Eat Mindfully, Savor Your Food, Boost Weight Loss

Eat Mindfully, Savor Your Food, Boost Weight Loss

by Amrita Surendranath on  May 21, 2017 at 12:57 PM Health In Focus
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Highlights
  • There is a rampant practice of mindless eating which has led to increase in obesity levels with a corresponding increase in risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes
  • A research team from University of North Carolina has found that practicing mindful eating promotes weight loss
  • In the study, participants who followed mindful eating practices lost 1.9kg when compared to the control group that lost 0.3 kg.
An individual is considered to have healthy weight range when the BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9. Maintaining a healthy weight is necessary to lower the risk of diseases like coronary artery disease and diabetes. Most overweight people, in their quest to lose weight, resort to various diets and exercise routines. A simple yet effective tip would be to practice mindful eating, as indicated by a research study conducted by Dr. Carolyn Dunn from The North Carolina State University and colleagues.
Eat Mindfully, Savor Your Food, Boost Weight Loss
Eat Mindfully, Savor Your Food, Boost Weight Loss

Mindful eating is the practice of focusing on eating and increasing awareness about the food consumed. This is now being suggested as a possible strategy to lose weight. The study conducted by Dr. Carolyn involved identifying the effectiveness of a program called ESMMWL - Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less. The study also focused on the association between weight loss and the practice of mindful eating.

ESMMWL - Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less:

The research team from The University of North Carolina developed the ESMMWL which was based on the theory that focusing on eating could help participants change unhealthy eating practices and help with weight management.

Identifying Mindful Eating Questionnaire:

Mindful Eating Questionnaire (MEQ) was administered to the participants and involved a 28-item questionnaire which delved into 5 aspects of mindful eating. The participants were given a live class from an instructor on their mobile or computer, at the same time every week, as a part of the synchronous distance technology.

Practicing mindful eating involves

  • Being attentive to feelings of hunger and satiety (fullness)
  • Planning snacks and meals carefully
  • Eating as a sole activity and not during other activities like watching TV
  • Paying additional care to appreciate the taste of the food being eaten
  • Eating just a small proportion, like one or two bites, of calorie rich foods and enjoying the flavor


Identifying the Effectiveness of ESMMWL

The study included 80 participants who were part of a randomized controlled trial that tested the significance of ESMMWL on weight loss. This constituted a 15-week online weight management program, and subjects who enrolled in the ESMMWL program were asked if they were willing to participate in the study.

The study found that

  • People who enrolled for the ESMMWL lost more weight(1.9kg) than participants in the control group(0.3)


The research team associated with the study stated that there was a beneficial association between weight loss and the practice of mindful eating. This is the first study that utilized stringent methodology to identify the effectiveness of mindful eating. Further research is being conducted to determine the effectiveness of mindful eating in controlling the risk for diabetes.

6 TIPS to Practice Mindful Eating

Mindful eating is more about appreciating the taste rather than loading up on calories. In mindless eating, there is constant gorging of food, ignoring the needs of the body.

Since mindful eating is found to help with weight loss, here are 6 tips to practice mindful eating

  1. Listen to your body: The most important aspect to mindful eating is to listen to your body. Eat when you are hungry and stop when the feeling of fullness sets in. This includes staying away from desserts if the body already signals satiety.
  2. Eat With Others: People tend to be more conscious about what they eat in the presence of company. Moreover, eating with family is a great chance to bond over a meal.
  3. Relish Every Taste: Enjoy every flavor and taste. Mindful eating practices include appreciating the taste of every food group, from a raisin to a meat patty. This way, the body will be satisfied with the meal experience, leading to increased feeling of fullness.
  4. Eat Nutritious Food: Be involved with the nutritional aspect of the food, this will help you appreciate the food better and it is also be good for health.
  5. Understand the Source of The Food: Identify the source of the food, appreciate the effort that has gone into growing the food, this will help you enjoy the meal better.
  6. Focus only on Eating: Most people tend to carry out other activities when eating, like talking over the phone or watching TV or being involved in business discussions. This can take the focus away from eating, which will lead to mindless eating. The emphasis should be only on eating which is the essence of mindful eating.


Mindful eating is a great way to not only appreciate the food that we eat but also to respect our body, and eat food that is good for the body, which could consequently lead to effective weight loss.

References:

  1. 6 Ways to Practice Mindful Eating - (https:www.mindful.org/6-ways-practice-mindful-eating/)


Source: Medindia

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