When most people think of techniques to lose weight, they think of things that get you up and moving around. They might think of running on a treadmill, doing aerobics, lifting weights, or taking an intense exercise class.
They don’t think of meditation.
In fact, some people might conclude that meditation could play a part in gaining weight because you are taking time out of your day to slow down. However, a study has actually shown that meditation can help with weight loss.
Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco decided to see if meditation played any part in dieting and weight loss. While they admitted that the study was done with a very small group and that their findings need to be replicated and confirmed, they also believe that their findings are accurate.
The group took 47 different people and split them into two groups. Both learned about nutrition, but neither was given a specific nutrition plan or exercise routine to follow. Here’s where it gets interesting. One group also received training in how to meditate and how to fully engage in eating by savoring every bite. Meditation was used to help avoid binge eating, cheating with less than ideal food choices, or comfort eating after a stressful day.
The result was that the participants in the meditation group didn’t gain any weight, plus they had lower cortisol levels. That indicates they were not as stressed as those in the non-meditation group, where some of the participants actually gained weight.
Making It Work for You
You have many choices, from health clubs to support groups. A workout is a workout. But if you’re not in a good mental space when you’re trying to workout or follow a healthy, whole food plan, you might just fail.
Meditation can help you align your mind and body to work towards your healthy lifestyle goals. For some people, meditation works best in the classic sense—in a peaceful place with soft music and a few candles. But for others, meditation might be done in the bathtub. The point is that there’s no right or wrong way to meditate. Find what works for you and go with it!
Have a Go-To Meditation
The basis of meditation is always your breath. Connect to your breath just as it is. Don’t try to change it, just connect to it. This will help you get centered. Some meditations involve repeating a phrase over and over. Your words can be a reminder of what you’re trying to accomplish. Others close their eyes and picture a stress-free place, such as a beautiful forest or a beach with crystal clear waters. Some people have a song they sing in their heads or softly out loud. Whatever it is, have a go-to meditation that you can do whenever you feel the urge to eat. Let it help you get through your desire to medicate your stress with food.
Remember That You Can Eat!
Don’t use your meditation as another type of crash course diet. It’s not self-hypnosis, and you’re not going to stop wanting to eat. Nor should you—you have to eat, and people who go on crash diets and limit themselves to a few calories quickly become unhealthy.
When you meditate, do so with the ideas of loving yourself as is, in this moment. Creating a doable plan to be more active and strong, both physically and mentally. And visualize yourself making mindful choices on what you cook and eat. Remember meditation is one part of the big picture. Holistic wellness has many facets that we can explore together.
Looking to start your journey and maybe even try some meditation? Give me a call today or let me know your questions about meditation in the comments section below!