Here’s how to stop yourself yo-yo dieting, according to science

Rob Waugh

If you torture yourself with crash diets or fortnight-long ‘juice cleanses’ only to step on the scales a few months later and find the weight has come back, help might be at hand.

A Canadian study has found that combining a slow, steady diet with mindfulness meditation can help maintain weight loss and prevent ‘rebounds’.

McGill University researchers reviewed the results of 19 studies into the use of mindfulness – including techniques such as meditation, and ‘mindful eating’.


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The researchers found that people who practiced mindfulness lost weight more slowly than people on more severe diets – but continued to shed the pounds more steadily.

After several weeks, people using mindfulness techniques had lost 3.5% of their body weight on average – while some people using other techniques had ‘bounced back’ and regained weight.

Kimberley Carrière of McGill Universaity said the results, ‘highlight the potential of using mindfulness training to support weight loss.

‘We recommend that further research investigate how integrating mindfulness training into lifestyle-change programs improves weight-loss maintenance.’