Mindfulness, Emotional Eating, and Overweight

Mindfulness training may influence the eating habits and weight management. A recent study investigated the effects of a mindfulness and compassion-based method among 53 overweight or obese women (Palmeira et al., 2017). The study examined the possible influences of the intervention on the quality of life, weight self-stigma, body mass index, as well as the behaviors of emotional eating.

After the intervention, including the 3-month follow-up, higher quality of life was reported with higher levels of mindfulness and self-compassion among the participants (Palmeira et al., 2017). In addition, lower levels of emotional eating or weight-related experiential avoidance were observed. Other changes included lower levels of self-criticism and body mass index.

Among the changes, the lower levels of shame and self-criticism were found to be more associated with the improvements in health-related outcomes (Palmeira et al., 2017). In addition, the elevated levels of mindfulness and self-compassion were related to the weight loss and improved eating behaviors. These changes demonstrate the potential effects of mindfulness training. However, trials based on larger populations are still needed.

References:

Palmeira L, Cunha M, Pinto-Gouveia J. Processes of change in quality of life, weight self-stigma, body mass index and emotional eating after an acceptance-, mindfulness- and compassion-based group intervention (Kg-Free) for women with overweight and obesity. J Health Psychol. 2017 Jan 1:1359105316686668. doi: 10.1177/1359105316686668.

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