A “mindful” approach to disease prevention

In today’s world, a lot of people would sooner chop off a limb than — gasp! — put down their phone, turn off the TV, and sit down at an actual table for more than three minutes to eat. It’s a shame, really. Because once again, research is showing that mindfulness may be the key to fending off heart disease and diabetes.

A new study in the March issue of Obesity randomized 200 obese adults to two groups with identical diet and exercise guidelines. One of these groups also received additional training in mindfulness during mealtimes and workouts.

After 18 months, the mindful group lost nearly four pounds more than controls. But the mindfulness intervention also delivered very significant improvements in two other critical areas. Namely, fasting blood sugar and triglycerides to HDL-cholesterol ratios.

Look, I get it. You’re busy. Believe me, I am too. But mindful mealtimes are always worth penciling into your schedule. And now, there’s one more study to prove it.

Mindfulness is a really simple strategy to adopt at mealtime. Turn off the television. Put down your phone. Sit down. Take your time. Pay attention to your feelings. Listen to what your body is telling you — and respond to it appropriately.