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/

 

Treat Obesity with Mindfulness

Treat Obesity with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“ mindfulness breeds resilience—a quality necessary for one to stick with your diet or exercise regimen. And given how much of our unhealthy eating is essentially mindless—such as stuffing our faces while we watch television—it’s easy to see how simply paying attention could have a significant impact on our diets.” – Tom Jacobs

 

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. 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.

 

In today’s Research News article “Effectiveness of mindfulness training and dietary regime on weight loss in obese people.” See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5319254/, Asadollahi and colleagues recruited obese (BMI>30) individuals and randomly assigned them to one of four conditions; No-treatment, dietary regimen, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), or MBCT plus dietary regimen. MBCT was administered in 2-hour sessions once a week for 8 weeks and consists of mindfulness training and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) that is targeted at investigating and altering the individuals aberrant thought process. Participants were measured for psychopathology and anyone with significant pathology was eliminated from the study. The participants were also measured before and after the interventions and 2 months later for body weight and height.

 

They found that mindfulness training alone or a dietary regimen alone produced significant weight losses that persisted 2 months after the end of formal training. When mindfulness training was combined with a dietary regiment the weight loss was significantly greater at the end of training and 2 months later. So, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is effective in reducing weight in obese participants and its effectiveness is amplified by combining it with a dietary regimen. So, mindfulness training can help to reduceobesity alone or in combination with dieting.

 

It is unclear how MBCT produces these positive effects on obesity, but it is known that MBCT can increase mindful eating and that eating food mindfully can results in lower overall intake and weight loss. MBCT is also known to reduce the psychological and physical responses to stress and stress is known to promote eating. So, it is reasonable to conclude that MBCT produces its effects on the body weight of the obese by increasing mindful eating and reducing stress.

 

So, treat obesity with mindfulness.

 

“Mindful eating is eating with purpose, eating on purpose, eating with awareness, eating without distraction, when eating only eating, not watching television or playing computer games or having any other distractions, not eating at our desks.” – Carolyn Dunn

 

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

 

Asadollahi, T., Khakpour, S., Ahmadi, F., Seyedeh, L., Tahami, Matoo, S., & Bermas, H. (2015). Effectiveness of mindfulness training and dietary regime on weight loss in obese people . Journal of Medicine and Life, 8(Spec Iss 4), 114–124.

 

Abstract

The present research was aimed to investigate the effectiveness of mindfulness training and dietary regime on weight loss in obese people. The research was quasi-experimental with posttest-pretest that used control group. The population consisted of all the individuals who attended two clinics of nutrition advice and diet therapy in Karaj. 60 individuals, whose BMI was more than 30, were selected by using the random sampling method. Moreover, they were evaluated by using the SCL-90 test in order to neglect them in case there existed any other significant disorder. Next, they were selected based on age, sex, and education. After explaining the individuals the ongoing research and collecting the informed consent written by them, the samples were placed in four groups (15 in each group). The groups that received mindfulness training attended the nutrition center for eight to 120-minute sessions. In addition, since all the participants referred to the center were motivated to lose weight, individuals who were placed in the control group and those who received mindfulness training were asked not to follow any specific diet for two months. Moreover, the in depth relaxation CD was prepared for those who asked, in order to train themselves at home. Descriptive statistical methods were employed in order to analyze the data and ANACOVA and variance analysis with frequent measurement were used. The research findings indicated that mindfulness training was accompanied by diet, which resulted in weight loss in obese patients. In addition, the findings of the two-month follow-up indicated lasting results.

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5319254/

Be More Mindful and Weigh Less

Be More Mindful and Weigh Less

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“People who practice mindfulness regularly learn to regulate their attention by focusing nonjudgmentally on thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations. This are central features of mindfulness as a strategy to change eating behaviours.” – Now Unlimited

 

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. 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.

 

In today’s Research News article “Associations of Dispositional Mindfulness with Obesity and Central Adiposity: the New England Family Study.” See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4965799/

Loucks and colleagues recruited a sample of 400 from the New England Family Study (NEFS), which includes 17,921 participants born between 1959 and 1974 with extensive longitudinal data. Childhood weight and height was recorded and mindfulness measured. Based upon the participants’ mindfulness scores they were separated into three groups; low, medium, and high mindfulness. They were further measured for adult height, weight, body mass index (BMI), hip and waist circumference, and body fat. They further adjusted the data to control for age, gender, race/ethnicity, birth weight, childhood socioeconomic status, and childhood intelligence.

 

They found that the low mindfulness group had significantly greater incidence of adult obesity (BMI > 30) and greater overall and hip fat mass than the high mindfulness participants. They also found that participants who were not obese in childhood but became obese in adulthood had significantly lower mindfulness scores. Additionally, those who were obese in childhood but not adulthood had significantly higher mindfulness scores. Hence, they found significant associations between mindfulness and the development of high body fat levels and obesity.

 

It should be kept in mind that these results are correlational and causation cannot be ascertained. But, these findings fit with the idea that mindfulness tends to counteract the development of obesity. This may occur by increasing the individuals’ attention to what and how they are eating, sometimes called mindful eating. Indeed, mindfulness training reduces eating behaviors that are associated with obesity, including reward driven and eating for pleasure.

 

So, it is possible that if you be more mindful you will weigh less.

 

“mindfulness training programs can improve obesity-related eating behaviors in adults. Research has also shown that mindfulness training can be successfully implemented in child and adolescent populations with promise for improving stress-related and neurocognitive outcomes.” – Gillian O’Reilly

 

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

Loucks, E. B., Britton, W. B., Howe, C. J., Gutman, R., Gilman, S. E., Brewer, J., … Buka, S. L. (2016). Associations of Dispositional Mindfulness with Obesity and Central Adiposity: the New England Family Study. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 23(2), 224–233. http://doi.org/10.1007/s12529-015-9513-z

 

Abstract

Purpose

To evaluate whether dispositional mindfulness (defined as the ability to attend nonjudgmentally to one’s own physical and mental processes) is associated with obesity and central adiposity.

Methods

Study participants (n=394) were from the New England Family Study, a prospective birth cohort, with median age 47 years. Dispositional mindfulness was assessed using the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS). Central adiposity was assessed using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans with primary outcomes android fat mass and android/gynoid ratio. Obesity was defined as body mass index ≥30 kg/m2.

Results

Multivariable-adjusted regression analyses demonstrated that participants with low vs. high MAAS scores were more likely to be obese (prevalence ratio for obesity= 1.34 (95 % confidence limit (CL): 1.02, 1.77)), adjusted for age, gender, race/ethnicity, birth weight, childhood socioeconomic status, and childhood intelligence. Furthermore, participants with low vs. high MAAS level had a 448 (95 % CL 39, 857) g higher android fat mass and a 0.056 (95 % CL 0.003, 0.110) greater android/gynoid fat mass ratio. Prospective analyses demonstrated that participants who were not obese in childhood and became obese in adulthood (n=154) had −0.21 (95 % CL −0.41, −0.01; p=0.04) lower MAAS scores than participants who were not obese in childhood or adulthood (n=203).

Conclusions

Dispositional mindfulness may be inversely associated with obesity and adiposity. Replication studies are needed to adequately establish whether low dispositional mindfulness is a risk factor for obesity and adiposity.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4965799/

Improve Obesity with Yoga

Improve Obesity with Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“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.” – Laurel Dierking

 

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 is 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. 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. Hence it would seem reasonable to investigate the benefits of yoga therapy on the weight and body composition of the obese.

 

In today’s Research News article “Yoga Practice for Reducing the Male Obesity and Weight Related Psychological Difficulties-A Randomized Controlled Trial.” See summary below or view the full text of the study at:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5198375/

Rshikesan and colleagues recruited overweight and obese (BMI > 25) male participants. They were randomly assigned to either receive Integrated Yoga Therapy or a no-treatment control condition. The yoga therapy instruction was conducted for 90 minutes per day, 5 days per week, for 14 weeks, consisting of lecture, stretching, yoga sun salutations, postures, breathing exercises and meditation This was followed by 3 months of home yoga practice. The participants were measured prior to training, after 14 weeks of training and after the 3-month home practice, for body weight, Body Mass Index (BMI), waist and hip circumference, body shape index, skinfold thickness, % body fat, perceived stress, and acceptance of weight related problems.

 

They found that compared to the no-treatment control condition that showed non-significant improvements, the yoga therapy group had significant decreases in weight, arm circumference, % body fat, Body Mass Index (BMI), and skinfold thickness and a decrease in perceived stress. Hence, Integrated Yoga Therapy produced a significant improvement in the physical and psychological manifestations of obesity.

 

These are encouraging results but the conclusions from the study need to be tempered as the improvements were relatively small, with a 3%, ~ 2 kg, reduction in weight after over a half a year of practice. In addition, the control condition did not include any programmed exercise or dietary activity. So, the results could have been produced by any increase in exercise induced caloric expenditure, or potentially by a placebo, experimenter bias, or attentional effect. Also, it has long been known that upon initiating an exercise program there is a small decrease in weight initially, but no further reductions occur with continued practice. So, it cannot be concluded that the yoga practice would continue to reduce weight and improve body shape. Regardless, the program did improve the physical and psychological manifestations of obesity.

 

So, improve obesity with yoga.

 

“What matters is having other fat people around, supporting each other and improving together. Fat people spend their whole lives trying to fit into a world that neither fits nor accepts them. Having a separate space to explore one’s physical self — and one’s spirituality — with others who have the same goals, is tremendously healing.” – Kay Erdwinn

 

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

Rshikesan, P. B., Subramanya, P., & Nidhi, R. (2016). Yoga Practice for Reducing the Male Obesity and Weight Related Psychological Difficulties-A Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research : JCDR, 10(11), OC22–OC28. http://doi.org/10.7860/JCDR/2016/22720.8940

 

Abstract

Introduction

Obesity is a health disorder and increasing all over the world. It is also a cause for many non-communicable diseases. Yoga practice reduces the stress level which may improve the eating habits and help in weight reduction.

Aim

To assess the final outcome of the effects after 3 months of the 14 weeks yoga training on obesity of adult male in an urban setting.

Materials and Methods

This was a randomized controlled trial with parallel groups (Yoga and Control groups) on male obese. Total 80 subjects with Body Mass Index (BMI) between 25 to 35 kg/cm2 were enrolled and randomized into two equal groups in which 72 subjects (yoga n = 37 and control n=35) completed the trial. Yoga group mean age ± SD was 40.03±8.74 and Control group mean age±SD was 42.20±12.06. A 14 weeks special IAYT (Integrated Approach of Yoga Therapy) yoga training was given to the Yoga group and no specific activity was given to Control group. The interim results of this study at 14 weeks were covered in another article which is under process. After the 14 weeks of yoga training the Yoga group was asked to continue the yoga practice for the next 3 months and the Control group was not given any physical activity. The final outcome is covered in this paper.

The assessments were anthropometric parameters of body weight (Wt), BMI (Body Mass Index), MAC (Mid-upper Arm Circumferences of left and right arm), WC (Waist Circumference), HC (Hip Circumference), WHR (Waist Hip Ratio), SKF (Skin Fold Thickness) of biceps, triceps, sub scapular, suprailiac and cumulative skin fold thickness value), Percentage body fat based on SKF and Psychological questionnaires of PSS (Perceived Stress Scale) and AAQW (Acceptance and Action Questionnaire for Weight related difficulty). Assessments were taken after 3 months of yoga training, for both Yoga and Control groups. Within group, between group and correlation analyses were carried out using SPSS 21.

Results

Improvement in anthropometric and psychological parameters such as Wt, Percentage body fat, PSS were observed in the final outcome. Also, some of the improvements such as AAQW score were lost in the final outcome, compared to interim results.

Conclusion

The yoga practice is effective for obesity control for adult male in an urban setting.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5198375/

 

Improve Obesity with Yoga

Image may contain: one or more people and people standing

Improve Obesity with Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Yoga has an important role to play in the treatment of Obesity. Yoga techniques affect body, internal organs, endocrine glands, brain, mind and other factors concerning Body – Mind complex. Various Yoga techniques can be practiced effectively to reduce the weight and achieve normal healthy condition of Body and Mind.” – Prafulla Dorle

 

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 is 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. 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 obesity, alter 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. Hence it would seem reasonable to investigate the benefits of yoga therapy on the weight and body composition of the obese.

 

In today’s Research News article “Effect of Integrated Approach of Yoga Therapy on Male Obesity and Psychological Parameters-A Randomised Controlled Trial.” See:

https://www.facebook.com/ContemplativeStudiesCenter/photos/a.628903887133541.1073741828.627681673922429/1461037563920165/?type=3&theater

or see summary below or view the full text of the study at:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5121695/

Rshikesan & Subramanya recruited overweight and obese males with Body Mass Indexes (BMIs) between 23 to 35 and randomly assigned them to either a treatment as usual control group or a yoga therapy group. The yoga therapy was administered 90 minutes per day, five days per week for 14 weeks and consisted of postures, breathing exercises, relaxation, and meditation. The participants were measured both before and after the treatment for height, weight, circumferences of the upper arm, waist, and hips, skin fold thicknesses, weight related acceptance and action, and perceived stress.

 

They found that in comparison to before treatment, the yoga therapy group had modest but significant reductions in weight, BMI, front skinfold thickness, arm and hip circumferences, perceived stress, and weight related acceptance and action while the control group did not. But, the differences between yoga and control groups were only significantly different for arm circumference and skinfold thickness. The yoga group consistently had better results on the average than the control group. This suggests that the study did not have large enough groups to statistically detect modest differences between groups. In addition, there was not an alternate exercise control condition, e.g. walking exercise. So, it cannot be concluded that yoga specifically and not any form of light exercise produced the benefits.

 

The results are encouraging but not spectacular and suggest that yoga therapy can produce modest improvements in overweight and obese males. Yoga, being a light exercise, can contribute to energy expenditure and improve body composition, shifting weight from fat to muscle mass. Yoga also has a wide variety of other physical and psychological benefits. So, the present study may underestimate the value of yoga practice for overweight and obese individuals.

 

So, improve obesity with yoga.

 

“Yoga is an excellent exercise and spiritual discipline for people of any size. For some fat students, simply being made aware of body mechanics differences and being made welcome in a class are enough to bolster their confidence and allow them to progress.” – Kay Erdwinn

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

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

 

Study Summary

Rshikesan, P. B., & Subramanya, P. (2016). Effect of Integrated Approach of Yoga Therapy on Male Obesity and Psychological Parameters-A Randomised Controlled Trial. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research : JCDR, 10(10), KC01–KC06. http://doi.org/10.7860/JCDR/2016/21494.8727

 

Abstract

Introduction: Obesity is a growing global epidemic and cause of non-communicable diseases. Yoga is one of the effective ways to reduce stress which is one of the causes of obesity.

Aim: To assess the effect of Integrated Approach of Yoga Therapy (IAYT) yoga module on adult male obesity in an urban setting.

Materials and Methods: RCT (Randomized Controlled Trial) was conducted for 14 weeks on obese male subjects with yoga and control groups. Total number of subjects were 72 and they were randomized into two groups (Yoga n=37, Control n=35). The subjects were from an urban setting of Mumbai and were doing yoga for the first time. Special yoga training of IAYT was given to yoga group for one and half hour for 5 days in a week for 14 weeks. The control group continued regular physical activities and no specific physical activity was given. The assessments were anthropometric parameters of weight, Body Mass Index (BMI), MAC (Mid Upper Arm Circumferences) of Left and Right Arm, Waist Circumference (WC), HC (Hip Circumference), WHR (Waist Hip Ratio), SKF(Skin Fold Thickness of Biceps, Triceps, Sub scapular, suprailiac and cumulative), Percentage body fat based on SKF and Psychological Questionnaires of Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) and AAQW (Acceptance and Action Questionnaire for Weight Related Difficulty). These were taken before and after intervention for both yoga and control groups. Within and between group analysis & correlation of differences from post to pre readings among the variables, were carried out using SPSS 21.

Results: The anthropometric and psychological parameters were improved in both the groups but changes were significant in yoga group.

Conclusion: Incorporating the IAYT for obese male in urban setting will be effective for obesity treatment and for reducing the obesity related problems.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5121695/

 

Reduce Hedonic Eating with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“But whether or not you are predisposed to hedonic eating because of your genetics, everyone could benefit by becoming more mindful of what they eat, how much they eat, and when they eat.” – Tim Boyer

 

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. Currently more than 2 in 3 adults are considered to be overweight or obese and around 35% of the population meets the criteria for obesity. Overweight and obesity result from an imbalance between energy intake and expenditure. At some point in their lives people who are overweight have eaten a surplus of food energy relative to the amount they’re expending. This fact has led to investigations of the drivers of overeating in hope of discovering methods to treat or prevent 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. Hedonic eating, on the other hand, is not tied to nutrient needs but rather to the pleasurable and rewarding qualities of food. This latter form of eating appears to be related to the activity of a neural system that produces pleasure and uses opioids as its neurotransmitter. Hedonic eating releases opioids in the brain eliciting pleasure. Indeed, blocking the ability of this system to produce pleasure with drugs that block this systems activity results in a reduction in hedonic eating.

 

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. It is suspected that mindful eating counters hedonic eating. So, how well mindfulness reduces intake may reflect how well it influences the opioid system in the brain. Hence, opioid blocking responses should predict the effectiveness of mindful eating interventions.

 

In today’s Research News article “Acute responses to opioidergic blockade as a biomarker of hedonic eating among obese women enrolled in a mindfulness-based weight loss intervention trial.” See:

https://www.facebook.com/ContemplativeStudiesCenter/photos/a.628903887133541.1073741828.627681673922429/1343082565715666/?type=3&theater

or see summary below or view the full text of the study at:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4485926/

Mason and colleagues recruited obese women (BMI 30-46) and had them complete questionnaires on nausea, binge eating, food addictions, reward based eating, mindful eating, and emotional eating. They completed these measures after ingesting a placebo pill (no active ingredients) and after a pill containing naltrexone, an opioid blocker. The effectiveness of the blocker was verified by its ability to raise salivary cortisol levels. The participants then received a 5.5-month intervention of either mindfulness training or an active relaxation and cognitive therapy control condition.

 

They found that the greater the pretest reward based eating drive and food addictions and the lower the mindful eating, the greater the response to the opioid blocker naltrexone, suggesting that those who are most susceptible to hedonic eating are the most responsive to blocking the opioid system. Importantly, they also found that the greater the response of highly mindful participants to the opioid blocker the greater, 6-months later, the reduction in food addiction symptoms, binge eating, and reward based eating produced by the mindfulness training.

 

These results suggest that the cortisol response to naltrexone is an indicator of susceptibility to hedonic eating. They further suggest that this responsiveness is predictive of the effectiveness of mindfulness training in reducing hedonic eating. These results may be useful in the future in matching the most effective treatment to the characteristics of the obese individual, with those who are the most responsive to hedonic eating the best candidates for mindful eating treatment. In that way the effectiveness of treatment in reducing intake and body weight and be maximized.

 

So, reduce hedonic eating with mindfulness.

 

“This alternative approach has been dubbed “mindful eating.” Applied to eating, mindfulness includes noticing the colors, smells, flavors, and textures of your food; chewing slowly; getting rid of distractions like TV or reading; and learning to cope with guilt and anxiety about food.” – Harvard Health Letter

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

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

 

Study Summary

Mason, A. E., Lustig, R. H., Brown, R. R., Acree, M., Bacchetti, P., Moran, P. J., … Epel, E. S. (2015). Acute responses to opioidergic blockade as a biomarker of hedonic eating among obese women enrolled in a mindfulness-based weight loss intervention trial. Appetite, 91, 311–320. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2015.04.062

 

Highlights

  • We examined acute cortisol and nausea responses to naltrexone
  • Naltrexone responses were associated with measures of hedonic eating
  • Naltrexone responses may identify greater opioid-mediated hedonic eating drive
  • A mindfulness vs. standard weight loss program may improve food addiction

Abstract

There are currently no commonly used or easily accessible ‘biomarkers’ of hedonic eating. Physiologic responses to acute opioidergic blockade, indexed by cortisol changes and nausea, may represent indirect functional measures of opioid-mediated hedonic eating drive and predict weight loss following a mindfulness-based intervention for stress eating. In the current study, we tested whether cortisol and nausea responses induced by oral ingestion of an opioidergic antagonist (naltrexone) correlated with weight and self-report measures of hedonic eating and predicted changes in these measures following a mindfulness-based weight loss intervention. Obese women (N=88; age=46.7±13.2 years; BMI=35.8±3.8) elected to complete an optional sub-study prior to a 5.5-month weight loss intervention with or without mindfulness training. On two separate days, participants ingested naltrexone and placebo pills, collected saliva samples, and reported nausea levels. Supporting previous findings, naltrexone-induced cortisol increases were associated with greater hedonic eating (greater food addiction symptoms and reward-driven eating) and less mindful eating. Among participants with larger cortisol increases (+1 SD above mean), mindfulness participants (relative to control participants) reported greater reductions in food addiction symptoms, b=−0.95, SE(b=0.40, 95% CI [−1.74, −0.15], p=.021. Naltrexone-induced nausea was marginally associated with reward-based eating. Among participants who endorsed naltrexone-induced nausea (n=38), mindfulness participants (relative to control participants) reported greater reductions in food addiction symptoms, b=−1.00, 95% CI [−1.85, −0.77], p=.024, and trended toward reduced reward-based eating, binge eating, and weight, post-intervention. Single assessments of naltrexone-induced cortisol increases and nausea responses may be useful time- and cost-effective biological markers to identify obese individuals with greater opioid-mediated hedonic eating drive who may benefit from weight loss interventions with adjuvant mindfulness training that targets hedonic eating.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4485926/