I know it sounds a bit crazy right?
You may be thinking “After all the gurgling workouts and some serious dieting, all I needed to do is meditate to lose weight”? Come, on Hamish!”
Well you’re right.
I’m not here to offer you some magical meditation technique which will instantly melt away all the unwanted fat you have. Nor am I here to promote some quick fix strategy to lose weight.
Sorry to disappoint.
But I want to introduce you to the idea of meditation, and how this amazing practice can substantially help your health and fitness results, it can be by losing weight, getting stronger, more energy or just all over of your well-being.
I’ve spent over a year working with a meditation teacher to understand and practice this ancient tradition. Meditation changed my life, my mind and body so much. I knew I had to share this with all of our clients and anyone who would be interested..
I turned to meditation partly through curiosity and the need to reduce the stress in my own life. The year that unfolded was an eye-opener to me, because what I had thought was, meditation is just a surface level beginning, compared to what I’ve learned and experienced in my daily practice.
Working with a meditation teacher showed me, that meditation was a practiced with focused attention.
Sounds complicated right but it’s actually quite simple. It’s the act of focusing your mind on something i.e the breath, a fan, a mantra, etc; for a period of time.
Easy enough? Ummm No, not really!
Even as I write this, my meditation practiced attention is a work in progress. I have great days where I am in the zone and other days where I just can’t keep still. Either way, I have learned not to judge the quality of my practice but instead just commit to a daily practice. Meditation is very much like a workout, it’s not necessarily how hard you work, but instead how consistent you are.
So how does meditation help with weight loss? (I can hear you asking)
Here it is! I read an article not too long ago by Joel Jamieson, “All Pain, No Gain: Why the High-Intensity Training Obsession Has Failed Us All,”. Who spoke about new research which showed that the body functioned differently to what is currently believed. It has been generally understood that the more we move, the more energy we burn.
However the “Constrained Total Energy Expenditure and Metabolic Adaptation to Physical Activity in Adult Humans” basically found out that if we walked 20,000 steps in a day, we would have burned no more than total calories if we walked 10,000 steps. It was suggested that the body had a set amount of calories that able to burn and once that exceed it would gather energy from other biological process to make up the difference.
So what does this mean when we talk weight loss?
There are 3 key areas the body priorities energy for:
1. Vital biological functions
2. Physical activity & stress
3. Tissue repair and adaptation.
Vital biological functions are the most important systems such as the heart, lungs, brain functions, etc.
Next, the energy prioritised all your daily activity. This includes your workout and also non-exercise activity task like walking, climbing stairs, carrying kids around, etc. It also includes stresses of life, like children, financial worries, work commitments, etc.
Finally the remaining energy is used by the body for repair and adaptation. The purpose of our workouts is to tear and repair our muscles, so that we can become faster, stronger and more efficient. The magic happens when we are recovering which is mainly happened while we are asleep.
Most people are unaware of the impact stress in our body and thus energy expenditure. We live in a world where under constant degree of stress. Our minds are constantly working and trying to figure the best way how to protect ourselves in this crazy world.
If the body has to prioritize its energy to get through the physical and mental workouts of the day, it does not leave much for the repair and adaptation phase. This creates an energy deficit and leaves the body tired and exhausted.
Reducing the amount of mental stress we have in our life is where meditation comes in.
By reducing this mental stress we leave more energy for recovery and repair. This will leads to better workouts, performance and adherence to a fit lifestyle.
Meditation helps lower the amount of constant cortisol found in our blood stream.
Problems with high cortisol levels in the body include lower immunity, insulin resistance, carbohydrate cravings, low libido and yes, fat deposits around the body especially the tummy area. (usually hard to get rid of with standard abdominal exercises).
Plus meditation has been found to elevate the feelings of happiness, gratitude and well-being from those that meditate regularly.
And yes, you should see not only a spike in your energy but also a fitter, happier on your way to your ideal weight, and body.
Now, I am very positive you have more than enough reasons to include this practice as part of your workout routine. Give meditation a try and helps you with your weight loss goals.
Here’s to your meditation practice.
“All Pain, No Gain: Why the High-Intensity Training Obsession Has Failed Us All,”
“Constrained Total Energy Expenditure and Metabolic Adaptation to Physical Activity in Adult Humans”
Lara R. Dugas
Terrence E. Forrester
Estelle V. Lambert
Richard S. Cooper
Dale A. Schoeller
Published Online: January 28, 2016