The Appetite Awareness Workbook
How to Listen to Your Body and Overcome Bingeing, Overeating, and Obsession with Food
New Harbinger Publications 2006
Many people who either overeat, chronically diet, or feel a loss of control over food, have reduced awareness of their body’s internal signals of hunger and fullness. As children, most of us tend to eat when we are hungry and stop eating when we are starting to feel full. But by adulthood, many of us have lost this ability and instead establish unhelpful eating patterns, such ignoring hunger, mistaking certain emotional states for hunger, and eating past the point of feeling full. Dr. Linda Craighead, Professor of Psychology at Emory University in Atlanta,has published extensively in the areas of eating disorders and weight concerns. In her well-regarded book, The Appetite Awareness Workbook: How to Listen to Your Body and Overcome Binge Eating, Overeating and Preoccupation with Food (New Harbinger Publications, 2006),Dr. Craighead teaches people how to develop appetite awareness and mindful eating as a cognitive behavioral approach to eating and weight problems. Craighead describes a method of self-monitoring she developed to teach individuals how to tune into internal signals of hunger and fullness and use this heightened awareness to make conscious decisions about eating. Unlike dieting or monitoring calories/food, which increase preoccupation with food, Appetite Awareness Training teaches people how to use appetite cues and mindful eating to reestablish a normal relationship with food. In this interview, Dr. Craighead talks about why this flexible approach to eating is effective for people with eating disorders as well as other people who tend to have some maladaptive eating behavior patterns. She also discusses her current work on modifying and applying appetite awareness for children and adolescents, particularly as a tool to prevent or intervene early in the development of obesity.
Diana Hill, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist practicing in Santa Barbara, California, and a co-host of the podcast Psychologists Off The Clock.