Health

Meditation may help you lose weight

When it comes to dropping the kilos, counting calories and working up a sweat usually come to mind.

However, if your weight loss efforts have stalled in spite of your ardent commitment to salads and cardio, consider meditating.

I know what you are thinking - meditation is for the mind and not for the body. This could not be further from the truth.

Losing weight is not just a physical process but also a mental one. If you could train your mind to stop stress eating, for instance, you are well on your way to achieving your weight loss goals.

MINDFULNESS MEDITATION

Meditation refers to the practice of focusing on one thing at a time.

When you meditate, you practise being present in the moment.

When your mind starts to wander, meditation helps you to hone the skill to bring yourself back to, and being aware of, the present.

This is an important skill to have especially when it comes to weight loss because when you are in a state of mindfulness, you are likely to make better food choices and be more diligent with your exercise routine.

Meditation is not just sitting cross-legged with your eyes closed for prolonged periods. Mindfulness meditation can be done when you are going about your daily activities.

The essence of mindfulness meditation is to pay attention. What this means is you should steer clear of multitasking.

When you are eating, for example, you are practising mindfulness meditation when you focus on the food while working on that report or watching TV. This way, you will be able to pay attention to how much and why you are eating and you will be less likely to overeat.

REDUCE STRESS LEVELS

People tend to reach for comfort foods like ice cream or chips when they are under immense pressure and stress.

Meditation helps to prevent emotional eating by helping you manage your stress better. When you are relaxed, you are less likely to overindulge in those seemingly innocuous treats.

CURB FOOD CRAVINGS

Most people find it hard to stick to their diet because they cave in to their cravings for junk food.

When you meditate, you will be more aware and watchful of what you eat, and it will be easier to resist those tantalising temptations.

LOWER BASAL METABOLIC RATE (BMR)

Bmr refers to the amount of energy used (in the form of calories) while at rest. To drop the kilos, it is better to have a lower bmr. When you meditate, you are lowering your bmr. This means your body will require fewer calories and this in turn helps you to lose weight without breaking a sweat.

ELIMINATE FATIGUE

Sleep deprivation is your worst enemy when it comes to losing weight.

A lack of sleep can cause you to pack on the kilos because it increases the cortisol and ghrelin levels in your body, which increases your appetite.

Meditation helps to nip the problem in the bud by helping you sleep better because you are more calm.

Additionally, the practice also works to reduce cortisol levels and prevent the ill effects associated with not getting enough sleep.

THE BOTTOM LINE

If you want to achieve your weight loss goal, meditation is not a substitute for a consistent workout routine and a healthy diet. But it can support these positive lifestyle changes to bring you closer to your goal.

This article first appeared 
on Her World Online 
(www.herworldplus.com).

MEDICAL & HEALTH