Mindfulness is becoming a hot topic lately, and studies show that this practice may be an effective way to keep your weight under control.The intention of mindfulness practices is to increase calmness, improve discipline and self-control, and eliminate thoughts that interfere with your progress. Yoga and meditation, which are useful ways of executing mindfulness, can also increase energy levels and protect the body from heart disease.Researchers Kimberly Carrière, Prof. Bärbel Knäuper, and Bassam Khoury of McGill University in Canada began performing studies to understand how mindfulness practices can affect a person’s weight and dietary practices.After analyzing 19 different studies focusing on the correlation between mindfulness and weight (all done within the last 10 years), the researchers came to the following realization:
It was found that, across the board, mindfulness was “moderately to largely effective in reducing weight loss and improving obesity-related eating behaviours.”
Interestingly, mindfulness practices were not shown to be as effective for weight loss in the short-term as exercise and changes in diet. However, they did prove to be effective in the long-run with consistent practice.According to Medical News Today:“In the first instance, mindfulness practitioners lost 3.3 percent of body weight, compared to the 4.7 percent weight loss experienced by the participants who only dieted and exercised.”
However, at follow-up evaluations after several weeks from the interventions, participants who used mindfulness techniques continued to shed excess pounds steadily, bringing their mean weight loss to 3.5 percent.
Study participants who were not performing mindfulness practices did not lose any more weight; in fact, some participants ended up gaining more pounds that they had initially shed.
These results are encouraging to the researchers, and many are wondering how much more effective weight loss programs may be with the addition of mindfulness practices.