Regular yoga practice is associated with mindful eating, and that in turn causes people to be less likely to be overweight, finds a new medical study published in the August issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.
What seems particularly interesting is that it’s yoga – not just any exercise – that provides this associated benefit.
The researchers found that people who ate mindfully—those were aware of why they ate and stopped eating when full—weighed less than those who ate mindlessly, who ate when not hungry or in response to anxiety or depression. The researchers also found a strong association between yoga practice and mindful eating but found no association between other types of physical activity, such as walking or running, and mindful eating.
The key too is that the practice of yoga has to be regular. To the study, that appears to translate to more than one hour a week, a pretty low threshold, it seems to me.
The study measured:
- disinhibition – eating even when full;
- awareness – being aware of how food looks, tastes and smells;
- external cues – eating in response to environmental cues, such as advertising;
- emotional response – eating in response to sadness or stress; and
- distraction – focusing on other things while eating.
You can read more here.