We are encouraged to practise mindfulness on a daily basis, right?

And while many of us understand it to be an approach which can impact positively on our mental health, recent studies have suggested that mindfulness can actually impact on our waistline too.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina have established that by focusing on each mouthful of food consumed, the individual increases their likelihood of losing weight.

Dividing 80 participants into two groups, researchers encouraged the first to practice mindful eating which required each individual to pay attention to feelings of hunger, avoid distractions and savour tastes, while the second group were not required to do any of this

Without restricting calories or following a nutrition plan, the first group lost 4 lbs over the course of 15 weeks while the second group lost 0.6 lbs.

Explaining the basis of the study, Dr Carolyn Dunn said:"Mindfulness is paying attention to your surroundings, being in the present moment."

"Mindful eating is eating with purpose, eating on purpose, eating with awareness, eating without distraction, when eating only eating, not watching television or playing computer games or having any other distractions, and not eating at our desks," she continued.

Commenting on the findings of the study, she asserted:"People did increase their mindfulness and they did absolutely decrease their weight”.

Sounds like we might need to start 'losing' the remote around dinner time, right?