Research: Mindfulness assists with weight loss

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Mindfulness may help with weight loss

Many writers and health advocates have touted the benefits of mindful eating and weight loss but there is limited research to back up this advice until recently. Face it! Mindfulness makes sense when it comes to weight loss. We have all had that moment when we were sitting on the couch watching a movie or the big game and practically inhaled the bag of popcorn or chips. We all know that eating too much snack food the enemy of a healthy lifestyle and waistlines.  

Now, an increasing number of studies are investigating the efficacy of mindfulness-based interventions for weight loss and obesity-related eating behaviors, but the studies have been inconsistent. A recent study published in 2017 in Obesity Reviews looked at this very topic[1]. The researcher sought to clarify these inconsistencies by conducting a comprehensive effect-size analysis to evaluate the efficacy of mindfulness on weight loss and behaviors. The researchers used prior data in a systemic review. A total of 18 publications with 1160 subjects were included in the study. The weight loss in the mindfulness group was an average of 6.8 and 7.5 lb at follow-up and that mindfulness had a moderate but significant effect on the subject’s weight. Larger effects on weight loss were found in studies that used a combination of informal and formal meditation practice with mindfulness.    

The bottom line: Results suggest that mindfulness is an effective in reducing weight and reducing overeating.  Further research is needed to examine their efficacy for weight loss maintenance.

[1]Carrière et al., “Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Weight Loss: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.”


  1. Carrière, K., B. Khoury, M. M. Günak, and B. Knäuper. “Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Weight Loss: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” Obesity Reviews, October 27, 2017.
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About the Author

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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