When I decided to take up the good-old habit of meditation, I had plenty of reasons, but improving my diet wasn’t one of them. I’ve been practicing meditation regularly for over six months now and it has helped me notice some not so great eating habits of mine and instead make better choices. There are plenty of articles on the web about how to meditate (look up ‘mindfulness mediation’ if you’re a newbie), so instead I’m going to focus on the 5 ways meditation can help you make better decisions when it comes to food, and loose excess weight.
Meditation helps decrease stress levels.
Stress can prevent your body from letting go of extra weight, even if your diet is not suffering due to your stress. Also, stress can prevent restful sleep (which also helps with maintaining a healthy weight!) and it’s harder to make healthy choices when your stress levels are high.
When you eat mindfully you enjoy your food more.
You’re going to love this one if, like me, you’ve ever sat down with a delicious dessert and then two seconds later wondered where it went. Kinda leaves you feeling like you were gypped out of the whole experience, right? When you eat mindfully you enjoy your food more. You slow down, you are present with your food, and now you have a wonderful gift: the ability to savor each bite. When you enjoy your food fully you can feel satisfied instead of craving more.
By slowing down you are less likely to overeat.
There is another benefit to slowing down to enjoy your meal: It takes your brain 20 minutes to feel full, so by slowing down you are less likely to overeat before you feel the full feeling. Furthermore, unless you’re used to feeling for the ’satisfied’ feeling, you might miss it if you aren’t paying attention.
Meditation will help you get in touch with inner guidance about what you need to eat.
When you are present you are not running on autopilot when it comes to deciding what to eat and you start making better food choices. It’s not necessarily that you will be more mindful about how often your eating veggies (though that’s part of it), but more like you’ll notice more how you feel after meals, what makes you feel good and energized, and what leaves you with either a bloated feeling, wanting to lie down and nap, or just feeling gross. You’ll start making better food choices for you because you’ll want the good feeling! In summary, meditation will help you get in touch with inner guidance about what you need to eat.
Being mindful helps you deal with cravings.
Being mindful helps you notice when you are having cravings and you aren’t actually hungry. It will also help you notice the need behind those cravings and give you the space to make a better decision. This benefit surprised me, because I thought I was done with the eating when I’m not hungry type behaviors. However, turns out if my brain or body is tired, yet I need to finish something I’m working on, I’ll get the munchies. Sort of the ‘move-hand-feed-mouth-to-keep-brain-awake’ solution. Being mindful helped me notice these cravings, notice I wasn’t hungry, and also notice the need behind the craving. If this happens to you, ask yourself, “How else can I fulfill this need without reaching for food?” Sometimes a break or a change in location is good enough.
Has meditation helped you be more mindful around your food choices? Has it helped you loose weight? Let us know if there is another weight loss benefit I missed!
If you need help to bring more mindfulness to your diet and eating habits, let’s get in touch! Work with me