No, it’s not a spam or another shoddy online program. Doing meditation can indeed help you lose weight.
But I understand your skepticism here.
After all, you work so hard. You drag yourself out of home to do daily workouts. You take so called healthy diet while sacrificing every pleasure of your taste buds.
But every time, you check your weight on scales, you feel like giving everything up and head straight towards your favorite fast food joint!
Because apparently nothing works!
And now a random guy on Internet tells you that you can do meditation to lose weight.
Now you wonder if sitting while doing nothing (that’s what meditation is probably to you, isn’t it?) can really help your burn calories.
Don’t get me wrong.
I am not saying that your hard work at the gym and sweating buckets on the treadmill is of no use to lose weight.
I am not saying that your immense self-control against your favorite food is worthless.
Diet and exercise remain significant for not just weight loss but also to improve your overall health.
However, you may be doing everything right but still not seeing significant results. And that’s where this connection between meditation and weight loss comes into play.
You might have thought about meditation as something esoteric or related to religion. However, that is one of the biggest meditation myths prevalent among many people. Meditation is a scientifically proven practice for holistic well-being.
Yes, meditation may not burn calories like running on the treadmill, but it helps to lose weight in a more profound manner and that too for a long term.
So, you’d not gain back the lost weight which often happens the moment you leave your special diet!
Now let’s find out why doing meditation for weight loss is not a bad idea.
How Meditation Helps in Losing Weight
1. Helps You Deal with Stress and Anxiety That Leads to Binge Eating
You are having a rough day. You head to your favorite joint and order a sumptuous meal. For a moment, all your worries seem to melt away as you indulge your taste buds.
How many times has it happened to you?
Your favorite food may temporarily give you relief by distracting from your concerns. However, it also adds a few inches to your waistline over a period of time.
Often known as emotional eating, this happens to more people than you can imagine.
Research has proven that meditation directly helps in your ability to deal with stressful situations in a calm and composed manner.
When you begin a regular meditation habit, you have more control over your senses. You will realize that you don’t need carb-loaded meals or caffeine overload to deal with your mental anxiety.
All you need is a few mindful moments along with 8-10 deep breaths! You can learn how to do mindfulness meditation in as little as 5 minutes!!
2. Reduces Cortisol- Culprit Behind Abdominal Fat
Stress does you more harm than just make you eat comfort foods. It leads to a production of a hormone called cortisol in your body.
This is a normal defense mechanism of the human body to deal with emergency and life threatening situations.
However, modern stress hardly involves such fatal situations.
So over time, your body gets used to high levels of cortisol. It is a medically proven fact that elevated levels of cortisol over a long period lead to accumulation of fat in your body, especially around the middle portion.
People who meditate regularly have less amount of cortisol in their body and have significantly lower chance of sporting that dreaded abdominal fat.
3. Makes You More Mindful To Prevent Overeating
Let me ask you a question. When was the last time you really paid attention to the food you are eating?
I mean really tasting all ingredients, slowly chewing it, and taking every sensation of taste with it?
Chances are you eat food at a speed that hardly allows you to appreciate it. Eating in this manner, in fact, leads to overeating in most or all cases.
One of the biggest benefits of mindfulness meditation is that you become more aware. You are not lost in your thoughts but aware of them. This simple moment-by-moment awareness helps you make better choices.
When you apply mindfulness to eating, you savor each and every bite. Mindful eating in this manner not only prevents you from overeating but also helps you appreciate the taste of your food.
You automatically eat less and consume lesser calories. This way mindfulness automatically leads to weight loss while also helping you enjoy your food in a better way.
4. Mind-Body Connection for Sustainable Weight Loss
You may or may not believe this but the way you think about yourself directly affects your physical and mental health. Remember the saying, “As a man thinketh in his heart so is he”.
If you workout daily and consume a healthy diet but in your mind, you keep thinking, “I am fat”, “I am always overweight”, “Nothing helps me lose weight”, chances are you might not see positive results in long term.
Yes, you’ll lose weight initially but for a physical transformation of your body, you need to change your beliefs about yourself. Meditation helps you become aware of such frequent negative thoughts and replace them with new, positive beliefs.
Over time you’ll begin to experience an inner transformation and automatically begin to feel lighter, energetic, and healthier. You won’t even need to check your weight frequently as you know you have changed from inside.
How to Practice Meditation to Lose Weight
So now that you know it is possible to lose weight with meditation, let us see how to do it. If you’ve never meditated before, you can simply start from 5-10 minutes a day with breathing mindfulness meditation.
Set your timer for 2 minutes in the beginning. Take 3-4 deep breaths and close your eyes. Keep breathing naturally and pay attention to your breath.
Notice how air enters into breath and follow it down feeling your stomach rise. Similarly, be aware of exhalation and feel it leave from your nose.
Your mind may and will wander at times during the process. It is okay. Whenever you notice your attention has diverted from your breath, gently bring it back.
This simple breathing meditation will help you calm your mind and deal with anxiety. You can even try this whenever you feel any urge to eat your favorite, calorie-high foods in response to stressful situations.
You can do this practice for a minute before your meals as well. Once you calm your mind, focus on your food completely.
Notice its different colors and imagine how it would taste. With every bite, try to taste different ingredients and texture of food.
It would be difficult at first as you are used to gulping down your food mindlessly. With continuous practice, you’ll notice you get full with the lesser amount of food (lesser calories) and also begin to enjoy your meals immensely.
You can also try guided meditation for weight loss. You can find many such meditations on YouTube that will help you develop that mind-body connection we talked about earlier in this article.
Here is a good one from my favorite meditation channel by Jason Stephenson.
Summing It Up:
Your excess weight is often a result of multiple factors- poor diet choice, lack of self-control, stress and anxiety, negative self-worth, and so on. Meditation helps to deal with a majority of these problems in an effective, long-term way.
So, if you need any strong reason to do meditation, this is it. Begin doing meditation to lose weight and you’ll experience its other magical benefits as well!
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