Meditation and Weight Loss
You may be surprised to hear that meditation can assist you in losing weight. Any relaxation technique will actually aid you in your weight loss journey.
Meditation is an ancient method for calming the body. It has recently gone mainstream and you can find articles and classes everywhere on this topic. Hospitals and doctors across the country recommend meditation as a stress-reducing technique. Benefits of meditation include reduced blood pressure, healthier arteries and an enhanced sense of well-being. Meditation is an ideal tool for relaxation on the way to your weight loss goal.
What is Meditation and why does it work for weight loss
Meditation is the daily practice of emptying your mind to return to a place of calmness . The time needed to achieve this varies from person to person. I try to get in at least 15 minutes a day.
One reason this works for weight loss is that it reduces stress. Stress causes your cortisol levels to rise in your body which increases glucose levels. As long as glucose is elevated you will be pumping out insulin which is the root cause of metabolic syndrome.
Meditation relaxation gives us a time out, a few minutes of stress relief for our bodies and minds, to slow down and take care of ourselves. It does not take much time to get these benefits. Some people gain benefits with 5 minutes a couple times a day.
Problems Meditation address for losing weight
One reason people overeat is that they try to fill up their inner emptiness with food. Sometimes we don’t consciously realize this. Whether this unhappiness is subtle or more obvious, as in the case of depression, it can lead us to eat unhealthy and fattening foods. This is where the term comfort foods comes from. We just need something that will help us in reducing stress so those 10 pounds will come off easier.
Meditation does not have to be hard! When starting out, try taking five minutes in the morning before you get out of bed to clear your mind before you face your busy day. Simply close your eyes and focus on the pattern of your breathing without trying to change it. Focus only on your breathing. If your mind wanders–and it probably will at first–simply guide your mind back to your breathing without judgement.
It is more important to be consistent with your exercise that trying to get to a certain number of minutes per day. It can be hard to form new habits, so if you start at just five minutes a day, that’s OK. It has been shown that the best time to meditate is first thing in the morning and right before you go to bed at night. I makes not difference whether you are sitting or lying down. Do whatever feels most comfortable for you.
Why does Meditation Work for Weight Loss
There is no specific weight loss meditation technique. Meditation is a tool that can be used to help people lose weight. The connection is that it helps us align the conscious and unconscious mind. Those two things need to agree on changes in order for our behavior to change. By getting the unconscious mind involved we become more aware of our thoughts and , with practice, can override bad ones and even replace them with healthier habits.
Is there a physiological basis to why meditation works ? Yes ! Meditation directly reduces the levels of stress hormones like cortisol. Stress hormones signal our bodies to store calories as fat. When I have a patient that is not losing weight and they are eating correctly, either stress or sleep is usually the culprit. I know we are all stressed in this modern , fast paced world we live in. Taking the time to meditate is so worth it and will add years to your life.
In order to deal with stress or eliminate it you will need to find out what is causing stress in your life. Some stressors are easy to identify, but others can be more subtle. Keeping a journal can be a useful tool . I like using the Stress & Well-being Survey by Heartmath. It is free. You just have to register on their site. Heartmath is one of the tools I use to manage my stress and that of my clients.
Breathing is one of the easiest meditation routines. Just follow your breath in and out to reduce stress. I like to use a five counts on the inhale and five count on your exhale. It is kind of a circle. If these counts feel strained or unnatural find a count that fits you. The heart math video you see on this post is what fits me. Find your rhythm.
Wim Hoff Breathing Routine
Breathing is so important to controlling you mind. I do something called the Wim Hoff method . Wim Hoff is a crazy Dutchman that has learned how to control his autonomic nervous system. In the video I demonstrate one of the easy routines. On top of practicing Wim Hoff , I meditate daily between 5-15 minutes. Sometimes I use my Heartmath instead of my Muse meditation device. Even though I have some fancy equipment , meditation can be totally simple and equipment free. Give it a try. It will really pay off in many aspects of your life.