How to achieve sustainable weight loss

 

It’s no surprise that January sees many of us keen to shed extra weight we put on during a food-filled festive season. Any calorie-controlled diet will help us lose weight; the question is whether the weight will stay off, and whether we can achieve both a healthier sustainable weight through a diet we can live with longer term that is also beneficial to our health. New research suggests mindfulness can help.

The principle behind mindfulness is straightforward: a state of being where your attention is focused inwardly, without judgement; this allows you to identify emotions, thoughts and influences and, rather than fighting against them, recognise them for what they are and letting them go if need be. So, when it comes to attempting to lose weight, especially altering eating habits for sustainable results, mindfulness can be used to identify the triggers behind the behaviours we wish to change.

Researchers now suggest that mindfulness can also significantly aid in even general weight loss efforts. In the recent study, of the 53 participants, 33 took part in at least three of four mindfulness training sessions, which taught them to practice mindfulness while eating. Over the next 6 months, the participants who had attended three or four mindfulness sessions lost, on average, three times more weight – 3 kilograms, while those who had only attended one or two mindfulness sessions lost an average of just 0.9 kilograms. When compared with a control group of 20 participants who attended the same weight management program but no mindfulness sessions, the individuals who had received complete mindfulness training shed an average of 2.85 kilograms more.

Improving our relationship with food

Individuals who completed the course reported they were better able to plan meals in advance and felt more confident in self-management of weight loss. And just as the same diet solution doesn’t suit all when it comes to dealing with the complexities of weight management, mindfulness can help us all move away from just a fad diet for a quick fix.

  • Awareness of what we are eating
  • Mindfulness about our food choices
  • Taking care to move more
  • Making sure we sleep

These are all relevant and simple steps to help our health and weight in 2019. Often the challenge lies in changing behaviour, which can be tough. Developing the right mindset, acquiring the right tactics, receiving encouragement – while also being held accountable in adopting change – may help – so don’t be afraid to reach out to us for assistance and click here to check out our courses if you would like to find out more.

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Iris is the founder of No Targets Just Routine. She has researched food since 2009 and believes “Happiness is real food shared with loved ones.”

Taking the emotion out of emotional eating

 

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Ian Thomas, RD

 

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