Mind Over Matter: Can You Cut Calories With a Mindset?

Harvard Professor Ellen Langer’s research reveals a surprising way to burn calories: be aware of and believe in the health benefits of the activity you engage in.

Langer and her team told 80 housekeepers at various hotels in the Boston area that their work, cleaning rooms, was good for their health. The housekeeping staff at the other hotels were not provided with the same information. Each group engaged in the same amount of physical activity at work as they always did – an average of 8 hours of cleaning per day. After one month, without making any changes in their lifestyle, the women who were informed of the health benefits of their work lost an average of two pounds, while the uninformed women didn’t lose weight

Athletes are well aware of the difference a mindset makes. When you’re head isn’t in the game, performance suffers.

Even non-athletes should pay attention. Langer is confident that by,

putting your mind in an exercise place, your body will follow.

When you go to the gym, don’t just go through the motions.  By being in the right mindset, you engage your body in a different way.  Truly believing that your actions have health benefits is the key.

So, is thinking you’re getting a workout while you sit at your computer going to burn calories? It’s certainly worth a try.

I wish you all the best,

Dr. Samantha Boardman