Mindfulness, Behaviors, and Weight Loss

Can mindfulness trainings have effects on behaviors and weight control among those with overweight and obesity? A meta-analysis examined such possible effects from 12 randomized controlled trials (Ruffault et al., 2016). The studies were about the influences of mindfulness trainings on weight control and eating behaviors such as impulsive eating and binge eating, as well as physical activities in people with overweight and obesity.

The meta-analysis found that although mindfulness trainings may not have direct or obvious effects on weight control, such exercises may help manage the behaviors of impulsive eating and binge eating (Ruffault et al., 2016). Such strategies may also help promote the involvement of physical activities.

In addition, the meta-analysis indicated that longer follow-up periods were related to higher levels of weight loss (Ruffault et al., 2016). Such findings suggest that mindfulness trainings may lead to health-associated behaviors not just in short term. They may also have benefits for weight management in the long term. More studies are still needed to detect the long-term effects of mindfulness trainings on weight loss to ease the problems of overweight and obesity.


Ruffault, A., Czernichow, S., Hagger, M. S., Ferrand, M., Erichot, N., Carette, C., … Flahault, C. (2016). The effects of mindfulness training on weight-loss and health related behaviours in adults with overweight and obesity: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Obesity Research & Clinical Practice.

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