Meditation for Weight Loss – Does It Really Work?
Weight management has become considerably important over the past decade. The significance of keeping control over one’s weight has risen due to the alarming increase in lifestyle diseases like heart conditions and diabetes. There are several programs and fitness centres that are committed to helping people lose weight. Several fad-diets have also taken the market by storm, promising to help people shed oodles of weight with minimal efforts. However, managing one’s weight at an optimum level is an effort that requires a change in many aspects of our life. Healthy food choices, a more active lifestyle, and some form of exercise are all required in small doses for proper weight management. So, the question that arises for many is, ‘can I use meditation to help me lose weight?’ Read further to understand how meditation aids in weight management.
How Can Meditation Help You Lose Weight?
Meditation is a powerful tool that can align the subconscious mind with the conscious mind to comply with changes we want in our behaviour. It could be anything from controlling your food cravings and wanting to be more active, to simply reducing stress in one’s life. Simply finding 20 minutes a day to meditate can help train your mind towards achieving a fitter body. Here’s how meditation and weight loss are linked:
1. Meditation Heightens Your Awareness
Meditation helps in improving mental acuity and increases our awareness about ourselves. It enables the mind to slow down and focus more on things that matter and require attention.
2. It Helps Control Food Cravings
Focusing your mind to achieve goals can be done through meditation. The powerful concentration that is created due to meditation helps train the mind to be disenchanted by certain foods, cravings, and binge eating. The mind can also be focused on picturing a thinner self or a more active lifestyle, in order to align the subconscious and the conscious to act simultaneously. By changing desire at root level, you can train the mind to eliminate certain foods and even replace them with healthier options.
3. Meditation Works to Reduce Stress
Stress is the leading cause of all ailments. It is one of the biggest reasons for weight gain as well. The body’s coping mechanism makes it put on weight as a supposed defence against undesirable situations and outcomes. This is the primitive part of our body’s functioning, where fat was piled on to fight the cold, hunger, and other stressful situations during the days of the ‘early-man’. Reducing stress through meditation techniques can calm the mind and improve mental balance.
4. It Induces Better Assimilation of Food
Meditation is a way of improving food assimilation in the body. Breaking down of nutrients and then absorbing them in the right way for bodily functions, can be improved through meditative techniques. By reducing stress, meditation also prevents broken down food to be stored as fat by utilising it in the right way.
5. It Reduces Basal Metabolic Rate
Our Basal Metabolic rate or BMR, is the quantity of energy expended in calories to maintain bodily functions. This has a profound effect on weight loss because a higher BMR means faster calorie burning. Practising pranayama or meditation increases BMR and improves the body’s metabolism. This will help manage your weight loss program in a better way.
How to Practice Meditation for Weight Loss?
There are certain effective meditation techniques for weight loss management:
- Use a mantra or a word phrase to create a focus. Repetition of this prevents the mind from wandering. You should choose words or phrases that resonate with you. Keeping your concentration centred on a single phrase, word, or even object can heighten your receptivity and calm your mind.
- Follow your breath closely. Concentrate on your inhalation and exhalation. The norm is to do four counts for an inhale and eight counts for an exhale. If the tediousness of counting takes away your calm, just breathe deeply and focus on the breath without counting. Work towards a longer exhalation over time, as it is beneficial for your health and well-being.
- Try guided meditation if you are unable to build focus on your own. There are many choices available, such as podcasts, applications on smartphones, and video recordings. These can help you stay focused, until you feel comfortable meditating on your own.
- Bring about mindfulness through meditation. Mindfulness meditation for weight loss is important, as it keeps you fully aware of every choice that you’re making during the day. Being mindful means to be aware of what is happening in your mind and making informed decisions. A mindful approach allows you to make conscious choices.
- The visualisation technique in meditation is one of great power. You can visualise a picture of yourself in better health and doing tasks that come with a fitter body. This increases your chances of achieving the goal you set for yourself. It is known to be a powerful way to motivate oneself.
How Does Guided Meditation for Weight Loss Work?
Guided meditation is a good way to start off using meditation to aid weight loss. There are multiple good sources that focus purely on weight loss and can help you visualise, picturise, and focus your energies on being fitter. The guide will take you through how it may feel to be thinner or how you would look and feel after losing weight. The guide may share inspirational stories of people who have achieved desired results and how they have kept focus even after they’ve lost weight. Guided meditation will also help you with tips on how to sustain an optimum body weight once it’s lost. This will help you strengthen your will power and focus.
Can Meditation Alone Help You Lose Weight?
Meditation is one portion of a much larger equation. You cannot rely on meditation alone to drop the pounds. A healthy diet and dedicated exercise are important too. An intensive change in lifestyle is also crucial to weight loss. Healthier food choices, outdoor activities, and regular exercise are all a part of lifestyle changes that must be made to lose weight. Meditation aligns the mind with your goals, but the body has to do the actual work, at the end of the day.
Tips on Meditating to Lose Weight
Below, are a few pointers that can help you lose weight through meditation:
- Create a routine for your meditation. Pick a particular time of the day and stick to it, so that your body and mind are aligned.
- Create a quiet space for meditation. Use accessories that calm your mind and relax your body.
- Light an incense stick or use a diffuser with essential oils to create the right setting for your body and mix to unwind.
- Wear comfortable cotton clothing that allows energy to flow through your body.
- Use the right kind of cushions and yoga mat to help you maintain posture and attentiveness, while working on your meditation.
Other Points to Keep in mind
A few other things to remember while performing yoga meditation for weight loss are:
- Be patient, as weight loss is a lengthy process that needs time and persistence.
- Have realistic expectations while you visualise your goals.
- Be honest with yourself about your cravings, likes, dislikes, and what you know you can surely do.
- Don’t let negative thoughts fill your mind while you’re focused.
The key to fruitful meditation session is to kill negative thoughts. Make sure that you do not berate yourself for not making rapid progress or missing a step in your routine. Keep the larger picture in mind and think about your overall health and wellness,while you try to lose weight. Accept and appreciate the limits of your body, and take little steps towards realising your fitness goals.