Can it be that that meditation may help with weight loss? As most of us know, meditation can help us to manage stress. It can lower blood pressure, help us to sleep better and to have better focus in our daily lives. Those are great benefits already! But how does it help us lose weight?
A team of researchers did a small scale study to find out if meditation could reduce belly fat. Stress leads to over production of a hormone called, cortisol. When there is too much cortisol in the blood, it leads to unwanted belly fat. It’s also linked to higher levels of mortality. What the researchers found was that meditation did lead to lower levels of cortisol. They also discovered that it led to less body fat. They are on to something!
Meditation can also help by making us more aware of why we are eating. We learn to pause and notice how we are feeling in the present moment. Are we eating because we are hungry or because we are angry, stressed or sad? If we know these things, we are better able to decide what is best for us right then. Maybe we need to take a walk or to get a hug rather than eat that bowl of ice cream. There are so many benefits meditation has to offer. You can read more about them here.
If you’re new to meditation, here are a few tips to get you started.
1. First of all, start simple. Often we think we will have to sit still for a long time to start seeing benefits. Not true! It’s fine to start with just a 2-minute session. As you continue to practice, you will likely want to sit for longer. The important thing is to begin.
2. Find a comfortable, quiet space where you won’t be disturbed. This time is just for you!
3. Don’t worry about clearing your mind. Minds are busy and it’s their job to think. It’s more important to learn to just observe those thoughts and let them go. The point here is to not believe all our thoughts and stories.
4. Try different guided meditations. I like to use the Insight Timer app, they have a timer, guided meditations and a great community. Guided meditations can inspire us and it’s sometimes easier for beginners to focus on.
5. Stay with what you are feeling. Different emotions can and will arise. Just take a few moments to allow those feelings even if they are negative. Often we want to push those feelings away. Instead, let them stay and just observe with curiosity.
6. Focus on the breath. Sometimes just a few long deep breaths is all we need to reduce stress. The breath is something we always have so it’s easy to focus on.
In conclusion, science has shown there are many ways that meditation can benefit your life including weight loss. Take a deep breath and plan to start your meditation practice today.