If you’re doing everything ‘right’ but still can’t shift those last stubborn kilos, take a deep breath and give this a go.
Can meditation help you lose weight?
How many times do you eat because you are bored or stressed? What about the relationship between emotions and the obsession of the Tim Tam sitting in your fridge? How much food is thrown mindlessly into your mouth while chatting with friends because of your nerves at a party? Not to mention the effects of stress on the stomach’s ability to process food effectively.
Every time you play out a thought of fear or worry you are generating cortisol and adrenaline (toxic chemicals) putting your body into fight or flight which diverts the bodies energy away from the organs that process all that you ate that day. Finding a tool that allows your body to operate at its optimum to breakdown and minimise the stress while regulating the hormonal and emotional responses within your brain and body, could just support the winter blues and shed the winter bulge.
Anyone who has started a diet on Monday knows what it feels like to then be eating the office birthday cake on Tuesday – a classic example of not being able to align the desire of mind with the action of the body. A study by Wilhem Hofmann and Malte Friese published in 2016 American Psychological Association showed when participants are in a high state of mindfulness, they experienced less conflict between desires and other goals. Their efforts to resist desires were less and enacted desires to a greater extent than when less mindful. This was accompanied by less use of self-regulatory strategies, including suppression, self-stopping, distraction, and avoidance. All of which support in taking action to any desire – in this case, food!
With meditation, more space develops between the thought and the action, no longer being an automatic response as you reach for the second piece of pizza, it is the space to self-regulate and use discernment. When you see emotional triggers, having the resource to watch those emotions rather than react to them is a game-changer – especially if you eat when you are emotional or eat when you are stressed. Basically, meditation can develop skillsets that give you the ability to stop your body from automatically diving into a stress response. These benefits make shedding the weight of both mind and body easier and simpler, exactly what you want!
6 steps to get you on your way using meditation to lose weight:
- Begin a meditation practice. 5min, 10min, 20min, whatever you can do. Meditation thickens your grey matter and allows you to override automatic responses, like reaching for more food, overeating when you’re not even hungry. Meditation relieves stress and supports emotional harmony and balance. Everything you need to sway the trigger of overeating. If you don’t know where to start, we’ve teamed with health and fitness streaming service VARLAH to create Ignite by EYI, which is a 7 Day Meditation & Mindfulness Program and gives you lifetime access to guided and self-guided meditations and other practical tools to help you shift that winter weight.
- When you do choose to eat. Be there for it. Practice tasting the food in which you eat, colour, texture, sensations within your bodies system. Chew and taste with the presence of mind in what you are doing.
- Make a list of those times you are reaching for food, and how you are feeling at the time – stressful, emotional, excited, nervous? Seeing your patterns of response, allow you to be aware when you are reactive and intercept those actions that sabotage your desire of healthy eating.
- When you have thoughts of food, look at them, feel your body, ask yourself are you really hungry? Allowing your mind to think without being attached to your thoughts, allows you not always to take your mind seriously.
- Once a week promise yourself a mindful meal. It has taken a lot of practice to eat mindlessly, taking small steps into mindful eating is what it takes for the new response of mindful eating to develop.
- When you automatically go to the fridge, take 3 deep breaths into the stomach. Allow the breath to expand your stomach and as you exhale, relax your body. Then feel your body. Are you really hungry? Or are you operating on autopilot? Give yourself a little space between thought and action.