Using Mindfulness & Meditation for Weight Loss Success
Mindfulness & meditation is important for many aspects of your life! But have you ever thought of using mindfulness and meditation to improve your weight loss success?
Losing weight is rarely easy, and this is especially true for women over 60. After diet upon diet, workout program upon workout program, book after book, achieving a healthy body weight becomes defeating and exhausting.
Part of the reason these "fad" diets don’t have high success rates is that they’re too restrictive and are seldom sustainable. Recently, researchers have found evidence that mindfulness & meditation can play a prominent role in weight loss success.
According to research, the mind is far more connected to healthy body weight than we may have thought initially. Three of the most attractive benefits of meditation and mindfulness are a decrease in stress, improvement in self-awareness, and better decision-making; all of which can be significantly helpful on the journey to healthy weight loss.
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Many "fad" diets result in anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem - an insidious combination of stress triggers.
What does stress have to do with weight loss? Well, it all comes down to a little hormone called cortisol. You may have heard of it before, probably by its nickname, the stress hormone.
With stress comes a spike in cortisol, leading to higher insulin levels and lower blood sugar. Finally, nearly irresistible cravings for sugary, fatty foods.
A good number of women over 60 struggle not only with weight loss but also with other ailments that can cause stress. A regular meditation practice can kill two birds with one stone when it comes to decreasing levels of cortisol.
Meditation and mindfulness are known for their ability to create self-awareness. Believe it or not, developing a sense of self-awareness is particularly useful when it comes to weight loss goals.
Just a few of the benefits include three important assets that lead to weight loss success:
- More inner peace
- Lessened guilt and regret
- Enhanced decision making
THE HAPPINESS HORMONE
Many of us who struggle to lose weight have a difficult time leaving behind all of the sweet and salty treats we love so much.
Over-consumption of foods like these is closely linked to a surge in serotonin, the "happiness" hormone in the brain. Many of us over-indulge in treats to fulfill an unconscious negative feeling within us.
In essence, indulging in unhealthy foods can make us feel "happy" at the moment, But once the serotonin level drops again, we can face feelings of guilt, regret, and additional cravings.
Through mindfulness & meditation, you’ll be able to differentiate true hunger from eating out of sadness, boredom, grief, or any other form of painful emotion.
Should I have a piece of cake or a salad? These types of decisions plague those of us who are striving towards sustainable weight loss.
Many women, especially those who are still roped into the restrictive, calorie/carb counting mentality, will re-actively choose the cake. And before the last bite is even finished, that familiar sense of regret creeps in.
This can set off the vicious cycle of stress-induced emotional eating all over again. There’s no denying that in almost any circumstance, a salad is better for you than a piece of cake.
However, through mindful living, you'll have the ability to make more empowered decisions about the food you choose to put in your body.
Through the power of pausing, a common mindfulness trick, you'll be able to consciously consider why you’re reaching for that cake.
You can ask yourself how it will make you feel after, and whether or not it aligns with the lifestyle you’re leading. Regularly practicing mindfulness & meditation can be profoundly helpful in your unique weight loss journey, but it takes time and effort.
Luckily, unlike most "fad" diets, you can actually trust the results of meditation and mindfulness. You will have less stress, a more authentic sense of self, and better decision-making.
You'll also finally be able to gain control of your diet and weight-loss program, instead of it taking control over you.
Getting Started With Mindfulness & Meditation
Being mindful is simply being in the present. Being aware of what is going on around you in the current moment without changing anything.
Many times, or for some, most of the time, our minds are thinking of the past or worrying about the future. Letting our minds live in the past or the future is quite often the cause of our stress, pain, and unhappiness.
Learning to live in the "now" can help you eliminate some of that stress and make better decisions about your life, and diet! One way to learn to be more present is through meditation.
If you have never meditated before, I recommend downloading an app to your phone or tablet that will provide guided meditations, meditation music, or sounds.
One app I have used and recommend for beginners is Aware Meditation App.
Aware provides a foundation series that teaches how to use mindful meditation to relax your mind and body. It also provides a reminder that you can set to make sure you are consistent in your practice.
Another great app and the app I currently use and love is Insight Timer. It has a great beginners program and hours of guided meditations.
These are just two of many options out there if you are interested in adding meditation into your life to relieve stress and lower your cortisol levels.
You can also read more about mindfulness meditation Here.
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