Mindfulness Training Can Help You Lose Weight
A study into the link between mindfulness and eating habits reveal a surprising effect it can have on the body. The study showed that a mindful approach to food and eating promotes a healthy and balanced diet, which can ultimately lead to weight loss.
Eating can be fun and exciting but not when it adds to the numbers on your scale. This is why people resort to all kinds of diets (portioning and calorie counting, to name a few), on top of grueling sessions at the gym, to prevent the weight gain.
However, a new study suggests mindfulness training can also help people lose weight. The study involved 53 participants from an obesity management program who were offered the training by dieticians and psychologists. Out of the 53, only 33 completed the mindfulness training and saw a dramatic change to their weight. They dropped six pounds more than those who did not take the sessions.
In the six months after the class, participants who completed at least three of the four sessions lost an average of 6.6 pounds. Meanwhile, those who took fewer classes only lost two pounds.
Brad Crump, DC, health services manager at Red Mountain Resort, which offers weight-loss training focused on mindfulness, says that this practice should be something that people need to consider as they start to tread back on their weight loss steps that have not worked.
"When it comes to losing weight, there's so much focus on calories in, calories out and exercise, but another big component is our relationship with food."
Mindfulness helps people lose weight because it curbs certain mental behaviors that spur a person to overeat, including self-criticism, emotional eating, and feelings of defeat. Gary Foster, Ph.D., a psychologist, obesity investigator, and chief scientific officer at WW (formerly Weight Watchers), said that it is important to change how people view food to develop and maintain a healthy mindset that eventually helps with weight loss for the long term.
People can practice mindfulness in several ways, but the best is through a structured program in mobile apps or by attending mindfulness workshops. It is also important to check with your body and mind before a meal to gauge whether you are hungry or not. Likewise, distressing yourself before a meal promotes mindful eating. You are at a relaxed state to appreciate the food. This also prevents overeating, which tends to happen during a stressful situation.