Weight loss tip: Meditate for stress and weight reduction

Weight loss tip 159 - Meditate to reduce your stress and weightWeight loss tip 159 - Meditate to reduce your stress and weight

Meditation will help you cope with chronic stress and lose weight.

Weight loss tip 159 - Meditate to reduce your stress and weight

Weight loss tip 159 – Meditate to reduce your stress and weight



In my profession, stress is usually a regular part of my life.  I am an Osteopathic Physician.  For the over 20 years, I have experienced a constant barrage of stressful events.  As a result, my weight has buoyed up and down.  My weight and diet have done up and down in classic yo-yo fashion.  Our of a need to live more healthy, I have developed a holistic approach maintaining a more balanced life that has helped me lose weight and keep it off.  It took me two years, but I am finally there.  I had found that if you are too focused on your weight, you begin to fear weight gain and you will be enveloped in fear and anxiety.  These negative emotions can consume your life, and I found the solution.  The secret to my success centers on meditation.

Meditation is a practice that involves clearing your mind in order to return to a place of straightforward thinking and calm emotions.  To be maximally effective, you need to do it daily.  I do it in the morning and evening and sometimes I add it to my lunch routine.  Meditation is not time-consuming or difficult.  It can take as little as 5 minutes or as long as 30-45 minutes.  The length of time is not as important as simply doing it regularly, so find time in your routine.  To start, try taking five minutes after you wake up.  You will find the process clears your mind before you face the stresses of the day.  Simply close your eyes and focus on your breathing without trying to change it.  Avoid letting your mind wander to your stressors or the day’s work.  

Meditation also helps reduce negative feelings toward yourself and promotes healing. It will promote healing of the emotional wounds that derail success.  You cannot change the malignant comment made to you by your first boyfriend and girlfriend or even the relationship you has with a dead parent, but you can focus on the future and not making those mistakes.  Meditation can help with more than just weight loss and emotional healing.  It is research proven to help with easing chronic pain, improving health and will make you more productive at work.  Who would have thought that sitting quietly allows you to sift through your thoughts and refocus?  The goal of meditation is to focus on mindfulness.  If you can connect the dots to develop an understanding of why you overeat and skip exercise, you will develop a plan to avoid them in the future.  I use the time to think about the thoughts that limit my success and use the time to think about unique and personalized approach so that you are keeping the weight off.  It also reduces my negative thought that derails my trip toward health and allows me to find peace with food I eat.  

Exercise with Kettlebells

Exercise with Kettlebells

Besides stress reduction, how does meditation help with weight loss?  Mediation has been shown to decrease cortisol and stress levels.  Both cortisol and stress increase the desire for carbohydrates.  Carbohydrates are the feel-good food that increases endorphins, and this promotes increase consumption.  There is limited evidence to support it, but the physiology makes sense.  

Meditation is often disregarded because people question how sitting quietly in a room could ever help with weight loss.  It seems to make sense that time spent exercising would be time better spent than just sitting in a room focusing on nothing other than the back of your eyelids and silence.  The fact is that the peace that this “timeout” creates dramatically lowers our stress and is the perfect means to restart our lives after a period of stress.  If your primary focus is to lose weight and improve your health, we forget about the emotional and mental side of who we are.  If we fail to connect with this side our being, the stress will piles up, and the stress magnifies until we break.  Stress builds and so does the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol which are both terrible for losing weight.  Cortisol, in particular, causes central obesity which increases diabetes and heart disease risk.  Meditation also helps with weight loss by focusing your thoughts on health without any distractions and by reducing stress.  

Meditation should be seen as just one tool in the entire weight-loss toolkit.  Diet and exercise are important parts of the equation too, and you’re always going to see the best results when you combine all three of them into a lifestyle that you can continue long-term.  I have found over the past two years that meditation allows me to remove the stress and return to focusing on my mission in short order.  It clears my mind and allows me to refocus my energy on weight loss, work, or what every my mission is at that time.  You need to confront the negative thoughts and feelings that challenge your success and weigh down your chances at success.  This refocusing allows me to avoid the stress and negative emotions from pushing me to turn to food as a savior.  Meditation has allowed me to return to a more healthy relationship with both stress and food.  The key to meditation, like diet and exercise, is dedication. You need to stick with the practice to see lasting changes. 

The bottom line: Meditation helps with weight loss by centering your thoughts and relieve stress.  Meditation will help you avoid the emotional triggers that push you to binge and develop a healthier relationship with food and stress.  I find myself becoming more understanding of my psyche and confident and compassionate towards the most important person in my life: Me.  It will help you also.  

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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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