Why People Who Wish to Lose Weight Should Meditate Regularly
People don’t usually jump straight into a meditation program when they want to lose weight. They usually change their diet, join a gym and possibly enlist the service of a health coach. Hopefully, they enlist a holistic health coach in case of the latter. Regular meditation is actually one of the keys to any sustainable change of habits, including long-term weight loss and weight maintenance. As previously concluded, successful long-term weight loss is all about the mindset.
Our mindset does not only determine how successful we will be in terms of reaching our weight loss goal; It also determines whether or not we will thrive while we are on our weight loss diet, whether that be a ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting (or both) or something totally different (not one size fits all!)…
Ultimately, a change of mindset is vital for any life-long changes we wish to implement and thus required for maintaining our desired weight after being on a diet, lest we fall back into old habits and establish a pattern of yo-yo dieting.
Stress and Meditation
Recent research into how stress relates to weight gain has proven that it becomes much more difficult to lose weight when we are stressed. This has a physiological explanation which proves that that weight gain is not just about comfort eating when we are stressed. Stress actually causes the body to release cortisol. Cortisol, in turn, triggers a release of insulin and insulin packs any glucose released by the liver in response to the stressful situation into our fat cells. It really is the perfect hormone storm!
One of the best (and cheapest!) antidotes to stress is regular meditation. It’s worth committing to a daily practice for even just five minutes a day because it’s the consistent practice that leads to lower stress levels more than spending longer periods of time sitting.
Regular meditation also has the added benefit of improving our sleep, which also leads to less cortisol being released into the body. Not sleeping enough has been proven as one of the main reasons why people struggle to lose weight.
Eating and Mindfulness
Mindfulness can help with weight loss too, especially when practised in combination with eating. Eating mindfully slows the meal down. Chewing slowly, savouring each bite aids digestion and allows the satiety hormone leptin to signal to the brain that you are, in fact, full so that you perhaps end up not even finishing the whole meal or, at the very least, avoid the temptation of seconds.
The other beauty about practising mindfulness is that it almost imperceptibly makes us start making healthier food choices. Being mindful of the body’s signals allows us to sense what we need to feel well and to have a high and even flow of energy.
Exercise that Enhances the Effects of Meditation and Mindfulness
If you wish to be slim, healthy and strong, after having spent many years in a state of physical disrepair and obesity, you need to learn to honour your body on par with your mind and spirit. Some type of exercise regime will be required.
Yoga is probably the ideal form of exercise for creating a union between the mind, the body and the spirit. It will help you maintain a level of mindfulness with regards to your body and its need, and it enhances your meditation practice.
Another form of exercise that enhances the mind-body connection is QiGong, which is excellent for people of any age or flexibility level. It is less strenuous than many forms of yoga but very effective in terms of allowing the life force to flow freely in the body, as well as for creating a conscious mind-body-spirit connection.
So please, whichever diet you choose to try out for weight loss, love yourself well enough to consider your journey from a holistic perspective. That way you can truly thrive and prosper into old age and not just fit into that bikini or wedding dress!
Love & Light,