Meditation For Weight Loss: What Is It And How Does It Work?

Medically reviewed by Maria Sarino, MD FACT CHECKED

Losing weight is not a cakewalk. It takes several methods, attempts, failures, and disappointments to reach the ultimate goal.

Even though dieting and workout help the best, losing weight is more than this. It requires a shift in lifestyle and dedication.

Staying focused turns out to be the toughest part of this journey. Some methods might help additionally to build a never say die spirit. One such savior is meditation.

It might not just seep into how sitting in a place calmly helps lose weight, which should require physical activity. To clear your doubts, make your way to the end of the article.

Meditation And Weight Loss

To practice anything correctly, it is important to have an idea about what it is. Meditation is a way to connect to your divine self. It helps master control over the senses by creating mind-body coordination.

It has been an ancient practice of rooting spirituality in human beings. Originating from India, it has made its way globally. Several scientific reasons and religious sentiments back up the benefits of meditation.

Numerous meditation techniques are practiced by people for different reasons. It has emerged as an excellent stress management method. Chanting a mantra while meditating is just as fruitful as the one practiced with a focus on breathing.

It could be practiced alone or under professional guidance.

How Does Meditation Help Lose Weight?

  1. A Healthier And Long-Term Weight Management

    Meditation is a way to self-awareness. It is not a magical method to lose weight that works overnight. It is a slow and steady approach that makes the lifestyle healthier.

    Usually, people opt for diets and workouts for losing weight. But with time, they regain weight loss after discontinuation. The best way to do so is mindfulness meditation.

    It is a way of thinking about what you are doing currently, how you feel about it and where you are at present. It is not about judging but awareness and acceptance.

    Even a study proved that people practicing meditation are more likely to put the lost weight off than those who do not meditate.

  2. Better Sleep

    The link between sleep and weight is not unknown. Quality sleep of 6-8 hours is needed to sustain a healthy life.

    Lack of sleep induces weight gain. A laboratory study witnessed an imbalance in hormones due to lack of sleep.

    This made the subjects prone to obesity. Meditation helps stay calm. A relaxed state of mind improves sleep quality and quantity.

    It might even treat insomnia. This aids in eliminating sleep-induced weight gain.
  3. Stress Management

    Stress disrupts natural body flow. The stress hormone cortisol is linked with numerous health problems. Cortisol increases fat accumulation, specifically in the belly region.

    By practicing focused breathing and mindful eating, you could lower these cortisol levels. Some scientific evidence suggests lower cortisol levels aid in weight loss and management.

  4. Self-Acceptance And Confidence

    The guilt of not being able to control and give up on your cravings is real. But getting rid of it is very important.

    That is because when you eat a pizza and feel bad about it, you might unintentionally invite stressful eating.

    As a result, you would eat more such foods like chips, doughnuts and so much more. You need to forgive yourself for eating and not shame yourself.

  5. Monitor Your Food Habits

    While meditating, you learn to admit things and control your senses. This instills a sense of conscious eating. You would be able to tell if it is hunger or cravings.

    This ensures you monitor your eating habits, admit where you went wrong, and cut off unhealthy or excessive food.

  6. Intuitive Eating

    It is an opposite approach to dieting trends. It believes in trusting the body more. You eat when you feel hungry. Our mind knows when we are craving food or we are hungry.

    Mindfulness meditation comes with ease. So you could eat when you are hungry. A study shows that in the longer run, intuitive eating is better than harsh dieting or starving.

    Eating only required food when hungry helps lose weight and reduce the chances of regaining it.

How To Meditate Without Assistance?

Meditation could be easily practiced anywhere even without help. Follow these simple steps to find your peace

  • Find a quiet place where you could peacefully spend some time alone. It could be your balcony, room, or even bathroom. You could decide the time limit for yourself. From ten minutes to an hour, whatever suits you is good, to begin with.
  • Close your eyes, sit back straight and try to live in the moment.
  • Focus on small details like your breathing, and how your chest puffs up when you breathe in and comes back to rest when you exhale.
  • You are most likely to wander in the initial phase. Your mind will be full of worldly thoughts. You will also find a way back to focusing on breathing quickly. With practice and devotion, you will be able to cut off from worldly things when you meditate.
  • Continue the same process till you meditate.

What Is A Guided Meditation And Where To Find It?

Some people find it difficult to concentrate and need help. If you are one of them, do not feel guilty or shy. It is normal to seek professional help and more likely to be fruitful in such cases.

Guided meditation involves a trainer giving a set of instructions to follow which helps meditate. Several programs are run online and offline. You could also find videos for free to meditate.

In guided meditation, the person directing you asks you to chant some mantras, do breathing exercises or even help picture something to focus upon.

While choosing a suitable meditation program, make sure it does not promise overnight results. Meditation is a long-term change that gives slow and steady results.

Things To Practice To Improve Your Meditation

Both eating and meditation have to be mindful. They are intertwined. One factor affects the other. Mindful eating involves observing food habits, intake, concentrating, and controlling emotional eating.

These could be achieved in the following manner

  • Cut off distractions while eating. Watching TV, talking, or reading something while snacking or eating meals is a significant reason for overeating. Due to a lack of focus, you do not realize that you ate more than what was required.
  • Distinguish between emotionally induced eating and hunger. Sometimes, stress or mood swings affect eating patterns. Try to resist eating when you are not hungry.
  • Stop judging yourself. Strive to accept who you are while you improve. Hatred, shame, and guilt affect weight loss. The more you sway thoughts of weight loss away, the easier it will get.
  • Eat slowly. Our mind takes time to realize we are full. Chewing food well will aid in digestion and also give time to the mind to process that you are full.
  • Stay hydrated. Feeling hungry might be an indication that you are thirsty. If you drink enough water, your mind will not misinterpret thirst for hunger.
  • Eat at a particular time every day. If you train your body to eat at the same time daily, you will develop a habit of doing so. Hence, it might help avoid untimely snacking or cravings.
  • Eating food should involve your senses. When you eat food, feel the taste, enjoy the aroma and admire the savor. It helps build focus while eating.
  • Replace your food with a better alternative. If you feel hungry, opt for salads, vegetables, or yogurt. This will help limit calories and you will feel satisfied.
  • Accept that you are craving something. If you want to have a burger and you know you don’t need it but are just craving it, half of the problem is solved. Identifying and acknowledging cravings is the best way to limit them.
  • Prepare well. Decide your meal plan for the day. Eat only the foods you decide to eat. Calculate the calories prior and also keep some healthy snacking options on the list if you feel hungry frequently. Note down how much you were able to follow it. It will give you an insight into what’s the fault.

Advantages Of Meditation Over Other Weight Loss Methods

It is an easy technique to shed some kilos. You do not have to starve or do heavy physical activity for meditating. It requires no equipment and could be done anywhere peacefully.

Meditation helps you in relaxing and requires fewer calories. So, after meditating you might not feel hungry like you feel after a heavy workout or while dieting.

Meditation could be practiced by all age groups and requires very less time. You could flexibly choose anytime that suits you.

Conclusion

Meditation is the path to attaining freedom by mastering the senses. You learn to control your mind and forget about stress and worldly affairs. This technique is beneficial for losing weight.

As meditation is a sleep inducer and stress buster, you are more likely to witness a healthy and long-term weight loss by meditating.

Also, you will find yourself in calmer waters with reduced medical problems, once you start meditating. For best results, combine meditation with weight loss-friendly foods and work out.