Every person who is health conscious looks at themselves in the mirror and gets worried about their weight and attempts to lose weight. The journey to weight loss requires a lot of patience and can be sometimes get frustrating too. When it comes to weight loss, people prefer going to the gym and exercising. They think that burning calories or counting calories in v/s calories out is the apt way of losing weight, but it’s not! In fact, calorie counting is proven to be a myth and is inaccurate. Going to the gym and exercising are ways to undergo weight loss but the results are not 100% guaranteed. People also tend to exercise more and eat less when they want to lose weight. This type of approach might not be an effective one, even if you consume the right amount of food. In today’s world, a lot of people are opting for activities like yoga and meditation and are using them as tools for weight loss.
Now you may think, yoga can help in weight loss but is it possible to lose weight by just meditating? The answer to your question is, yes it is possible. There are many reasons which lead to weight gain. One of the reasons is ‘stress.’ Stress leads to an increase in catabolic stress hormones, which can lead to an increase in insulin. This is the exact process that can change body composition quickly and effectively by increasing body fat and decreasing skeletal muscle mass. You can eat a perfectly balanced and nutritious diet and still gain weight if you have hormonal obesity. So, if you are gaining weight because of taking too much stress, meditation and yoga may help you in losing weight. When one meditates, the mind gains peace and relaxes. It is relieved from stress or there is a decrease in stress level. Doing so will decrease stress-related hormones such as cortisol. This is extremely beneficial for weight loss because less stress leads to lower insulin levels, which leads to less fat storage.
Meditation also helps in lowering Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). BMR is the rate at which the body uses energy while at rest to maintain vital functions such as breathing and keeping warm. The better, the lower the BMR. A lower caloric consumption results in lighter body weight. This occurs with meditation because your body’s BMR decreases when you incorporate meditation into your everyday practice. This implies that you require fewer calories, which naturally aids in weight loss.
Speaking of yoga, many know that it helps in the journey to weight loss. Although it does not burn a lot of calories, pranayama (breathing practice in yoga) is especially beneficial in aiding weight loss. Lipids in our body contain far more calories than proteins or carbohydrates, they require significantly more oxygen to be burned as energy. Breathing exercises can increase your habitual breathing volume, which gives you more oxygen to oxidize fat, which is why regular deep yoga breathing sessions can help you lose weight.
Studies also show that yoga and meditation help in getting rid of emotional eating. Now you must be wondering what emotional eating is, and does it lead to weight gain? Eating can release endorphins and improve your mood. Hence, when one is not in a good mood and consumes chocolates, chats, tea, etc. feels refreshed. This leads to food addiction, and hence becomes a way of coping with stress. Yoga and meditation have both been reported to significantly improve well-being and can thus be useful tools in combating weight gain caused by emotional eating.
If stress is making you gain weight, or if you’ve tried every diet out there and are still unable to lose any weight, perhaps consider incorporating yoga and meditation in your weight-loss plan. As a way to lessen stress and begin the week on the right foot, it is advisable to meditate three times a week, preferably in the morning. You must practice two deep breathing sessions every week in order to reap the benefits of yoga breathing. Try it out, and do let us know how it goes!