MBSR, or mindfulness-based stress reduction, is taking the health world by storm.
Instead of dieting and exercising, the developer, Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, advocated weight loss by paying direct attention to the here and now. Staying connected to the present moment forces people to focus on what they eat, how much they eat and how it makes them feel.
Early studies are finding it to be beneficial, reducing stress and improving the quality of life.
In a study involving 86 overweight and obese women, one group underwent eight weeks of either MBSR or health education control (HEC). They were then monitored for another eight weeks after the classes finished. Results for MSBR showed a fantastic increase in mindfulness and a sharp decrease in stress when compared to the HEC group.
Even so, both groups experienced improvements in sleep, anxiety, depression and stress. Internally, though, only the MBSR group showed a drastic decrease in fasting glucose levels.
For many trying to fight the epidemic of laziness and gluttony invading almost every facet of our culture, this comes as a happy relief. It’s yet another tool to treat those previously unable to control their diets. By teaching people to remain in the moment to fight emotional eating, physical health can improve.
Diet and exercise have long reigned as the supreme solution for weight loss. While diet and exercise are far from being dethroned as king and queen of fitness, mindfulness-based stress reduction is making strides toward establishing itself as a key component.