Doctors Suggest That Mindfulness May Help Weight Loss For Obese People

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A United Kingdom study suggests that mindfulness techniques alongside weight loss programs could help to better actual weight loss, reports Medscape. The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism on December 18. Results of the study showed that individuals who completed a mindfulness course not only had greater self-esteem, but also had more confidence around weight loss while developing a better relationship with their food.

The program that dieters being studied participated in was a four week mindfulness course. These people showed to have had “significantly greater weight loss at 6 months” after the course that those who did not take part in the mindfulness exercises.

Good health and wellbeing is essential for a healthy lifestyle, as Thomas Barber, the senior author of the published study, told the press in a release about the results.

“Mindfulness has huge potential as a strategy for achieving and maintaining good health and wellbeing. With the burgeoning impact of 21st Century chronic disease, much of which relates to lifestyle behavior choices, it is logical that focus should be on enabling the populace to make appropriate lifestyle decisions, and empowering subsequent salutary behavior change. In the context of obesity and eating-related behaviors, we have demonstrated that mindfulness techniques can do just that.”

Other doctors are also stating that mindfulness has “massive potential” to combat for healthy eating and healthy lifestyles. Dr. Petra Hanson, who is a researcher at Warwick Institute for the Study of Diabetes Endocrinology and Metabolism at the University Hospital Coventry, was part of this study. Dr. Hanson asked more than 50 obese people to join the weight loss program and to also attend these mindfulness sessions.

Hanson states that patients who develop obesity “tend to engage in mindless eating, often having their meals in front of TV, eating when not hungry and choosing food as a comfort in times of stress.”

Dan Howarth, the head of care at the charity Diabetes in the United Kingdom, was not actually involved in the research; however he has commented on it, stating that he believes in the potential of mindfulness after seeing the results.

“This study suggests that mindfulness could be a useful tool in helping people to lose weight and maintain healthy eating habits….carefully managed weight loss can put some people’s type 2 diabetes into remission. So it’s vital that we find out more about psychosocial aids to weight loss, such as mindfulness, to help make remission a realistic option for as many people living with type 2 diabetes as possible.”