Statistics show that around two-thirds of adults in the US are overweight or obese. A blend of poor dietary and lifestyle factors are responsible for this unfortunate reality, but did you know that stress also plays a major role?
The American Institute of Stress recently discovered that a shocking 77% of adults in the US regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress. Our lives are busier and more hectic than ever before - and it's taking a toll on our health.
Chronic stress can cause cortisol levels within your body to increase. This stimulates your appetite and leads to overeating. This is why many people who suffer from stress are compelled to overeat and put on weight.
But there's an amazing way to stop the cycle, eliminate stress from your life, and avoid stress-induced overeating: guided meditation for weight loss. In this post, we are going to look at how meditation can help you to effectively manage the stress in your life to help you on your weight loss journey.
What is meditation?
Meditation is the practice of training your attention and awareness. This improved level of attention helps you to more effectively put life into perspective and achieve mental clarity. It also leads to a calmer and more compassionate emotional state.
There are countless meditation techniques out there and some click more effectively with some people than others. Here's a look at the two main categories of meditation:
You might have come across this type of meditation in a movie or TV show. It involves focusing completely on a single specific target to tune out the rest of the world around you. That target could be an object that you're looking at, your breathing, or even a single word. By meditating upon a single target, you really experience that target and learn to block out the world - and its myriad of distractions - that surround you.
As the range and prevalence of mental issues increase throughout the west, mindfulness meditation is becoming very popular. There is a range of mindfulness meditation techniques that help you to tackle stress and the sources of mental discomfort in your life. These techniques help people to focus on the present moment and accept the sources of discomfort within their life.
Why is meditation good for weight loss?
When it comes to planning their weight loss regime, most people will get started by dreaming up an amazing new diet or workout plan. But meditation and weight loss research show that overlooking meditation is a big mistake.
There is a strong link between the mind and the body - this means that meditation can really help you with your weight loss journey. Here's a look at just some of the ways that meditation can make your weight loss efforts more effective.
Lower cortisol levels
Cortisol is a very important steroid hormone. It modulates many of the changes that take place within our body when we are stressed. It works to manage your blood pressure and metabolism, for instance, to make sure that you are prepared to respond to a stressful situation.
The steroid hormone can also cause feelings on intense hunger and food cravings. This is obviously a big issue if you suffer from persistent and intense stress. The high levels of cortisol will cause you to overeat and pack on the pounds.
Meditation can help you to relax your mind to reduce stress. This means that if done properly, meditation can help you to lower your cortisol levels and put those pangs of hunger to rest.
Feel happier and full of energy
The symptoms of chronic stress are truly awful. Stressed people find that they often suffer from a range of the following symptoms:
- An upset stomach
- Aches and pains
- Frequent colds
- Feelings of lethargy and tiredness
- A reduced sexual desire
Each of these symptoms serves to make you unhappier and more stressed, too, so there's the real risk of falling into a vicious cycle. You might feel like you're fighting an uphill battle when it comes to losing weight.
Meditation helps you to hone in on your stress, though, and tackle the root of your issues. You'll feel amazing and this can help you to approach your weight loss journey with a spring in your step. Your enhanced energy levels and better mental outlook will help you to tackle any issue that comes your way.
Focus on what matters
It's no secret that trying to lose weight can be a difficult and stressful journey. You'll often find that changes to your lifestyle and diet can cause unrest and even lead to feelings of stress - that's why you should focus on being kind to yourself and taking care of your mental health.
Mindfulness meditation is particularly effective at helping you to manage the stress in your life and achieve a sense of perspective. This healthy mindset will give you the best chance of success while you're trying to lose weight.
How do I practice meditation for weight loss?
The great news is that practicing meditation is simple! There are countless ways that you can get started and access some quality resources. Whether you prefer to read, listen or watch, you'll find countless options to try.
Here are just some of the best resources out there to help you practice meditation and level-up your weight loss results.
Headspace is the undisputed champion when it comes to guided meditation apps. Millions of people around the world use the app to focus on their mental health and rack up meditation time. There are lots of features on offer and it also offers integration with Apple's Health app - perfect if you like to quantify and track your progress.
The Omega Institute
The Omega Institute for Holistic Studies runs a fabulous YouTube channel that offers a lot of guided meditation videos. The organization has been around for more than 40 years and it can really help you to get to grips with meditation techniques, news, and research.
If you love a good podcast, there are countless quality meditation podcasts out there for you. These podcasts are super convenient and best of all, you'll be able to find one that really clicks with you in terms of the host and the content.
If you search for meditation in your favorite podcast app, you'll be sure to find a wide range of suitable podcasts out there. 'Making Sense with Sam Harris' is a great option if you're interested in the science behind meditation, while podcasts like the Daily Meditation Podcast walk you through guided meditations.
Are you the type of person that learns best while you're reading? There's an endless range of amazing books out there written by experts. You might find that those texts unlock new techniques and understanding for you - it's definitely worth checking out your local book store.
Here are some of the best-regarded meditation books to get you started:
- The Miracle of Mindfulness - Thich Nhat Hanh
- 10% Happier - Dan Harris
- Out Of Your Mind - Alan Watts
- Wherever You Go There You Are - Jon Kabat-Zinn
Guided meditation for weight loss
Getting started by yourself with meditation can be tough, so people almost always decide to start with a guided meditation. In these sessions, you are guided through your meditation by a trained teacher.
These guided meditations can be delivered using any type of medium! You might read a guided meditation, for instance, or listen to some verbal instruction. You should take the time to find which format works best for you.
There are specific meditations out there that are specifically focused on weight loss. These meditations can help you to realign your thoughts and better explore your relationship with food and your weight.
Here are some great examples of how you can use meditation for fat loss.
Guided meditation for emotional eating
This guided weight loss meditation offers you powerful and positive statements that help to improve the perception that you have of yourself. It tackles the subject of emotional eating to help you escape the cycle of guilt and regret.
It is around 24 minutes long and for many people, this is the perfect length. It means that you will not become uncomfortable and that you will be able to focus without your mind wandering.
Meditation to lose weight while you sleep
This hypnotherapy session helps you to lose weight by putting an end to your feelings of hunger. It achieves this through a blend of soothing music, imagery, and a great voiceover. Those factors help you to feel calm and lower your cortisol levels.
This video is around 45 minutes long, so it's a little on the long side. This length means that it's the perfect companion when you're trying to fall asleep, though. Those positive thoughts will settle while you sleep and help you to approach your weight loss journey with confidence.
Be sure to use meditation effectively while trying to lose weight and you'll put yourself on the path to success!