August 3, 2017 Author: Derrick Carter “Meditation can be an effective tool to help people lose weight,”.says Doron Libshtein, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Mentors Channel, a platform that helps busy people like you reap the benefits of meditation at anytime, anywhere. What exactly makes meditation so powerful? It helps us “align the conscious and unconscious mind to agree on changes we want to apply to our behavior,” he explains. Those changes could be a number of factors such as cravings for unhealthy food or control of eating behaviors. It’s important to get your unconscious mind involved because that’s where those bad habits that often cause us to pack on the pounds, like emotional eating, are ingrained. Meditation can help you be more aware of these and, with practice, override them and even replace them with slimming habits. But there’s a more immediate payoff of meditating. “Meditation can directly reduce the levels of stress hormones,” Libshtein explains. Stress hormones, like cortisol, signal our bodies to store calories as fat. If you have a ton of cortisol pumping through your system, it’s going to be harder to lose weight even if you’re making healthy choices than if you clear all that stress out. We know that sounds hard; we’re all stressed, and it seems impossible to shake. But all it takes is 25 minutes of meditation three days in a row to significantly reduce stress, a study out of Carnegie Mellon University found. Libshtein notes that these hormones not only tell our bodies to store extra weight but also cause other physical problems that can lead to excess weight, like inflammation. In fact, participants in a 2016 study showed “increased attention, relaxation, calmness, body-mind awareness, and brain activity,” after just a couple short sessions according to Yi-Yuan Tang, the presidential endowed chair in neuroscience and a professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Texas Tech University. Your self-control could also increase with daily practice, the study suggests. Researchers found that the parts of the brain most affected by meditation were those that help us control ourselves. That means a couple minutes of meditation daily could make it easier to pass on that second cookie or avoid the ice cream when you’re feeling down. How can meditation help when diet and exercise don’t seem to be working? Stress can be a primary trigger for excessive weight gain or the inability to effectively lose weight,” Libshtein explains. So if you’ve been dieting and exercising, but constantly feel stressed, you might not be addressing the problem that’s keeping the weight around. Stress releases hormones that store extra fat–exactly what we don’t want! can You can’t lose weight because you’re stressed, which makes you stress about not being able to lose weight.It’s an easy pattern to get stuck in, but you can break it–and meditation can help. How to make meditation works for you? Meditation can be such a powerful tool for weight loss but it’s important to not make it stressful. Meditation is supposed to help you ditch the stress, not be a source of it. Here’s two really easy ways to incorporate this calming practice into your daily life without feeling like it’s an extra obligation or chore. Of course, you’ll see the best results if you make meditation a habit and make time every day for even a couple minutes of practice. Follow your breath to reduce stress. Try using four counts on your inhale and eight counts on your exhale. remember meditation is all about reducing stress, so if these counts feel strained or unnatural it’s OK to deviate from them. Try to increase your counts every time you meditate. Don’t be concerned if it takes you some time to work up to doing the eight counts, lengthening the exhale will significantly help calm you down. Try a guided meditation. Feeling a little lost on your own? No problem! There are plenty of recordings, podcasts, websites, and phone apps that connect you with experts who can guide you through meditation exercises until you feel comfortable going it alone. I llike “the mindful movement” on youtube. How do you meditate? Meditation doesn’t have to be difficult! If you’re just starting out, try taking five minutes as soon as you wake up to clear your mind before you face your busy day. Simply close your eyes and focus on the pattern of your breathing without trying to change it. Focus only on your breathing. If your mind wanders–and it probably will at first–simply guide your mind back to your breathing without judgement. Listen to a guided meditation if you struggle with your mind wandering, it could be easier to focus on the words spoken and the visualization given. The amount of time is not as important as simply doing it regularly. It can be hard to form new habits, so just get started try to do just five minutes a day. Whatever amount of time you start with is fine, just get started. The best time to meditate is first thing in the morning and right before you go to bed at night. Meditation should be seen as just one tool in a whole 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. The key with meditation, like diet and exercise, is dedication. You need to stick with the practice to see lasting changes. “Research shows that meditation directly changes the brain structure after practicing for an extended period of time. Challenge yourself 21 days of meditation! Studies show that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. (Embed this video here: