Try Mindful Breathing to Prevent Stress Induced Weight Gain

Research on mindful eating benefits continues to grow* showing that mastering simple mindful eating and stress-reduction techniques helps prevent weight gain even without dieting.

As an integral part of my mindful eating approach I encourage my clients to do 3 minute mindful breathing exercise daily.

The primary goal of mindful breathing is simply a calm, non-judging awareness, allowing thoughts and feelings to come and go without getting caught up in them. 

Follow these simple steps of mindful breathing exercise:

  • Sit comfortably, with your eyes closed and your spine reasonably straight.
  • Bring your attention to your breathing.
  • Imagine that you have a balloon in your tummy. Every time you breathe in, the balloon inflates. Each time you breathe out, the balloon deflates. Notice the sensations in your abdomen as the balloon inflates and deflates. Your abdomen rising with the in-breath, and falling with the out-breath.
  • Thoughts will come into your mind, and that’s okay, because that’s just what the human mind does. Simply notice those thoughts, then bring your attention back to your breathing.
  • Likewise, you can notice sounds, physical feelings, and emotions, and again, just bring your attention back to your breathing.
  • You don’t have to follow those thoughts or feelings, don’t judge yourself for having them, or analyse them in any way. It’s okay for the thoughts to be there. Just notice those thoughts, and let them drift on by, bringing your attention back to your breathing.
  • Whenever you notice that your attention has drifted off and is becoming caught up in thoughts or feelings, simply note that the attention has drifted, and then gently bring the attention back to your breathing.
  • It's okay and natural for thoughts to enter into your awareness, and for your attention to follow them. No matter how many times this happens, just keep bringing your attention back to your breathing.

Although it may sometimes feel like you don't have enough time for meditation, this week we encourage you to try your best to find at least 3 minutes in the morning to sit quietly and observe your breath. 

Learn more about  Mindful Eating Program and how you can end your battle with stress, food, yo-yo dieting and overeating using mindful eating approach.

* Stress Reduction and Mindful Eating Curb Weight Gain Among Overweight Women (study by UCSF researchers published online in the Journal of Obesity)

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