Eat mindfully for weight loss that lasts, studies suggest

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They concluded, “The control of eating speed may therefore be a possible means of regulating body fat and preventing obesity.”

Even the highly publicized DIETFITS report that appeared in the Feb. 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association provided support for mindful eating.

The randomized, controlled trial was mainly designed to compare the weight loss effectiveness of low-fat diets vs. low-carb diets. The results showed no differences between the two after 12 months.

However, this doesn’t mean the diets failed. In fact, they succeeded, giving subjects an average 12-pound weight loss. This reduction occurred because many subjects were able to stick to their diets — both groups consumed roughly 500 fewer calories per day — for 12 months. There was little loss of adherence.

Why? Probably because the Stanford investigators did an excellent job educating both groups with 22 instructional sessions and a simple, repetitive message: Reduce added sugars, while eating more vegetables and fewer highly processed foods.

“On both sides, we heard from people who had lost the most weight that we helped them change their relationship to food,” said lead researcher Chris Gardner. “And that now they were more thoughtful about how they ate.”