Updated March 21, 2014.
When you think about a weight loss program, you probably have visions of sweating off fat and counting calories. But did you know that practicing meditation to lose weight can be a valuable part of your weight loss program?
Although you won’t burn many calories in a typical meditation session, you’ll gain control from daily meditation that will help you in beginning your program. And if you stick with it, meditation will also help you keep the weight off.
Practice Mindfulness and Meditation to Lose Weight
Meditation and mindfulness have a lot in common. And they can both help with your eating. Mindfulness is a nonjudgmental way of paying attention to the present moment. For weight loss, mindfulness includes noticing when you’re hungry and full, so you don’t eat out of automatic patterns, Hecht says.
Try it. Study a piece of food intensely before putting it in your mouth. Then eat it very slowly, paying close attention to the taste, texture, and how your body responds as you eat. That’s very different from eating food on the run, disconnected from your feelings. When you’re mindful, you might even notice that you’re not all that hungry, or that you’re satisfied sooner than you think. That may help you not overindulge.
Frederick Hecht, MD, quoted in the WebMD article, is a meditation researcher. He says that, “Based on our preliminary research, we do think both mindfulness and meditation may assist people in losing weight, especially in maintaining weight loss, but it would have to be in combination with diet and exercise.”
So, while you may not sweat during your meditation, unless you decide to also take up some active meditation techniques like yoga or Tai chi, the daily practice may turn out to be one of the most valuable parts of your effort to lose weight and be happy and healthy.
Have you practiced meditation to lose weight? What worked for you?