The link between meditation and weightloss

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The link between meditation and weightloss

Studies conducted at UC San Francisco have resulted in finding that show meditation is a possible component in weight loss and self-control when in comes to food habits.

In basic terms, 47 women who are heavier than their ideal weight were split into two groups – no diet changes were enforces, but each group received the same education on proper dietary habits and exercise.

One group received additional training – in meditation and ‘mindful eating’. ‘Mindful eating” refers to the practice of being aware of the sensory phenomenon of eating as one does it. Daily meditation sessions of thirty minutes were also practiced by this group.

Not only does meditation reduce stress, which leads to less emotional eating, but mindfulness can help one control cravings and stop eating when full.

The first set of results showed success. The women who formed the control group gained weight, while those in the experimental group maintained their weight. They also proved to have lower cortisol levels, proving that there was a decrease in stress as high cortisol levels are a consequence of stress.

As stated in the press release, researcher Jennifer Daubenmier concludes that one the goals of the study was to train the mind to be more aware, so that habitual reactions such as reaching for sugary snacks when stressed can be stopped. These feelings are recognized prior to eating impulsively, and one can therefore make a better decision.
There are pitfall in this particular study, such as the relatively small size of the testing group and the fact that only women who registered as ‘obese’ by their BMI experienced much difference in their weight. What was significant was the reduction of stress levels.

The study is very consistent with other, similar findings. Meditation continues to be an interesting and contentious topic amongst scientists. As more real research is applied to the field, the possibilities of what we still discover about it are limitless.

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