You also devour one chocolate after another as soon as you are stressed, emotional or anxious? You are not the only one. Many people stop everything in their mouths without really thinking about it. According to new research, mindfulness or more conscious learning to eat is also the solution in the fight against surplus kilos.
“Unfortunately, a lot of people use nutrition as an emotional boost. Occasionally letting you go is not a problem, but if it occurs systematically, it can have an impact on a person’s health”, says doctor Petra Hanson from the University of Warwick. That is why she and her team wanted to check whether mindfulness can help overweight people lose weight. After all, this meditation technique helps you overcome your problems by becoming more aware of your thoughts and feelings and how to respond to them.
What turned out? After only 4 sessions of one and a half hours participants lost an average of 3kg, while those who did not follow a mindfulness session lost only 0.2 kg. This is mainly because the participants were more aware of the moment they were about to let themselves go in an emotional dribble. “Mindfulness really helps people to gain more insight into and become more aware of their own emotional state, so that they are less likely to be seduced by unhealthy food choices,” says Hanson.
They learn to eat more slowly, to enjoy every bite and to focus on the taste. “Many people eat in front of the television or behind their computer screen, so they do not even know what they are playing inside. Sitting at the table to eat is already a first step to learn to eat more consciously,” said the lead author. “And so, they learn step by step to let themselves go more in an emotional dribble. Mindfulness is certainly a handy tool to change your eating habits and other lifestyle habits”, concludes the researcher.