A new study from the University of California, San Francisco, suggests that mindful eating plus stress reduction can prevent weight gain. In fact, the combination may even result in loss of dangerous fat you can’t see – deep abdominal fat linked to the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
The research team divided 47 chronically stressed, overweight and obese women into two groups. One group received mindfulness training and practice; the other served as a control group. The women’s psychological stress, fat and cortisol (stress hormone) levels were tested before and after the four-month study.
At the end, the researchers found no significant weight changes between the women in the stress reduction group and the controls. The investigators noted, however, that the most significant reductions in abdominal fat occurred among women who had shown greater improvements in listening to their bodies’ cues, and in those who had greater reductions in stress or cortisol levels.