When I started using meditation for weight loss, I changed the way I think about food and developed the “Weight Loss Mindset”. This alternative way of losing weight helped me to shred over 100LBS.
What’s more, I found it easy to use meditation to lose weight.
Unlike some other techniques, such as intense diets and insanely challenging exercise routines, I found it simpler and more enjoyable going the mindful-route.
Today I am a mindfulness instructor, and I would like show you how to use meditation for weight loss. Meditation techniques can help you lose weight quickly and keep the weight off forever.
Through my experience as an instructor, and through reading countless research papers, I’ve discovered that the following are the best meditations for weight loss.
7 Best Weight Loss Meditation Techniques
1) Pranayama to increase metabolic rate
Pranayama is arguably the very best meditation for weight loss. The term pranayama refers to the type of breathing we do while practicing yoga. By combining yoga and meditation we train both the mind and body for weight loss.
Scientific research (1) shows that people who practice a combination of meditation, yoga and pranayama (breathing techniques used in yoga) have a higher BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate), which is the amount of calories burnt per time period. A high BMR rate helps us to lose weight quicker.
Some meditations aren’t good for weight loss because they are inactive, and the inactivity causes a reduce in metabolic activity, which is counterproductive to weight loss. In contract, pranayama can “acutely increase metabolism” according to the Nationial Library of Medicine. In particular, Ujjayi Pranayama (completely filling the lungs by breathing through the nose) while practicing Surya Anuloma Viloma (right nostril breathing) has been shown to increase oxygen consumption by 19% because of increased muscular activity, and this in turn leads to a higher metabolic rate, which is helpful for weight loss.
This does also suggest that other active meditations help with weigh loss (such as mindful walking, tai chi, and exercises with active breathing such as kapalabhati).
2) Use Mindfulness Meditation For Less Food Cravings
Research shows that mindfulness meditation helps with weight loss by improving self regulation and self awareness and enhancing executive function.
Mindfulness is essentially the practice of being aware of what’s going on in your mind.
When we are unconscious of our thoughts and feelings we allow them to direct us. When we think, “I fancy chocolate”, if we are not consciously aware of the thought we will sure enough grab a bar of chocolate.
Mindfulness gives us the power to say, “This is just a thought. I don’t really want chocolate because I want to lose weight”.
That pure awareness can really help you to get in shape. because it gives you power over your cravings.
In one randomised controlled trial it was reported that mindfulness meditation enhanced weight loss by 2.8 kg potentially through greater improvements in eating behaviors and dietary restraint.
3. Weight loss visualization
When it comes to weight loss, visualization can help motivate you and make you feel great about getting in shape. Essentially, to do a weight loss visualization we create a mental picture of who we want to be. We then meditate on this picture. This increases motivation for both diet and exercise.
Evidence suggests that weight loss visualizations help us kick unhealthy habits. McGill University asked subjects to eat more fruit for one week. Half the group were asked to visualize buying fruit and eating it at particular times and to write down a plan for reaching their goal. Those that performed the visualization ate twice as much fruit as the other group.
Try this simple weight loss visualization:
- Sit quietly for a few minutes and simply focus on your breath. This will help you to relax.
- Now visualize yourself after losing weight. What would you look like? What would you feel like? What would be different about you? Imagine these things in detail
- Now tell yourself how you are going to get there. What steps are you going to take to get in shape? Write these steps down.
- Now visualize yourself going through the steps above until you reach your desired body type.
- Do this visualization once a day every day for one week.
4. Best Guided Meditation For Weight Loss
There are lots of free recordings, Youtube videos and podcasts that have guided meditations for weight loss.
In my opinion, the best guided meditation for weight loss is by Michael Sealey. It’s called Hypnosis for Weight Loss (Guided Relaxation, Healthy Diet, Sleep & Motivation)
5. Visualisation Meditation for Weight Loss 2 (Dhyana meditation technique)
This is a very powerful weight loss meditation technique. It will help you lose weight and stick to your diet.
In this visualisation, 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.
6: Visuaizing Food Assimilation
Biological assimilation is the process through which the body breaks down nutrients and then assimilates those nutrients into the body.
Healthy food assimilation improves our overall well-being and helps us to get in shape and stay fit.
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 and by reducing stress. However, we can take things further by doing a visualization of food assimilation. In this meditation we visualize the journey of food through the body, and its effect on us. This makes us more mindful of the nature of food and how it contributes to the body. This, in turn, motivates us to eat more healthily.
7: Mindful Eating
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 discussing mindfulness, she decided to start a program called Mindfulness Based Eating Awareness Training [visit site]
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.”
Mindful eating helps with diets because it makes you more aware of the process of eating. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
By practicing the weight loss meditation technique above, you will change your thoughts about food.
When you did the exercise above, you may have been a little surprised 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 the 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.
Meditation is one of the alternative ways to lose weight that actually work.
You can achieve your perfect body and mind. The weight loss meditation techniques we’ve looked at will help. Of course this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try other techniques as well. I personally combined my meditations with my love of movies, and I watched tons of movies about weight loss for inspiration!
Enlightened people like you and I 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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