Meditation for weight loss may help you conquer the problems and limitations that are holding you back from losing the weight you desire. Meditation itself doesn’t cause weight loss, but it may help with the underlying factors limiting your success. For many people, these underlying factors make it so frustrating and almost impossible to get results.
If you’re using traditional weight loss programs without improvement, or you find yourself sabotaging your success with healthy eating habits, it may be time to consider how mindfulness-based interventions like this can help.
What Is Meditation?
Meditation is a deep, focused process that’s been used for thousands of years as a way to develop spiritual healing. What we know about meditation is that it can do much more – it may help with lowering blood pressure, reducing stress, and helping you become more aware of the thoughts in your head.
How does deep thinking help with improving physical symptoms like this? Meditation takes practice. Once you learn the proper meditation techniques, you’ll learn how to focus your attention on clarity and calm. This deep centering of oneself is one of the most effective ways of controlling thoughts that may be spiraling out of control.
During meditation, the goal is to focus all of your attention on a specific thing or goal. This involves tuning everything else out around you and focusing solely on one area. In many ways, it is a type of conscious changing technique that creates benefits physically and psychologically.
Meditation isn’t something that’s new. In fact, it’s been used in virtually every religion for thousands of years, including Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Hinduism. It is present in many cultures from around the world, even outside of spiritual benefits. Because of this, it’s a valid tool and something you should consider for the impact it can have on weight loss.
What Are the Benefits of Meditation for Weight Loss?
While there are many benefits to meditation, it may still be difficult to see how it can help you lose weight or how it can help you make that weight loss program work for you.
Often, a person struggling with their weight has an underlying concern that’s limiting them. This may be that you are binge eating in the middle of the night after a long, hard day. You may be engaged in emotional eating because of the stress you feel in your relationships. Some people may be unable to sustain weight loss because they have to give up because of the unhealthy foods around them and their connection to those foods and “feeling good.”
How can meditation help you to gain control of these situations? In short, it offers a few key benefits.
Create Sustainable Weight Loss
One of the core benefits of meditation is that it encourages you to pay close attention to what’s happening. It’s a process called mindfulness meditation. In this method, the goal is to pay very close attention to how you’re feeling in the present moment. You also need to focus heavily on where you are and what you’re doing.
During the process of mindfulness meditation, you’ll focus on these three areas without any judgment. Think about what you’re doing, how you are feeling, and what you’re experiencing, but do not classify those things as good or bad thoughts. Over time and with practice, you’ll learn how to control these thoughts. This type of meditation takes time to learn, but when you learn it, and you focus on it on a consistent basis, the benefits are many, and they are long-term. In this way, practicing this type of meditation allows you to not only lose weight but also keep the weight off.
Reducing Guilt and Shame
A secondary way that mindful meditation can benefit you is by helping you to address the guilt and shame you may feel. It may help you reduce stress-related eating and help to stop emotional eating from occurring. During the practice of meditation, you’ll be better able to become aware of your thoughts and emotions.
The benefit here is that, once you learn how to focus on your thoughts, you can then determine if you’re stress-eating or if you are, instead, eating because you’re actually hungry.
It’s quite common for people who are trying to change their eating habits to find themselves making mistakes because of negative and often inaccurate thought processes. Then, they enter the thought process of being ashamed, guilty, or even feeling defeated. That only spurs on poor eating habits. When you engage in mindfulness meditation, you learn to notice those emotions as they are happening. However, you don’t pass judgment on yourself for those thoughts.
Everyone is going to make mistakes on the weight loss journey. This method teaches you to forgive yourself for making mistakes, such as eating that donut in the breakroom because you’re frustrated at work. It may also stop you from making things worse – a process called catastrophizing. In this situation, you may think to yourself, “Well, I already ate the donut. I might as well just get fast food for dinner.”
Mediation for Weight Loss: 7 Ways Meditation Helps to Lose Those Extra Pounds
Mindfulness techniques are readily available. The more ways you can change your thought processes for better outcomes, the better. When it comes to losing weight, it’s important to focus on techniques that can be empowering to you based on what you’re facing. Mindful eating through meditation practice may be a real opportunity for you to see a marked difference in your weight but also in body fat and your motivation to keep going.
Here are several things you can do to enhance mindfulness training so you can digest the negative emotions holding you back.
1. Slow Down While You’re Eating
While you’re eating, be mindful of your actions. Chew slowly and recognize the taste of the foods in your mouth and in each bite. This helps with self-control, but it also helps you focus on the act of eating rather than the negative emotions behind your eating.
2. Eat at the Right Time
When you decide to eat, make that the focus of your time. That is, you’ll want to avoid trying to eat while you are doing other things. Successfully adopting this change helps you to stop eating to relieve stress. It also gives you the ability to focus on the act of eating with your mind focused.
3. Recognize Hungry and the Feeling of Fullness
One of the simplest things to learn is to only eat when you’re hungry. That seems logical, but often it’s a regular practice to just eat standard meals, when you are bored, or even when you’re feeling alone. Instead, try to listen to your body. Is your body telling you that you’re actually hungry? If so, eat. Do you feel full even though you only ate half of your meal? Stop eating. Break away from the old mentality that you have to eat everything on your plate.
4. Forgive Yourself Now for Unhealthy Eating Habits
You have a snack of junk food. It feels guilty. Immediately try to stop those feelings. Instead, focus on forgiving yourself for that action. Be mindful of your decision, don’t judge yourself for it, and get back to eating right. Rarely focus on the unhealthy habits you just engaged in and instead focus on getting back on track.
5. Consider How Some Foods Make You Feel
How do foods make you feel? Research shows that some foods make a person feel tired, such as carbs. Other times, you may find that some foods help you feel energized. Which foods should you eat? Eat the foods that help you feel good about yourself and give you energy more often.
6. Pay Close Attention to Your Cravings and Why You Have Them
Do you have cravings for some foods? If that’s the case, it’s a good idea to acknowledge it. Recognize it. Then, resist it. Meditation strengthens your ability to do just that.
7. Make Better Food Choices With a Conscious Focus
A healthy body needs healthy foods. However, it’s also important for you to think about what foods you should eat. Consider it intuitive eating. Focus on eating before you engage in it. See yourself eating healthy foods. Focus on this helps you feel full sooner and helps you desire those healthy foods more often.
How Can I Start Meditating for Weight Loss?
Now that you have a good idea of what you can accomplish and how to use meditation to guide you, it’s time to learn how to get started. First, start a simple process at home and then work to practice it over time.
Meditation is possible for most people without any need for special equipment or classes. The most important step is finding time to focus on the process. You don’t need a lot of time – just 10 minutes every day or every other day, and you can see weight loss as you do this.
Here’s how to make it possible.
- Find a quiet place where you can be alone without any noise.
- Make yourself comfortable in that space. You may want to sit down or lie down in a position that helps you feel comfortable.
- Start focusing on your breathing. Watch how your chest rises and falls with each breath you take.
- Feel the air that is moving into and out of your mouth and nose. Feel it.
- Listen to the sound the air makes as it moves into and out of your body. Do this for several months.
- Take a deep breath and hold it in for about 5 to 10 seconds.
- Exhale slowly and deeply. Do this several times.
- Then, try to take normal, natural breaths. As you do, focus on the movement of air in your nose, how it raises your chest, and how it seems to move your entire body. Continue focusing on your breath for the next 10 minutes.
As you do this, you may find yourself feeling your mind wander. When that happens, bring it back under control. Recognize that your mind wasn’t focused, don’t judge yourself for it, and simply get back to paying attention to your breathing. Also, after you’ve wrapped up, think about how easy it was for you to bring your mind back to your breathing even though you were distracted in the process.
Focus on Informed Mindfulness
There are many ways to improve your success with weight loss through meditation. One thing to consider is a process called informed mindfulness.
That is, in order to be successful at losing weight, you need to be able to be present in the moment, but you also have to know how to make the right decisions. For example, you need to know what you should be eating, what you should be avoiding in your diet, and how to get the exercise your body needs. You may need to consider other actions to help bring your blood pressure down.
In short, weight loss isn’t just going to happen because you spend time meditating. You have to have a plan to lose weight. Here are a few things to do now to make that possible.
Tackle Your Eating Disorder
If you have a true eating disorder, it may be helpful to seek out help for it from a therapist. There may be underlying mental health aspects that could be contributing to this.
Work to Boost Your Metabolism
You’ll need to have an exercise plan. You may need to learn your basal metabolic rate. In other words, you have to get your body moving and burning through stored belly fat. To do that, consider the benefits of exercising each day and working with your doctor to ensure your hormones are balanced to ensure you can physically give your body what it needs to lose weight.
Are You Battling Stress?
Meditation can help you to get rid of stress at that moment. You’ll feel better about it as you work through your meditation for the day. Yet, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t find a way to alleviate that stress for good. You may need to focus on getting out of a back relationship at home or at work. You may need to admit you need some help with whatever you are dealing with.
Give Yourself Healthy Foods
Another factor to consider is your diet. Work with a dietician to help you to balance your intake of carbs, saturated fats, and other foods. Make it possible to control what’s going in. For example, if your refrigerator is full of junk food, chances are good you’ll eat it. Give yourself healthy options instead.
Consider the Benefits of Guided Meditation
Another step you can take to help yourself embrace weight loss through meditation is to get some professional support. That is, you can find a wide range of guided meditations that can help you see significant improvement in your meditation techniques. Guided meditations can help because they tell you what to do during your mediating period.
You can find many apps that allow you to do this. Or, locate a few guided meditation tools online that you can just listen to as you sit quietly. You can also learn through numerous groups on social media or online.
Keep in mind that not everyone is able to sit down and meditate on their first try. It takes some practice and preparation. It also gets better with every time you embrace this method. That means it’s typically necessary to give yourself some time to learn the process.
Will Meditation Work to Help You Lose Weight?
Meditation can help you in many ways. It enables you to create a daily practice that can alleviate some of the things that may be pushing you towards unhealthy practices. That includes better tools to manage stress and increased awareness of why you’re eating. It can also help you create a healthy dietary regime for you based on your doctor’s recommendations and focus on increasing your positive thoughts around those good, healthy foods. In short, it can help you to overcome the countless obstacles you may feel like you are dealing with as you try to hit your weight loss goals.
It’s not a magic process. Yet, when used on a consistent basis, meditation works. It can help you focus on doing the right thing rather than focusing your attention on the wrong things. It can also help you stick to your new routine so you can make good decisions day in and day out.
Ready to Get Started?
Take the time to think about what is holding you back. Do you need to reduce stress, eat better foods, and build long-term behavior with exercise? If so, incorporating meditation into that process can help you to see more success on a routine basis.