Eating Mindfully Aids Weight Loss, Blood Sugar

We all remember the book Think Yourself Thin from the ‘90s. The self-help book proclaimed we could visualize ourselves into weight loss. That might not be as absurd as it sounds.

A study from Warwick Univ. showed that people trained in mindfulness lost more weight than those that didn’t. They were taught to pay attention to their food, their hunger levels and self-criticism. By the end of the trail, they had lost an average of 6.3 pounds more than the people in the control group.

A study from the Univ. of California San Francisco found that people trained in mindfulness had better maintenance of their fasting glucose levels. The study had different groups of participants either dieting or eating mindfully for five and a half months. The group of participants in the mindfulness group not only saw more weight loss but also steadier levels of blood sugar.

Have you ever been at a computer, reading a book or watching TV and reached for a delicious treat you had been looking forward to only to realize you already unthinkingly ate it? It’s a huge disappointment. Then your brain tells you to have another, to make up for the one you didn’t experience. Paying attention while eating means you process it, and your brain, as well as your body, feels satiated.

The great news is, you don’t have to make massive changes. You can make small switches, like using a smaller plate. By giving yourself a smaller portion, you will pause after eating, considering whether or not you are hungry or just acting by rote? You should also try eating at a table without distractions, like books. It can be easy, especially when living alone to eat at the counter or on the couch. You might watch TV or listen to the radio while eating. It distracts your attention from your food.

So, turn off the sound and enjoy your meal. Forming habits can be difficult and, if you are an “all or nothing” sort of person who needs a steady routine, you can use a more disciplined plan, with steps, or a mindful eating app.

January 16, 2019
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