New Delhi: Is your idea about weight loss confined only to following a strict diet routine and doing a rigorous exercise? Turns out, there is more to weight loss than just counting calories or working out at the gym. Although most of us are convinced about reducing weight by sweating it out or by starving ourselves, we remained unaware of the positive impact of meditation on weight loss. Yes, meditation or ‘dhyana’ that most of us shy away from by citing the constraints of time or by simply thinking it as only related to the mind can be an effective tool to help people lose weight.
With obesity becoming a serious health issue, nowadays, many people look for quick fixes like popping up so-called ‘slimming capsules’ or undergoing a costly surgery like liposuction to eliminate excess fat from their body. Being overweight or obese can increase an individual’s risk of developing several conditions, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, hypertension among others. The reason for obesity can be laid at the doors of our increasingly sedentary lifestyle, disturbed sleep patterns, and the habit of chomping on fast foods with high calories, in addition to heredity and hormonal issues. Studies reveal regular meditation could reduce the risk of obesity. According to a 2015 American study, people who pay more attention to their thoughts and feelings in the present moment had lower levels of abdominal fat and were less likely to become obese.
What is meditation all about?
Known as the most powerful tool to have control on your mind and body as well, meditation is all about focusing your mind on a singular aspect and clearing all the jumbled thoughts and emotions – the source of anxiety and stress. Take time out of your busy schedule for at least 5 – 10 minutes and meditate in a peaceful and relaxed atmosphere. The best way to meditate is by closing your eyes and concentrating on your breathing rhythm – either by sitting or lying down. According to experts, meditation is best done early in the morning and just before going to sleep at night.
How can meditation help with weight loss?
Lowers stress hormone
Research suggests meditation helps reduce the level of stress hormones. Truth is, no matter how long you sweat it out at the gym, if stress hormone like cortisol abounds in your system, you can simply forget about losing weight. The reason being cortisol actually influences your body and mind to store the calories as excess fat. A study conducted by the Texas Tech University has shown that meditation can reduce the levels of stress hormones, and instead, gain better brain activity, relaxation, calmness, and awareness about your body and mind.
Reduces the basal metabolic rate (BMR)
BMR is the minimum amount of calories you need to breathe while being at rest. Thus, the lower your calorie intake is, the lesser the BMR would be, and as a consequence will boost your weight loss. Meditation helps in achieving precisely that by reducing your BMR.
Lowers cravings for food
One of the biggest obstacles to weight loss is cravings for food, particularly sugar. If you like chocolates, ice creams, and sweets, it is very difficult to resist the temptation. But meditation can help you to regain control of your mind, which may reduce food cravings. This may promote lesser food intake, especially those containing high calories, which are culprits in weight gain.
Thus, the ancient art of meditation has been proven to be a great remedy for weight loss. So, instead of trying out those costly and sometimes misguided ‘therapies’, it is better to use the free, healthy, time-tested and scientifically proven art called meditation that will help you stay fit and healthy.