OHS Educational Services

ACT for Mindful Eating

Do you ever wonder what happened to the super-sized container of popcorn that is suddenly empty when you are at the movies?  How often do you finish a big meal and find yourself opening cupboard doors and the fridge looking for a snack shortly after?  Do you finish what’s on your plate and on others’ plates to the point of feeling over full and uncomfortable?  These are examples of “mindless eating”.  Mindless eating happens when you are distracted by something else so that all of your attention is not on what you are eating or how you are eating.  When distracted, we are far more likely to shift into autopilot and overeat and this is one very common reason for weight gain.  Mindlessly eat just 3 jelly beans a day for a year and you will see 1 more pound on the scale.[i]

Not convinced that mindless eating is the culprit?  Clinical studies have examined the effectiveness of awareness and eating.  For example, Timmerman and Brown conducted a study on middle-aged women who frequently ate out at restaurants.[ii] The intervention involved teaching the women how to be more “aware” of their choices, hunger, fullness and mindless eating behaviour.  The result?  The women ate 300 calories less each day.  That amounts to a 31 pound weight loss in a year!!!!!

The solution to this very common problem is “mindful eating”, a behaviour that is easily learned and adopted when taught effectively.  Our weight management program, ACT for ME (Mindful Eating) is a course designed to teach you how to do it successfully.  This is not a “diet breakthrough”.  In fact, it is not a diet at all!!!!  This is a course that will teach you a new and mindful way of looking at weight problems and managing eating behaviours in the context of still being able to live a life that is truly meaningful to you.  You will learn:

To eat the foods that you enjoy without feeling guilty
How to end deprivation for good
How mindful eating strategies can help you enjoy eating once again
How to identify and change unhelpful patterns of eating behaviour
To do the things you want to do regardless of the number on the scale
To understand how your perception of your body size impacts your eating and your weight

[i] Wansink, B. (2007) Mindless Eating.  New York, New York: Bantam Dell

[ii] Timmerman GM; Brown A. The effect of mindful restaurant eating intervention on weight management in women.  Journal of Nutrition Education and Behaviour. 2012


Check out our Blogs to learn more about mindful and mindless eating, eating behaviour, and other aspects that control what and how we eat!

PART 1: Obesity, dieting & weight loss – What do we know?

PART 2: What is Hunger?

PART 3: The Internal ARM

This 10 session course provides an easy, effortless and low risk of failure solution to the problem of out of control eating.  If you understand what controls your behaviour and you understand the basic rules of learning, then it will become simple for you to mindfully control your eating behaviour.  And, fortunately, the skills you need can be easily learned.

By using a combination of mindful eating and behavioural and environmental engineering, you can move closer to a weight and life that is most meaningful for you.

For more information about this course please contact Michelle Hocking at 905-317-8890 or by email at michellehocking@ohs-jma.com.


Did you miss our MeetUps?  Let us know if you are interested in attending and we will host some more!  Send a request to info@ohs-jma.com

Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT)

ACT uses mindfulness practices to help people become aware of and develop an attitude of acceptance and compassion toward painful thoughts and feelings.

Behavioural Activation (BA)

BA is designed to treat depression. BA focuses on the depressed person’s behaviors that keep him or her stuck in depression.

Cognitive & Behavioural Therapy (CT & BT)

CT deals with thoughts and perceptions, and how these can affect feelings and behaviour. BT focuses on an individual’s learnt, or conditioned, behaviour and how this can be changed.

Quota Based Physical Conditioning

This can include graduated cardiovascular training and/or progressive resistance training to assist the individual to gradually resume their pre-disability level of functioning.

Rebuilding Social, Recreational & Family Activities

OHS guides clients through a graduated return to meaningful activity while assisting them to incorporate recommended strategies for pain management.

Work Hardening

Our work hardening process uses cognitive and physical work hardening strategies designed to utilize real or simulated work activities to restore physical, behavioural and vocational functions.


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