Dieting is thought to be the primary way to lose the weight, but it is not. Dieting itself does not effectively treat the stress that causes us to eat, but meditation can provide the natural and integral motivation we need to address weight management. Meditation and weight loss go hand-in-hand.
- Science of Weight Management
- Why goals are important for weight management?
- What are realistic goals?
- Dieting is good or bad?
- Can Mindfulness and Meditation help in weight management – How?
- How meditation has helped people with weight management
Science of Weight Management
Weight management is a comprehensive term. It is misguided to think that one who “looks skinny” is successful at weight management, while those who “appear overweight” are failures. One must realize that our appearance is not a true indicator of how effectively we control our weight. Think about this: for some people, genetics may allow one person to eat whatever they want and weigh 120lbs, whereas another person could eat the exact same foods and weigh 200lbs. We must remember that our bodies are a reflection of much more than just what we put in them.
The real art of weight management is to learn what it means to you, as an individual. We all know there are hundreds of tools, applications, and weight-loss programs focused on the quick and easy weight-loss scams. But these tools and fad diet plans can’t slim you down and you end up completely stressed – reigniting the root of what draws many people to overeating in the first place.
A study  was established to observe the effectiveness of the smartphone apps for weight-loss compared to the usual care in overweight primary care patients. It was a randomized and controlled trial in 212 patients for six months. Outcomes showed that introducing a smartphone app is unlikely to produce significant weight change.
Weight management is a long-term approach that needs to be more relaxing and stress-free balance between healthy eating and energy consumption. Once, a CEO of a weight-loss application said, ‘’Weight loss is both an emotional and physical journey .’’ We totally agree! But how on earth can an application control your emotions and physical activities – when your hands are right above the junk food? What you need is to have a deeper control and understanding of yourself. And this can be accomplished in a much more effective way – by creating a daily routine that focuses on meditation and mindfulness exercises. Just 10 minutes a day can help you reduce weight much faster than a lifetime of dieting.
Why goals are important for weight management?
Weight-management is a long-term approach to promote a healthy lifestyle. The healthy way of living originated by keeping a balance between healthy diet and energy consumption  to improve your life span and reduce the risk of weight-based life-threatening illness.
To put on weight has become a burning matter all over the world. Being overweight is associated with the disease burden worldwide . Obesity is one of the major sources of developing and prevailing serious diseases including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, stroke and many cancers . It may also result in joint problems including osteoarthritis, gout, and sleep apnea .
Overweight is itself a burden for your physical persona. It is the reason of impairment of quality of life  and augmented economic burden . Obesity impedes the physical activities and social life or activities which may lead to psychological effects, for instance, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, body dissatisfaction, and last but not least, insomnia .
Therefore, it is the necessity of today’s time to set your weight management goals which must indicate the level of commitment to achieve healthy outcomes. Healthy living not only increases your life expectancy but also facilitate happy and stress-free living. Meditation and weight loss are interrelated and can both work through synergy.
What are the realistic goals?
Weight management needs well-planned goals which must be realistic and based on daily practice for desirable outcomes in specific time period. The goals for weight loss must be consistent and practical in busy routine and hectic lifestyle.
A healthy weight management plan encourages you to motivate yourself for the healthy and proper nutrition. The success of meeting this goal needs discipline in every routine in life, which cannot be learned simply by putting yourself on dieting.
Meditation is the first and foremost approach to the motivation when we address to the weight management . It builds discipline and willpower and centralizes your focus for a long time . Meditation helps you set SMART goals that helps you reduce weight and improves your overall health. Goal setting indicates the level of commitment to diet and is an effective to stay focused. . Customize your duration of practice according to your schedule and work. Find an effective time that you can dedicate each day to meditation. You can meditate at your desk at work or even on the train. Meditate by silently removing yourself from the physical and the present and find your deeper state of consciousness. It is all that simple and genuine!
Is Dieting good or bad?
A study was established to divulge the relationship between dieting and relapse of weight gain. They located 25 studies involving 40 comparisons and concluded on the fact that dieting is actually a consistent predictor of future weight gain .
Dieting may also consequence in malnutrition and weakness, results in acquiring diseases. Dieting is not the permanent solution of weight management. Once you lose your weight, shortly you allow yourself to satisfy your craving for food that your diet plan does not allow, your weight starts to pile up on you. This repetitive gain and loss of body weight – weight cycling – has been associated with physiological and psychological outcomes .
The yo-yo dieting is linked to heart diseases, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, inflammation and long term weight gain. These anecdotes are divulged during a study to establish consequences of weight cycling . In support of this finding, study shows that approximately 55% of overweight and obese women who lost 10% of their body weight regained all lost weight within 4 years . Furthermore, 95% of women and 93% of men were unable to maintain the reduced body weight (5% of body weight) . Dieting can be the immediate but temporary enjoyment but it will never last long. Weight gain swings back!
Can Mindfulness and Meditation help in weight management – How?
Weight management is mistaken as dieting sometimes, but the true science of weight management is properly and true feeding yourself – not starving yourself. The real sense of true feeding comes from the natural driving force– mindfulness meditation. Weight management is a long term approach which requires long-lasting motivation for the judgment of your eating pattern and healthy lifestyle.
Mindfulness meditation is more effective than simply trying to eat healthily. Mindfulness also helps take the claws out of cravings. The practice of meditation assists to reduce stress levels, which often at the root of overeating, tend to pile up the weight . A study was established by a North Carolina University based to divulge the effectiveness of mindfulness in weight management. The findings from the 1,162 participants in 15-weeks trial revealed the mindful eating group lost an average of 4.2 pounds – seven times the other group’s average weight loss of 0.6 pounds .
Another group of the researchers at UC San Francisco conducted a small-scale study to master the mindful eating and stress reduction technique that helps prevent weight gain without dieting. They took the randomized group of 47 overweight/obese women and divided them into an experimental and controlled group. Both groups received training on the basics of diet and exercise but no diets were planned. Also, the experimental group received training for mindful eating and 30-minute meditation practice every day. They were trained for the substantial sensory experience of eating. the study concluded with the findings that the women in control group put on more weight than earlier while the women in experimental group did not gain weight and significant reduction level of cortisol was also noticed – cortisol is the internal body chemical release in response to stress and promote binge eating and meditation found to reduce its levels  . If cortisol is pumping through your system in tons, it is going to be challenging to lose weight.
The Journal of Obesity published research about mindfulness intervention for stress eating to reduce stress and weight gain. In this study, forty-seven overweight/obese women were randomly assigned to a 4-month intervention or wait list group to explore effects of a mindfulness program for stress eating. The group with the intervention or mindful eating did not gain weight and improved anxiety and external-based eating compared to control group. The intervention group has also experienced in the significant reduction of CAR (cortisol awakening response). Improvements in mindfulness, chronic stress, and CAR were associated with reductions in abdominal fat .
Mindfulness meditation harnesses the power of your own breath and centralized it within your body and helps find you a deeper state of consciousness. This consciousness is quintessential that helps peoples to achieve the lost control on their dietary habits and helps pull off the weight loss. Mindfulness meditation cultivated through systemic processes by awakening force of awareness in the body and other sensory experience, thoughts, and emotions.
Researchers in the fast-growing field of mindfulness research are experiencing and learning the precise process by which meditation mark their response in the body. It is not clear yet but many ambiguous layers are showing up with the days passing. One of these research indicated that long-term meditation practice is associated with an increase in the cortical thickness that persists beyond the time-period of active practice . Additionally, this study agreed on the fact – meditation is a mental exercise. They observed these outcomes in twenty participants who were practicing mindfulness meditation regularly. These findings further corroborate by another study preferred by PNA, USA, shows significant enhancement of self-regulation by increasing ACC (anterior cingulate cortex), induced by short-term meditation. ACC is the part of the brain involved in emotions, learning, processing, and memory .
The science of meditation is new and we are learning so much about it. Visible changes are happening – it is not a magic realm. Meditation can revise the automatic response by reducing the appeal of unhealthy foods. Meditation calms your anxiety and stress which may be the primary triggers of weight gain. It boosts your thinking and responding machinery that can help you come up with alternative choices and opportunities for weight loss. Embed your mind and soul in meditation – it is a worthwhile tool to modify your lifestyle that can continue for long-term. Meditation and weight loss are both healthy choices that can bring about a new you in 2018. Let the healthy changes grow in you with mindfulness!