8 Must-Read Books on Mindful Eating

8 Great Books on Mindful Eating

Posted Dec 16, 2011

Have you been intrigued by all the recent news clips and magazine articles on "mindful eating?" Maybe you have wondered what it is and how to eat in this way.

In a nutshell, mindful eating is not a diet. There are no menus or recipes. It's a brand new way of eating. Mindful eating is defined at eating with a non-judgmental awareness. This approach is truly unique and based on clinical research.

What are the benefits? Mindful eating can help you to feel better about your body, manage your weight, improve you overall health, lose weight, manage diabetes and cope with chronic eating problems.

These are eight solid books that can help you understand the principles and exactly how to eat mindfully. Each book is each written from a different perspective and by authors with various backgrounds and clinical experience.

1) Eating Mindfully by Susan Albers PsyD: Eating Mindfully (now in its 2nd edition) was one of the first books written on mindful eating from the point of view of a practicing psychologist. Dr. Albers currently works at the Cleveland Clinic. She's written five books on mindful eating including a workbook, Eat, Drink & Be Mindful and several others geared toward comfort eating such as 50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food and But I Deserve this Chocolate!. Her books are practical and integrate research and real life stories from her clients. www.eatingmindfully.com

2) Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life by Thich Nhat Hanh and Lilian Cheung: This book was written by Zen Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh and Harvard nutritionist Cheung. Publishers Weekly described this book to be a hybrid of a diet and meditation book. Readers will find helpful tips on how to be mindful through breathing and meditation exercises and information on nutrition. It's a solid reminder of why it is important to be mindful of what we put in our mouths. www.savorthebook.com

3) Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think by Brian Wansink: We can learn a lot about mindful eating by understanding mindless eating. This clever, fascinating book was written by the director of the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell. He has been dubbed, "The Sherlock Holmes of Food." The book focuses on the mindless eating environment. It is full of research on the way our grocery stores, restaurants, products and social customs unknowingly railroad us into eating more than we think we do. www.mindlesseating.org

4) Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food by Jan Chozen Bays. Pediatrician and Zen teacher Bays calmly and systematically explains how a thoughtful approach to eating and drinking can positively affect one's weight and overall health. www.zendust.org

5) Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat with Diabetes: A Mindful Eating Program for Thriving with Prediabetes or Diabetes by Michelle May MD and Megrette Fletcher, MEd, RD, CDE: If you struggle with diabetes or are pre-diabetic, this book may be just what you are looking for. You can preorder from New Harbinger Publications this kind, compassionate approach to managing diabetes. It is written by an MD turned motivational speaker and a registered dietician and certified diabetes educator. http://www.diabetesandmindfuleating.com/

6) Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating by Jane Goodall, Gary McAvoy, Gail Hudson Written by the renowned scientist who urges us to take a hard look at the food we produce and consume. This is a global look at the way we eat and how we can foster a sustainable society for positive change for individuals and the environment. www.janegoodall.org

7) Meal by Meal: 365 Daily Meditations for Finding Balance Through Mindful Eating by Donald Altman. Donald Altman is a psychotherapist and former Buddhist monk. This book provides daily inspirations, meditations, helpful quotes and tips on mindful eating. www.mindfulpractices.com

8) The Self Compassion Diet by Jean Fain MSW. Although it says, "diet" in the title, this isn't really a diet book. Learning how to be compassionate with yourself is a key component of mindful eating.  The book was written by a psychotherapist in private practice and a teacher at Cambridge Health Alliance.

Twitter: @eatingmindfully

See Dr. Susan Albers' new book, But I Deserve This Chocolate: the 50 Most Common Diet-Derailing Excuses and How to Outwit Them. She is a psychologist for the Cleveland Clinic and author of five books on mindful eating including 50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food and Eating Mindfully. Her books have been noted in O, the Oprah magazine, Shape, Prevention, Health etc. and seen on the Dr. Oz TV show.

www.eatingmindfully.com (free quizes, downloads, and worksheets)