Let’s proceed by taking a quick look at weight gain and obesity. Based on statistics by the World Health Organisation (WHO), worldwide obesity has almost tripled since 1975. While obesity may appear on the far end of weight gain, it only begins with just an extra pound of fat. However, weight gain and its health risks can not only be prevented but also be cured by simply taking on its exact opposite: weight loss!
While many procedures for weight loss have emerged, over the years, it is well-known that with traditional methods, getting back in shape takes a good dose of discipline and patience. This is the selling point of guided meditation, which is becoming increasingly popular in recent times due to its ability to provide faster and long-lasting results. But for a lot of people, the question remains: what is the connection between guided meditation and weight loss? As well as how exactly does guided meditation for weight loss work?
Guided Meditation, for those who are unaware, is simply the process of achieving a level of mental calm, clarity, and awareness with the aid of a trained practitioner. The effects of guided meditation cut across a wide range of mental and physical health conditions, and it is commonly employed in treating conditions such as anxiety, depression, and, of course, obesity.
With respect to weight loss, the WHO reports that over 1 billion adults all over the world are overweight, a condition that essentially boils down to consuming more calories than you burn off. While it is generally possible to effectively address this with a few lifestyle changes, you’re more likely to be successful if you have an understanding of the mind-body connection.
Indeed, our physical body is a mirror reflection of the things happening in our minds. For example, several overweight patients have admitted to being involved in emotional eating. Eating when you’re stressed or emotionally excited can damage your relationship with food and increase your chances of gaining weight. Other eating and lifestyle habits such as cravings, late-night eating, and lack of exercise can complicate things for anyone, making it harder to stay in shape.
Guided meditation for weight loss works by conditioning your mind to understand the gravity of the situation you’re in. It helps those who practice it stay calm and appreciate that their body’s food cravings don’t always need to be satiated or can be satisfied in other ways. It can also help to promote healthy habits, such as making that one-mile walk to the shop rather than hopping in a car. For more detailed information, read our article on how guided meditation for weight loss works.
It may seem odd, but a lot can be gained by sitting quietly for a few minutes every day to reflect on your thoughts and behaviours. In fact, you’re far more likely to see long-term results doing this than adopting a fad diet. The fact is that sustained weight loss can only occur when you naturally change your habits. You cannot change your habits without conditioning your mind. Indeed, going on traditional weight-loss programs have shown to be effective, but these works only in the short term as patients regain lost weight soon after the program has ended.
This is simply because barely anything was done about the conditioning of their mind. They only followed a manual, ignoring the language of their own bodies. On the flipside, weight-loss programs that infuse the use of guided meditation along with dieting and exercising have been shown to produce longer-lasting results.
A study in 2017 showed that guided meditation could help reduce the levels of cortisol and C – reactive protein. You might be thinking “what on earth is cortisol, and what does it have to do with your weight?”, well, if you have trouble with losing weight, even with your go-hard dieting and workout routines, then you’d probably have cortisol to blame.
Cortisol is a stress hormone triggering the storage of calories as fat. This is a bit unfair because we encounter varying degrees of stress almost every day of our lives. However, it takes just 25 minutes (or less) of guided meditation for three consecutive days to reduce the effects of stress and ultimately accelerate weight-loss. Psychologically, when you use guided meditation for weight-loss, here are a few things that happen:
A good look at these benefits will show you how weight-gain is a mind game. If you can control your mind, it is relatively easier to control your body. By practising guided meditation, you become calmer in the face of your reality. You have your goal already in sight, and with that conditioning, you’ll be on a solid path to achieving it.
Guided meditation can be administered to you by a ‘guide,’ either in person, or via other means such as audio, video, and even texts. With many experts readily available at any time, getting your own dose of guided meditation is now more convenient than ever.
However, to get the best results from guided meditation, there are things you should keep in mind. Schedule a particular time for your sessions and try as much as you can to stick to it. If you’d like to meditate for, say, 15 minutes, three days a week, try your best to stay consistent with it. Don’t procrastinate.
Ensure you’re comfortable, especially in your clothes. If you’re in your office and feel like you should kick your shoes off, go ahead! If you’re at home and feel like you need to take a cold shower first, ensure you do that. Do not feel bad when other thoughts creep in during your meditation. It is not so easy to stay focused, anyways. Just ensure you drag your thoughts back to your object of focus as soon as you can.
The quest for weight loss is not an entirely physical struggle; it goes beyond eating less and running more. When you put into account the emotional reactivity, anxiety, addictive eating habits, low self-esteem, sleep deprivation, etc., you’d realize that weight gain is more complicated than it seems.
Guided meditation, along with other mindfulness techniques, has been used to achieve long-term weight loss. Its methods are straightforward, completely natural, and risk-free. It is, however, paramount to be consistent, patient, and optimistic. You will be fine.