Gut-Cued Eating for Weight Loss: A Preliminary Proof-of- Concept Study

Mary M Boggiano,

Published on: 2021-08-24


Background: Despite numerous weight-loss programs (WLPs), obesity rates continue escalating. For many, WLPs are unsustainable due to their high time, dietary, and financial demands. Stomach sensation awareness is included in some WLPs but has not been evaluated in isolation.

Aim: To test the effect of a simple stomach/hunger-cued intervention, “Gut-Cued Eating” (GCE), on body weight.

Methods: N=31 adults with a BMI>26.9 watched a video explaining differences between mouth- and stomach-hunger and were asked to eat only when stomach-hungry and stop eating before overly full for eight weeks. Standardized and original questionnaires were administered.

Results: Weight decreased by 2.4 lb (range -4.0 to 11.6 lb; p=0.003). Greater median-split weight-loss participants lost a mean 5.5 lb; lower ones neither lost nor gained. Higher perceived stress and lower mindfulness predicted more weight loss. While no foods were banned, snack and sugary drink intake decreased.

Conclusion: Results provide proof-of-concept for GCE to reduce weight, meriting placebo-controlled investigations.

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