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Meditation and Weight Loss, Can it Really Help?

meditation and weight loss

When you eat more than you need, your body gains and stores extra weight. Weight issues get blamed on lack of exercise, genetics, stress, and overeating. But your programming begins in the mind. It's your thoughts, emotions, and beliefs that are the most important factors causing poor eating habits. So let's look at meditation and weight loss as a proven way to make lasting change.

Research

recent study performed in UC San Francisco found that meditation can help you control your diet as well as lose weight. The researchers did a survey of a random group of 47 overweight women by dividing them into two groups.

In one group, the women received meditation training around the sensory experience of eating. While the other group was put on normal exercise and diet. Among the two, the one with mindful meditation maintained the weight, and the other group continued to gain weight.

The Relationship Between Meditation and Weight Loss

When you meditate, the aim is to digest your thoughts and clear your head of all the monkey mind chatter. Throughout the day you have thousands of endless thoughts and sensory impressions. These thoughts and sensory impressions create enormous pressure on your psyche.

On average you have 60,000 thoughts per day. Some of these thoughts you are aware of. Most of them, you're not. Here's how it works:

You have a Conscious Mind and a Subconscious Mind

Your conscious mind is the mind that helps you navigate through everyday life. It helps you decide what to eat for breakfast, what to wear, what to put on your to-do list, etc.

You also have a subconscious mind. The subconscious mind can be thought of as your garbage bin. As I mentioned above, you have thousands of thoughts each day, and you may be aware of some of them, but most get deposited into your subconscious mind.

As the thoughts and sensory impressions begin to accumulate, your subconscious begins to fill. When this happens it influences your conscious mind and nervous system. Your intelligence gets muddied. Your garbage bin needs emptying.

The key principle to weight loss and health is the subconscious mind must be cleaned on a regular basis.

One of the best ways to do this is through meditation. Otherwise, the contents of the subconscious muddies the flow of your intelligence. The result is, your ability to know what's good for your health, and what's not good for your health is compromised.

Meditation helps to calm your mind so you can release old mental and emotional patterns of behavior. Once this happens, you are free to make better choices and change the perceptions that lead to emotional eating.

Getting Ready to Meditate

Choose one time of the day and one place – It's best to meditate at the same time and place. The best time is in the early morning just after you've awakened and before breakfast. The best place to meditate is a quiet and comfortable room where you won't be bothered.

Wear clean, comfortable clothing – Tight clothing is distracting and can prevent you from relaxing deeply. Whenever possible, meditate in loose-fitted clothing made of natural fibers.

Create an atmosphere – Turn off your telephone. Create a space with fresh flowers, incense, or diffuse essential oils like sandalwood or jasmine. If you have the space to create a personal altar with favorite objects that honors your traditions, so much the better.

Sit with the eyes closed – A lot of our sensory input to the brain is visual, so closing your eyes helps to settle the mind and brain.

meditation and weight loss

How To Meditate

The three essential components of meditation are relaxation, nonjudgment, and witnessing. Meditation is not a technique. The techniques just help to bring you to your authentic self. Meditation is where you arrive. The techniques are how we get there.

Short technique to get you started

When you're ready to begin, sit quietly with your hands on your lap or to your sides. Let your attention follow your breathing. Feel your breath entering your nostrils and flow down into your lungs. When you exhale, let your attention follow the air up and out of your lungs and softly through your nostrils.

meditation and weight loss, can it really helpNothing is forced

The breath moves smoothly and gently, and your attention follows.

Continue to be aware of your breath, and now you can begin to add a mantra “so hum” to this procedure. Silently think the word “so” on the inhale, and “hum” on the exhale. The purpose of a mantra is it gives your mind something to do. You can use any word or phrase you like. Some people like “Love” or “Peace.”

Continue this exercise for 10 minutes and over time work up to 20 minutes. When your mind drifts or wanders, don't try to stop it or “empty” it, simply return to repeating the mantra.

When your time is up, spend a few minutes more just sitting with your eyes closed before resuming another activity.

The benefits are the greatest when you meditate daily

Aim for 20-30 minutes per day, but do whatever you can because even 12 minutes of meditation a day is helpful.

Meditation will Transform You

Learning to meditate can be a transformative experience in your life. Meditation is essential if you want to release old mental and emotional patterns of behavior responsible for losing weight.

As you begin to show up differently in your life, everything will shift, and you'll start to feel more naturally joyful.

The key to developing a successful meditation practice is finding the right fit for you. Personally, I experimented with several different types until I found one that felt comfortable and worked for me. Taking classes from a meditation master is one of the best ways to learn meditation.

For many of us, meditation does not come quickly. How about you? Do you already meditate? If so, please share with me what works for you below.

meditation and weight loss

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TAT Transformational Awareness Technique

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About the author

Jackie Parker

15 Comments

  • I think you came to an excellent point with this post on meditation. There is a huge connection with the subconscious mind and the physical manifestation of the thoughts we see before us.
    Meditation has proven to be beneficial for all sorts of applications, including stress and weightloss.
    Keep up the great work! I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts in the near future! I think you have a very well laid out website and you approach health in a very easy to understand way.

  • Excellent article. I’m ready to slip in to some comfortable clothes and get started. I could use to lose some weight and cleansing my mind wouldn’t be a bad idea either. The video was very informative and I think I’m going to sign up for the e-course. A transformation is probably just what I need right now.

    • Thanks for stopping by Doug. TAT is a wonderful meditation course and Dr. Douillard is a well-respected meditation teacher. Please let me know if there’s any thing else I can do for you.

  • I love mind over matter. Being a trained hypnotherapist, I know how important the mind is. Especially how much power it can wield when used with appropriate care. You seem to have done your research.

    Meditation is great in many ways, but I know being a busy mom, working out is the last thing on my mind. I am glad if the need be, I can turn to this.

  • Hey Jackie,

    This is a very interesting article and I did not know about this. I did not know that meditation could help you lose weight.

    I have always thought that nutrition and training were the only ways, but I see that meditation helps to.

    Great article and thank you!

  • Every time I turn around I see another benefit of meditation. I’ve been practicing for a little over 2 years now and my life is significantly better because of it.

  • Like a lot of people, I’m an emotional eater. When I’m stressed, I eat non-stop and I usually eat the most unhealthy things I can find.

    I’ve meditated for many years and tend to cycle in and out of a formal meditation and a casual meditation practice.

    If I can catch myself, a walking meditation can defuse an emotional episode before I binge eat. Also, the practice of eating mindfully has been a big help too.

    • Hi Gary, Whatever helps you to clear the subconscious will be helpful. I also like to practice meditation when I walk by just being aware of my breath and trying not to ‘think’ (which usually leads to stress). Thanks for stopping by and reading the post. My best to you…

  • Very interesting post! Before I even read the results, I knew that those who meditate would have better results, it just makes sense!

    What I have found in working with folks in regards to their health and wellness is that a lot of time it is a mind thing! If we are able to get control of our thoughts, impulses and stress, we are more likely to be in control!

    I have been practicing meditation and am trying to get better! For me, it has been hard to learn how to silence my mind, but I know with practice it will get easier!

    • Hi Abby! It’s true! We’re all a product of our programming…and when we finally get quiet, we start to choose more consciously and make better decisions. Thanks for reading the post.

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