Will Non-Dieting Make You Lose Weight?

We have heard of many fad diets telling you to eat this and not that, eat more carbohydrates to burn more calories as you exercise or eat lesser carbs to keep it from being stored as fat, eat more fish being a healthier meat or eat less fish because of its mercury content, and other options that you end up surrendering.

This has got you thinking: If diets do not work, would you lose weight if you do not diet at all? A lot of health experts may instantly disagree on that logic, but a recent study conducted at a university in New Zealand says that it is possible. According to the researchers over at University of Otago, obese or overweight women can still experience weight loss just by following certain relaxation techniques, which is believed to have longer positive effects on health.

The study, which is done in a span of two years and was recently published in the journal Preventive Medicine, involves over 200 women with a body mass index of 28 of higher (a value that is considered overweight). They were randomly placed in any one of the three intervention programs, all of which encourages the subjects to focus on taking an enhanced lifestyle that would bring out their positive well-being instead of the traditional calorie counting and constant weighing-ins.

Although all the groups were able to prevent weight gain during the course of the experiment, the researchers note that the most striking results came from the women who included intensive training to elicit the body’s relaxation process.

Co-author Dr. Caroline Howarth of the university’s Department of Human Nutrition says that negative emotions and stress can trigger women into overeating. This can be reversed, she says, through various relaxation techniques like progressive muscle relaxation, visualization, and abdominal breathing. Doing so may aid women to effectively combat their negative emotions, making them steer away from unhealthy means of dieting.