Improve Eating Behavior in Obese Cancer Survivors with Mindfulness

Improve Eating Behavior in Obese Cancer Survivors with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Mindful eating helps you distinguish between emotional and physical hunger. It also increases your awareness of food-related triggers and gives you the freedom to choose your response to them.” – Adda Bjarnadottir

 

Eating is produced by two categories of signals. Homeostatic signals emerge from the body’s need for nutrients, is associated with feelings of hunger, and usually work to balance intake with expenditure. Non-homeostatic eating, on the other hand, is not tied to nutrient needs or hunger but rather to the environment, to emotional states, and or to the pleasurable and rewarding qualities of food. These cues can be powerful signals to eat even when there is no physical need for food. External eating is non-homeostatic eating in response to the environmental stimuli that surround us, including the sight and smell of food or the sight of food related cause such as the time of day or a fast food restaurant ad or sign.

 

Mindful eating involves paying attention to eating while it is occurring, including attention to the sight, smell, flavors, and textures of food, to the process of chewing and may help reduce intake. Indeed, high levels of mindfulness are associated with lower levels of obesity and mindfulness training has been shown to reduce binge eating, emotional eating, and external eating.

 

A mindfulness training technique that was developed to treat addictions called Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) involves 10 weekly sessions of 2 hours and includes mindful breathing and body scan meditations, cognitive reappraisal to decrease negative emotions and craving, and savoring to augment natural reward processing and positive emotion. Participants are also encouraged to practice at home for 15 minutes per day. It is not known if MORE is effective in changing eating behavior in obese women cancer survivors.

 

In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement Restructures Reward Processing and Promotes Interoceptive Awareness in Overweight Cancer Survivors: Mechanistic Results From a Stage 1 Randomized Controlled Trial.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6552347/), Thomas and colleagues recruited obese (BMI >30) women who had a cancer diagnosis either current or in remission. They were randomly assigned to receive a 10-week, 1.5-hour session, once per week, of either a standard exercise and nutrition program or the Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) program. The participants were measured before and after the program for body composition, eating behaviors, interoceptive awareness, savoring the moment, and attention bias toward food. In addition, they were measured for muscular electrical responses to food and non-food pictures to assess responsiveness to cues.

They found that in comparison to baseline and the exercise and nutrition program Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) produced significantly greater increases in smiling to natural reward cues, and interoceptive awareness including increases in noticing body sensations, attention regulation, self-regulation, and body listening, and significant decreases in attentional responsiveness to food cues and external eating. Using a path analysis, they found that MORE had its effects on attentional responsiveness to food cues directly and also indirectly by its positive effects on attention bias toward natural reward cues that, in turn, negatively affected their responsiveness to food cues. Finally, these decreases in attentional responsiveness to food cues were related to decreases in the participants’ waist to hip ratio.

 

These results are interesting and suggest that Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) may reduce inappropriate responsiveness to food in obese women with cancer by increasing their awareness of their internal state (interoceptive awareness) and their responsiveness to natural reward cues. Hence, the training makes the women more sensitive to their actual internal state which makes them more responsive to real hunger and satiety and less responsive to non-homeostatic eating signals. In addition, it appears to allow them to receive more reward from non-food related natural stimuli and thereby reduce their need to receive reward through eating. Thus, MORE appears to improve obese women’s ability to better regulate their eating behavior.

 

So, improve eating behavior in obese cancer survivors with mindfulness.

 

“Mindfulness practice helps individuals develop skills for self-regulation by improving awareness of emotional and sensory cues, which are also important in altering one’s relationship with food.” –  Sunil Daniel

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Thomas, E. A., Mijangos, J. L., Hansen, P. A., White, S., Walker, D., Reimers, C., … Garland, E. L. (2019). Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement Restructures Reward Processing and Promotes Interoceptive Awareness in Overweight Cancer Survivors: Mechanistic Results From a Stage 1 Randomized Controlled Trial. Integrative cancer therapies, 18, 1534735419855138. doi:10.1177/1534735419855138

 

Abstract

Introduction: The primary aims of this Stage I pilot randomized controlled trial were to establish the feasibility of integrating exercise and nutrition counseling with Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE), a novel intervention that unites training in mindfulness, reappraisal, and savoring skills to target mechanisms underpinning appetitive dysregulation a pathogenic process that contributes to obesity among cancer survivors; to identify potential therapeutic mechanisms of the MORE intervention; and to obtain effect sizes to power a subsequent Stage II trial. Methods: Female overweight and obese cancer survivors (N = 51; mean age = 57.92 ± 10.04; 88% breast cancer history; 96% white) were randomized to one of two 10-week study treatment conditions: (a) exercise and nutrition counseling or (b) exercise and nutrition counseling plus the MORE intervention. Trial feasibility was assessed via recruitment and retention metrics. Measures of therapeutic mechanisms included self-reported interoceptive awareness, maladaptive eating behaviors, and savoring, as well as natural reward responsiveness and food attentional bias, which were evaluated as psychophysiological mechanisms. Results: Feasibility was demonstrated by 82% of participants who initiated MORE receiving a full dose of the intervention. Linear mixed models revealed that the addition of MORE led to significantly greater increases in indices of interoceptive awareness, savoring, and natural reward responsiveness, and, significantly greater decreases in external eating behaviors and food attentional bias—the latter of which was significantly associated with decreases in waist-to-hip ratio. Path analysis demonstrated that the effect of MORE on reducing food attentional bias was mediated by increased zygomatic electromyographic activation during attention to natural rewards. Conclusions and Implications: MORE may target appetitive dysregulatory mechanisms implicated in obesity by promoting interoceptive awareness and restructuring reward responsiveness.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6552347/

 

Improve Eating Control and Binge Eating with Mindfulness

Improve Eating Control and Binge Eating with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

self-compassion—a necessary component of healing from any eating disorder. Women who binge often feel shame and guilt about their behavior. “Women hear all the time that lack of willpower made you fat, made you binge. That message is that if you do binge, you’re bad,” – Kelly McDonigal

 

Obesity has become an epidemic in the industrialized world. In the U.S. the incidence of obesity, has more than doubled over the last 35 years to currently around 35% of the population, while two thirds of the population are considered overweight or obese (Body Mass Index; BMI > 25).

Obviously, there is a need for effective treatments to prevent or treat obesity. But, despite copious research and a myriad of dietary and exercise programs, there still is no safe and effective treatment. Mindfulness is known to be associated with lower risk for obesityalter eating behavior and improve health in obesity.

 

Eating disorders are common in the obese. Around 30 million people in the United States of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder; either anorexia nervosa, bulimia, or binge eating disorder. Eating disorders are not just troubling psychological problems, they can be deadly, having the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Eating disorders can be difficult to treat because eating is necessary and cannot be simply stopped as in smoking cessation or abstaining from drugs or alcohol. One must learn to eat appropriately not stop. So, it is important to find methods that can help prevent and treat eating disorders. Contemplative practices, mindfulness, and mindful eating have shown promise for treating eating disorders. Hence, it makes sense to study the relationships of mindfulness with eating disorders in obese individuals.

 

In today’s Research News article “Less Binge Eating and Loss of Control over Eating Are Associated with Greater Levels of Mindfulness: Identifying Patterns in Postmenopausal Women with Obesity.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6523377/), Smith and colleagues recruited obese postmenopausal women (aged 45-65 years). They were measured for mindfulness, eating disorders, and control of eating.

 

They found that mindfulness was negatively related to binge eating and loss of control over eating. This was true for four of the five facets of mindfulness, describe, acting with awareness, non-judging, and non-reacting, but not observing. Participants with low levels of binge eating had high levels of mindfulness.

 

These results are correlational and causation cannot be concluded. But prior studies have shown that mindfulness training reduces the levels of eating disorders. So, it is likely that the current results resulted from this causal relationship. This study demonstrates that the eating disorder of binge eating is related to low levels of mindfulness in postmenopausal obese women and this is also related to loss of control over eating. This suggests that training in mindfulness may be helpful to these women in establishing control of their eating and reduce binge eating.

 

So, improve eating control and binge eating with mindfulness.

 

“By taking more conscious control over what, how and when you binge you increase your ability to control your behaviors and to make better dietary choices in general.” – John Lee

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Smith, V. M., Seimon, R. V., Harris, R. A., Sainsbury, A., & da Luz, F. Q. (2019). Less Binge Eating and Loss of Control over Eating Are Associated with Greater Levels of Mindfulness: Identifying Patterns in Postmenopausal Women with Obesity. Behavioral sciences (Basel, Switzerland), 9(4), 36. doi:10.3390/bs9040036

 

Abstract

Obesity is a public health concern resulting in widespread personal, social, and economic burden. Many individuals with obesity report feeling unable to stop eating or to control their food intake (i.e., a loss of control over eating) despite their best efforts. Experiencing loss of control over eating predicts further eating pathology and is a key feature of binge eating. Mindfulness (i.e., awareness and acceptance of current thoughts, feelings, sensations, and surrounding events) has emerged as a potential strategy to treat such eating disorder behaviors, but it is not known whether there is merit in investigating this strategy to address binge eating in postmenopausal women with obesity. Thus, this study aimed to examine the relationships between binge eating and mindfulness in postmenopausal women with obesity seeking weight loss treatment. Participants (n = 101) were assessed with the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire, the Loss of Control over Eating Scale, the Five-Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire, and the Langer Mindfulness Scale. Participants´ overall scores on both mindfulness scales were significantly and negatively correlated with binge eating frequency or the severity of loss of control over eating. Moreover, participants who reported fewer binge eating episodes were significantly more mindful than those who reported greater frequencies of binge eating episodes within the past 28 days. These findings suggest a merit in investigating the use of mindfulness-based therapies to treat binge eating in postmenopausal women with obesity.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6523377/

 

Improve Obesity with Metabolic Syndrome with Yoga Practice

 

Improve Obesity with Metabolic Syndrome with Yoga Practice

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“I think yoga can be a wonderful form of movement that bigger-bodied people can adapt for themselves.” For folks carrying more weight, low-impact exercises like yoga may be more comfortable than, say, running on the pavement. And most postures can be modified to fit your body. Plus, yoga isn’t that cycling class with the drill sergeant instructor. The mental component of yoga—the deep breathing, positive meditation and awareness—can boost confidence for people of all waistlines. “Yoga helps give you insight, and perhaps that insight can help you make better choices and eliminate negative self-talk,” – Laura McMullen

 

Obesity has become an epidemic in the industrialized world. In the U.S. the incidence of obesity, has more than doubled over the last 35 years to currently around 35% of the population, while two thirds of the population are considered overweight or obese (Body Mass Index; BMI > 25). Obesity has been found to shorten life expectancy by eight years and extreme obesity by 14 years. This occurs because obesity is associated with cardiovascular problems such as coronary heart disease and hypertension, stroke, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and others.

 

Metabolic Syndrome is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. It generally results from overweight and abdominal obesity and includes high blood pressure, insulin resistance and elevation of plasma cholesterol and triglycerides. It is highly associated with obesity and type-2 diabetes. Metabolic Syndrome incidence has been rising rapidly and it currently affects 34% of U.S. adults. The simplest treatment is simply exercise and weight loss. Also, mindfulness techniques have been shown to be effective in treating Metabolic Syndrome.

 

Obviously, there is a need for effective treatments to prevent or treat obesity and metabolic syndrome. But, despite copious research and a myriad of dietary and exercise programs, there still is no safe and effective treatment. Mindfulness is known to be associated with lower risk for obesityalter eating behavior and improve health in obesity. Yoga practice has been shown to have a myriad of physical and psychological benefits. These include significant loss in weight and body mass index (BMI), resting metabolism, and body fat in obese women with Type 2 diabetes and improve health in the obese. In addition, it has the added benefit of being a gentle exercise. Hence it would seem reasonable to further investigate the benefits of yoga practice on the weight and body composition of the obese with metabolic syndrome.

 

In today’s Research News article “One Year of Yoga Training Alters Ghrelin Axis in Centrally Obese Adults With Metabolic Syndrome.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6158302/ ), Yu and colleagues studied the effects of 1-year of yoga practice on the metabolic hormones that are involved in body weight and metabolism. They selected from a previous study yoga trained and control participants who were obese and were diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. Hatha yoga practice occurred for 1 hour, 3 times per week for 1 year. They were measured before and after training for waist circumference, blood pressure, heart rate, physical performance, and blood levels of glucose, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein, and cholesterol. In addition, the blood was assayed for peptides including insulin, markers of insulin resistance, ghrelin, obestatin, and growth hormone.

 

They found that the yoga group had a significantly greater decrease in waist circumference, 4%, compared to controls who had a 2% increase in waist circumference. The yoga group also had significantly greater improvements in resting heart rate and physical performance than the control group. Hence, yoga practice improves body size, physical ability and cardiovascular function in obese individuals with metabolic syndrome.

 

In addition, yoga training produced significantly greater decrease in the peptide obestatin and increases in growth hormone and ghrelin. High levels of obestatin and low levels of ghrelin and growth hormone have been found to be associated with obesity and metabolic syndrome. Hence, yoga practice produced a trend toward normalization of these hormones associated with obesity and metabolic syndrome.

 

These results suggest that yoga practice is beneficial for people with obesity and metabolic syndrome, improving their body size, and physical performance, and tending to normalize their metabolic hormonal state. This further suggests that practicing yoga may reduce risk factors and improve the long-term health of the obese with metabolic syndrome. Future research should compare the effectiveness of yoga practice to other exercise programs.

 

So, improve obesity with metabolic syndrome with yoga practice.

 

 “Yoga is a powerful activity that connects mind, body and a sense of self to achieve endless health benefits, including maintaining weight-loss. The philosophy of yoga fosters a healing practice that brings peace and acceptance to the self no matter where you are in your life. There are no prerequisites for yoga. You are not required to look a certain way, fold yourself into a tricky asana (pose), or even be at a certain level of flexibility.” – Laurel Dierking

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Yu, A. P., Ugwu, F. N., Tam, B. T., Lee, P. H., Lai, C. W., Wong, C., Lam, W. W., Sheridan, S., … Siu, P. M. (2018). One Year of Yoga Training Alters Ghrelin Axis in Centrally Obese Adults With Metabolic Syndrome. Frontiers in physiology, 9, 1321. doi:10.3389/fphys.2018.01321

 

Abstract

Introduction: Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a multiplex cardiometabolic manifestation associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases. Yoga training has been shown to alleviate MetS. Recently, circulatory ghrelin profile was demonstrated to be associated with MetS. This study examined the effects of 1 year of yoga training on β-cell function and insulin resistance, and the involvement of metabolic peptides, including unacylated ghrelin (UnAG), acylated ghrelin (AG), obestatin, growth hormone (GH), and insulin, in the beneficial effects of yoga training in centrally obese adults with MetS.

Methods: This was a follow up study, in which data of risk factors of MetS, physical performance tests [resting heart rate (HR), chair stand test (CS), chair sit and reach test (CSR), back scratch test (BS), and single leg stand tests (SLS)] and serum samples of 79 centrally obese MetS subjects aged 58 ± 8 years (39 subjects received 1-year yoga training and 40 subjects received no training) were retrieved for analyses. β-cell function and insulin resistance were examined by Homeostasis Model Assessment (HOMA). Circulating levels of UnAG, AG, obestatin, GH, and insulin were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay using fasting serum samples. Generalized estimating equation analysis and Mann–Whitney U-test were used to detect statistically significant differences between groups.

Results: Waist circumference (WC) was significantly decreased after yoga intervention (control: +2%; yoga: -4%). Significant improvements in HR (control: +2%; yoga: -5%), CS (control: -1%; yoga: +24%), CSR left (control: worsen by 0.90 cm; yoga: improved by 4.21 cm), CSR right (control: worsen by 0.75 cm; yoga: improved by 4.28 cm), right side of BS (control: improved by 0.19 cm; yoga: improved by 4.31 cm), SLS left (control: -10%; yoga: +86%), and SLS right (control: -6%; yoga: +47%) were observed after 1-year yoga training. No significant difference was found between the two groups in insulin, HOMA indices, and disposition index. Yoga training significantly increased circulating GH (control: -3%; yoga: +22%), total circulating ghrelin (control: -26%; yoga: +13%), and UnAG (control: -27%; yoga: +14%), whereas decreased AG (control: -7%; yoga: -33%) and obestatin (control: +24%; yoga: -29%).

Conclusion: One-year of yoga training modulated total ghrelin, UnAG, AG, obestatin, and GH while exerting beneficial effects on physical functions and central obesity in adults with MetS. The beneficial effects of yoga may be associated with the alteration of ghrelin gene product and GH.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6158302/

 

Improve Eating Regulation and Emotions in the Obese with Mindfulness

Improve Eating Regulation and Emotions in the Obese with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Researchers are learning that teaching obese individuals mindful eating skills—like paying closer attention to their bodies’ hunger cues and learning to savor their food—can help them change unhealthy eating patterns and lose weight. And, unlike other forms of treatment, mindfulness may get at the underlying causes of overeating—like craving, stress, and emotional eating—which make it so hard to defeat.” – Jill Suttie

 

Obesity has become an epidemic in the industrialized world. In the U.S. the incidence of obesity, has more than doubled over the last 35 years to currently around 35% of the population, while two thirds of the population are considered overweight or obese (Body Mass Index; BMI > 25). Although the incidence rates have appeared to stabilize, the fact that over a third of the population is considered obese is very troubling. This is because of the health consequences of obesity. Obesity has been found to shorten life expectancy by eight years and extreme obesity by 14 years. This occurs because obesity is associated with cardiovascular problems such as coronary heart disease and hypertension, stroke, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and others.

 

Obviously, there is a need for effective treatments to prevent or treat obesity. But, despite copious research and a myriad of dietary and exercise programs, there still is no safe and effective treatment. Mindfulness is known to be associated with lower risk for obesityalter eating behavior and improve health in obesity. Mindfulness training is also known to increase spirituality. This suggests that mindfulness training may be an effective treatment for overeating, overweight, and obesity. The relationship of spirituality to mindfulness and eating has not been previously explored.

 

In today’s Research News article “Mindful Eating: Connecting With the Wise Self, the Spiritual Self.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01271/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_755938_69_Psycho_20180904_arts_A ), Kristeller and colleagues recruited obese adults (BMI>35) and randomly assigned them to either receive Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training (MB-Eat) or to a wait-list control condition. Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training (MB-Eat) was delivered in 12, 2-hour sessions, once a week for 10 weeks and 2 monthly booster sessions. The participants were trained in meditation, including general mindfulness meditation, guided eating meditations, and “mini-meditations” used at meal time and throughout the day. They also received instructions on recognizing inner experiences related to hunger and food intake and also on nutritional and healthy eating. Participants were measured before, during and immediately after training and also at 1, 2, and 4 months later for eating and weight related issues, emotional regulation, state mindfulness, depression, anxiety, and spiritual well-being.

 

They found that in comparison to baseline and the wait-list group, the participants who received Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training (MB-Eat) had increased spiritual well-being particularly in the meaning/peace and faith factors that continued to grow all the way to the 2-month follow-up. They also found that the greater the increase in the meaning/peace and faith factors, the greater the decrease in depression, anxiety, and binge eating. Finally, they performed a mediation analysis that showed that increases in mindfulness were associated with decreases in both depression and binge eating directly and indirectly by being associated with increases in spiritual well-being meaning/peace which in turn was significantly related to decreases in both depression and binge eating.

 

These results suggest that obese individuals benefit from Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training (MB-Eat) training by developing mindfulness which helps develop spiritual well-being and these factors both contribute to an improved emotional state and less disordered eating. It appears that the effect of mindfulness on the benefits is in part mediated by spiritual well-being. Mindfulness training has been shown previously to improve eating behavior and reduce depression. This study, however, is the first to indicate that the effectiveness of mindfulness is in part due to its effects on the individual’s spirituality.

 

So, improve eating regulation and emotions in the obese with mindfulness.

 

 

“Some of the simplest, safest lessons to help adolescents combat obesity may be raising their awareness of what they are eating and whether they are even hungry.” – Phil Jones

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Kristeller JL and Jordan KD (2018) Mindful Eating: Connecting With the Wise Self, the Spiritual Self. Front. Psychol. 9:1271. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01271

 

In the Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training program (MB-EAT) (Kristeller and Wolever, 2014Kristeller and Woleverin press), mindfulness practice is taught, mindful eating is cultivated, and self-acceptance and spiritual well-being are enhanced. An integrative concept is the value of cultivating ‘wisdom’ in regard to creating a new and sustainable relationship to eating and food. ‘Wisdom’ refers to drawing on personal experience and understanding in a flexible, insightful manner, rather than strictly following external rules and guidelines. Several clinical trials involving variations of MB-EAT have documented substantive improvement in how people relate to their eating, including individuals with both binge eating disorder (BED) and subclinical eating issues. Based on the traditional value of contemplative practices for cultivating spiritual engagement, and on evidence from related research showing that spiritual well-being increases in the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program and is related to other effects, we hypothesized that the MB-EAT program would also engage this aspect of experience, as assessed by the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy – Spiritual Well-Being subscale (FACIT-Sp), and that increases in spiritual well-being would relate to other measures of adjustment such as emotional balance and improvement in disordered eating. Participants (N = 117) with moderate to morbid obesity, including 25.6% with BED, were randomly assigned to MB-EAT or a wait-list control, and assessed on the FACIT-Sp and other measures at baseline, immediate post (IP), and 2-month followup (F/Up). Both FACIT-Sp factors [Meaning/Peace (M/P) and Faith] increased significantly in the MB-EAT group and were stable/decreased in the control group. Increases in these factors related to improvement in emotional adjustment and eating regulation at IP and at F/Up, and to increases in aspects of mindfulness measured by the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ). Increases in M/P during treatment mediated effects of the FFMQ Observe factor on eating regulation and depression at IP. Results are discussed in terms of the role that mindfulness practice plays in cultivating ‘wise mind’ and the related value of spirituality. It is argued that the core elements of the MB-EAT program lead to meaningful spiritual engagement, which plays a role in people’s ability to improve and maintain overall self-regulation.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01271/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_755938_69_Psycho_20180904_arts_A

 

Improve Emotion Regulation and Gait in Obese Adolescents with Yoga

Improve Emotion Regulation and Gait in Obese Adolescents with Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

consider how stressful it must be in this image driven media age to be an overweight or obese child or teen. The well documented stress reduction factors of yoga practice are a powerful start to transforming health for youth suffering with the debilitating disease of obesity.” – Abby Wills

 

Obesity has become an epidemic in the industrialized world. In the U.S. the incidence of obesity, defined as a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or above has more than doubled over the last 35 years to currently around 35% of the population, while two thirds of the population are considered overweight or obese (BMI > 25). Sadly, children and adolescents have not been spared with 1 in 5 school age children and young people (6 to 19 years) classified as obese.

 

Although the incidence rates have appeared to stabilize, the fact that over a third of the population is considered obese is very troubling. This is because of the health consequences of obesity. Obesity has been found to shorten life expectancy by eight years and extreme obesity by 14 years. This occurs because obesity is associated with cardiovascular problems such as coronary heart disease and hypertension, stroke, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and others.

 

Obviously, there is a need for effective treatments to prevent or treat obesity. But, despite copious research and a myriad of dietary and exercise programs, there still is no safe and effective treatment. Mindfulness is known to be associated with lower risk for obesityalter eating behavior and improve health in obesity. This suggests that mindfulness training may be an effective treatment for overeating and obesity alone or in combination with other therapies. Yoga practice has been shown to have a myriad of physical and psychological benefits. These include significant loss in weight and body mass index (BMI), resting metabolism, and body fat in obese women with Type 2 diabetes and improve health in the obese.

 

It would seem reasonable to attack the problem early in life with the children and adolescents. Hence it would seem reasonable to investigate the benefits of yoga practice obese youths. In today’s Research News article “A Pilot Study of Iyengar Yoga for Pediatric Obesity: Effects on Gait and Emotional Functioning.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6068554/ ), Hainsworth and colleagues recruited obese adolescents (11 to 18 years of age) and provided them with an 8-week Iyengar yoga training occurring for 60 minutes twice a week. Before and after training they were measured for walking gait, health-related quality of life, pain, physical activity over 2-3 days, and acceptability of the yoga program.

 

They found significant improvements in gait, including improvements in hip, knee, and ankle joint movements during walking. There were also significant improvements in health-related quality of life and psychosocial and emotional functioning. No changes in weight or physical activity were noted. Hence, a brief yoga training was found to improve the gait, quality of life, and psychological health of obese adolescents.

 

This was a small, relatively brief trial without a control group. So, caution should be exercised in reaching conclusions. Because it involved a small number of adolescents and lasted only 8 weeks, it would have been surprising to have found changes in body weight. A longer trial would be needed. But the results are encouraging and suggest that yoga practice is a safe and effective treatment for obese adolescents. They suggest that a larger, randomized controlled clinical trial should be performed.

 

So, improve emotion regulation and gait in obese adolescents with yoga.

 

 “We found that those who were practicing yoga showed an improvement in their body satisfaction over the previous five years, and that the improvement was particularly strong among those who had a low level of body satisfaction to begin with — suggesting that those in greatest need can benefit from this practice,” – Dianne Neumark-Sztainer

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Hainsworth, K. R., Liu, X. C., Simpson, P. M., Swartz, A. M., Linneman, N., Tran, S. T., … Weisman, S. J. (2018). A Pilot Study of Iyengar Yoga for Pediatric Obesity: Effects on Gait and Emotional Functioning. Children, 5(7), 92. http://doi.org/10.3390/children5070092

 

Abstract

Obesity negatively impacts the kinematics and kinetics of the lower extremities in children and adolescents. Although yoga has the potential to provide several distinct benefits for children with obesity, this is the first study to examine the benefits of yoga for gait (primary outcome) in youths with obesity. Secondary outcomes included health-related quality of life (HRQoL), physical activity, and pain. Feasibility and acceptability were also assessed. Nine youths (11–17 years) participated in an eight-week Iyengar yoga intervention (bi-weekly 1-h classes). Gait, HRQOL (self and parent-proxy reports), and physical activity were assessed at baseline and post-yoga. Pain was self-reported at the beginning of each class. Significant improvements were found in multiple gait parameters, including hip, knee, and ankle motion and moments. Self-reported and parent-proxy reports of emotional functioning significantly improved. Time spent in physical activity and weight did not change. This study demonstrates that a relatively brief, non-invasive Iyengar yoga intervention can result in improved malalignment of the lower extremities during ambulation, as well as in clinically meaningful improvements in emotional functioning. This study extends current evidence that supports a role for yoga in pediatric obesity.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6068554/

 

Improve Weight Loss in the Overweight with Mindfulness

Improve Weight Loss in the Overweight with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

In our complex, fast-paced world, mindfulness meditation and similar techniques have been recommended to reduce stress, enhance immunity, boost learning, increase productivity and more. New research suggests an important addition to the list: At least three recent studies have suggested that mindful eating can improve weight-loss efforts and combat obesity.” – Amby Burfoot

 

Obesity has become an epidemic in the industrialized world. In the U.S. the incidence of obesity, has more than doubled over the last 35 years to currently around 35% of the population, while two thirds of the population are considered overweight or obese (Body Mass Index; BMI > 25). Although the incidence rates have appeared to stabilize, the fact that over a third of the population is considered obese is very troubling. This is because of the health consequences of obesity. Obesity has been found to shorten life expectancy by eight years and extreme obesity by 14 years. This occurs because obesity is associated with cardiovascular problems such as coronary heart disease and hypertension, stroke, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and others.

 

Obviously, there is a need for effective treatments to prevent or treat obesity. But, despite copious research and a myriad of dietary and exercise programs, there still is no safe and effective treatment. Mindfulness is known to be associated with lower risk for obesityalter eating behavior and improve health in obesity. This suggests that mindfulness training may be an effective treatment for overeating, overweight, and obesity alone or in combination with other therapies.

 

In today’s Research News article “The Effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy With Mindfulness and an Internet Intervention for Obesity: A Case Series.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnut.2018.00056/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_715866_87_Nutrit_20180724_arts_A ), Ogata and colleagues recruited 3 overweight adult women who had previously tried and failed to lose weight. They were provided a program of mindfulness training in combination with Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and daily recording of food intake. Treatment occurred in 60-minute weekly meetings for 9 weeks. It was aimed at developing mindfulness and “to increase distress tolerance, improve healthy coping strategies, and reduce maladaptive coping strategies (e.g., avoidant and impulsive coping styles that involve emotional eating); and relearning adaptive eating habits.” The women were measured weekly for body size, eating behaviors, anxiety, and mindfulness and at a follow-up assessment occurring 18 months later.

 

The three participants over the 9-week program lost 6.9%, 5.3%, and 8.9% of their body weight respectively and all had continued to lose weight over the subsequent 18 months; 14.0%, 7.9%, and 11% respectively. The participants also showed significant decreases in emotional and external eating and increases in mindfulness and restrained eating. Hence the mindfulness and CBT program was successful in producing significant and prolonged weigh reductions and altered eating behaviors toward a more restrained eating.

 

There was no control condition so a placebo effect or experimenter bias effect may be present. But, the participants did not lose weight when involved in other dietary programs where comparable placebo and experimenter bias effects would be expected to have been in effect. So, these sources of confounding are unlikely to account for the weight losses.

 

Mindfulness training with CBT has been previously been shown to increase mindful eating and that eating food mindfully can results in lower overall intake and weight loss. The program has also been shown to reduce the psychological and physical responses to stress and stress is known to promote eating. So, it is reasonable to conclude that it produces its effects on the body weight of overweight individuals by increasing mindful eating and reducing stress.

 

So, improve weight loss in the overweight with mindfulness.

 

“Although average weight loss was modest at post-treatment, continued decreases in weight at follow-up is encouraging and highlights the potential of using mindfulness training to support weight loss and its maintenance.” – Regina Schaffer

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Ogata K, Koyama KI, Amitani M, Amitani H, Asakawa A and Inui A (2018) The Effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy With Mindfulness and an Internet Intervention for Obesity: A Case Series. Front. Nutr. 5:56. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2018.00056

 

It is difficult for obese (body mass index of more than 30) and overweight (body mass index of 25–30) people to reduce and maintain their weight. The aim of this case series was to examine the effectiveness of a new cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) program that combines mindfulness exercises (e.g., the raisin exercise and breathing exercises) and an online intervention to prevent dropout and subsequent weight gain in overweight participants. This case series included three participants, for whom previous weight reduction programs had been unsuccessful. All participants completed the program (60-min, group sessions provided weekly for 9 weeks) and an 18-month follow-up assessment. Results showed that all participants succeeded in losing weight (loss ranged from 5.30 to 8.88% of their total body weight). Although rebound weight gain is commonly observed in the first year following initial weight loss, the follow-up assessment showed that participants achieved further weight loss during the 18-month follow-up period. These results suggest that a CBT program that comprises mindfulness and an online intervention may be an effective method for weight loss and maintenance, and may prevent dropout in obese and overweight individuals.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnut.2018.00056/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_715866_87_Nutrit_20180724_arts_A

 

Improve Depression in Overweight Adolescent Girls with Mindfulness

Improve Depression in Overweight Adolescent Girls with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“By practicing meditation, you’re able to gently develop a capacity to witness pain as it happens inside you without letting the stories your mind tells you cause you to act self-destructively. Meditation teaches us to wake up from the habits of our mind so we have clear, conscious choice in our actions. By practicing sitting still in silence—especially when I didn’t want to, when I didn’t ‘have time,’ or when it was wildly uncomfortable—and developing compassion for whatever showed up inside me, all the self-judgment and self-deprecation, my neuropathways were rewired.”  – Michael Hebb

 

Adolescence is a transitional period marked by rapid physical, behavioral, emotional, and cognitive developmental changes. Up to a quarter of adolescents suffer from depression or anxiety disorders, and an even larger proportion struggle with subclinical symptoms. Anxiety and depression during this stage can lead to impaired academic, social, and family functioning, and have long-term adverse outcomes.

 

Type 2 diabetes is a common and increasingly prevalent illness that is largely preventable. Although this has been called adult-onset diabetes it is increasingly being diagnosed in children and adolescents. One of the reasons for the increasing incidence of Type 2 Diabetes is its association with overweight and obesity which is becoming epidemic in the industrialized world.

Type 2 Diabetes results from a resistance of tissues, especially fat tissues, to the ability of insulin to promote the uptake of glucose from the blood. As a result, blood sugar levels rise producing hyperglycemia.

 

It is clear that methods need to be found to reduce the likelihood of the development of Type II diabetes and depression in adolescents. One promising avenue is mindfulness. It has been shown to be effective in treating Type II diabetes.  In today’s Research News article “Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial of a Mindfulness-Based Group Intervention in Adolescent Girls at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes with Depressive Symptoms.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5705100/ ), Shomaker and colleagues recruited overweight and obese adolescent girls (aged 12-17 years) with a family history of Type II Diabetes and who also had symptoms of depression and randomly assigned them to receive either a 6-week mindfulness-based or 6-week cognitive-behavioral program.

 

Both treatment programs met once a week for 1 hour and there was 10 minutes of homework daily. The mindfulness program occurred in groups and included breath awareness, body scanning, mindful eating, sitting meditation, loving kindness practice, and yoga. The cognitive-behavioral program also occurred in groups and included psycho-education, cognitive restructuring, pleasant activities, self-reinforcement, and coping skills. They were measured before and after treatment and 6 months later for mindfulness, depression, anxiety, perceived stress, insulin resistance, and body composition.

 

They found that after treatment that both groups had significant decreases in depression, anxiety, and perceived stress that persisted to the 6-month follow-up. The decrease in depression, however, was significantly greater in the mindfulness group. After treatment, the groups also had significant decreases in insulin resistance and fasting insulin levels, but the improvements were significantly greater in the mindfulness group. It is interesting that the programs affected insulin resistance and levels as they did not include dieting or exercise components. It should be noted, however, that these improvements did not persist at the 6-month follow-up while the psychological effects did.

 

These results are encouraging and suggest that both mindfulness-based and cognitive-behavioral programs are acceptable, safe, and effective for the psychological and physical states of adolescent girls who are overweight or obese, are mildly or moderately depressed and who are at-risk for Type II Diabetes. Importantly, the results show that mindfulness training is superior to cognitive-based programs in relieving symptoms. Treating these girls in adolescence may help to prevent or delay the onset of Type II Diabetes and improve the quality of life in this vulnerable population. This could go a long way toward reducing health care costs and preventing and relieving their suffering.

 

So, improve depression in overweight adolescent girls with mindfulness.

 

“In the last few years mindfulness has emerged as a way of treating children and adolescents with conditions ranging from ADHD to anxiety, autism spectrum disorders, depression and stress. And the benefits are proving to be tremendous.” – Julianne Garey

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Shomaker, L. B., Bruggink, S., Pivarunas, B., Skoranski, A., Foss, J., Chaffin, E., … Bell, C. (2017). Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial of a Mindfulness-Based Group Intervention in Adolescent Girls at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes with Depressive Symptoms. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 32, 66–74. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctim.2017.04.003

 

Highlights

  • A mindfulness-based group was feasible and acceptable to adolescent girls at-risk for type 2 diabetes with depressive symptoms
  • Adolescents in the mindfulness-based group had greater decreases in depressive symptoms than adolescents in the cognitive-behavioral group at post-treatment and six-months
  • Adolescents in the mindfulness-based group had greater decreases in insulin resistance and fasting insulin at post-treatment than adolescents in the cognitive-behavioral group

Abstract

Objective

(1) Evaluate feasibility and acceptability of a mindfulness-based group in adolescent girls at-risk for type 2 diabetes (T2D) with depressive symptoms, and (2) compare efficacy of a mindfulness-based versus cognitive-behavioral group for decreasing depressive symptoms and improving insulin resistance.

Design and setting

Parallel-group, randomized controlled pilot trial conducted at a university.

Participants

Thirty-three girls 12-17y with overweight/obesity, family history of diabetes, and elevated depressive symptoms were randomized to a six-week mindfulness-based (n=17) or cognitive-behavioral program (n=16).

Interventions

Both interventions included six, one-hour weekly group sessions. The mindfulness-based program included guided mindfulness awareness practices. The cognitive-behavioral program involved cognitive restructuring and behavioral activation.

Main outcome measures

Adolescents were evaluated at baseline, post-intervention, and six-months. Feasibility/acceptability were measured by attendance and program ratings. Depressive symptoms were assessed by validated survey. Insulin resistance was determined from fasting insulin and glucose, and dual energy x-ray absorptiometry was used to assess body composition.

Results

Most adolescents attended ≥80% sessions (mindfulness:92% versus cognitive-behavioral:87%, p=1.00). Acceptability ratings were strong. At post-treatment and six-months, adolescents in the mindfulness condition had greater decreases in depressive symptoms than adolescents in the cognitive-behavioral condition (ps<.05). Compared to the cognitive-behavioral condition, adolescents in the mindfulness-based intervention also had greater decreases in insulin resistance and fasting insulin at post-treatment, adjusting for fat mass and other covariates (ps<.05).

Conclusions

A mindfulness-based intervention shows feasibility and acceptability in girls at-risk for T2D with depressive symptoms. Compared to a cognitive-behavioral program, after the intervention, adolescents who received mindfulness showed greater reductions in depressive symptoms and better insulin resistance.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5705100/

Improve Eating Behavior with Mindfulness

Improve Eating Behavior with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Mindful eating involves paying full attention to the experience of eating and drinking, both inside and outside the body. We pay attention to the colors, smells, textures, flavors, temperatures, and even the sounds (crunch!) of our food. We pay attention to the experience of the body. Where in the body do we feel hunger? Where do we feel satisfaction? What does half-full feel like, or three quarters full?” – Jan Chozen Bays

 

Eating is produced by two categories of signals. Homeostatic signals emerge from the body’s need for nutrients, is associated with feelings of hunger, and usually work to balance intake with expenditure. Non-homeostatic eating, on the other hand, is not tied to nutrient needs or hunger but rather to the environment and or to the pleasurable and rewarding qualities of food. These cues can be powerful signals to eat even when there is no physical need for food.

 

Mindful eating involves paying attention to eating while it is occurring, including attention to the sight, smell, flavors, and textures of food, to the process of chewing and may help reduce intake by affecting the individual’s response to non-homeostatic cues for eating. Indeed, high levels of mindfulness are associated with lower levels of obesity. Hence, mindful eating may counter non-homeostatic eating.

 

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a mindfulness-based psychotherapy technique that is based upon Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). ACT focuses on the individual’s thoughts, feelings, and behavior and how they interact to impact their psychological and physical well-being. It then works to change thinking to alter the interaction and produce greater life satisfaction. ACT employs mindfulness practices to increase awareness and develop an attitude of acceptance and compassion in the presence of painful thoughts and feelings. Additionally, ACT helps people strengthen aspects of cognition such as in committing to valued living. ACT teaches individuals to “just notice”, accept and embrace private experiences and focus on behavioral responses that produce more desirable outcomes.

 

In today’s Research News article “The effects of acceptance and commitment therapy on eating behavior and diet delivered through face-to-face contact and a mobile app: a randomized controlled trial.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5828146/ ), Järvelä-Reijonen and colleagues examine the effectiveness of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) on facilitating mindful eating and as a result improving eating behavior and diet. They recruited overweight and obese adults (aged 25-60 years) and randomly assigned them to receive ACT either face-to-face in a group setting or on line or to a no-treatment control. ACT was delivered for 90 minutes, once a week over 8 weeks.

 

The participants were measured before and 2 weeks and 28 weeks after the intervention for perceived stress, intuitive eating, including unconditional permission to eat, eating for physical rather than emotional reasons, and reliance on internal hunger/satiety cue. They were also measured for cognitive restraint of eating, uncontrolled eating, emotional eating, taste pleasure, using food as a reward, eating attitudes, food acceptance, internal regulation, contextual skills, and eating behaviors, including intrinsic motivation, integrated regulation, identified regulation, introjected regulation, external regulation, and amotivation. Finally, they were measured for food and nutrient intakes including alcohol.

 

They found that both the face-to-face and the on-line Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) training produced significant improvements in the reasons for eating from emotional or environmental triggers towards hunger and satiety cues, acceptance of a variety of foods, and perceptions of healthy eating. They also showed significant increases in eating for physical rather than emotional reasons while decreases in using food as a reward. In general, the face-to-face ACT training produced larger improvements than the on-line ACT training. But, both were effective. Even though there were many improvements in the psychological components surrounding eating produced by ACT training, there were no significant changes in actual dietary intake.

 

These results are interesting and suggest that ACT training, regardless of whether it occurs face-to-face or on-line, alters the psychology of eating toward more mindful eating and toward homeostatic eating. These are very healthy changes. The fact, however, that they were not reflected in actual changes in intake is disappointing. Perhaps if there was an active dietary reduction component, there might have been a change in intake. But, without this emphasis on intake reduction it is hard to see what the motivation might be for the participants to reduce the amounts of food ingested. It is also possible that given more time for the psychological changes to take hold, intake changes may have occurred. Finally, even though the participants were overweight and obese they were weight stable, neither increasing or decreasing intake. They were eating an appropriate amount for their metabolic needs, neither overeating nor undereating. So, changing then psychology of eating may not affect their intake as it is appropriate for the circumstances.

 

So, improve eating behavior with mindfulness.

 

Mindless eating happens when you are distracted by something else so that all of your attention is not on what you are eating or how you are eating.  When distracted, we are far more likely to shift into autopilot and overeat and this is one very common reason for weight gain.” – J. Marlin

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Järvelä-Reijonen, E., Karhunen, L., Sairanen, E., Muotka, J., Lindroos, S., Laitinen, J., … Kolehmainen, M. (2018). The effects of acceptance and commitment therapy on eating behavior and diet delivered through face-to-face contact and a mobile app: a randomized controlled trial. The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 15, 22. http://doi.org/10.1186/s12966-018-0654-8

 

Abstract

Background

Internal motivation and good psychological capabilities are important factors in successful eating-related behavior change. Thus, we investigated whether general acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) affects reported eating behavior and diet quality and whether baseline perceived stress moderates the intervention effects.

Methods

Secondary analysis of unblinded randomized controlled trial in three Finnish cities. Working-aged adults with psychological distress and overweight or obesity in three parallel groups: (1) ACT-based Face-to-face (n = 70; six group sessions led by a psychologist), (2) ACT-based Mobile (n = 78; one group session and mobile app), and (3) Control (n = 71; only the measurements). At baseline, the participants’ (n = 219, 85% females) mean body mass index was 31.3 kg/m2 (SD = 2.9), and mean age was 49.5 years (SD = 7.4). The measurements conducted before the 8-week intervention period (baseline), 10 weeks after the baseline (post-intervention), and 36 weeks after the baseline (follow-up) included clinical measurements, questionnaires of eating behavior (IES-1, TFEQ-R18, HTAS, ecSI 2.0, REBS), diet quality (IDQ), alcohol consumption (AUDIT-C), perceived stress (PSS), and 48-h dietary recall. Hierarchical linear modeling (Wald test) was used to analyze the differences in changes between groups.

Results

Group x time interactions showed that the subcomponent of intuitive eating (IES-1), i.e., Eating for physical rather than emotional reasons, increased in both ACT-based groups (p = .019); the subcomponent of TFEQ-R18, i.e., Uncontrolled eating, decreased in the Face-to-face group (p = .020); the subcomponent of health and taste attitudes (HTAS), i.e., Using food as a reward, decreased in the Mobile group (p = .048); and both subcomponent of eating competence (ecSI 2.0), i.e., Food acceptance (p = .048), and two subcomponents of regulation of eating behavior (REBS), i.e., Integrated and Identified regulation (p = .003, p = .023, respectively), increased in the Face-to-face group. Baseline perceived stress did not moderate effects on these particular features of eating behavior from baseline to follow-up. No statistically significant effects were found for dietary measures.

Conclusions

ACT-based interventions, delivered in group sessions or by mobile app, showed beneficial effects on reported eating behavior. Beneficial effects on eating behavior were, however, not accompanied by parallel changes in diet, which suggests that ACT-based interventions should include nutritional counseling if changes in diet are targeted.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5828146/

 

Reduce Eating When Not Hungry with Mindfulness

Reduce Eating When Not Hungry with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Being mindful helps you gain awareness so you can identify specific cues that influence your eating behavior. Practicing mindfulness can change your actions so that you have a sense of greater control over eating. It allows you to make deliberate decisions about eating instead of acting without thinking. “ – Carolyn Dunn

 

Obesity has become an epidemic in the industrialized world. In the U.S. the incidence of obesity, defined as a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or above has more than doubled over the last 35 years to currently around 35% of the population, while two thirds of the population are considered overweight or obese (BMI > 25). Although the incidence rates have appeared to stabilize, the fact that over a third of the population is considered obese is very troubling. This is because of the health consequences of obesity. Obesity is associated with cardiovascular problems such as coronary heart disease and hypertension, stroke, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and others. Indeed, obesity has been found to shorten life expectancy by eight years and extreme obesity by 14 years. Obviously, there is a need for effective treatments to prevent or treat obesity.

 

Eating is produced by two categories of signals. Homeostatic signals emerge from the body’s need for nutrients, is associated with feelings of hunger, and usually work to balance intake with expenditure. Non-homeostatic eating, on the other hand, is not tied to nutrient needs or hunger but rather to the environment and or to the pleasurable and rewarding qualities of food. These cues can be powerful signals to eat even when there is no physical need for food.

 

Mindful eating involves paying attention to eating while it is occurring, including attention to the sight, smell, flavors, and textures of food, to the process of chewing and may help reduce intake by affecting the individual’s response to non-homeostatic cues for eating. Indeed, high levels of mindfulness are associated with lower levels of obesity. Hence, mindful eating may counter non-homeostatic eating.

 

In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness and Laboratory Eating Behavior in Adolescent Girls at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5878719/ ), Annameier and colleagues recruited overweight or obese adolescent girls between 12 to 17 years of age who were at risk for the development of Type II diabetes. They were measured for body size and composition, mindfulness, episodes of loss of control (binge) eating in the past month, their state of hunger, and depressive symptoms. They were also tested in the lab where they were provided a buffet lunch meal and instructed to eat till they were no longer hungry. As a test of eating in the absence of hunger, an hour after the beginning of the lunch the girls were provided with an array of snacks (e.g. popcorn, chips, candy, and ice cream) and asked to taste them and rate them for liking. They were then left for 15 minutes and told that they could eat as much as they’d like. Their intake of the snacks was measured.

 

They found that the girls who reported engaging in loss of control eating during the previous month had higher body mass indexes (BMIs) and ate significantly more in the absence of hunger and tended to have lower mindfulness than the girls who did not report any cases of loss of control eating. They also found that the girls who reported engaging in loss of control eating ate more in the lunch when they were hungry. With the test of eating the snacks (eating in the absence of hunger) but not when eating hungry, they found that the higher the levels of mindfulness the lower the amount eaten.

 

Hence, mindfulness is related to lower intake when hunger is absent but does not affect intake when hunger is present. This suggests that mindfulness does not affect homeostatic eating but rather only affects non-homeostatic food intake. This is important as responding to hunger with intake is adaptive, satisfying the body’s need for nutrients. On the other hand, eating in the absence of hunger is ingesting unneeded food energy and may contribute to overweight and obesity. The fact that mindfulness only appears to affect eating in the absence of hunger suggests that it tends to counteract this more harmful form of eating.

 

So, reduce eating when not hungry with mindfulness.

 

“The moment you become aware that you are eating mindlessly, it’s hard not to “see” it anymore. When you sit on the coach robotically eating chips or at a bar popping peanuts into your mouth, you recognize the behavior right away. This little inner voice speaks up and says, “Hey, I am mindlessly eating right now!”” – Susan Albers

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Annameier, S. K., Kelly, N. R., Courville, A. B., Tanofsky-Kraff, M., Yanovski, J. A., & Shomaker, L. B. (2018). Mindfulness and Laboratory Eating Behavior in Adolescent Girls at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes. Appetite, 125, 48–56. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2018.01.030

 

Abstract

Mindfulness-based intervention has become increasingly popular to address disinhibited eating in obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D). Theoretically, present-moment attention promotes the ability to recognize and respond to internal hunger cues and to differentiate physiological hunger from other stimuli. Yet, there is limited research describing the relationship of mindfulness with disinhibited eating patterns in adolescents. In this study, we evaluated the relationship of dispositional mindfulness to laboratory eating in 107 adolescent (12–17 years) girls at risk for T2D. Adolescents reported dispositional mindfulness, were evaluated for recent loss-of-control-eating (LOC-eating) by interview, and participated in two successive, standardized laboratory test meals to assess eating when hungry as well as eating in the absence of hunger (EAH). Adolescents rated state appetite throughout the test meal paradigms. In analyses adjusting for body composition and other possible confounds, mindfulness was inversely related to caloric intake during the EAH paradigm. Mindfulness did not relate to energy intake when hungry. Instead, there was a significant interaction of reported LOC-eating by state hunger, such that girls with recent, reported LOC-eating and high state hunger consumed more calories when hungry, regardless of mindfulness. Findings suggest that in girls at risk for T2D, mindfulness may play a role in disinhibited eating. A propensity for LOC-eating may be most salient for overeating in a high hunger state.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5878719/

 

Grazing is Associated with Lower Mindful Eating and Greater Body Fatness

Grazing is Associated with Lower Mindful Eating and Greater Body Fatness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Yep, most vets suggest not leaving food out to graze on. As humans, we can follow the same guidelines to avoid becoming overweight. A consistent routine is more easily transitioned into habit. If you currently graze all day long, shift to scheduled meals and snacks. It will take some mindfulness, but try to leave two to three hours between all points of eating.” – Jill Koegel

 

Obesity has become an epidemic in the industrialized world. In the U.S. the incidence of obesity, defined as a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or above has more than doubled over the last 35 years to currently around 35% of the population, while two thirds of the population are considered overweight or obese (BMI > 25). Although the incidence rates have appeared to stabilize, the fact that over a third of the population is considered obese is very troubling. This is because of the health consequences of obesity. Obesity has been found to shorten life expectancy by eight years and extreme obesity by 14 years. This occurs because obesity is associated with cardiovascular problems such as coronary heart disease and hypertension, stroke, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and others. Obviously, there is a need for effective treatments to prevent or treat obesity.

 

Eating is produced by two categories of signals. Homeostatic signals emerge from the body’s need for nutrients and usually work to balance intake with expenditure. Non-homeostatic eating, on the other hand, is not tied to nutrient needs but rather to the environment and or to the pleasurable and rewarding qualities of food. These cues can be powerful signals to eat even when there is no physical need for food. A pattern of food intake called “grazing” is defined as the uncontrolled and repetitive eating of small amounts of food. It is not known if this pattern may be associated with overeating and obesity.

 

Mindful eating involves paying attention to eating while it is occurring, including attention to the sight, smell, flavors, and textures of food, to the process of chewing and may help reduce intake by affecting the individual’s response to non-homeostatic cues for eating. Indeed, high levels of mindfulness are associated with lower levels of obesity. Hence, mindful eating may counter non-homeostatic eating. It is also possible that it may counter the “grazing” pattern of intake.

 

In today’s Research News article “How does grazing relate to body mass index, self-compassion, mindfulness and mindful eating in a student population?” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5846935/ ), Mantzios and colleagues recruited college students and measured them for body size, mindfulness, self-compassion, mindful eating, and “grazing”. The relationships between these measures were explored with a regression analysis.

 

As predicted, they found that the higher the levels of “grazing” the larger the degree of obesity (Body Mass Index, BMI) and the lower the levels of self-compassion. In addition, they found that the higher the levels of mindful eating the smaller the degree of obesity. Finally, they found that the relationship between ”grazing” and body fatness was mediated by mindful eating. That is, ”grazing” is associated with reduced mindful eating which, in turn, is associated with lower body fatness. Hence, it appears that “grazing” is associated with obesity by being associated with less mindful eating.

 

This study is correlative and thus no conclusions regarding causation can be supported. But, the result suggests an interesting potential association between “grazing” and obesity, mediated by mindful eating. Future research should look at the effect in increasing mindful eating on the relationship between “grazing” and obesity and also at the effect of reducing “grazing” on mindful eating and body fatness. It is possible that altering the grazing pattern may be a useful strategy in reducing intake and perhaps body weight and fatness.

 

“Learning how to snack mindfully can help you create a healthy relationship with your food, mind and body. We need to accept our cravings and recognise when we’re experiencing them but also arm ourselves with snacks that are wise and nutritious.” – Mindfood

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Mantzios, M., Egan, H., Bahia, H., Hussain, M., & Keyte, R. (2018). How does grazing relate to body mass index, self-compassion, mindfulness and mindful eating in a student population? Health Psychology Open, 5(1), 2055102918762701. http://doi.org/10.1177/2055102918762701

 

Abstract

Contemporary research investigating obesity has focused on grazing (i.e. an uncontrolled and repetitive consumption of small amounts of food). Meanwhile, constructs such as mindfulness, mindful eating and self-compassion have received much attention in assisting individuals with eating behaviours and weight regulation. The association between those constructs and grazing, however, has not been explored. In a cross-sectional study, university students (n = 261) were recruited to explore the relationship of mindfulness, mindful eating and self-compassion with current weight and grazing. Results indicated that all constructs were negatively related to grazing, but only mindful eating related negatively to current weight. In addition, mindful eating mediated the relationship between grazing and current weight. Possible explanations and future directions are discussed further with an emphasis on the need for more empirical work.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5846935/