Meditation and Weight Loss
Have you ever hit that weight loss plateau? Despise your best efforts, you somehow stop losing weight or end up gaining it back. This is a common problem when you lose track of your goals.
Meditation is a miracle tool which can help you indirectly achieve such changes. It treats your mind as a muscle. You can multiply the effects of your efforts by making consciously healthy choices. Following are five popular benefits of meditation that can help you lose weight.
Stress is a well-known culprit of weight gain. It raises your cortisol levels, which peaks insulin levels and induces cravings. You fall into the hazardous cycle of weight gain through sustained stress levels and unhealthy choices.
Fast food is a great comfort food but has disastrous long-term results. It disrupts sleep and raises blood pressure, worsening your depression, anxiety, fatigue, and brain fog. High stress levels are simply a pitfall to poor lifestyle choices.
Meditation does wonders to reducing stress and anxiety. You can cut down on impulsive choices by bringing your attention to the ‘here and now’. Your cytokine concentration reduces, which improves emotional health, self-image, self-awareness, and increasing your attention span.
Eventually, you recognise negative and self-defeating thoughts more easily. This is key to conquering your weight loss goals.
You can find more information on meditation and relaxation techniques here.
Eating Mindfully and Intuitively
The mind-body connection forms the root of a healthy life. We tend to neglect this connection when we eat emotionally or as a result of our impulses. Likewise, a strict diet which bans our favourite foods even in moderation is also a threatening factor to this connection.
Mindful or intuitive eating is a meditative practice. We can bring our attention to our plates to truly enjoy the experiences of eating, thus restoring this connection. Food is an outlet to optimal health, socialising, and happiness. It should not be used to temporarily dull our emotions or ward away pain.
We need to slow down and listen to these intuitive cues of hunger and satiation. This reduces the likelihood of binge eating and purging. Mindful eating can repair a broken relationship with food, aiding a sustainable and enjoyable weight loss journey.
You can find more information on mindful eating here.
Addressing Weight Loss Errors
Nobody is perfect. We all need a cheat day from our diets or a workout break. However, if these mistakes are happening a little too frequently, it is time to reflect. What are the other stressors that may effect the success of your routine?
Our bodies are simply a reflection of our minds.
Health and happiness go hand in hand. Your everyday lifestyle choices can be seen through both your body and mood. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you will have to address shortcomings firsthand and identify their root causes.
Have you had emotional triggers or past traumas that have manifested itself through an unhealthy relationship with food? Does your job stress you out to the extent that takeaway dinners are the only solution?
Try to identify such long term patterns. This is best achieved when you are by yourself, and can sift through thoughts in peace. You can answer these questions in a welcoming and relaxed state of mind.
Rewiring your brain
As with other practices, meditation takes time to inculcate. Channel in your awareness levels to yourself at various points during the day. You can create a ten minute slot between lunch and work when you bring your focus to your mind and body. Slow down while you are preparing your meals, eating, or moving.
Sustained meditative practice can change your response to triggering thoughts. When you begin to track micro level changes – such as responding to a trigger by going on a walk, rather than binge eating – you would have gained control of your mind and cravings. This returns the power to your during your weight loss journey.
Most interestingly, meditation has been shown to rewire parts of the brain that could aid weight loss. It decreases loneliness, addiction withdrawal symptoms, and even raises satisfaction levels. This improves our ability to stay in the present while eating, which can also aid better sleep quality and heighten metabolism levels.
Lowering Your Basal Metabolic Rate
Your BMR or basal metabolic rate is the number of calories required when you are resting. We tend to burn calories all the time through our body’s metabolic functions. Our genes and lifestyle play a huge role in boosting the rate at which calories are burned, even while we’re at a state of rest.
Exercises and calorie deficits form just a fragment of your weight loss journey. Your BMR however accounts for 60-75% of energy expenditure, and its rate is dependent on the sum of your choices and activities. Those with higher BMR levels feel hungrier and thus consume more calories, as opposed to their lower BMR counterparts. Meditation has been shown to lower your BMR levels – causing you to require lesser calories, and naturally lose weight if practiced consistently.
As shown above, meditation holds multiple benefits beyond mental and emotional health. It can help you reduce stress, eat mindfully and intuitively, address weight loss detours, rewire your brain and lower your BMR.
Many of us fall victim to crash diets and quick workout routines. Meditation reminds us that a long term, achievable weight goal is possible by consistently staying in tune with our minds and bodies.