MANITOULIN—Non-dieters are needed as volunteers to participate in a project designed to evaluate a mindful eating and exercising interventions that focusses on health and is designed to recognize and reduce emotional eating and end battles with food and overeating.

“Basically the program is designed to teach people to accept and trust their bodies,” stated Brooke Noble, a registered outpatient dietitian with the Manitoulin and Espanola Family Health Teams. “Often once you start to trust your bodies you will get away from over eating and be satisfied with what you have eaten. For example, if you a crave a piece of chocolate, but feel guilty about this and instead have a piece of orange, in the end you will probably still eat chocolate after the orange and probably 10 other things.”

Ms. Noble is looking for non-dieters to volunteer to participate in the 12 week project. “The program is basically through the Family Health Teams and is part of a study for my master’s degree and program evaluation and development,” Ms. Noble said. “We are looking for non-dieters and being trusting of our bodies and eating instinctually. Our body grows at what is supposed to be its normal rate; it’s when you stop trusting your body and try to change our body from being genetically what it is going to be that causes problems. We end up putting restrictions on what we eat, and in turn it actually leads to weight gain.”

“We need to give ourselves and our body permission to eat what we want or crave,” said Ms. Noble. “None of us will feel good if we’re eating junk food or French fries all the time, but by allowing ourselves to eat everything we want it takes the power away from food, if all foods are allowed. The key is going back to instinctual eating that children do. By the time some people become adults they have heard a million diet messages and how they should hate their bodies. You should be able to eat the food that you enjoy, but in a mindful, instinctive way.”

Ms. Noble said eating habits in North America are far different than those found in Europe. “In Europe people take two hour lunch breaks. They eat high fat, delicious foods, they don’t starve themselves or restrict themselves. They eat the best cheeses, but they only eat until they are full, their bodies are satisfied. That is where people are lacking, they don’t listen to their body to stop when they are full. And in North America people put themselves on restrictive diets, not realizing they need nourishment to satisfy the body.”

“Being instinctual, our bodies will get to a set point where our body’s (weight) is meant to be,” said Ms. Noble. “And yes, this (weight) may be somewhat higher than the societal standard, but the body will go to a set point and easily maintain its weight. It’s when we try to change, for example lose weight, it has been proven that up to 95 percent of people regain the weight they have lost and even more.”

“If you focus on living a healthy lifestyle, those healthy being active and exercise regularly along with freeing your body to eat what it wants, instead of continually trying to manipulate your body into a different size, you will feel healthy and energetic,” continued Ms. Noble. “Exercise is good for emotional and physical health.”

“I’m putting on a 12 week program for anyone who is over 18 years of age who is looking to improve and maintain their health,” said Ms. Noble. Anyone who is registered with a doctor in Little Current, Manitowaning, Mindemoya and Gore Bay can attend. “I’m willing to go to each community to run the program if there is enough interest,” said Ms. Noble. “It will entail classroom type setting lessons and mindful eating experiences and be activities outside class as well. And there will be activities that complement the lessons and mindful eating, and enhance their learning. Exercise and healthy eating go hand in hand.”

Continued support after 12 weeks is offered, but optional, said Ms. Noble. She is launching the program the week of May 4-8. If you are interested in participating you can call Ms. Noble at 705-368-2300 extension 2415 or by email at