Mindfulness Could Help Weight Loss In Obese Individuals

Self, Health And Wellness

Getting Your Mind And Body To Work Together In Sync Is Vital For Overall Physical Health, Wellbeing

Can Mindfulness Assist in Losing and Managing Your Weight?

Getting your mind and body to work together in sync is vital for overall physical health and wellbeing. While nobody argues that mindfulness can have a positive effect on how we feel, many were surprised by claims that utilizing mediation and other techniques of mindfulness can support our weight loss goals. Here are the details on what was recently discovered

Improve Weight Loss and Management with Mindfulness, Study Claims

The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism edited by Endocrine Society recently published a small study with exciting results. They observed individuals in the six-month period during which they were tasked to maintain their weight. A portion of them was asked to take part in mindfulness courses and they showed better results at the end of the studied period.

Petra Hanson, one of the authors of the study, explains that mindfulness can help people on various weight loss treatments to deal with there cravings and manage their eating patterns better.

“In the United Kingdom, this is the first study that incorporated mindfulness into weight loss and evaluated whether it can be effective in helping patients to lose extra pounds,” said Hanson, proudly emphasizing that the results of their study were positive.

The Research Process and Results

A total of 53 adults participated in the study. They all agreed to take part in a specially designed weight management regime at Warwickshire NHS Trust and University Hospital Coventry. More than half (33) of those who participated in the study were asked to attend three or more mindfulness classes.  

During these classes, the participants discussed various issues, including how vital self-confidence is on the way to achieve ideal weight, as well as the potential role of self-criticism. The teachers also insisted on discussing how to avoid mindless eating and handle cravings in an optimal way.  

The results indicate that those who participated in the courses lost approximately 6.6 pounds over six months. The surprising part of the research results was that those who haven’t attended the mindfulness classes only lost 0.3 pounds on average of even gained weight!

Why Is This Important?

According to Hanson’s interview with Medical Xpress, it is because it proved utilizing mindfulness can assist this population group to better understand food and nutrition.

“Those who attended the classes told us they were more confident that their plan will succeed. They prepared their food in advance and they achieved better results in the end. This implies that we should consider developing similar mindfulness classes and making them available at clinics or in digital forms so that it can have a wider reach.”

According to Thomas M. Barber, another author who participated in preparing the paper, today it’s all about making the right choices.
“There are so many things to choose from in each area of our lives which makes it essential to promote techniques on how to make decisions that fit a healthy lifestyle. This study shows that mindfulness may be the way to achieve that.”

What Is Mindfulness?

We talked so much about mindfulness in this article, but do you even know what it exactly is? The simple definition is that mindfulness is the ability of a human mind to be completely aware and present in the current moment. It means that you are committed to what is going on without letting it overwhelm you in any way or make your mind drift away.

The potential benefits of mindfulness include:

  • Promoting positive emotions and mood while decreasing stress and negative thoughts.
  • Boosting memory, learning, and empathy abilities of your brain.
  • Increasing your focus and attention spans while teaching you to ignore distractions.
  • Helping to decrease stress and anxiety, as well as signs of depression and PTSD.
  • Improving immunity to assist in fighting various illnesses.  

While there are no easy ways to lose weight, mindfulness can assist in the process by promoting healthy eating habits and helping to manage cravings.  

Mindfulness Techniques You Can Apply Today

The cool thing about mindfulness is that everyone can start applying it right away. While meditation is often identified with mindfulness, the truth is that there are many exercises that can teach you to be more mindful. These are:

  • Breathing – If possible, be in the lotus (meditation) pose while doing this exercise. Slowly breathe in through your nose and then breathe out through your mouth. Make it as effortless as possible and focus on each cycle to last for about 5-6 seconds.
  • Observation – Sit down on the bench at the park and pick a flower or another natural object in your vicinity. Focus on it for an entire minute and don’t do anything besides that. Explore each detail and allow yourself to connect with it.
  • Appreciation – You may use a kettle to make tea every morning. The next time you do that, focus on the kettle for a minute. Explore its various aspects – consider how it works, what are its benefits and how would your life be without it. Try to show appreciation for any object or person around you.

There are other techniques that you can apply, too, such as awareness, immersion, and listening.

Conclusion

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Although this is just a single study, there is no doubt that mindfulness can deliver benefits you can utilize to support your weight loss goals. Increased focus and self-confidence, as well as improved overall mood and reduced stress and anxiety, can all get you closer to your optimal weight. You can consider applying some techniques today or simply find a mindfulness course nearby and apply today.

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