As a meditation and yoga teacher, I’ve seen firsthand the incredible impacts that a daily, sustained meditation practice has on my clients’ health and wellness journeys. One healthy benefit of meditation is that it can help you maintain a healthy weight by reducing stress, learning mindfulness, and enhancing a positive self-image.
1. Reduce Stress
It’s no secret that stress wreaks havoc on your eating habits and digestive system. When you’re stressed, your neurological system kicks into “fight or flight or freeze mode:” it’s survival time.
Cortisol, adrenaline and other stress hormone levels surge in your bloodstream to help meet the demand of the moment. Chronic elevated cortisol in the bloodstream increases the chance your body will store sugar and fat as potential future energy, instead of metabolizing it as it is digested. This can lead to the increased belly bloating, elevated blood sugar levels and eventually weight gain.
Meditation practices that reduce overall daily stress can make a big difference in healthy eating habits.
Start small: even just thirteen minutes a day of meditation is shown to reduce stress according to a study published in Behavioral Brain Research in 2019.
Practice this Stress Reducing Meditation with Lisa: “Body Scan Guided Meditation”
2. Learn Mindfulness
Mindfulness is the ability to identify and examine the individual thoughts that pass through your consciousness. It’s integral to the practice of meditation, where the goal is not to stop or judge your thoughts, but to notice them enough to choose healthy thoughts over unhealthy thoughts.
“Mind-body connection is essential for long term permanent weight and health changes. From research we know that the small changes we can commit to over time are much more impactful on our long-term health; the mindfulness we bring to our daily habits can be life changing,” Tiffany Cruikshank, author of Meditate Your Weight, explains.
Practice this Mindfulness Meditation with Lisa: “Letting Go of Thought Meditation”
3. Enhance Positive Self-Image
One often overlooked connection between meditation and weight loss is that meditation enhances positive self-image. During meditation, the goal is to observe thoughts, not to judge them. Judgmental thoughts like, “I ALWAYS blow my diet on the first day, I’ll never be able to stick to anything. I’m have no will-power whatsoever” lead to more self-doubt, self-shame and self-sabotaging behaviors.
Alternatively, meditation teaches to notice your thoughts, like clouds floating across the sky; see them, notice them, and let them go right on by. Eventually, you can use positive mantras during meditation to strengthen your image of yourself as healthy, fit and motivated.
Practice using a mantra in this meditation with Lisa: “Be Still and Know Meditation”
Use your favorite technique daily during the holiday season to help you reduce stress, learn mindfulness, and enhance your mind-body connection.
Happy Staying Healthy,