Exploring the effects of mindful eating, self-kindness and self-distancing on promoting healthier eating behaviours

Hussain, Misba (2021) Exploring the effects of mindful eating, self-kindness and self-distancing on promoting healthier eating behaviours. Doctoral thesis, Birmingham City University.

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Abstract

The prevalence of obesity has been on the rise, and using mindfulness and self-compassion based interventions have been suggested to promote healthier eating behaviours. Recently, a mindful eating specific tool, namely Mindful Construal Diary (MCD) was developed, and displayed significant improvements in mindfulness, self-compassion and weight loss. The main aim of the current thesis was to extend on the existing knowledge of mindfulness, mindful eating and self-compassion, and their positive effects on eating behaviours using methods that are easy and practical to implement, as well as explore novel approaches, such as self-kindness and self-distancing that have not yet been explored within food intake and regulation. Chapter 1 described the general background of mindfulness, mindful eating, self-compassion, self-kindness and self-distancing, and evaluated the current literature. Chapter 2 discussed the general methodology of the empirical chapters. Chapter 3 explored the association of mindfulness, mindful eating and self-compassion with maladaptive eating behaviours amongst patients who have clinical obesity. Chapter 4, Chapter 5 and Chapter 6 explored the effect of mindfulness using the MCD on decreasing attentional biases towards food cues, reducing the portion size effect and promoting healthier food choices. Chapter 7 explored the effect of self-kindness in reducing energy intake of high energy dense (HED) foods and promoting the intake of low energy dense (LED) foods. Chapter 8 explored the effect of self-distancing on energy intake through chocolate consumption after a negative state affect. Chapter 9 explored the effect of classical music as a primary environmental tool to eat mindfully, and in effect, reduce the intake of HED foods. The findings from the Chapters suggested mindfulness, mindful eating and self-compassion were associated with eating behaviours, such as grazing and emotional eating, but mindful eating was also associated with other eating behaviours that are often barriers to weight loss success, such as external eating and fat consumption. Moreover, using the MCD appeared to promote a mindful eating experience amongst participants, and in effect, facilitate healthier eating behaviours through reducing the portion size effect and lowering intake of HED food. In addition, the novel concept of self-kindness suggested to increase the intake of LED foods, but this effect was limited. Furthermore, self-distancing appeared to reduce the consumption of chocolate after a negative state affect. Finally, briefly listening to classical music did not appear to enhance a mindful eating experience, but it may
be beneficial in regulating the intake of HED savoury foods. Chapter 10, the final Chapter reviewed the current findings in relation to previous research and reflected on the clinical and non-clinical implications. The present thesis suggests mindfulness, mindful eating, self-compassion, self-kindness and self-distancing may indeed be beneficial in facilitating healthier eating behaviours.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Dates:
DateEvent
11 September 2020Submitted
8 April 2021Accepted
Uncontrolled Keywords: Eating behaviours; Mindful Eating; Self-compassion; Self-kindness; Self-distancing
Subjects: CAH04 - psychology > CAH04-01 - psychology > CAH04-01-04 - psychology and health
Divisions: Doctoral Research College > Doctoral Theses Collection
Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences > Dept. Psychology
Depositing User: Jaycie Carter
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2022 09:45
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2022 09:45
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/13438

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