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Rethinking our relationship with food: Lessons from Eat Right Now 

A recently published book, The Hunger Habit, explains the underlying science on which our award-winning, evidence-based Eat Right Now app is based, and how it helps people who struggle with overeating, stress eating, mindless eating, or any other type of habitual eating.

As explained in the book, the process of leaving unhelpful habits behind and creating more positive ones can be split into three parts: identifying eating habit patterns, interrupting them using awareness, and leveraging the power of our brain to step out of old habits and choose new, nurturing ones. Mindfulness helps us notice and change our subconscious eating behaviors by shifting our focus away from counting calories or relying on sheer willpower. After becoming aware that certain behaviors don’t make us feel good, we naturally gravitate toward the healthier choices that make us feel better.

As a certified mindfulness coach, I’ve seen the success of delivering Sharecare‘s CDC-approved Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), Eat Right Now, when engaging with our participants during weekly meetings. But beyond my role at Sharecare, I’ve also seen the true value of dedicated support and evidence-based interventions during my personal experience overcoming my eating challenges – which were detailed in The Hunger Habit. I learned that it’s important we open a pathway for real change by focusing our motivation on goals bigger than wanting to lose weight – whether that’s wanting to be healthier for your kids, being able to go hiking on a planned trip, or simply feeling comfortable in your own body.

In Sharecare’s program, which is scientifically proven to reduce craving-related eating by 40%, we help people from all walks of life and practice a ‘come as you are’ philosophy – with participants who even join our meetings while they’re on-the-go. We provide a community, foster discussions, encourage participants to start a journal, and capitalize on their available support from peers and coaches in the program. By sharing their experiences, offering advice, or simply listening with others trying to overcome similar challenges, they help each other find a sense of camaraderie and freedom from unhelpful behaviors, enabling them to transform the concepts they are learning into embodied wisdom, which they can leverage for life. 

And through this work, I feel that many of the participants pattern a lesson that we can all apply: In the face of our everyday challenges, we can mindfully focus on making the healthiest decision of our available choices, rather than fixating on our unhealthy eating or other habits we wish to abandon. In one example, a professional truck driver in Sharecare’s program shared his struggle to find healthy food on the road. After realizing he was habitually opting for unhealthy snacks at gas stations and paying closer attention to how his food choices made him feel, he started packing healthier snacks to have on hand. 

No matter where we are with our health goals, change is possible, even in small, manageable increments… one breath, one bite at a time.