Research: Mindfulness assists with weight loss

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Being mindful of the foods we eat and their impact can assist with successful weight loss.

Mindful Eating
Mindful Eating

Obesity has skyrocketed in the last decade and we are going to need to address this causes and the disease they have caused. The prevalence rates of overweight clearly indicate that the growing waist lines are going to impact both the world health and economy in short order. There is not universal cure or magic bullet to help all of those suffering of the grip of weight gain, but increasing number of research projects have shown that mindfulness might assist with losing and keeping the weight loss.

A study from 2019 evaluated the effect of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy on weight loss, hypertension, and attentional bias towards food cues in a group of women affected by weight gain​[1]​. In the study, a total of 45 participants were selected out of women referring to the Nutrition and Diet Therapy Clinic affiliated to Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in Iran.

The subjects were randomized into 3 groups of 15. The first experimental group was subjected to an energy-restricted diet therapy together with MBCT during 8 sessions, the second group took the diet therapy alone, and the third group received no intervention. Body mass index, hypertension, and attentional bias towards food cues were correspondingly evaluated before, at the end, and four weeks after the completion of the interventions.

The results of this study revealed that mindfulness, when combined wit diet therapy, had been significantly more effective in weight loss, decrease in body mass index, lower systolic blood pressure, and attentional bias towards food cues when compared to diet alone. This study groups were small but indicate a need for further research,

The bottom line: Mindfulness training along with conventional diet therapy is more effective in weight loss, decrease in BMI, hypertension control, as well as attentional bias towards food cues than the diet therapy alone. This study is promising and needs further evaluation but clearly indicates that mindfulness should be a part of weight loss plans.

We recommend the following book on mindful dieting:

Reference:

  1. [1]
    M. M. Alamout, M. Rahmanian, V. Aghamohammadi, E. Mohammadi, and K. Nasiri, “Effectiveness of mindfulness based cognitive therapy on weight loss, improvement of hypertension and attentional bias to eating cues in overweight people,” International Journal of Nursing Sciences, pp. 35–40, Jan. 2020, doi: 10.1016/j.ijnss.2019.12.010. [Online]. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnss.2019.12.010
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About the Author

ChuckH
I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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