When it comes to dropping the pounds, counting calories and working up a sweat usually come to mind. However, if you find that your weight loss efforts have stalled, in spite of your ardent commitment to salads and cardio, consider meditating. I know what you’re thinking – meditation is for the mind and not for the body. However, this could not be further from the truth. Losing weight is not just a physical process but also a mental one. If you could train your mind to stop stress eating, for instance, you’re well on your way to achieving your weight loss goals.
Meditation refers to the practice of focusing on one thing at a time. When you mediate, you practice being present in the moment. When your mind starts to wander, mediation helps you to hone the skill to bringing yourself back to and being aware of the present. This is an important skill to have especially when it comes to weight loss because when you are in a state of mindfulness, you are likely to make better food choices and be more diligent with your exercise routine because you are aware of the importance of doing so.
Meditation isn’t just sitting cross-legged with your eyes closed for prolonged periods. Mindfulness meditation can be done when you’re seated or when you’re going about with your daily activities. The essence of mindfulness meditation is to pay attention. What this means is you should steer clear of multi-tasking. When you are eating, for example, you are practising mindfulness meditation when you focus on the food you are putting in your body vis-à-vis working on that report or watching television during a meal. This way, you will be able to pay attention to how much and why you’re eating and you’ll be less likely to overeat.
Reduce stress levels
Do you notice that you tend to reach for comfort foods like ice cream or chips when you are under immense pressure and stress? Meditation helps to prevent emotional eating by helping you manage your stress better. When you are calm and relaxed, you are less likely to over-indulge in those seemingly innocuous treats.
Curb food cravings
Most people find it hard to stick to their diet because they cave in to their cravings for junk food. When you meditate, you will be more aware and watchful of what you eat and it is easier to resist those tantalising temptations.
Lower basal metabolic rate (BMR)
BMR refers to the amount of energy used (in the form of calories) while at a state of rest. To drop the pounds, it is better to have a lower BMR because a lower calorie-intake would equate to a lower body weight. When you mediate, you’re lowering your BMR. This means that your body would require lesser calories and this in turn helps you to lose weight without breaking a sweat.
Sleep deprivation is your worst enemy when it comes to losing weight. A lack sleep can cause you to pack on the pounds because it increases the cortisol and gherlin levels in your body, which increases your appetite. Meditation helps to nip the problem in the bud by helping you sleep better because you are more calm and relaxed. Additionally, the practice also works to reduce cortisol levels and prevent the ill-effects associated with not getting enough sleep.
The bottom line: if you want to achieve your weight loss goal, meditation is not a substitute for a consistent workout routine and a healthy diet but it can support these positive lifestyle changes bring you closer to your goal.