. You can also find recipes for diabetes and pre-diabetes.

Sources: Diabetes, leaving site icon EatRight.org; Mindfulness While Eating, leaving site icon Mayo Clinic, 2019.

Originally published 6/11/2016; Revised 2017, 2021, 2023