Yoga has become really popular in the U.S. in recent years. This is understandable as the art helps attain positive spiritual, mental and physical transformation through practicing various poses. It has been very popular as a weight loss technique. You may be aware, that yoga also consists of meditating before and after completing all the asanas.
It has been speculated that meditation can help achieve weight loss. But, how can something as physically idle as meditating helps you to lose weight, in a time when everyone is making a mad rush to gyms, dietitians and low-calorie special food stores? I bet, you would have never dreamed that meditation would have anything to do with weight loss. The calories burnt in a 15 minute meditation session, by a person who weighs 150 pounds, are approximately 18 calories. But, meditation can give you long term weight loss benefits. If you do not trust my words, I am sure you will believe Deepak Chopra, who recently recommended meditation for weight loss on a T.V. show.
Understanding Weight Loss/Gain
Television commercials and print advertisements have tricked us in to believing that weight loss can only occur from burning calories through rigorous dieting and intense workout sessions. You need to understand how the body works in order to lose weight. All functions of our body are controlled by the brain. It secretes various chemicals and hormones that manipulate body functions.
We have all been victims of binge eating at some point in our lives whether it was while going through a break-up, mid-life crisis or depression. When your emotional and mental state is not fit, you take refuge in the most fulfilling things and that is food because full stomach literally creates feelings of contentment and satisfaction, although they are only temporary. And what do we love to eat the most when we are upset? Something sweet, read 'more calories'. Meditating can help you break away from emotional dependence on food. Besides, it will help you give emotional as well as mental clarity. When your brain is healthy, so will be the rest of your body.
Well, to be honest, I have been doing that. Too much work stress and my dramatic love life have compelled me to indulge in everything the bakery around the corner has to offer. There, I said it. And of course, thinking about piling on the pounds and transforming from naturally attractive curves to very unattractive slabs of fat is adding more to my stress and my plate.
Meditation and Weight Loss
Meditation is very well-known throughout the world as the best technique to purify your mind, to control it and make it stronger. It brings peace and tranquility by changing brain wave patterns and stimulating the brain to release happy hormones, called endorphins. It also reduces the release of cortisol, or stress hormones. The cumulative effect of the two is a better skin health, low blood pressure and cholesterol, reduction of free radicals and better food digestion. Stress puts the body in to a starvation mode and it reacts by accumulating food in the body which leads to weight gain.
Your concentration and will power becomes stronger and it is easier to achieve your goals. This helps bring positive lifestyle changes. With respect to weight loss, transcendental meditation can help you subconsciously make health food choices. When your mind is feeling fit, it does not need external stimuli like buying new clothes, indulging in rich food or other activities to feel good. You will easily be able to quench your appetite.
Meditation is the easiest weight loss technique. You could very well practice mindfulness meditation. All you have to do is sit still, try to hear your heartbeat, focus on your breathing pattern and express your gratitude to God for the things he has bestowed upon you. Practice this daily for 20 minutes or more and watch the weighing scales dip. Let the magic of positive thought work on your mind, body and soul.
Your mind has the power to transform your thoughts into reality. So imagine yourself to be a few pounds lighter playing a sport and you might just train your body towards realizing that goal. The famous concept of 'mind over body' definitely holds true in the case of meditation and weight loss.