This is the most comprehensive guide to meditation for weight loss that you will find online. Covers every aspect of meditation for weight loss.
Using meditation for weight loss empowers you not just to lose weight but to learn a great deal about yourself. No doubt this is an alternative way of losing weight. But a very effective one.
Through meditation you will discover a new understanding of your relationship to food, an understanding of cravings and, most important, an understanding of how to manage your own mind in such a way as to make weight loss easy. And as an additional bonus, meditation will boost your motivation. So if you’ve been wanting to lose weight but lacking the oomph, meditation will help.
Before we begin to look at meditation techniques for weight loss, it’s important to adapt the right philosophy and the right fundamental approach.
Oftentimes during weight loss we are focussed solely on our diet or on exercise. Meditation goes a level deeper. With meditation we look at the mental picture of our diet.
For instance, let’s assume that we crave chocolate bars. A traditional approach to weight loss would advocate simply changing the diet and eating fruit instead of chocolate. The meditation approach, however, goes one level deeper, asking What is going on in our minds that makes us desire a chocolate bar rather than fruit. It is the mental aspect that we are looking at with meditation, rather than the hard facts of dieting.
Meditation is so powerful that even famous athletes used Headspace at the Olympics. The athletes said meditation helped them to find the right mental attitude to succeed. And meditation will do the same thing for you and your weight loss too.
How does meditation for weight loss work
Scientists have proven that it’s our weight loss mindset that is most important.
You may well ask, “But it’s my diet I want to change, so why focus on my mind?” The answer to this question is that everything you do begins in your mind. Before you eat a chocolate bar, for example, you will have experienced a mental process that leads to the action of eating. You may well have seen a chocolate bar in your mind or imagined the taste of a chocolate bar. This mental process is the trigger, the cause of your desire for chocolate. By changing this desire at its root level your learn to retrain your mind, to completely eliminate your desire for chocolate, even to replace that desire with desire for something healthy.
So, from now on, when we are discussing weight loss with meditation we really mean we are training our mind, via meditation, to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
How to retrain your mind through meditation for weight loss
We have already mentioned that your diet begins with your mind. It is the mental process that results in your actions. So, how do we go about changing that mental process?
If you are to change your mental thought process you have to first become aware of it. Awareness is everything in meditation. In fact, it isn’t so far from the truth to say that the principle purpose of meditation is to make us more aware, aware of ourselves, our mind and aware of the true reality.
To change your thought process you first have to be aware of it.
Sadly, most people aren’t aware of what’s going on in their own minds. This isn’t surprising. Consider the amount of information you put into your mind each and every day. You go to work, you talk to people, you read the paper, watch the news, check Facebook, check Twitter, play videogames. . . your mind is full of junk. Your mind races at lightspeed through all manner of superfluous crap.
You need to slow your mind down so you can see what’s going on in there. There are two easy ays to do this:
1) Stop filling your mind with crap: Okay, so you like watching TV, reading the paper, checking Faebook and Twitter and so on, but just consider the effect that all that information is having on you. Your spending so much time focussing on these superfluous matters that you’re don’t have enough time to focus on more important things like your diet. Stop overloading your mind with junk. Give it a chance to slow down. Not only will this relax you but it will clear your mind and give you a chance to see what’s really going on inside.
2) Meditation: Meditation is about focussing the mind on one thing, often your breathing. When you meditate you still your mind, you slow your mind down, you basically give your mind a break. After practicing meditation for twenty minutes you will become much more aware of what’s going on in your mind.
So, let’s look at how to do a very basic meditation for weight loss.
How to do a basic meditation for weight loss
We’re going to be doing a breathing meditation here. If possible, I want you to read the instructions, look away from the computer for ten minutes (leave this page on so you can continue reading afterwards—we’ve a lot more to get through) and actually do the meditation right now.
Here’s how to do it.
1) Sit comfortably with good posture, making sure your spine is in good alignment.
2) Close your eyes and focus on your breathing.
3) Focus on your breath for twenty minutes, or ten minutes if you are short on time.
4) That’s it! Remember, this beginning technique is just about slowing your mind down. Once we’ve done that we’ll begin actually training your mind for weight loss.
What we’ve achieved so far in our “meditation for weight loss” guide
Okay, so we’ve already achieved something. If you have done this meditation you will have slowed your mind down. If this is the first time you have meditated you will also have realised that your mind is FULL OF GUNK! Seriously, how many thoughts were going on in there? How many of those thoughts were related to what we’re talking about? This is why we need to meditate!
So, we’ve slowed out minds and become aware of our thought processes. Next up we’re going to look at some ways to use meditation to change our lifestyle.
Using meditation to achieve a healthy lifestyle
There are several key ways in which you can use meditation to achieve a healthy lifestyle. We’ll take a look at what those ways are now before actually performing the meditation techniques.
How meditation helps with weight loss and loss
Mind Body: Meditation helps to bring our minds and our bodies closer together. But what does that mean? Think about it like this. You think to yourself: I need to do exercise but you stay sitting on the couch. Here, the mind body is not connected. Your mind is thinking EXERCISE, your body is sitting on the couch. Were your mind and body closely connected you would think okay I need to exercise and you would actually get up and exercise, mind and body working in unison. We’ll look at an exercise to heighten your mind body connection in a moment.
Calm and Focus: Meditation helps develop calmness and focus. This is important because it helps you to beat your cravings. A turbulent mind constantly flitters from one thought to the next, thinking chocolate, burger, coke etc. A calm mind doesn’t experience these cravings. We have already looked at calming and focussing meditation in the exercise we performed above (the breathing meditation). It is worth doing this meditation routinely.
Mindfulness: Mindfulness is about being aware of what’s going on in your mind. A lot of people are not aware of their mind, which is why their thoughts affect them so greatly. For instance, they think “I need to chocolate” and automatically go and get chocolate. A mindful approach would be to say, “okay, that was just a thought about chocolate, just a thought, it isn’t real it’s just in my mind I don’t really need chocolate.” Distancing yourself from your cravings in this way gives you power over them. You wont simply do what your cravings tell you anymore.
Visualisation: You already know that to achieve your weight loss goals you need motivation. Meditation helps here too. When you perform a visualisation meditation you create a mental picture of who you really want to be. You then meditate on this picture, which makes you feel that your goal is achievable. With your dream self locked in your mind through meditation, you’ll find you’re very highly motivated to lose weight.
These are the key ways in which meditation helps with weight loss. We’re going to go through each of these in order, but first I would like to make some recommendations:
1: Read the instructions for the meditation techniques through thoroughly before beginning.
2: Turn away from the computer to do the meditation (either bookmark this page with CTRL +D or leave the page on so you can return to it after).
3: Go slowly: It is worth getting the meditations RIGHT.
Meditation for weight loss, technique 2: Mind Body
After performing this mind body meditation you will feel much more close to your body. You will find that you actually want to exercise and that all those thoughts of healthy living actually begin to materialise.
For this we will be doing a body scan meditation. Here’s how to do it.
1) Lie down or sit down comfortably and with good posture.
2) Close your eyes and focus on your breathing for two minutes.
3) Now, with this meditation we are going to be guiding our mental focus around our body. To do this you begin with your feet. Simply be mindful of your feet. Focus on them. Observe and feelings inside or outside your feet. Explore the sensations there. Get in touch (mentally) with your feet.
4) Now move up systematically through your body. Move from feet to ankles to lower legs to upper legs to pelvis to abdomen to chest to shoulders to arms, hands, back up to your shoulders, then your neck, face and finally head.
5) At times you will notice that there is tension in parts of your body. If this is the case, imagine breathing warm air into that area while asking your body to relax. This will alleviate the tension.
So, you now know how to do a body scan meditation, which will help with weight loss essentially by making you more active (you have to try this meditation to understand the results. In fact, with almost all forms of meditation you have to experience the results first hand to really understand it). Do this meditation and observe how you feel afterwards. It is quite amazing the difference it can make.
Meditation for cravings
Okay, so our body scan meditation has put us in touch with our body and will get us moving and exercising. The next thing to do is a mindfulness meditation to beat all those cravings.
Mindfulness meditation is about being aware of what is going on in your mind. Once you’re aware of your mind your able to change it. Here’s how to do it.
1) Sit, stand or lie down with good posture. Close your eyes and take a few moments to relax.
2) Focus your mind on your breathing.
3) While you are focussing your mind on your breathing you will experience different thoughts. A lot of the time these thoughts completely dictate what you do and how you feel, because you are not aware of them. They work beneath the surface like some neurological ninja. You’re now making yourself aware of them. Simply observe the thoughts that go through your mind. Dont challenge them, don’t change them, don’t involve yourself with them just observe them.
4) Continue for twenty minutes.
5) This is the basic mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness is something that you should continue throughout the day. Always be aware of the thoughts in your mind. Now, with this awareness you can change your thoughts. When you experience a thought about food or exercise or any other part of weight loss, say to yourself “This is just a thought it isn’t reality.” One important note: You need to do this for POSITIVE and negative thoughts. For instance, even if you think to yourself “I’m going to lose weight and be super fit” (a positive thoughts) you still need to get rid of it.
Okay, we are nearly there. We have just one meditation technique to do in order to achieve weight loss via meditation. The final meditation is a visualisation. This is the meditation technique you’re going to like most. In fact, you are going to LOVE IT. Trust me.
Visualisation Meditation for Weight Loss (Dhyana meditation technique)
Okay, are you ready to be super motivated and to feel freaking AMAZING? You’ve done some good work with these meditations up to now and you deserve a reward. So here it is.
In this visualisation meditation technique you are going to create a very believable mental image of a PERFECT YOU. You’re going to see yourself as EVERYTHING you want to be. You’re going to train your mind to recognise what you truly want. Once you’ve done this you will be so motivated your weight loss plan will go into hyper mode.
1) Sit comfortably with good posture, making sure your spine is in proper alignment.
2) Close your eyes and focus on your breathing for a few minutes to relax and focus your mind.
3) This is the fun bit. You are going to systematically build a mental picture of yourself as the person you truly want to be. And don’t you DARE go short on me. I want you to visualise yourself as a freaking GOD. I want your body to be the exact body you want. Everything. Are you ready?
4) Begins with your face. What would your face look like. Now, it’s still your basic face, but it’s perfect. The skin is beautiful, pure, clear. There are no wrinkles. You look beautiful. Imagine it in DETAIL.
5) Your upper body. If you’re a guy you might want a six pack. If you’re a girl you might want a slim and slender look. Imagine your perfect upper body.
6) Legs: Toned? Smooth? How do you want them? Imagine it in detail.
7) Everything else: Fill in any other details of your ideal body.
8) Now I want you to imagine that this perfect you is doing something amazing to do with weight loss. You’re achieving something you can only achieve once you’ve succeeded in losing weight. Perhaps you’ve just run a marathon. Perhaps you’re standing on a stage with people looking at you. Whatever it is you wish you could achieve, imagine it in detail.
9) Put it together: Put everything together so you are imagining your perfect self accomplishing something amazing.
10) Affirmation: What would your perfect self say after accomplishing this amazing thing? Choose an affirmation and imagine saying it LOUD in your head.
Okay, it is very important that you imagine your perfect self in detail. You need to truly see your perfect body and truly imagine yourself achieving that amazing thing and truly hear that positive affirmation in your head.
We are very nearly there now. We are so close to completing our weight loss meditations. There’s just one thing left to do. We have to tie it all together.
Tying the Weight Loss Meditation Technique Together
Okay, so we know how to calm our mind, we know how to be mindful of our thoughts and cravings, we know how to change those thoughts and cravings and we know how to motivate ourselves. Now we need to put it all together. There is a specific way of doing this.
1) Calm always: If you’re going to succeed you need your mind to be calm always. Be vigilant. Regularly ask yourself “Is my mind calm and still”? If not, run a breathing meditation.
2) Mindfulness: Mindfulness is another constant. You need to monitor your thoughts so you can see what’s going on in your mind.
3) Mindfulness visualisation: This is the most important part. Anytime you notice yourself thinking any kind of thought about weight loss, observe that though (mindfulness meditation), imagine the thought disappearing and then replace it with your visualisation (the dhyana meditation technique). This is quick by the way. It only takes two seconds to think “Oh, that’s a thought about meditation, here’s what I really want.”
And that’s it. Your complete free guide to meditation for weight loss. I truly hope that you have found this guide helpful. Please share this page on Facebook, Twitter, forums and anywhere else. We believe in making meditation free and accessible, but we need your help to keep this website alive.
Meditation for dieting
For more than ten year scientists have been studying the effects of meditation on wight loss. And they have consistently shown that meditation can help you on your diet
In 2014, researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago reviewed fourteen studies into the use of mindfulness meditation for dieting.
Mindfulness (which you can learn about in our free guide to mindfulness) is one of the best meditation techniques for diets.
If you binge eat then you will probably be interested in this next bit. The studies from Rush University showed that mindfulness reduces binge eating significantly.
Jean Kristeller is professor emeritus of psychology at Indiana State University. She tells us that mindfulness meditation changed the way she thought about weight loss. “It was more than a light bulb moment,” she said.After hearing famous mindfulness teacher John Kabat Zinh discuss mindfulness, she decided to start a programs called Mindfulness Based Eating Awareness Training. The program teaches people to be more aware of the food they are eating. In one exercise, participants slowly eat a raisin while paying very close attention to the flavor and sensations of eating. “People are stunned by the exercise,” she says. “They see that if they eat a few raisins mindfully they can enjoy them as much or more than if they eat a whole box.”
Scientists aren’t the only ones who believe that meditation helps dieting. There are many famous models who have used meditation to lose weight.
Mindfulness is one of the best meditation techniques for dieting
Mindfulness helps you to diet because it makes you more aware of the process of eating. I’ve written a list of 25 mindful habits you can develop, and mindful eating is one of the most important.
Mindfulness makes you aware of the thoughts that initiate your desire for food. It helps you to recognize how you feel about different types of food, and what happens in your mind when you eat. By being more aware of the process of eating you empower yourself to change that process.
Do You Comfort Eat? Depression might be the cause. And meditation can help
The majority of people who overeat do so because they have a negative relationship with food. Perhaps the best example of this is people who comfort eat.
For comfort eaters, food isn’t just nutrition, it’s a survival mechanism they use when they feel depressed or stressed. They feel stressed, they want something nice, they eat some tasty food, it makes them feel better. But then they feel bad for eating too much. This makes them aware of their diet. They then feel stressed and depressed. So they eat something nice again and the vicious cycle begins all over again.
A person suffering from comfort eating associates food with depression, stress and relaxation. Food is the thing they go to when feeling depressed. It helps them to relax. It’s all a mental pattern.
The same is true for people who overeat for other reasons. Some people associate good food with a luxurious lifestyle. They want the luxurious lifestyle so they have to eat lots. Other people associate food with socialising. None of these associations are healthy. Food should equal food, nothing more.
- You can actually use meditation for depression and then you will not need to comfort eat.
Feel stress / Depressed = Need relaxation = Food
Clearly this is not healthy. In order to break this eating cycle we need to make food just food. We need to get rid of the FOOD = RELAXATION part. To do this we need to practice meditation for dieting.
Dieting meditation techniques put your mind in the right place. And once your mind is in the right place, the rest will follow.
Mindfulness meditation is a type of meditation in which you focus your mind on the present moment. This silences your thoughts, helps you to control your feelings, and essentially gives you power over yourself.
In the example of comfort eating, mindfulness meditation lets you become aware of the thoughts of stress and depression, those thoughts that lead you to eat. When you practice mindfulness meditation you will become more aware of the fact that you are associating food with relaxation. You will then gain power over your thoughts.
This process will be very easy to understand once you try one of the diet meditation techniques.
So, let’s look at how to do one of the diet meditation techniques.
Read these instructions carefully, then try the exercise while leaving this page on so that you can look back at the instructions if you need to.
- Go somewhere quiet and peaceful and sit comfortably with good posture. (use our guide to creating a meditation space)
- Relax for two minutes
- Now focus your mind 100% on the sensation of your breath coming and going through the space between your nose and mouth. Focus on this area for a couple of minutes.
- Now bring to mind your favourite type of food, the food you eat that you shouldn’t (so, if you’re a comfort eater, the sort of food you eat for comfort).
- Focus your mind on this food.
- As you focus your mind on the food you will notice that certain thoughts arise. You will have specific thoughts about the food. It is these thoughts that form your negative relationship with food. We need to get rid of these thoughts.
- To get rid of the thoughts, every time you experience ANY thought, SEE the thought (imagine you are looking at yourself experiencing the thought, as though you were spectating yourself). Next, say to yourself, “This is just a though. It isn’t reality.” Finally, imagine blowing that thought away from you until it fully disappears.
So just why exactly is mindfulness so good for dieting?
Mindfulness is the best of all diet meditation techniques. It helps you to eliminate the negative thoughts you have about food. With mindfulness, you teach your mind to see food as ONLY food. In other words, you’re teaching your mind to see the fact that food isn’t relaxation, nor fun, nor luxury, nor anything else. Food is food.
Did you do the exercise above? If you didn’t now. But if you did do the exercise above, you may have been a little surprised during the exercise when I told you to remove ALL thoughts, even good thoughts. You may have thought at one point (for instance) “Food is nutrition. I should eat healthily.” This is a good thought, isn’t it? So why get rid of it?
The reason for getting rid of all thoughts and not just the bad ones is that thoughts exist in our mind as something of a mesh. Thoughts are like a really badly tangled piece of string. Thinking one good thought doesn’t necessarily lead to another good thought. When you think “I’m going to eat healthy,” your next thought is just as likely to be “No I probably won’t because I have a bad diet” as it is “Yes, I’ll eat healthy and exercise.” Diet meditation techniques help you to remove those thoughts.
Train Your Mind To Think Healthily About Food
We have done one of the basic diet meditation techniques and we have learned to get rid of all those thoughts that lead us to eat in unhealthy ways. The next step is to continue to train our mind to see food as only food.
In the previous exercise we focused our minds on our breathing and on an image of food. Now we’re going to meditate on food itself.
Go and get a piece of food. It can be anything. It’s better if you get the type of food you wish you didn’t eat (like chocolate), but anything will do.
Okay, so you’ve got your food, let’s do this…
- While holding the food in your hand you will once again experience different thoughts.
- Take a minute to notice the types of thoughts you are experiencing.
- Again, tell yourself that they are only thoughts. They’re not reality, their just delusions in your mind.
- Now, in order to continue this exercise I’m going to be using the example of a chocolate bar, but you can continue with whatever piece of food you have.
- Open up the chocolate bar. Now study it. Meditate on it. Focus your mind 100% on the food, on the colors, the smell, the texture and every other aspect of the food. Again notice the types of thoughts you are experiencing. Tell yourself “These are just thoughts. They are not reality.” Imagine those thoughts floating off into the distance.
- Now eat the food. SLOWLY. Bite into it, hold it in your mouth and stop. Don’t swallow. Meditate on the flavour. Be aware of your thoughts. Tell yourself, “These are just thoughts. They are not reality.” Imagine the thoughts floating off into the distance.
- Now swallow. Repeat the process with the thoughts.
- Now throw the food away.
Consult our guide for more meditation techniques.
And we’re done. These dieting meditation techniques will help in many ways. They will have made you aware of why you eat, you will have learned to recognise your thoughts, you will have learnt to overcome those thoughts and you will have gained a new appreciation for food.
We discuss weight loss meditation techniques on our Facebook and Twitter pages. So for more meditations for dieting, be sure to follow us!
Thank you for reading. Be sure to make use of meditation for weight loss. Good luck!
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