Wait, what?! Meditation for weight loss? Shut the front door! It’s true, meditation can absolutely help you lose weight. Have I got your attention? Well, here we go…
We all know how lose weight, right? Good ‘ol diet and exercise. Time and again, diet and exercise. It’s not a magic pill, not a fad diet, and for sure not those electric shocker-thingys that zap your belly in place of sit-ups, lol! So what’s missing? Why do so many of us still carry around extra pounds? It all hinges on our self-discipline, impulsive nature, and emotional state. That’s where meditation comes in.
Stress eating is something most of us are familiar with. When I’ve had a rough, stressful day and reach for a couple of pieces of pizza at midnight, that little voice in my head telling me not to do it is very quiet, if there at all. If I do hear it I dismiss it immediately with the justifying thought that, “I deserve this after the day I’ve had!” It’s not even a contest. Did I mention there was pizza involved? A meditation practice can give you that space to be able to hear the voice of reason and respond. I’ve been doing better about that myself, and I’ve lost almost fifteen pounds from watching what I eat and exercising, and finally meditating. Over the past several years I had fallen out of the practice of a daily sitting meditation, and now that I’m back at it, the impulses are much easier to say no to. Big time!
Anxiety and depression are also major players in the “bad food choices” game. Meditation helps to lessen depression and anxiety. There is an udisputed link between depression and obesity. These toxic twins feed on each other. Depressed people can become obese and obese people can become depressed. Meditation, please! And can I get that with a side of “take it easy on yourself?” When we practice mindfulness, we find that we are much less upset by the day-to-day things that would normally get us down. We begin to see the forest for the trees. The big picture is beautiful and so are you! People who meditate are less depressed and have lower levels of anxiety.
It is also worth mentioning that meditation stimulates the part of the brain where willpower lives, that’s the prefrontal cortex for you sciency-types! The stronger our willpower, the better choices we can make. We are all better off when we make better choices regarding our diet and exercise. Period.
I’m sure you know by now that I’m not saying that you can sit and meditate and just watch the pounds melt away. Shah! I wish!! But there is a lot at stake here. Carrying extra weight shortens your life expectancy, and can give you anxiety that can lead to depression. Wow. Let me rephrase that and say that meditation can not only extend your life, but you will then live that longer life in a healthier and happier way! Think about making the time to sit quietly for ten minutes every day. It can change your life.