If you’re one of the millions of Americans who struggle continuously with weight loss, then chances are you feel like you’re tried everything under the sun, to no avail.
You’ve probably tested out some diets. Even tried out the latest fitness craze and may have even seen a doctor about medication or even surgical options.
You’re not alone, either. Many people have a treadmill or a thigh-master tucked away in their closet gathering dust!
Many have even signed on for the latest diet fad only to gain back all the weight they lost and then some weeks after they started.
And as frequent dieters know, this forms an unhealthy cycle of dieting, regaining weight and feeling bad about yourself.
When you don’t succeed in a weight loss goal, you tend to feel anxious and a little defeated, which in turn leads to depression, weight gain and starting the cycle all over again.
But one tool that you may not have tried helps put a stop to this cycle by removing the anxiety and depression elements that tend to lead to overeating.
By embracing mindfulness meditation as a treatment or just an aspect of your overall weight loss goals, you can do your body a world of good.
More and more studies are coming to the surface about this link between meditation and weight loss.
And as researchers around the world study this correlation, a wide range of benefits have started to emerge.
So before you start Googling the latest diet or weight loss regimen, consider all the ways that meditation can affect your long-term plan to a better you.
1. Mindful Meditation Helps Diminish Impulsiveness
Researchers at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine recently conducted a study to see if meditation could be used to help treat childhood obesity, a growing national problem.
Their results found that meditation was a noticeable benefit because it affected the area of the brain that is directly linked to impulsiveness.
As any dieter will attest, one of the biggest problems with losing weight is fighting that sudden urge to pick up a bag of chips or a container of ice cream, and start munching away.
By reducing your inherent impulsive behavior, you’re less likely to make these bad impromptu food decisions, and can instead, stick to a diet plan.
2. Mindful Meditation Helps Us Listen to Our "Internal Cues"
Scientists studying naturally thin individuals as opposed to people who struggle with their weight found that one of the reasons why thin people stay continually thin is that they have the ability to listen to their internal cues.
Some people can instantly identify when they’re full, and just stop, while others keep eating even if they are not necessarily hungry.
Meditation makes it easier for the body to notice and pay attention to these cues.
These cues, allow you to eat only when you’re hungry and not just when you’re bored, tired, or in need of stimuli and to stop eating when you’re full.
3. Mindful Meditation Satisfies Our Neurochemical "Fix" for Certain Foods
Everyone has a go-to junk food. Whether it’s Ben and Jerry’s, Doritos or Pizza, we all have that one kind of cuisine that seems impossible to give up.
And believe it or not, the reason for this is purely chemical!
When we eat certain foods, they elicit a drug-like chemical in the body that gives us a temporary “high” and which releases a feel good response.
As it turns out, though, meditation affects these same chemicals in the brain such as dopamine and endorphins – in a similar way, but without the extra calories.
As a result, people can enjoy their feel good fix, without indulging in unhealthy behaviors.
4. Mindful Meditation Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Anyone with a weight problem can attest that they are most likely to fall off the diet wagon when they are anxious or stressed.
Overeating is essentially a form of self-medicating and is a security blanket for all those pressures that are abundant in everyday life.
Also, people who suffer from depression or anxiety are far less likely to get active and moving, which, consequently, are behaviors that can ease those overwhelming feelings of sadness.
By practicing meditation, people who have a food addiction can effectively get to the root of their problem.
They can then address the emotional factors that lead to overeating in the first place.
While meditation won’t instantly drop inches from a waistline in weeks, studies are continually proving that this habit leads to a healthier lifestyle, which naturally, includes a healthier body.
So give meditation a try instead of jumping on board the latest fad. And see why this natural tool that’s been around for thousands of years can do your body a world of good.
Contact me and let’s chat about incorporating mindful meditation into your world!
Having a professional teacher on your side will go a long way in getting you started. Once you’re on the path, you’ll be amazed at how far meditation will take you.