Mind-Body Techniques and Weight Control

October 6, 2016
by Pharm Tao

In today’s industrialized world, the problems of chronic stress and obesity are becoming more and more serious. In the meantime, mindfulness-based methods such as mindful eating are getting more and more popular in recent years. The practice of mind-body techniques such as meditation has been suggested helpful for healthy weight control.

However, such approaches still need the support from scientific studies with the understanding of the underlying mechanisms. Studies from the psychological aspect of mindfulness would be helpful.

Some advantages have been suggested by addressing self-compassion and compassion training in the common mindfulness programs for promoting weight loss (Mantzios and Wilson 2015). Meta-analyses have confirmed that mindfulness meditations focusing on eating habits and behaviors may be very beneficial for weight management.

A recent study evaluated the relationship between mind-body practice and body weight among a total of 61,704 individuals (Camilleri et al. 2016). The results of the study showed that those who practiced mind-body techniques regularly had significantly lower possibilities of being overweight or obese, with a lower body-mass index (BMI) than those who had never practiced the techniques.

References:

Camilleri GM, Méjean C, Bellisle F, Hercberg S, Péneau S. Mind-Body Practice and Body Weight Status in a Large Population-Based Sample of Adults. Am J Prev Med. 2016 Apr;50(4):e101-9. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2015.10.005.

Mantzios M, Wilson JC. Mindfulness, Eating Behaviours, and Obesity: A Review and Reflection on Current Findings. Curr Obes Rep. 2015 Mar;4(1):141-6. doi: 10.1007/s13679-014-0131-x.

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