Weight loss has become a common problem in modern society. Our bodies are designed for conserving energy and using food as efficiently as possible because our ancestors, like animals in nature, had to spend a lot of physical energy to get food and survive. The fact that we now have the opposite problem—that life-threatening conditions are occurring because we have too much food—is fascinating, but it’s also incredibly frustrating. Enter weight loss meditation.
If you’re trying to lose weight, there are more tools out there to help than you might think. One particularly unique tool is meditation for weight loss.
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What Is Weight Loss Meditation?
Meditation is a technique used to connect your mind to your body with the intention of calming you and directing your mindset. Weight loss meditation is any meditation used to help you shed some pounds.
Weight loss meditation can take many forms. You might use a guided meditation that is specifically designed for promoting weight loss. You might meditate on a specific weight loss-centric mantra. Or, you might use stress management meditation to ease your stress and enhance your weight loss in that way. Any of these techniques are valid and have wonderful potential.
Does Weight Loss Meditation Actually Work?
It’s understandable to be skeptical about weight loss meditation. After all, there are countless claims about weight loss tools that turn out to be ineffective or even harmful, and we all know that there’s no weight loss miracle drug. Meditation isn’t a miracle drug, either, but if used correctly, it can help.
Meditation hasn’t been studied extensively for weight loss, but there is evidence to support that it works. A 2017 literature review, for example, found that mindfulness habits like meditation can facilitate weight loss.
Keep in mind that weight loss meditation is a tool, not a cure. It won’t make your weight loss happen on its own, but it will make it easier for you to achieve it.
Benefits of Weight Loss Meditation
While some think weight loss is a simple matter of calories in and calories out, it’s actually something very complex that involves your body chemistry, your mental state, and much more. Fortunately, weight loss meditation can help with many factors that impact your weight and your physical wellness.
Maintaining a Mindset Conducive to Weight Loss
So much of weight loss is based on your actions, and your actions depend on your mindset. You can use meditation to adjust your mindset in a way that helps you take action that benefits your weight loss.
Mantras in your meditation can help you break the habit of unhealthy self-talk and replace it with self-talk that encourages weight loss. For example, you might find through meditation that you’re telling yourself things like, “This is too hard” or, “I need junk food to cope with life’s difficulties.” You can identify those problematic thoughts and replace them with a mantra like, “This is within my power” or, “Food does not have power over me.”
Developing a Connection with Your Body
One of the most common reasons people become and remain overweight is because they eat when they aren’t hungry. Maybe you’re eating because you’re bored or because you’re stressed, or maybe you eat when you’re hungry but then keep eating after you’re full.
Meditation helps you be more aware of your body and its signals. You’re better able to notice whether you’re actually hungry or whether you’re reaching for a snack while what you really need is a break from work or some entertainment, for example.
Gaining Healthy Stress Management Techniques
Stress plays a critical role in weight management for a few reasons. For one, many people snack as a coping mechanism to distract their mind or find joy during times of stress. Second, when you’re under stress, your body releases a hormone called cortisol, which makes you hungry.
For both of these reasons, reducing your stress makes it easier for you to lose weight. Meditation is a highly effective stress management technique. It’s been used to alleviate excessive stress and conditions like anxiety and depression for many years, so it can be a powerful part of your weight loss habits.
Improving Your Eating and Exercise Habits
It doesn’t matter how motivated you feel at the beginning of your weight loss journey—motivation fades at some point. In times when you want to give up, meditation is a powerful way to refocus your mind on your goal and on eating healthy and exercising.
Keeping on Track Despite Stumbles
Every weight loss journey, regardless of how hard you try or how motivated you are, will have stumbles. You will make mistakes from time to time because you’re human and you’re doing something very difficult.
In many cases, these mistakes are what sends a person’s weight loss journey off the rails. They feel so guilty about having a “cheat meal” that it turns into a “cheat week.”
Meditation can help you mentally reframe the experience when you make a mistake. You can use meditation to talk yourself out of feeling guilty and instead celebrate your wins and be proud of yourself for recognizing that a behaviour is destructive.
How to Get Started with Weight Loss Meditation
If you’re interested in using meditation to help you lose weight, where do you begin? The beauty of meditation is that it’s incredibly simple to start.
Begin by finding a time in your daily routine when you can take some time alone without distractions. Maybe it’s as soon as you finish work, after you put the kids to bed, or when you first wake up in the morning. It doesn’t need to be a lot of time: even ten minutes per day will make a difference.
To start your meditation, go to a quiet place where you can be free from distractions. Get comfortable, whether that means sitting or lying down.
Meditation hinges on listening to your breath and being mindful of your thoughts. Try to let go of your thoughts by imagining them floating away on a cloud. You can also focus on your breath as you inhale and exhale or repeat a mantra to keep your mind calm. For example, you might repeat, “One day at a time.”
The best way to learn how to do this is to use guided meditations. A guided meditation will coach you through controlling and focusing on your breath. Eventually, you’ll be able to do this on your own.
Where to Find Guided Meditation for Weight Loss
Finding great guided meditations is easier than ever, thanks to technology. Simply heading to YouTube and searching for “guided meditation” or “guided meditation for weight loss” will show you many videos you can try.
There are also apps available with guided meditation recordings, like Calm, Headspace, and Insight Timer. You can ask your healthcare provider or mental healthcare provider for any recommendations they have, too.
More Mindfulness Techniques for Weight Loss
Weight loss meditation can be incredibly valuable for weight loss, but it isn’t the only mindfulness technique you should have in your toolkit. Try these tricks, too:
- Practice mindful eating. Turn off distractions like the TV or your phone while you eat. Instead, pay more attention to the sensations of eating—the textures, tastes, and so on. This allows you to feel more satisfied and slows your eating so you’re less likely to overeat.
- Keep a weight loss journal. Journal everything you eat and note how you feel afterward. This lets you pick up on patterns like what foods make you feel tired, bloated, energized, or satisfied. Do the same with exercise, writing down your exercise each day and how you feel afterward.
- Plan your food in advance. Being mindful in your food planning (meals as well as snacks and drinks) allows you the time to think about the best foods for your body. This way, you’re less likely to impulsively give into a craving or grab unhealthy convenience foods.
How SRx Can Help with Weight Loss
As we mentioned, weight loss is far more complex than most people think, involving many aspects of your body and mental health. As a collective healthcare system, SRx can help you take a medically guided, multi-faceted approach to your weight loss.
Our skilled providers can help introduce you to a variety of techniques, including weight loss meditation, to facilitate your journey. To learn more, explore SRx Health and the abundant services we have to offer.