Have You Tried Using Meditation for Weight Loss?
The Fit Father Project aims to give you access to an array of materials that will support your weight loss journey. Meditation for weight loss is one of those tools to push you in the right direction.
This isn't just an opinion. Take a few moments to read this article and you’ll discover the studies that show meditation for weight loss actually works.
We're going to walk you through the best ways to start meditating, the array of other benefits it offers, and the top techniques to use.
Let’s dive on in!
The Connection Between Meditation & Weight Loss
Say the word meditation and you’ll probably picture a monk silently sitting in a seemingly impossible position.
Yes, you can meditate like this, but you don’t have to.
The important thing to note is that meditation is defined as a means of encouraging a heightened state of awareness and improving your focus.
I know what you’re thinking. How can a thousand year old tradition that focuses on the mind help you lose weight?
While there have been a limited number of studies into the link between meditation and weight loss, the results are positive. This study is just one that confirms meditation for weight loss really works.
There are actually 2 key ways in which meditation helps your weight loss goals:
Meditation Reduces Stress Levels
When you meditate, the amount of cortisol in your body will drop. Cortisol is an essential hormone as it prepares your body for fight or flight in a variety of different situations.
However, too much cortisol in your body is a common issue thanks to the stressful world we inhabit. High levels of cortisol can only be produced when your body diverts resources from the production of other hormones.
In short, reducing cortisol levels allows your body to produce leptin, which is known as the appetite hormone. More leptin will decrease your appetite, helping to prevent over-snacking.
Of course, the fact that you feel calmer and are better able to make decisions is a fortunate bonus!
Meditation Improves Self-Awareness
You already know one of the biggest roles of meditation is to increase your own self-awareness. This means becoming more aware of what your body actually needs and appreciating the good things you already have. You’ll achieve this by simply pausing to focus on yourself and your life.
Because we are all so busy, it's easy to forget to take a few moments to appreciate what you have.
A greater appreciation will help you avoid the emotional pressures that often lead to over-eating. Instead of reaching for the cookies you’ll be more aware of why you want the cookies. This will help to prevent you from taking them!
In addition, increased awareness of your own body will help you to know when you’re hungry or full. You start to recognize the symptoms of real hunger and can respond when you get these.
Top Tip: If you don’t know if you’re really hungry, drink a glass of water and see if you still feel hungry after a few minutes.
You’ll be surprised by how often you’re not really hungry.
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Top Methods to Start Meditation for Weight Loss
Now you know that meditation can help you lose weight and improve your physical and mental health, you’ll want to know how to get started!
Fortunately, it’s easy; just follow these simple steps and try the method that appeals to you the most:
Find an Appropriate Time
The first step is to allocate yourself a time-slot. You only need 10 minutes a day, but you must book it into your schedule. Having a set time will increase the likelihood of you actually doing it.
It doesn't have to be the same time every day, whatever works best for you. Just make sure it's at a time that allows you to focus on mediation.
Choose a Location
Find a spot where you’ll have peace and quiet. You may need to tell your family to stay clear of a specific room for 15 minutes. It also helps to choose a location where you're surrounded by nature, but it's more important to be in a quiet place.
Set an Alarm
You need to find a comfortable position to sit in. There is no wrong position but you will be in that position for 10 minutes, so you don’t want your mind to start focusing on how uncomfortable you feel.
Once you’re comfortable, set your alarm for 10 minutes.
Focus on one thing
Simply start breathing in and out slowly. You can focus on this breathing or you can focus on another part of your body, such as the rise and fall of your chest.
Stay focused on this until your alarm sounds; that’s it!
Accept that your mind will wander
Your attention will wander, especially when you first start meditating. That’s fine. As soon as you become aware it is wandering simply re-focus on your breath and carry on. There is no need to feel bad, as your focus attention will improve over time.
There are several things that can help you to focus when you start meditating:
Select your preferred meditation podcast and listen to their voice. They will guide you through each step f the journey. All you have to do is focus solely on them and what they are saying.
YouTube offers a similar experience to a podcast. It may be serene music, the sounds of birdsong, or a guide to meditation. The effect is the same.
Time may appear to be moving slowly and it can be tempting to keep looking at your watch/timer. Place your timer far enough away that you can’t reach or see it and then use a simple hourglass. You can turn it when it has fully drained, but that doesn't mean you have to watch the sand fall. The hourglass is simply a means of controlling your attention and returning it to where it should be.
Get the Right Chair
To meditate successfully you need to be comfortable. If you’re not then your focus will keep shifting to your seating position. The perfect answer is a meditation cushion that offers no back support. This ensures you stay alert as you meditate.
However, if you’re new to meditation then a comfortable chair will do; it should support your back and be comfortable; even though there is a risk of dozing off.
Other Benefits Of Meditation
Meditation can help you to lose weight. But, that’s not the only reason to do this! In fact, there are a number of benefits associated with meditation:
We've already touched on how meditation can lower your stress levels and reduce hunger. However, lower stress levels also mean your body can balance its hormones better and respond to infections.
In short, it will improve your health today and in the future.
Being more aware of your own body will actually make you more confident. You know what you are capable of and can provide it; even in stressful situations. This will translate as improved confidence.
General Improvement in Emotional Well-being
Getting in touch with your body allows your mind to relax, allowing you to make better decisions for your own body. This reduces the likelihood of depression and other emotional issues.
Meditation also gives you an increased ability to manage common issues, such as anxiety disorders, depression, sleep disorders, high blood pressure, and even joint pain.
Most people reach for the painkillers at the first sign of pain. However, much of the pain can be caused by inflammation, which is controlled by the amount of cortisol in your body. Meditation reduces cortisol, inflammation, and ultimately you’ll feel a reduction in pain and soreness.
In short, your body will be better able to manage and regulate itself.
Better Cognitive Function
Improving your ability to focus on one issue will allow you to absorb information better and perform your daily tasks more efficiently.
Yes, meditation can actually help you to learn information and coordinate your body movements!
Higher and Longer Attention Span
The ability to focus on your breathing for 10 minutes in one go will help you to stay focused on long meetings and other events. This will ensure you absorb the necessary information and can provide positive and useful feedback.
Top Tips When Meditating
You have to be comfortable before you can start. The right chair or cushion is a big step in the right direction. But, you should also consider the temperature of the room and the clothes you’re wearing. All of these should be comfortable, if they’re not they will distract you from your goal.
It doesn't matter if you have the sweetest 2-year old, a noisy 16-year-old, or a loving wife that wants to bring you a cup of tea; you don’t need any distractions when meditating. Make sure everyone knows and you’re in a private space.
If 10 minutes is simply too much, then don’t give up. Start with just 2 minutes and build your ability over a number of weeks. Meditation for weight loss is not a race.
When you start you’re going to be thinking about if you’re comfortable or 100’s of other issues. Tell yourself not to worry and, as Nike say, just do it!
You can fine-tune the process each time until you get the perfect scenario for you; just don’t forget that everyone is different.
Follow A Guide
It can be hard settling into meditation the first few times. Use a guide, whether a podcast, YouTube or some other method. It will help you to build your own process and successfully start meditating.
Enlist A Friend
Meditation is an individual activity but you’ll be surprised at how much more focused you are when there are 2 or more of you doing it. Find a local meditation group or start your own; it will help.
Whether you've meditated for 2 minutes or 2 hours, when you reach your goal congratulate yourself. Simply sticking to it is an achievement and will help you with your weight loss journey.
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Dispelling Common Meditating Myths
There are several myths that have evolved that can actually hinder your meditation progress. Being aware of them will help to prevent them from being an issue for you:
Myth #1 Meditation is about clearing your mind
This is a very common myth but one that simply isn't true or generally possible. Your mind is a hive of activity. Simply thinking about clearing your mind will invoke an array of thoughts, preventing it from happening.
Instead, just focus on your breathing while trying to control your thoughts.
Myth #2 Meditation is difficult
Put simply, meditating is not difficult. The image of a monk on a cliff top sat cross-legged gives it the appearance of being hard. The truth is anyone can do it, anywhere, you just need to focus on breathing.
Myth #3 Meditation takes years of practice
You’ll be surprised at how quickly you feel the effects of your meditation efforts. The first few weeks may not show much benefit as you get used to the techniques. But by week 4 you’ll start to notice it is having a positive effect on your decision making and lifestyle.
Myth #4 Meditation should be transcendent
There are those that report stories of visions, seeing colors, or even hearing spirit guides.
This doesn't apply to everyone and doesn't need to. The act of meditation will improve your weight loss abilities and your lifestyle, that’s enough by itself.
Take the First Step Today
The first step can often be the hardest, but it doesn't need to be. Learning to meditate is as simple as allocating 10 minutes of your day to being quiet and focusing on one thought. Through patience, the rest will come naturally.
It is important to remember that meditation for weight loss is an aid, not the entire product. You also need to be more active and look at what you are eating.
If you’re unsure of how to start eating healthier then you can check out the perfect plate approach. It’s simple to do and a very effective way of maintaining a balanced diet.
Join the FF30X program today and speak to thousands of other men who've enjoyed success in achieving weight loss and muscle building goals. With our support, you can master meditation, healthy eating, and the right exercise for your needs.
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Bragging Rights: 16 Years in the fitness industry, Author of ‘The Easy Fitness Guide', Father of 4 boys and Husband to a Venezuelan beauty.
*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on meditation and weight loss.