Mindfulness Based Eating Awareness Training (MB-EAT)

A mindful eating program that combines mindfulness meditation with eating awareness practices.


Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training (MB-EAT) is a comprehensive program that integrates mindfulness meditation practices with mindful eating techniques. It aims to cultivate a deeper awareness of the physical, emotional, and cognitive aspects of eating, fostering a more balanced and healthy relationship with food. MB-EAT encourages participants to engage in non-judgmental observation of their eating experiences, tuning into hunger and satiety cues, and making conscious food choices.

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Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training (MB-EAT) was developed by Jean Kristeller and colleagues in the early 2000s. It builds upon the principles of mindfulness meditation, which has roots in Buddhist traditions, and applies them specifically to the context of eating. MB-EAT also incorporates elements from cognitive-behavioral therapy and other psychological approaches. The program was initially designed as an intervention for binge eating disorder but has since been adapted for a broader range of eating-related concerns and general wellness. MB-EAT has gained recognition as an effective approach to promoting mindful eating and overall well-being.


  1. Improved Eating Habits MB-EAT helps individuals develop healthier eating patterns by increasing awareness of hunger and fullness signals and reducing emotional and mindless eating.
  2. Enhanced Mind-Body Connection The program fosters a deeper connection between the mind and body, allowing individuals to become more attuned to their physical sensations and emotional states related to eating.
  3. Reduced Binge Eating MB-EAT has been shown to be effective in reducing binge eating episodes and improving overall eating disorder symptomatology.
  4. Increased Self-Compassion Through mindfulness practices, MB-EAT encourages individuals to approach their eating experiences with kindness, curiosity, and non-judgment, promoting self-compassion and reducing self-criticism.
  5. Improved Emotional Regulation By developing mindfulness skills, participants learn to better manage stress and emotions, reducing the likelihood of turning to food for comfort or distraction.
  6. Long-Term Sustainability MB-EAT equips individuals with practical tools and strategies for maintaining mindful eating habits and a balanced relationship with food beyond the duration of the program.

How It Works

Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training (MB-EAT) combines mindfulness meditation practices with mindful eating exercises to help individuals develop a healthier relationship with food. The program focuses on increasing awareness of physical hunger and satiety cues, emotional triggers for eating, and automatic eating patterns. Participants learn to engage their senses while eating, savor their food, and make conscious choices about what and how much to eat. MB-EAT also incorporates self-compassion and non-judgment to reduce stress and guilt associated with eating.


While MB-EAT can be beneficial for many individuals struggling with disordered eating or stress-related eating, it may not be suitable for everyone. Those with severe eating disorders or underlying mental health conditions should consult with a qualified healthcare professional before starting the program. Participants should also be prepared to commit time and effort to the mindfulness practices and exercises, as consistency is key to seeing results. It's important to approach MB-EAT with an open mind and a willingness to explore one's relationship with food and body image.

How Much It Costs

The cost of Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training can vary depending on the provider and format. Group programs may range from $200 to $800 for a multi-week course, while individual sessions with a certified MB-EAT practitioner can cost between $75 and $200 per session. Some insurance plans may cover a portion of the costs if the program is deemed medically necessary. It's best to check with your insurance provider and the specific program or practitioner for accurate pricing information.

Virtual & Online Options

Virtual or online options for MB-EAT have become increasingly popular, offering convenience and accessibility for participants. Online programs allow individuals to engage in the training from the comfort of their own homes, saving time and money on travel. However, in-person MB-EAT programs may provide a more immersive experience and opportunities for direct interaction with the facilitator and other participants. Ultimately, the choice between virtual and in-person options depends on personal preference, schedule, and availability of local programs.


Practitioners offering Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training should have completed a specialized training program in MB-EAT. This certification is typically obtained through organizations such as the Center for Mindful Eating or the UCSD Center for Mindfulness. In addition to MB-EAT certification, practitioners may hold degrees or licenses in related fields such as psychology, nutrition, or social work. It's important to verify a practitioner's credentials and experience before enrolling in an MB-EAT program to ensure they are qualified to provide the training.

Complementary Practices

Mindfulness meditation, yoga, intuitive eating, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and stress reduction techniques can complement Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training (MB-EAT). These practices help individuals develop greater self-awareness, emotional regulation, and a healthier relationship with food and their bodies. Incorporating a variety of mindfulness-based approaches can enhance the overall effectiveness of MB-EAT and support long-term success in managing eating behaviors and promoting overall well-being.

Practitioner Types

Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training (MB-EAT) can be facilitated by a range of healthcare professionals, including registered dietitians, psychologists, licensed therapists, and certified mindfulness instructors. These practitioners should have specialized training in mindfulness-based interventions and a deep understanding of the complex nature of eating behaviors and their underlying psychological and emotional factors. Collaboration among different healthcare professionals can provide a comprehensive approach to supporting individuals in their journey towards mindful eating and improved well-being.

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  • Q: What is Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training (MB-EAT)?

    • A: Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training (MB-EAT) is a program that combines mindfulness meditation practices with principles of mindful eating to help individuals develop a healthier relationship with food and their bodies. It aims to increase awareness of hunger and satiety cues, reduce emotional and stress-related eating, and promote self-compassion and body acceptance.
  • Q: How can MB-EAT help with emotional eating?

    • A: MB-EAT helps individuals recognize and manage emotional eating by increasing awareness of the thoughts, feelings, and triggers that contribute to this behavior. Through mindfulness practices, participants learn to respond to emotions with greater self-compassion and develop alternative coping strategies, reducing their reliance on food for comfort or stress relief.
  • Q: Is MB-EAT suitable for people with eating disorders?

    • A: While MB-EAT can be a valuable tool in the treatment of eating disorders, it should be used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan under the guidance of qualified healthcare professionals. MB-EAT can help individuals with eating disorders develop greater self-awareness, regulate emotions, and improve their relationship with food, but it should not be considered a standalone treatment for these complex conditions.
  • Q: How long does the MB-EAT program typically last?

    • A: The duration of the MB-EAT program can vary depending on the specific needs of the individual and the setting in which it is offered. Typically, the program consists of 8-12 weekly sessions, each lasting around 90 minutes to 2 hours. Some programs may also include additional sessions or follow-up support to help participants maintain their progress and integrate mindful eating practices into their daily lives.
  • Q: Can MB-EAT help with weight loss?

    • A: While weight loss may be a byproduct of practicing MB-EAT, it is not the primary focus of the program. MB-EAT aims to help individuals develop a healthier, more balanced relationship with food and their bodies, rather than promoting restrictive dieting or a singular focus on weight. By increasing awareness of hunger and satiety cues and reducing emotional eating, participants may naturally find themselves making healthier food choices and eating more intuitively, which can support weight management over time.


Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training (MB-EAT) offers a unique and holistic approach to addressing the complex nature of eating behaviors and their underlying psychological and emotional factors. By combining mindfulness practices with principles of mindful eating, MB-EAT helps individuals develop greater self-awareness, emotional regulation, and a healthier relationship with food and their bodies. As research continues to support the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions in promoting overall well-being, MB-EAT has the potential to become an increasingly valuable tool in the field of health and wellness. By working with qualified practitioners and incorporating complementary practices, individuals can harness the power of mindfulness to transform their eating habits and cultivate a more balanced, nourishing, and joyful relationship with food and their bodies.