Mindfulness in diabetes research
Welcome back to season 5!
To kick of this brand new season, I had the pleasure to interview a very inspiring and forward-thinking woman about her latest diabetes research projects on mindfulness eating. Petra Hanson, a clinical research fellow and first in the United Kingdom to create a structured multidisciplinary course for diabetics incorporating mindfulness to improve weight loss in Type 2 diabetics. She shares how mindfulness practice can improve not just weight management but our mental well-being with diabetes, shifting from a lack of self-compassion to an increase of self-love, and making overall healthier food choices.
We explore 7 ways of overeating and how we can incorporate mindfulness eating into our daily lives to help with the vast psychological aspects of diabetes.
Have a listen to the podcast epsiode to find out, how you can take part in Petra’s research studies and future mindfulness courses for diabetics!
that mindfulness helps with the psychological aspects of diabetes.”
– Petra Hanson –
7 Principles to Mindfulness Eating
The following principles are created by Deborah Kesten and Larry Scherwitz, addressing the epidemic that has made more than two-thirds of US-Americans either overweight or obese. They have researched our relationship with food and found an increased in weight gain and poorer physical health as well as other profound changes, which alter even our psychological, spiritual, and social well-being.
The following summarises what they coined as “overeating styles”. By reflecting on our daily eating habits, we can find pattern, we might like to change to improve our relationship with food. Introducing mindfulness practices to all 7 principles can do just that.
1. Food Fretting
being overly concerned about and focused on food, projecting moral judgment onto what we and others eat.
Mindfuness practice: take 3 deep breaths, slow down your breathing, and say every time you breath out, “thank you” to all those people having served you to have this dish
2. Task Snacking
“multitasking” – doing many other things while eating and lacking focus on the task of eating itself
Mindfuness practice: stop and realise what you are trying to do. Let go of the others tasks for 5min and bring your focus back to act of eating.
3. Emotional Eating
turning to comfort food to soothe negative and positive feelings
Mindfuness practice: acknowlede your emotions and allow them to be – acknowledging them can replace the acknowledgement through food.
4. Fast Foodism
living off take-aways rather than making fresh home cooked meals
Mindfuness practice: it might be fast food, but that does not mean you need to eat it fast. Take your time and be aware of what you consume. Saying a mantra or a prayer can work wonders.
5. Solo dining
dining alone, not creating and sharing enjoyable dining experiences with others
Mindfuness practice: plan to cook with a friend once a week or join a cooking class online. There are some really fun classes out there, which will make you laugh.
6. Unappetizing Atmosphere
psychological and physical dining aesthetics including your surroundings when you eat at home, at the office, in restaurants, in your car, or at homes of family and friends
Mindfuness practice: add candles, cute napkins, a nice light, some music…whatever speaks to you to your dining space.
7. Sensory Disregard
eating “with your senses” by appreciating the presentation, “tasting” the textures, or being grateful, focusing on the aromas, colors, or flavors of food
Mindfuness practice: smell the food before you have your first bite, feel the different textures in your mouth.
“I think it is not inherant to us
to be grateful about food.”
– Petra Hanson –
What is your OVEReating style?
“Just do it as a way of living
rather than a formal practice.”
– Petra Hanson –
Reach out to Petra via mail:
or add her here:
Petra on LinkedIn
Wanna improve your well-being by running flatter blood glucose lines,
reducing your HbA1c, having less hypos and more time in target range?
If yes, then we need to talk !
Drop me a message 👇🏽
As a nutritionist and T1D myself,
I am excited to share how I easy overperform diabetic guidelines
and how we can tackle your individual challenges together!
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