The Mental Technique That Reduces Belly Fat

The way of thinking is linked to a 34 percent lower obesity risk.

The way of thinking is linked to a 34 percent lower obesity risk.

People who think mindfully have less belly fat, research finds.

Mindfulness is not only linked to a reduced amount of abdominal fat, but also a 34 percent lower chance of being obese.

Being mindful does not necessarily mean meditating, it can just mean everyday mindfulness.

Some people are naturally more mindful, but the trait can be trained (try these mindfulness exercises).

Many of the things people consume, they do so automatically, without attending to the consequences.

Attention to the present moment may also help overcome a common aversion to exercising.

The conclusions come from a study that included 394 people.

They were tested for mindfulness and scanned for body mass.

People with low levels of mindfulness tended to agree with statements like:

  • I find it difficult to stay focused on what’s happening in the present.
  • I could be experiencing some emotion and not be conscious of it until some time later.

The results showed a modest link between higher mindfulness and a lower risk of being obese.

Mindfulness probably helps reduce belly fat by increasing awareness of eating and drinking behaviours.

Eating is so routine that we easily zone out from the experience.

While the mind wanders, though, eating can continue automatically.

Studies have shown that people eat more when they are distracted, like when watching TV or talking with friends.

Unfortunately, when not focusing on our food, we tend to eat more and get less enjoyment from it.

The positive effects of mindfulness extend out to physical features like lower blood pressure and lower cortisol levels.

In addition to its physical benefits, mindfulness has been shown to have therapeutic benefits in depression, anxiety, substance abuse, chronic pain and eating disorders.

The study was published in the journal International Journal of Behavioral Medicine (Loucks et al., 2015).

Author: Dr Jeremy Dean

Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology. He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004.

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