The Mindful Eating Cycle: A systematic approach for the treatment of Binge Eating

Friday, March 22, 2013: 2:50 PM-4:50 PM
Fez A/B (Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort)
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Background: This workshop explores a comprehensive and systematic approach for interrupting the binge eating cycle and empowering clients with the self-management skills necessary to lead a healthy and full life. The approach uses the practical application of mindfulness-based strategies combined with self-determination theory for motivating clients who are resistant to change.

The Mindful Eating Cycle: A systematic approach for the treatment of Binge Eating.

I. Treatment of Binge Eating Disorder

            A. Theory of the development and function of Binge Eating

            B. Treatment goals for those with Binge Eating Disorder

II. Self-Determination theory and Binge Eating Disorder

            A. Why diets don't work

            B. Self-management of eating regulation

III. Research and outcomes using mindfulness-based treatment for BED

A.     Literature review

B.      Anderson & May's research

IV. Introduction of the Mindful Eating Cycle

A.     Binge Eating Cycle

B.     Restrictive Eating Cycle

C.     Instinctive Eating Cycle

V. Bio-psycho-social cues prompting eating when not hungry

A.     Strategies for self-regulation of physical states

B.     Strategies for responding to environmental cues

C.     Strategies for self-regulation of emotional state

VI. Structure and mindful eating

            A. Fear based eating: in charge or in control

            B. Mindful eating: attention and intention

            C. Balancing wants and needs: body wisdom

VII. Interrupting Binge Eating

A.     The role of dichotomous thinking

B.     Shaping behaviors

VIII. A Lifelong Approach

A.     Balanced living

B.     Movement vs. exercise

IX. Identifying and moving through resistance

A.     Grieving

B.     Co-occurring problems

The Mindful Eating Cycle: A systematic approach for the treatment of Binge Eating.

As the “war on obesity” rages on and the $60 billion weight loss industry continue to grow, paradoxically, rates of obesity are not decreasing and eating disorders are actually increasing at a rapid rate. Binge eating disorder, BED, is by far the most prevalent eating disorder and often comes with the risk factors associated with obesity. Most professionals agree that developing a treatment approach that includes both behavioral weight loss methods and psychological components would give us the best of both worlds, but the target of weight loss is problematic in this population. Dr. Michelle May, primary care physician and author of, Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat, uses an integrative approach combining cognitive behavioral interventions with sound nutritional and fitness psycho-education to address weight management problems. She employs an “all foods fit” non restrictive model endorsed by many who believe that diets are making us fatter and more unhealthy, combined with the emerging trend of mindful eating, a cognitive behavioral approach to address overeating. Kari Anderson, MS, eating disorder specialist, speculated that May’s, Am I Hungry? Program, which focuses on the behavioral cycles of eating could be adapted for the treatment of binge eating disorder. As part of her Cumulating Research Project for her Doctor of Behavioral Health degree, Anderson merged mindfulness based treatment, including dialectical behavioral therapy and interventions aimed at addressing the underlying resistance to change in those with eating disorders with May’s program. Anderson tested her hypothesis on over 40 women with Binge Eating Disorder in an approved Arizona State University research project. Preliminary findings are promising, eliminating binge eating in most of the participants, while promoting a sense of freedom from food fears. The treatment’s focus is on increasing competence in one’s ability to self-regulate physical and emotional states with emphasis on autonomy in one’s relationship with food. This workshop discusses the research project; the main components of the treatment approach used and provide participants with experiential methods for use with their clients who struggle with binge eating.

Primary Presenter:
Michelle L. May, MD, FAAFP

Michelle May, M.D. is the founder of the Am I Hungry?® Mindful Eating Workshops and Facilitator Training Program ( that helps individuals resolve emotional eating and yo-yo dieting. Dr. May has trained over 300 health professionals to facilitate Am I Hungry?® Workshops worldwide. She is the award-winning author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat: How to Break Your Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle and Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat with Diabetes. Dr. May is a Board Certified Family Physician with 14 years of clinical experience in Phoenix, Arizona. She retired to focus her work on mindful eating.

Kari Wolfe Anderson, MS, LPC

Kari Anderson, M.S., L.P.C., owns My Balanced Life, an integrative counseling practice in Phoenix, Arizona. Kari has been working in the eating disorders treatment industry for twenty two years combined. She began her career with The Rader Institute, joined the staff at Remuda Ranch for fourteen years and began private practice in 2009. She earned her Master’s in Counseling Psychology from Mount St. Mary’s College of Los Angeles in 1991 and will earn her Doctor of Behavioral Health degree from Arizona State University in December of 2012. Her culminating research involves testing a mindfully based treatment for Binge Eating Disorder.

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