Meditation is good for more than your health. It’s good for your diet!
According to Wikipedia, the term meditation refers to a variety of practices and techniques designed to promote relaxation, build internal energy, and develop compassion, love, patience, generosity, and forgiveness. And according to research, those who meditate regularly experience a wide range of benefits including improved mood, stronger will power, reduced stress, and better sleep habits – all of which have been linked to supporting weight loss. Sound good? Read on to learn more about how meditation can support your weight loss goals and how to get started.
Improved mood = better eating habits. Studies have shown that sad people eat more and are less aware of what they are eating. One of the many reasons people practice meditation is to improve their mood. It’s even used by some to help treat depression. As a happy side effect, those who meditate may be less likely to overeat and make poor food choices.
Reduced anxiety = less emotional eating. Emotional eating is a common coping mechanism in which we turn to food for comfort or stress relief rather than to satisfy physical hunger. Meditation curbs activity in the brain’s amygdala, which helps control many negative emotions including stress and anxiety. Less stress and anxiety means less temptation to eat for the wrong reasons.
Better concentration = improved willpower. Research studies have shown that meditation can help improve attention, concentration, self-control, and mindfulness. In fact, just three hours total of meditation can increase self-control and focus, while eleven hours of practice can actually begin to change your brain. All of this means you’ll be better equipped to say no to those diet-busting cravings.
Sleeping more hours = eating fewer calories. Mediation is commonly used to help promote better sleep. A Harvard study among insomniacs showed that participants had less insomnia, fatigue, and depression after just six sessions of mindful meditation. And a recent study on the link between sleep and eating showed that sleep deprived subjects consumed an average of 385 calories extra per day, and chose foods with more fat and less protein than those who got enough sleep. You do the math!
Ready to give it a try? wikiHow can get you started right away with simple steps. Gaiam offers a more in-depth article outlining different techniques, benefits, and instructions. And for those who like a list, ZenHabits offers twenty tips for getting and staying on track with a meditation practice.