Almost every week a new weight loss diet or exercise program hits the market and it is always touted as being better and more effective than anything else available to part you from your hard earned dollars.
Well here is something you may not have thought about…..meditation for lasting weight loss.
Meditation is centuries old and in the past most of us have associated it with being used purely for religious practices.
But today, more and more people are seeing its benefits to bring relief from lifestyle issues such as stress caused by our busy lifestyles although not a lot of people have realized yet that meditation can even help you achieve your desired weight.
You may wonder how the act of sitting and meditating can help you ditch excess body fat and actually lose weight.
Here are a few of the reasons why it works.
1. How Deep Breathing Helps Overcome Mindless Eating
One of the ways meditation can help people lose weight is through the regular practice of deep breathing. When you learn the art of breathing properly as taught in meditation courses, it becomes easier to overcome any tendency to binge which causes many peoples weight problems.
The reason this works is because most people immediately sit down, lean over the table and begin eating. Instead of being mindfully aware of each forkful, each taste, each texture, the meal is mindlessly eaten and the plate is suddenly empty.
If you can train yourself to take at least five deep breaths before picking up your fork or spoon you will find your body will feel more relaxed. As a result, you are able to enjoy your food much more without feeling the need to overeat. This is because you have learned to become more aware of your eating habits.
You will have learned to taste your food well, savor it and realize when you have eaten enough, all of which helps prevent any tendency to ‘eat for the sake of eating’.
Eating in a relaxed yet mindful state will give your body time to send ‘I have had enough’ messages to the brain, and for the brain to be in a state to readily receive and respond to the message.
2. Meditation Paves the Way for Healthier Thoughts and Feelings
When you meditate, many negative thoughts, feelings and almost all forms of mental clutter comes to the surface. As images of junk foods and other unhealthy cravings start to surface together with the emotions associated with those images, you become more capable of dropping them into your mind’s rubbish bin. This will then clear the way for healthier and more positive thoughts.
Researchers from Brown University revealed their findings on the effects of meditation are consistent with their previous discoveries about the human brain.
The earlier data concluded that the regular practice of meditation helps a person become more aware of the present which causes positive changes in the areas of the brain that regulate cravings and hunger.
This is the reason why long-term practitioners of meditation were found to have an improved ability of tuning into their body sensations in a healthier way. Thus, binge eating and other unhealthy eating habits are more easily overcome.
3. Meditation Helps Reduce the Stress that Prevents Emotional Eating
A study conducted on 47 obese women divided into two groups showed the relaxation effects of meditation not only reduce stress but it also decreases the likelihood to indulge in emotional eating.
The main goal of this study was to test how meditation helped control emotional eating. The two groups of women were taught about the essentials of diet and exercise but no specific type of diet was prescribed to any of them.
However, one group was given the opportunity to experience a 30-minute meditation on a daily basis, and the other was not.
The results revealed the group who meditated every day was able to maintain their weight and reduce their levels of cortisol which translates to lowered levels of stress. On the other hand, the control group who did not meditate gained weight.
Experts reveal one of the best ways to combat comfort eating is to reduce your stress levels, which is what the meditation did for the group that maintained a healthy weight.
This finding opens up a lot of doors to more research on how meditation can help lower your stress levels, reduce any tendency to turn to comfort foods and finally help you to lose weight.
Why not give it a try – the worst it can do is reduce your stress levels and give you some coping mechanisms to help handle our hectic lifestyles.
Let me know how you go.