Mindful eating improves weight loss and eating habits
Diets come and go, yet few offer any real long-term solution for weight loss and weight maintenance. One very simple strategy to help with weight loss, so simple that it puts to shame many complex dietary recommendations, is to be more mindful when it comes to eating.
Mindfulness means paying attention to the present moment and letting thoughts and feelings come and go without providing judgement. Focussing on what is currently being eaten, removing distractions such as television-watching at meal times, chewing thoughtfully and savouring the taste of food as it is eaten slowly are all ways to eat more mindfully.
How effective attentive eating can be was the subject of a recent systematic review and meta-analysis. From 18 studies examined, the findings were in favour of mindful eating being able to help with weight loss. An average of three kilograms was lost from being involved in a mindful eating program and this weight loss was maintained when people were followed up after the study finished.
On top of the weight loss, there was also an improvement in eating behaviours such as emotional eating, stress eating and non-hungry eating which are linked to obesity.
Mindful eating can play a small, but important part in helping to lose and maintain weight while at the same time promoting positive eating behaviours.
Last Reviewed: 08/08/2018
Norman Swan Medical Communications
Carrière K et al. Mindfulness-based interventions for weight loss: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Obesity Reviews 2018;19:164-177.
Why does weight go back on?
Research into a drug for type 2 diabetes may inadvertently help to explain that weight regain for people that diet to lose weight is not a simple matter of poor self-control.
Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight
Even losing 5-10 per cent of your bodyweight if you are overweight or obese can have a beneficial effect. Find out how to lose weight and keep it off.
Obesity and overweight
Energy-dense foods (those that have a lot of kilojoules in a small volume) can be associated with weight gain, especially if you eat a lot of them. These foods tend to be high in sugar and/or fat.
Weight loss surgery
There are several types of weight loss surgery – also known as bariatric surgery. Weight loss surgery can help you lose 50 per cent or more of your excess weight in 2 years.
The benefits of swapping to wholegrain foods
Lowered energy absorption and a rise in metabolic rate could be two new reasons in favour of making the change to wholegrain.