What Mindfulness is Not

Do you have to meditate or become a Buddhist to live a mindful life? Will all of your stress go away if you practice mindfulness? Isn’t mindfulness just the next new fad? Should you try to “clear your mind of thoughts?” The answer to all of those questions is “no.” Awhile ago I wrote a… Read More »

Evidence for Benefits of Mindfulness Continues

The history of using mindfulness to address a variety of medical and psychological conditions dates back about 35 years. It traces its roots to Massachusetts General Hospital’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program. This method, founded by Jon Kabat-Zinn, has been studied extensively and has shown consistent and impressive results in treating a range of medical… Read More »

How to Lose Weight Using the Least Effort

There are two ways to approach the process of weight loss: one is from the bottom up, and the other is from the top down. Top-down weight loss is easier and more joyful to sustain. Think of weight loss as a triangle (above). Each tier of the triangle is a weight-loss strategy that–according to systems theory–… Read More »

Weight Loss Plan for Thanksgiving

There are hundreds of practical articles and tips out there to help people handle Thanksgiving—and those are all great. However, I’d like to approach things from a slightly different angle: how to train your mind. Think of this post as a helpful “add-on” to whatever strategy you already have in place for the holiday. Shifting your… Read More »

What to do When You Fall Off Your Weight Loss Plan

Or “How to Start a Weight Loss Plan Even if it is the 100th Time You’ve Tried” Consider the following quote from meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg: “It is never too late to turn on the light. Your ability to break an unhealthy habit or turn off an old tape doesn’t depend on how long it… Read More »

Nature and Weight Loss

Massachusetts General Hospital has a program where its doctors write prescriptions for outdoor activity as a way to improve health (Outdoor Rx). This is one of those “Wouldn’t it be nice if…” moments that has actually materialized. “Wouldn’t it be nice” if doctors handed out prescriptions for walking the dog, hiking, or playing catch rather… Read More »

Teach Your Children Well: Family Eating Habits

When I was working in the Marriage and Family Therapy field, we had a guiding principle when it came to treating children: generally speaking, children’s problems are best addressed at the family level. This doesn’t mean that a family is always to “blame” for the child’s problems. Rather, it means that the solution will be most… Read More »

Group Support in Weight Loss

The research is clear on this. Group support is an excellent way to achieve your weight loss goals. This study, published in the journal Obesity, showed that people lost more weight when they attended group sessions. Consistent, frequent attendance was an important factor. What is it about groups that is so effective in the weight… Read More »

Does Slow and Steady Win the Race?

Some diets promise rapid weight loss. Others aim for a slower pace. Does the rate at which we lose weight have any bearing on whether we keep it off? This is a great question. Conventional wisdom has long held that slow, gradual weight loss is more sustainable. However, a new study questions that wisdom: regardless… Read More »

Responding to Internal vs. External Signals to Eat

“If you don’t like your world, change yourself (in a positive way). By virtue of changing yourself, your world will change…” This simple axiom can be very powerful. Research has shown we make over 200 decisions about food every day. Most of these decisions are driven by external factors. In our fast paced, sedentary world… Read More »