Obesity poses great threat to our health. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 3.4 million adults die every year as a result of overweight or obesity.
Research suggests that a loss of 5 – 10% of the initial body weight can bring lots of physical and psychological benefits, provided the weight loss is maintained.
However, it is not easy to maintain weight loss: 50% of the weight loss is recovered within 1 year. Many people return or even gain more weight from 3 to 5 years after weight loss.
One important factor that makes people regain weight is anxiety. Often after weight loss, people are anxious to manage healthy dietary and weight behaviors. In addition, anxiety can trigger the intake of sweeting and fatty foods.
Related Reading: How to maintain weight loss successfully: suggestions based on a 20-year national study
Now research shows that meditation can reduce anxiety during weight loss maintenance. The finding is published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine.
In the study, 20 people at the weight maintenance phase took part in an 8-week meditation program. The 40-min meditation session focused on breathing and relaxation.
The meditation session had 3 steps. First, participants balanced their energetic polarities by placing their hands over the stomach, the chest and the lower abdomen.
Second, they contacted with the Cardiac Chakra by placing both hands over the sternum and breathing normally.
Third, they expended their consciousness by laying hands over the legs and imagining a circle around his head and a golden light in the circle.
Participants were asked to do the meditation every day at home. Researchers measured their anxiety before and after the program.
The results showed that after doing meditation, participants had less anxiety symptoms. They could breathe slowly, felt less tense and less tightening of the chest. Psychologically, they had less fear, worry, or obsessive thinking.
In a control group who did not do mediation, no change in anxiety symptoms was found.
Researchers suggest that meditation can significantly reduce the anxiety in obese people during weight loss maintenance. Therefore, it should be used in weight loss programs to generate greater wellbeing.
Citation: Sampaio CVS, Lima MG, Ladeia AM. (2016). Efficacy of Healing meditation in reducing anxiety of individuals at the phase of weight loss maintenance: A randomized blinded clinical trial. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 29: 1-8. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ctim.2016.08.005
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