4 Ways Meditation helps you manage your Weight
I don't usually focus specifically on weight related issues but a healthy weight is part of living a healthy vibrant full life and as I am also working with quite a few lovely humans who help other people with their health and their weight - coaches and trainers - I thought, why not, this is totally impactful and amazing to know.
So here goes...
When it comes to issues surrounding managing or creating a healthy weight we usually focus on burning more calories than what you take in, moving more, eating more plant based and alkaline foods & hydration. But would it surprise you to know that sitting still can help you drop the pounds or even better maintain a healthy weight more easily? Here are a 4 reasons why:
1. Meditation improves your perception of hunger
Research is showing that meditation improves our awareness of the hunger and fullness signals we are constantly receiving - allowing and empowering us to level up our nutrition habits. Meditation, over time, begins to create a kind of non-judgemental attention and deeper levels of intention to examine what drives our behaviours and actions around food and nutrition. This is very good thing and a great compliment to other healthy habits.
2. Meditation reduces Stress
One might not believe that stress has anything to do with managing your weight but look into the vast literature and you'll find that stress wreaks havoc on our health in so many ways and we are not waking up in a big enough way to taking sustainable, proactive steps to address it. Stress impacts your eating habits and your digestives system. When the body is in stress mode - it is in fight or flight mode - it's survival time! That's just the way the human body is designed.
In survival, stress hormones like cortisol, adrenaline and others course though your bloodstream and systems - over time this impacts our natural abilities to deal with the impact of elevated blood sugar. Sustained elevated blood sugar, puts the body into fat storage mode. So you can do all the crunches and lunges your heart desires but your body, in stress mode, is set up to store fat. This is huge and worth reading again. Your body in fight or flight mode - which most of us, especially these days, are in almost 24/7 wants to store fat regardless of the carrot sticks you have just put into a neat glass container for healthy snacking. So Meditation practices that actively shift us out of stress mode help with our eating habits and with our fat storage mechanisms. It's brilliant!
3. Meditation helps you make more mindful food choices.
Mindful eating is the buzz word today right? But if you are in stress mode it's often very challenging to cultivate sustainable mindful habits. Sure you might be "mindful" for a few days or a few weeks but ultimately in stress mode our healthy habits are temporary. Not that mindfulness is about perfection either; of course it's natural to get off track a bit.
But through meditation we become more actively aware of our food choices in the moment, how they will impact us and when we get off track we are also less likely to beat ourselves up about it - which just keeps us off course. Over time meditation has this lovely ability to help us cultivate an active practice of more kindness and understanding for ourselves. If you need some research on this - a 2018 study that was published in Frontiers in Psychology showed that meditation and mindfulness training can help rewire the brain's perception of eating motivation.
4. Meditation helps us ramp up our self image
I know that since I have been meditating I am so much kinder to myself when it comes to self image, something everyone struggles with in this comparison entrenched world. Even when I was in top form as a personal trainer 10 years ago - 118 pounds and mostly lean muscle - I was hard on myself. It's not that I am all perfect around my self image today, but I am so much better than I was, so much kinder and accepting which ultimately helps me stay the course or get back on track mindfully with my health habits and in a way that I also enjoy the whole journey, which goes a long way to sustainability.
Also because meditation gives us active access to the subconscious mind that is where we can work to rewire our unconscious habits and beliefs about ourselves and Who we are...so much more than just our physical selves.
So here's to all my lovely friends, fellow meditators and those who serves on the front lines to help others with their health - this is for you and for those you serve to take managing weight and sustaining a healthy mindset around it to whole new levels.
Meditation is kind of like the "secret sauce" of Health Weight Management...
Here's a fun little Midday "All is Well" Meditation you can listen to and if you wish to take your Mind and Mindset to Whole new levels - check out Symphonies for the Mind - it's where the power of personal growth comes together with the magic of mediation.
Meditation Coach & Creator