The development of Self-Compassion and Mindfulness as a possible intervention for weight loss
Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis
The present thesis aimed to explore potential weight loss using Self-Compassion and Mindfulness. Interested in the Greek population due to increasing rates of obesity (see Panagiotakos et al., 2004), this thesis starts with a chapter of translations of the Self-Compassion and Mindfulness scales and psychometric evaluations of the Greek versions (i.e., Chapter 2).The Greek versions were shown to be reliable and valid measures. Chapter 3 investigated the relationship of Self-Compassion and Mindfulness traits to weight differences in a stressful environment, and whether relationships of constructs that promote weight loss failure (e.g., automatic thoughts) are mediated through the presence of Self-Compassion and Mindfulness traits. Higher scores in Self-Compassion and Mindfulness related to more lost weight, and the relationship of constructs that predicted weight loss failure were intervened by Self-Compassion and Mindfulness. Chapter 4 aimed to determine whether and how Mindfulness and Self-Compassion relate to maladaptive eating attitudes, BMI, and self-control. Further, meditation practices were used to explore if Mindfulness and Self-Compassion – isolated and combined – predict weight loss, and questioned through follow-ups whether lost weight and learned meditations are maintained. Those who displayed higher scores in Self-Compassion and Mindfulness showed less maladaptive eating attitudes and more adaptive self-control. Further, results indicated that Self-Compassion with Mindfulness assisted more weight loss than Mindfulness and control conditions. In Chapter 5, three studies investigated mental construals diaries as methods of cultivating Mindfulness and Self-Compassion instead of meditating and if such diaries assist weight loss. Participants were primed or habituated to think abstractly or concretely, with the latter group losing more weight and delaying weight regain at a 3-month follow-up. Further, concrete construals increased Self-Compassion and Mindfulness traits at similar levels as Self-Compassion and Mindfulness practices. The thesis concluded that Self-Compassion and Mindfulness are robust constructs that benefit individuals in weight management.