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How do you introduce mindful eating during MNT?

By Michelle May, M.D.

Mindful eating is a useful diabetes self-management training tool. Of course, it is easier to explore mindful eating concepts and strategies during multiple sessions of diabetes education. (The Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating with Diabetes Program is a comprehensive diabetes education curriculum based on mindful eating principles that may be used to provide DSMT.)

Mindful-Eating-and-MNTBut how do you introduce mindful eating during MNT (Medical Nutrition Therapy)? Christine, an experienced dietitian asked it this way:

I’d like some suggestions on how to approach 1 hour MNT sessions with new patients in which we have a limited number of sessions (1-3 in many cases). More specifically, how do I introduce mindful eating and blend that with carb counting education and the Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat Plate method for an intro MNT session without trying to cover too much or make it overwhelming for both me and my patients!

Megrette Fletcher, MEd, RD, CDE, my co-author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat with Diabetes, did a wonderful job of answering Christine’s questions, sharing practical tips, and role playing to provide clarity on how to effectively introduce mindful eating during MNT. Fortunately, we recorded the call so you can learn too! Scroll to the bottom of this post to listen…

First, let’s review the difference between DSMT and MNT.

What are DSMT and MNT?

Diabetes Self-Management Training (DSMT) is a benefit for Medicare Part B beneficiaries who have diabetes. The purpose of Medicare’s DSMT benefit is to give beneficiaries the knowledge and skills needed to adopt diabetes self-care behaviors and to make lifestyle changes needed to improve health outcomes. Beneficiaries are covered for a total of ten hours of initial training (1 hour for an individual or group assessment and 9 hours for diabetes education in a group setting) within a continuous 12-month period, and two hours of follow-up training (individual or group) each year after that, as needed.

To qualify for reimbursement, these DSMT services must be part of a plan of care prepared by a physician or qualified non-physician practitioner (QNPP). In addition, the services must be furnished by a DSMT program that has been accredited by either the American Diabetes Association (ADA) or the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE), the two CMS-approved national accreditation organizations. Both AADE and ADA use the National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education (NSDSME) as their guiding principles for accreditation.

The Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating for Diabetes Program meets the criteria established in “Standard 6: Curriculum.”

In addition, Medicare covers Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) services provided by a registered dietitian or nutrition professional for Part B beneficiaries who have a diagnosis of diabetes. Basic coverage for initial MNT services is three hours. Medicare covers two hours of follow-up MNT services in subsequent years. (Additional hours may be covered if medically necessary.)

When indicated, the Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating for Diabetes Program may be used to provide the content for MNT sessions, as Megrette and Christine demonstrate during the recorded call (at the bottom of this post).

Resources for Exploring Mindful Eating During MNT

During this call, we also talked about several resources that support diabetes education, including Mindful Eating with Diabetes handouts and Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat with Diabetes. Click here to access these resources.

To listen to the audio recording, simply provide your name and email address below. Please share your comments and questions!


About the author

Michelle May, M.D. is a recovered yo-yo dieter and the founder of the Am I Hungry?® Mindful Eating Programs and Training. She is the award-winning author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat: A Mindful Eating Program to Break Your Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle , winner of seven publishing awards. She is also the author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat with Diabetes, Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat for Binge Eating, and Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating for Bariatric Surgery. Michelle shares her compelling message and constructive keynotes with audiences around the country, offers workplace wellness programs, and has trained and licensed hundreds of health professionals to facilitate Am I Hungry?® Mindful Eating Programs worldwide. She has been featured on Dr. Oz, the Discovery Health Channel, and Oprah Radio, and quoted in Diabetic Living, Fitness, Health, Huffington Post, Parents, Self, USA Weekend, US News & World Report, WebMD and many others. Her personal success story was published in Chicken Soup for the Dieter's Soul. Michelle cherishes her relationships with her husband, Owen and grown children, Tyler and Elyse. She regularly enjoys practicing yoga and hiking near her home in Phoenix, Arizona. She and Owen, a professional chef, share a passion for gourmet and healthful cooking, wine tasting, photography, and traveling.


  1. Brenda says:

    I listened to the recorded session by Megrette and Christine. It was so very valuable to hear about incorporating the mindful eating concepts into an individual MNT session! Well done! I have been practicing as a dietitian and diabetes educator for years and know the challenge of having a valuable session while feeling the pressure to provide the essential info for diabetes education. Thank you so much, I am now super motivated to take the AIH for diabetes training!

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