Fat people: the only ones you’re allowed to bully in a sentence and then inform them in the next that you’re doing it for their own good. Blaming fat people for being fat is so common that it has started to look like a collective endeavor in the last few decades.
Its emotional costs are incalculable. You can read plenty of stories of people describing horrifying interactions with doctors, strangers, and even their own families. Nearly half of 3- to 6- year old girls worry about being too fat to be a princess. 89% of obese adults have been bullied by their romantic partners. Preschool children describe their larger classmates as “mean,” “stupid” and “lazy.”
It’s not surprising then that Americans spend more on diets than on video games or movies. It’s more surprising that they keep on doing it after looking at the outcomes. Sadly, diet trends only give you temporary results. They can cause you to yo-yo diet, which makes you feel even more frustrated. Two-thirds of dieters gain more weight than they lost.
Rather than strictly focusing on calories in and calories out, it may be more helpful to gain a new, healthier relationship with eating. Meditation can help you become a more mindful eater and weight loss may be a side effect of this renewed relationship. Remember, though, that the genetic influence on being overweight can be as high as 80%. Weight and health are not perfect synonyms. Your focus should be on healthier habits rather than weight loss alone.
How can meditation help you with healthier habits and weight loss?
Comfort Food Is Not Meditative
Meditation can help you recognize the times when you’re overindulging on comfort food in response to stress versus the times when you’re eating because you’re hungry. High-fat, high-carb comfort foods induce feelings of pleasure: that’s when we talk of that delightful feeling known as a food coma. However, this coping mechanism contributes to creating a cycle. Overeating leads to feelings of shame and guilt, circling back to bitterness and stress. Meditation breaks this cycle by teaching you to be more compassionate toward yourself and others. Shame and guilt are not helpful on your way to healthier habits. Meditation also reduces stress levels, removing the trigger right away. Several studies show how effective meditation is for stress and anxiety relief.
It Works in the Long Run
The most important aspect of meditation is that it works in the long haul. Diet and exercise may be effective in making you lose weight, but you need to address your emotional issues to make those changes stick. By being more mindful about instinctive food cravings, you’re taking a fundamental first step to stop acting upon them.
The Secrets of the Effortlessly Slim
We all have a friend who manages to stay slim all her life without dieting and with no apparent effort. According to a study published in February 2016, there a few key characteristics – other than genes – that these people share. The first one is the ability to listen to the body’s internal cues. The second is taking pleasure in food and enjoying it without overindulging or feeling guilty. By now you should know that meditation can help you with both.
Enlist Your Mind
If you’re struggling with an eating disorder, you should probably consider working with a medical professional. However, even dietitians are now starting to acknowledge the complexity of each person’s relationship to food, exercise and body image. Stop blaming yourself for your “lack of willpower”. You deserve love, support, and a multicomponent approach to your wellbeing. Meditation can play a role by enlisting your mind and your senses in your efforts towards weight loss. Start meditating right now with the help of our curated playlists. You’re a click away from feeling better about yourself.