If you are like millions of folks who struggle with losing and maintaining weight, chances are you have lost and subsequently gained back a number of pounds over the years.
While this pattern of yo-yo dieting certainly isn’t abnormal by any means, it is very unhealthy over the long-term.
People who have lost and regained weight repeatedly – especially in large amounts – tend to have more health-related issues, including higher blood pressure, higher cholesterol, and higher risk for gallbladder disease and cancer.
Also, the cycle wreaks havoc on the brain, which can easily be discouraged after a long duration of this pattern. Over time, this fluctuation lowers metabolism, making it even harder to keep the weight off.
But with New Year’s Resolutions just around the corner, meditation fans will be happy to know that new research suggests that this cycle can be stopped - and perhaps broken for good - with mindfulness meditation.
How Mindfulness Meditation Helps with Sustainable Weight Loss
A Canadian research team from McGill University in Montreal reviewed and analyzed a total of 19 independent studies on the topic of meditation and weight loss, with a total of 1,160 participants.
Their research, which was recently published in the journal Obesity, found that mindfulness meditation was “moderately to largely effective” when it came to assisting with weight loss. Meditation also helps to develop better eating habits.
But while mindfulness meditation as a lone tool was understandably not as effective as diet and exercise in the short term, it was significantly more effective for keeping weight off down the road.
Conversely, many folks who had lost weight through diet and exercise alone gained it back once their dieting period was over.
The reasons behind this are linked to how mindfulness meditation changes the brain.
In a comparable study done at North Carolina State University, researchers found that one of the inherent effects of mindfulness meditation is that it naturally leads to “mindful eating,” or being aware of what and how much you put into your mouth.
Reducing Stress to Combat Binge Eating
Also, regular meditation practice has been shown to reduce cravings and binge eating, due to both chemical and psychological factors.
Binge eating is often a product of emotions run amuck. It is a response to stress, depression, anxiety, or other outside factors that have absolutely nothing to do with hunger.
By regulating these stress triggers, like the hormone cortisol, binge eating naturally dissolves and becomes less prevalent through mindfulness meditation.
When you can reduce the production of stress hormones and chemicals plus increase focus and attention to detail – the definition of “mindfulness” – it simply leads to healthier choices across the board.
So if one of your upcoming resolutions is to go on a post-holiday diet, (and if it’s a resolution that you have tried several times before), be sure to add mindfulness meditation to your upcoming diet and fitness plan.
From curbing unhealthy habits to changing the way you think about food forever, mindfulness meditation can put a stop to the cycle of yo-yo dieting.
We Can Help
Once you’re on the path, you’ll be amazed at how far meditation will take you. I offer both classes in my office and online.