The findings are in from a weight-loss pilot program developed by HeartMath in which volunteers self-administered a six-week regimen that incorporated HeartMath tools and the emWave® technology.
There was slightly more than a 5-pound average weight reduction among the 19 participants who completed the Stop Emotional Eating Weight Loss Pilot Program during the second half of 2008, though a number reported approximately 12-pound losses. Average waist size decreased just over 2 inches and hip circumference was reduced on average by nearly 1.8 inches.
The program emphasized learning skills for stress reduction and self-managing emotions to achieve weight loss during the course and for continuing to pursue optimal weight levels and maintaining them over the long term.
“I am more in charge of my stress now,” one participant, whose name is withheld here to maintain privacy, stated following the program. “I am more able to deal with the workload I have, and I have learned to turn off the work and breathe.
“Integral components of the program include HeartMath’s Notice and Ease™ and Power of Neutral® tools and the Freeze-Frame® and Quick Coherence® techniques as well as the handheld emWave2® (Formerly known Personal Stress Reliever®).
From ‘Emotional Eating’ to ‘Intuitive Eating’
Researchers with the HeartMath Institute and other entities have determined that for a great number of people stress provokes “emotional eating” and weight gain. Emotional eating, which is simply eating for a reason other than actually being hungry, comprises an estimated 75% of overeating, according to some estimates.
“Stress and emotional disturbance can make it difficult to stay on any diet,” Step 1 of the workbook, Stop Emotional Eating, explains. “Some events may create stress that sets off stress eating for you and others may not, so it’s important to understand the stress triggers that provoke your emotional eating.”
Thus the participants were urged to look closely whenever they engaged in emotional eating and identify precisely what led to it – an argument, an incident at work or feeling bored, sad or anxious, etc. By knowing what their stress triggers were, they could utilize the HeartMath tools and techniques to intervene prior to emotional eating episodes. They could use their emWave® PSRs whenever they felt the need to monitor, reduce and stabilize stress levels.
“Eating is so strongly connected with our feelings (be they happy, sad, anxious, lonely, overloaded or depressed),” HMI founder Doc Childre wrote in the introduction to Stop Emotional Eating, “that the balance between heart, mind and emotions has to be included in our diet commitments and intentions.”
One element of the program that a number of participants liked was the concept of shifting from emotional eating to intuitive eating, which they learned about in Step 5. During the first four steps, they had engaged in activating the intelligence and coherent power of the heart.
Facts about participants of the Stop Emotional Eating Weight-Loss Pilot Program:
- The 19 who completed the program were among 43 who began it.
- There were six men and 13 women.
- The average age was 51.6 years.
- All completed the program on their own time and in their own communities – around the country.
- Significant increases in calmness
- Significant decreases in stress, anger and resentfulness
- Significant decreases in weight, waist and hip circumference
“This enables you to change your eating patterns and use intuitive discernment on what and when to eat,” the workbook explains. “Heart intelligence unfolds practical intuition: the ability to intuitively discern a better course of action in the moment. Increasing coherence in your heart rhythms helps make that intuitive information more available to you.”
“Participants were instructed to use, over a two-week period, the Intuitive Eating exercise, an adaptation of the Freeze-Frame Technique using the emWave PSR, “within a half-hour before each meal or snack to help you discern what to eat and how much to eat.”
Relying on the HeartMath Principles
The Stopping Emotional Eating; The emWave® Stress and Weight Management Program, incorporates and is the culmination of HMI’s more than 18 years of research into stress, emotions and heart intelligence. It is available to the general public and if you would like to learn more, click here. Although the program is new, its core HeartMath principles and methodology have been utilized for years by many people around the world for weight loss and control.
A Salinas, California health-care marketing and PR executive who credits the HeartMath System – before the pilot program had even been developed – with changing her life, stated: “I know in my heart that it is because of the HeartMath tools and using the emWave that I was able to lose 75 lbs. Before HeartMath, I had yo-yoed in my weight, but the most I had ever lost was 15 pounds and then gained it back. Now, it has been more than 18 months since I started and I have no problem keeping the weight off.”
Unlike common weight-loss programs, this one did not include an actual prescribed diet, food recommendations or any type of drugs, but participants were told they could continue those or any medical or other types of interventions they were currently using, including support groups.
The HeartMath System, which has been utilized by thousands of people worldwide to help them with weight control, stress reduction, anger management, depression and a variety of debilitating conditions, is entirely noninvasive and does not rely on any type of drug intervention. (HeartMath officials caution that regardless of a person’s success with its methods, programs and technology, no one should discontinue medical treatment or medications without appropriate professional consultation.)
Findings from the pilot program showed:
Here is what two participants had to say about the program:
“It’s a nice alternative to fad diets and other ‘temporary fixes.’“
“Give it a try – no drugs, holistic, with broader life benefits in stress management.”
To learn more or to purchase the Stopping Emotional Eating; The emWave® Stress and Weight Management Program, click here.