Mindful Eating, General Mindful Awareness, and Acceptance as Predictors of Weight Loss

Type Article

Journal Article


J. S. Tronieri; T. A. Wadden; R. L. Pearl; R. I. Berkowitz; N. Alamuddin; A. M. Chao

Year of publication



Mindfulness (N Y)








OBJECTIVES: The goal of the present study was to determine whether baseline mindful eating, general mindful awareness, or acceptance was most strongly associated with short- and long-term weight loss in a lifestyle modification program. METHODS: Data were from 178 participants (baseline BMI=40.9±5.9 kg/m(2), age=44.2±11.2 years; 87.6% female; 71.3% black) who enrolled in a two-phase trial. All participants attended an initial 14-week lifestyle modification program that included a meal replacement diet. Participants who had lost ≥5% of initial weight (N=137) were then randomized to 52 weeks of lifestyle modification with lorcaserin or placebo. Linear mixed models examined whether mindful eating (Mindful Eating Questionnaire) and general mindful awareness and acceptance (Philadelphia Mindfulness Scale) predicted short-term weight loss at week 14 in the full sample and long-term weight loss at the end of the trial in the subsample of randomized participants. RESULTS: In the full sample, higher baseline acceptance predicted greater short-term weight losses (p=.004). At week 14, individuals low in acceptance (-1SD) lost an average of 8.7 kg (SE=0.6) compared to 11.2 kg (SE=0.6) among those high in acceptance (+1SD). In the subsample of participants who successfully lost weight in phase 1, the independent effect of acceptance on total losses at the end of the trial did not reach statistical significance (p=.058). Neither mindful eating nor general mindful awareness independently predicted weight loss at either time point. CONCLUSIONS: Acceptance was a stronger predictor than either general or eating-specific awareness of weight loss with lifestyle modification.