If you are hoping to change your eating habits, you might want to start off with how you look at and perceive food. If you’ve made a resolution to lose weight this year, you’ve probably started hitting the gym and cutting calories. But is that all you need to do? There’s something else that will help further your weight loss journey and it happens to be ‘mindful eating’.
In a study that was published in Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism last month, researchers from the United Kingdom offered mindfulness training to 53 participants in an obesity management program. They found that the 33 people who completed the mindfulness sessions dropped, on average, about 6 pounds more than those who chose not to take the course. On an average, those who underwent four mindfulness sessions lost an average of 6.6 pounds while those who attended two or fewer classes shed about 2 pounds. “This is something people need to hear, especially as they’re working on their New Year’s resolutions and falling back on the same things they’ve always done that haven’t worked,” said Brad Crump, DC, health services manager at Red Mountain Resort, which offers weight-loss retreats with a focus on mindfulness. “When it comes to losing weight, there’s so much focus on calories in, calories out and exercise, but another big component is our relationship with food,” Crump added.
What exactly is ‘mindfulness’? Mindfulness is a practice that helps people develop “awareness and acceptance” of challenging experiences, along with more control over their reactions and behaviours. Mindfulness can help not just with weight loss but can also help curb emotional eating, feelings of defeat and self-criticism.