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Do This for 7 Minutes Daily to Get Skinnier

Do This for 7 Minutes Daily to Get Skinnier

Something as little as this daily 7-minute ritual might help you get skinny.

In a study, dieters who spent about 7 minutes meditating each day experienced far fewer food cravings than their nonmeditating peers. And the meditators were far more likely to resist their cravings.

Mind over matter
Here's how it all worked: Over a 7-week period, a group of study participants was taught "mindfulness meditation." With this method, they practiced recognizing, accepting and experiencing their cravings rather than trying to ignore or suppress them. As a result of this meditative practice, people did a better job of holding those cravings off. Researchers think the mindfulness meditation worked better than relying on sheer willpower because the practice helped minimize the frustration and obsessive preoccupation with food triggered by trying, often unsuccessfully, to suppress food cravings. (Find out how yoga helps you avoid overeating.)

Choose your method
Mindfulness meditation may not work for everyone. The key is to know what works for you. Maybe losing yourself in a gripping novel helps you resist cravings. Or taking a brisk walk. Or cooking. Or washing dishes. Just keep your chosen tricks handy. And if distraction, avoidance and willpower fail you, consider giving meditation a try. Here are a few more strategies that can help you resist emptying the cookie jar:

Medically reviewed in January 2020.

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