A healthy mind is a healthy body. At least, that’s what ancient wisdom strives to convince us of. Two things that are particularly powerful for improve your psychological health include meditation and mindfulness, but can they really help you lose weight?
Let’s face it, everything starts from inside your head. There are many physiological aspects that factor into your weight loss and eating habits. With mindfulness, you can help overcome binge eating as hundreds of others have before you. In fact, mindfulness is a proven and recommend technique for conquering emotional eating and other things that contribute to weight gain.
There are also some other ways that mindfulness and practicing meditation can help you stay on track to your weight loss goals.
When you get stressed out, weight gain is a well-known side effect. Not only does feeling stressed often lead to emotional eating to try and calm your nerves or comfort yourself, but the stress also leads to hormonal imbalances.
When you are stressed out, your body overproduces cortisol, which is linked to higher mortality and increased belly fat. By meditating, you can help calm your mind and address the mental barriers that are causing your stress. In turn, this will enable you to help address weight gain.
One study took hundreds of participants to figure out if the mindful eating and stress reduction through meditation really made a difference in their emotional eating habits. They also considered how it affected the participants’ belly fat.
The study found that emotional eating did, in fact, improve for the patients. The participants ended up experiencing less anxiety and ate less often in response to their emotions. The level of cortisol in their blood dropped as well.
So, what does this teach us? While meditation and mindfulness alone probably won’t solve your weight problems, research has shown that practicing meditation and mindfulness can help you conquer the aspects that are contributing to your weight gain or struggle to lose weight.
By practicing meditation, you’ll be able to adopt the “relax more, eat less” type of approach. You’ll learn to spend more time listening to your body and less time letting your emotions control you. You’ll get your emotions and stress levels under better control since you’ll take the time to sit down and “Take a breather” to think about what’s stressing you out or upsetting you.
In other words, meditation is a good thing to have in your toolkit.