Mindfulness Approaches and Weight Loss, Weight Maintenance, and Weight Regain

Curr Obes Rep. 2018 Mar;7(1):37-49. doi: 10.1007/s13679-018-0299-6.


Purpose of review: There is an urgent need for effective weight management techniques, as more than one third of US adults are overweight or obese. Recommendations for weight loss include a combination of reducing caloric intake, increasing physical activity, and behavior modification. Behavior modification includes mindful eating or eating with awareness. The purpose of this review was to summarize the literature and examine the impact of mindful eating on weight management.

Recent findings: The practice of mindful eating has been applied to the reduction of food cravings, portion control, body mass index, and body weight. Past reviews evaluating the relationship between mindfulness and weight management did not focus on change in mindful eating as the primary outcome or mindful eating as a measured variable. This review demonstrates strong support for inclusion of mindful eating as a component of weight management programs and may provide substantial benefit to the treatment of overweight and obesity.

Keywords: Acceptance-based behavior therapy (ABBT); Awareness; Literature review; Meditation; Mindful eating; Mindfulness; Mindfulness-based stress reduction; Obesity; Overweight; Weight; Weight loss; Weight maintenance; Weight regain.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Weight Maintenance*
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Humans
  • Mindfulness*
  • Obesity
  • Weight Gain*
  • Weight Loss*