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By Shane Young | September 20, 2016 |
Sure, we’re all well-aware that the “secret” to shed unwanted body fat is a metabolically personalized, seasonal nutrition plan and consistent, challenging training schedule. But, here at Ascend Body, we believe there’s so much more to achieving a healthy, balanced physical body.
Enter meditation. Meditation has long been celebrated for its mind-calming, centering benefits, however, have you ever thought about it as another tool to help you lose weight? Who would have thought that something as simple as breathing with intention, and focusing on our senses could actually allow us to achieve the lean, toned body of our dreams.
It’s no surprise that people who follow a spiritual or meditative practice are also calm, confident, and healthy in their physical presentations.
Actually, it’s quite simple. The focus and intention cultivated during a regular meditation practice actually lend themselves to practice mindful eating and really learning how to appreciate and savor each bite. Furthermore, the gratitude cultivated during meditation will translate to profound appreciation for food, where it comes from, how it was prepared, and the fact that you have access to it.
Research has consistently proven that eating with intention can reduce unhealthy cravings, aid in weight loss, and prevent late night binge and regretful eating.
There are numerous health benefits of mindful eating that facilitate weight loss. When we eat mindfully, we allow ourselves the time to feel satisfied; it can take the brain up to twenty minutes to realize we’re full. When we begin to appreciate the quality of the food and not the quantity, we begin to realize that we may not even need to finish the entire plate before we feel truly satisfied.
Eating slowly allows us to enjoy our food more because we rely on each of our senses, not just taste. Eating mindfully engages each of our five senses: sound, touch, taste, smell, and yes, sight. Even the presentation of our food matters; treat yourself to a beautifully plated meal so you appreciate what you’re consuming. Those extra few minutes spent preparing something simple and lovely can help you avoid rushed and overeating. Call upon each of your unique senses whether you’re sitting down for your morning coffee or enjoying a meal at home after work.
Additionally, mindful eating allows us to focus on the reasons we eat; believe it, we don’t always eat because we’re hungry! Emotions such as sadness and chronic stress often contribute to weight gain and unhealthy eating habits. By paying attention to the emotions underlying our consumption, particularly our cravings, we may be more reluctant to reach for that doughnut or chocolate bar when we’re not hungry. We’ll begin to focus on alleviating the emotional pain using other therapeutic techniques such as exercise, massage, and introspection.
Once you begin to practice patience, gratitude, and self love, you will actually treat your body as the temple it is and pay close attention to what you’re putting inside of it each and every day.
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