The Mindfulness Approach To Achieving Your Goal

Wednesday, December 07, 2016. Author Geraldine Campbell

The Mindfulness Approach To Achieving Your Goal

With the festive season upon us, the temptations of chocolates, sweets, and mince pies are everywhere! The occasional overindulgence is fine, but the festive period lasts weeks and weeks….so how can we resist having our healthy eating habits derailed?

The Mindfulness Approach

Mindfulness has become an emerging approach for improving the psychology of how we behave. It has been used to help reduce stress, anxiety and depression. Many unhealthy eating behaviours are ‘mindless’ and therefore become automatic habits that people have regardless of whether they are actually hungry or need to eat. For example, some people associate “Watching TV” with “Eating Ice Cream” and over time, it becomes a habit to eat a pint of ice cream while watching TV. Pretty soon, the simple act of watching the nightly news has triggered significant weight gain. Switching to a ‘mindful’ approach is helpful to reduce overeating; and therefore obesity.

Mindfulness is a state of consciousness that increases awareness of thoughts and feelings so decisions are made due to internal sensory triggers (e.g. Whether you are actually hungry, instead of the sight of a chocolate bar dictating your behaviour). Mindfulness interventions require individuals to monitor their bodily feelings before, during and after eating or physical activity. This can be done by asking yourself questions such as “Is eating this food the option I really want to choose?” before eating .

Practising Mindfulness

Evaluating how you feel before, during and after eating will help limit the likelihood of overeating as individuals will become more mindful of when they feel full. Combining this mindful approach to eating with some environmental changes such as using smaller plates and not eating in front of the TV will also change your eating behaviours to be more beneficial for your well-being. Don’t let the festive season be an excuse for bad decisions that slow your muscle building, fat loss or general well-being goal!

Genetic Influence

Here at FitnessGenes, we test for the FTO gene variant that has been linked to obesity risk. Certain variations of the FTO gene reduces people’s sense of satiety following meals, leading to overeating. The use of mindfulness could be an easy intervention to help overcome these negative eating habits and take control over your diet and lifestyle.

Yet to see if your overeating tendency could be down to your genes? You can purchase your FitnessGenes DNA Analysis Kit or Genetic Workout System from our online shop, and see if mindfulness could be the Christmas gift to yourself (or you friends and family) to reach your health and fitness goals!

Don’t let the temptations over the festive period stand in the way of your health and fitness goals. Adopt a mindful approach and take back control of your eating!


Brown, K.W. and Ryan, R.M., 2003. The benefits of being present: mindfulness and its role in psychological well-being. Journal of personality and social psychology, 84(4), p.822.

Dalen, J., Smith, B.W., Shelley, B.M., Sloan, A.L., Leahigh, L. and Begay, D., 2010. Pilot study: Mindful Eating and Living (MEAL): weight, eating behavior, and psychological outcomes associated with a mindfulness-based intervention for people with obesity. Complementary therapies in medicine,18(6), pp.260-264.

Forman, E.M., Butryn, M.L., Hoffman, K.L. and Herbert, J.D., 2009. An open trial of an acceptance-based behavioral intervention for weight loss. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 16(2), pp.223-235.

Forman, E.M., Hoffman, K.L., Juarascio, A.S., Butryn, M.L. and Herbert, J.D., 2013. Comparison of acceptance-based and standard cognitive-based coping strategies for craving sweets in overweight and obese women. Eating behaviors, 14(1), pp.64-68.

Wansink, B., 2010. From mindless eating to mindlessly eating better. Physiology & behavior, 100(5), pp.454-463.

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