- How Meditation Helps Weight Loss
- Science proves that meditation helps with weight loss
- Two Ways To Train Your Your Mind For Weight Loss
- Using meditation to achieve a healthy lifestyle
- Mindfulness Meditation For Weight Loss
- Guided Meditation For Weight Loss
- Mind Body Meditation For Weight Loss
- Visualisation Meditation for Weight Loss (Dhyana meditation technique)
- Meditation for dieting
- The Best mindfulness exercise for dieting
How do enlightened people lose weight? With meditation.
Science has proven that your weight loss mindset is perhaps the most important thing when it comes to successfully losing weight.
Enlightened people know that losing weight starts in the mind.
You know your mindset needs adjusting if you are:
- Counting calories
- Fighting cravings for junk food
- Struggling with emotional eating / comforting eating
- Eating food as a coping mechanism
- Mindless eating while watching TV / checking your phone etc.
- Struggling to keep on target with weight loss
If you do those things, you can change your entire life by changing the way you feel about food. In other words: changing your mindset.
And you can do that with meditation.
How Meditation Helps Weight Loss
Meditation is one of the alternative ways of losing weight that actually work.
Meditation works by:
- Relaxing the mind
- Giving you insight so you are more aware of how your mind influences your diet and exercise habits
- Letting you change the way you think about food
- And helping you control your cravings
- Boosting motivation for weight loss and exercise
Meditation changes the mind, which changes your diet
As a meditation teacher I’ve helped a lot of people lose weight. And I get a lot of questions on social media and in person.
One comment I often hear is this: “Weight loss is about diet. What’s my mind got to do with my weight loss?”
Weight loss begins in the mind.
Cravings. Habits. Temptations. Will power. It’s all 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.
Science proves that meditation helps with weight loss
Not only has science proven that there are over 100 benefits of meditation for health. There have been some truly remarkable studies into using meditation for weight loss.
Meditation lowers your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
The Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the amount of energy in calories that a person needs to maintain body functioning. BMR effects weight loss because the higher our BMR the quicker we use calories, making us lose weight.
Scientific research (1) shows that people who practice a combination of meditation, yoga and pranayama (breathing techniques used in yoga) have a higher MBR, which makes them lose weight quicker.
Meditation helps with food assimilation
Biological assimilation is the process through which the body breaks down nutrients and then assimilate those nutrients into the body.
Healthy food assimilation improves our overall wellbeing and helps us lose weight.
However, when we are overly stressed, the body is less able to properly assimilate food and is more likely to store food as fat.
Meditation improves digestion by helping with the assimilation of food.
Meditation stops food cravings
Why can some people control cravings where others struggle?
The answer lies in a part of the brain called the anterior cingulate cortex. This is the part of the brain that governs self regulation. When this part of the brain is strong it is easy to control cravings.
Neuroimaging studies reveal that meditators have more activity in this part of the brain. Because of this, meditators can control cravings more easily than other people.
Meditation stops stress, which effects weight loss
So much of both weight gain and weight loss comes down to how stressed we are.
Scientists and health gurus (like Deepak Chopra and Dr Oz) tell us that when we are stressed we pack on pounds.
The statistics confirm it:
38% of adults say they overeat because of stress.
33% of adults says they comfort eat to stop stress. (2)
Meditation stops stress, making weight loss so much easier.
Take a look at my guide to stopping stress to get this aspect of weight loss under control.
Two Ways To Train Your Your Mind For Weight Loss
Your diet begins with your mind. Thoughts (I’m hungry) create actions (eating) that lead to weight gain.
Problem is, most people are unconscious to a lot of the thoughts and feelings that run through their minds. They experience a craving. It immediately has an effect on them. They quickly grab something to eat. It all happens before they’re even aware of what’s going on.
To change your thought process you first have to be aware of it.
To take control of your mind you need to slow down.
Two ways to do that:
1) Practice Pratyahara Yoga:
Take a look at my guide to Pratyahara Yoga.
Pratyahara is a technique in which we reduce the negative information entering the mind, and increase the positive information.
If for instance, you spend too much time around a negative person, who stresses you out and makes you comfort eat, you can distance yourself from this individual, which will help reduce emotional eating.
Alternatively, if you find that some of your friends inspire you and make you want to lose weight, you can start to hang around with those friends more, which will increase your motivation for weight loss.
Pratyahara is the process of reducing negativity and increasing positivity. Take a look at the link above. It will help you to create an environment and mindset for weight loss.
My guide to the top 31 meditation techniques shares everything you will ever need to know about meditation. And it will massively help with weight loss.
Meditation will cut out stress and heighten consciousness, making it easy to lose weight.
Next, let’s take a look at some of the best meditations for weight loss.
Using meditation to achieve a healthy lifestyle
There are several key ways in which you can use meditation to achieve a healthy lifestyle:
Meditation helps to bring our minds and our bodies closer together.
Weight loss is often caused by a disconnect between mind and body.
Consider this scenario: You tell yourself you need to exercise but you stay sitting on the couch. There’s a disconnect between what is happening in your mind and what is happening in your body. You need your body to actually respond to your mind. And the way to achieve that is to heighten your mind-body connection. 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 huge because it helps you to beat your cravings.
A turbulent mind constantly flutters from one thought to the next, thinking chocolate, burger, coke etc. A calm mind doesn’t experience these cravings. A calm mind is in control and does not give in to cravings.
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. This helps you to stop giving in to cravings.
Visualizations are meditation techniques that involve the imagination and visual imagery. 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. This massively boosts your motivation to exercise and lose weight.
Mindfulness Meditation For Weight Loss
Mindfulness is the type of meditation that the likes of Deepak Chopra and Dr. Oz talk about. It is a great meditation for beginners.
Mindfulness is essentially about living in the moment and being conscious of what is happening in the mind.
I’ve written a complete guide to mindfulness meditation to help you lose weight.
Guided Meditation For Weight Loss
There are lots of free recordings, Youtube videos and podcasts that have guided meditations for weight loss.
I recommend the following one by Michael Sealey. It’s called Hypnosis for Weight Loss (Guided Relaxation, Healthy Diet, Sleep & Motivation)
Mind Body Meditation For Weight Loss
This technique heightens your mind-body connection, enhancing your self-control. It is a modified body scan meditation.
1) Lie down or sit down with good posture.
2) Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Take 10 deep breaths through your nose.
3) We are going to guide consciousness around the body. this will heighten the mind-body connection. Begin by at 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.
Your mind-body connection is now enhanced. You will be more aware of your cravings from now on. You will notice your cravings at their onset. Because of this, you will be able to stop your cravings.
Recommended Wearable Tech For Weight Loss
You know that to lose weight you have to manage stress. And meditation can help. But:
One of the biggest challenges of both stress and food is that you have to be diligent. You’ve got to stay on top of your game.
You want to keep your stress levels low so you don’t end up comfort-eating (bam goes the diet).
The best way to mange your stress levels is with wearable tech. Wearable tech helps by alerting you any time your stress levels start to get high.
I recommend Wellbe. It’s a watch that monitors your stress levels so you know when to take a mindful break.
Here’s what to do:
- Wear Wellbe
- When you get notified of a high stress level, stop! Do not eat that comfort food.
- Take a mindful break instead.
This simple strategy will dramatically cut your comfort-eating by 50%.
That’s why I recommend getting Wellbe. Alternatively, pick up one of the cheaper meditation apps like Headspace / Calm.
Visualisation Meditation for Weight Loss (Dhyana meditation technique)
Guys, this one is special.
This is a very powerful meditation technique designed to help you lose weight and stick to your diet.
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.
This is going to turbo-charge your weight loss.
1) Sit comfortably with good posture. Make sure your spine is in proper alignment.
2) Close your eyes and focus on your breathing for a few minutes. Relax.
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 being absolutely amazing. I want your body to be the exact body you want. Everything perfect. Are you ready?
4) Begin with your face. What would your face look like? See it. See your beautiful skin. Notice how there are zero 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) 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 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.
11) It’s vital to 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.
Meditation for dieting
Jean Kristeller is professor emeritus of psychology at Indiana State University. She states 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.
Mindful eating helps with diets because it makes you more aware of the process of eating.
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.
If you haven’t already developed a habit of mindfulness, take a look at my top 25 mindful habits and get started right away.
One of the best ways to use mindfulness for dieting is with the following technique.
The Best mindfulness exercise for dieting
- for this exercise you will need 1 piece of comfort food / junk food that you always eat. Your favorite one.
- Go somewhere quiet and peaceful. (read our guide to creating a meditation space)
- Put your junk food on the table / ground a couple of feet in front of you.
- Sit comfortably with good posture.
- Relax for two minutes
- Focus your mind 100% on the sensation of your breath coming and going through the space between your nose and mouth.
- Take 25 mindful breaths.
- Bring to mind your favorite junk food (the one that’s in front of you).
- Focus your mind on the impression of this food in your mind (don’t look at the actual food, focus on the mental impression of the 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.
This is stage one. We will continue with stage two in a moment. (do not eat the food… yet).
First, let’s talk about what is going on in this technique
You’re changing your thoughts about food
With the technique above, you’re changing your thoughts and feelings about food.
This helps you to eliminate the negative thoughts you have about food.
This technique teaches your mind to get rid of the unhealthy and illogical thoughts and feelings you have about 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.
When you did 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.
Let’s continue with the technique.
Okay, so you’ve got your food, let’s do this…
- Pick up the food.
- 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, they’re 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. 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.
- Eat the food slowly. Bite into it, hold it in your mouth and stop. Don’t swallow. Meditate on the flavour.
- With the food in your mouth, be aware of your thoughts. Tell yourself, “These are just thoughts. They are not reality.” Imagine the thoughts floating off into the distance.
- Continue until the food is gone.
This is a powerful techniques that will completely change the way you feel about your favorite food. It will totally alter your mindset towards junk food. And it will massively reduce your cravings and improve your diet.
If you comfort eat from depression
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 is food, nothing more.
- Make use of my tutorial on stopping meditation with depression.
- Or my article on stopping anxiety with depression.
You can achieve the perfect body and mind you’re after. And meditation can help you get there.
Enlightened people know that weight loss begins in the mind. The mind’s ability to stop cravings, to motivate us to lose weight, and to support us through stressful times… those skills are worth far more than anything you can get at the gym.
The right mindset creates the right body.
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