Okay, let’s be realistic here. Mediation is never going to completely do away with all of the stress in your life.
If only it were so easy.
But the point it that it can help to greatly reduce stress.
Let’s talk about stress for a moment…
There have been a number of studies over the last several decades that make it clear that..
Stress—whether it’s caused by financial problems, unemployment, employment, relationships, or anything else—contributes to a state that encourages and promotes fat storage.
In turn, fat storage and weight gain increase the chance of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and more (1).
There are some people, and maybe you’re one of those people yourself, who are unable to lose weight no matter what they do.
You can watch your diet and exercise but never seem to lose weight.
If this is you, there is likely something else involved, and stress could be the root of the problem as it can cause many other health issues.
Stress is at pandemic proportions in our 21st century, and recent numbers show that the number of people who are overweight and obese are at that level too.
Here are some scary stats from the American Psychological Association (2):
Does reading this stress you out?
Honestly, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that we’re all becoming more and more stressed in our lives.
We live our lives connected to the entire world (via our electronic devices) ALL the time. It’s no wonder we’re always stressed.
And this increasingly connected life has caused us to become increasingly sedentary as well.
Less movement and more stress lead to more convenience food and all of these together will only take you down one road: Weight gain.
Chronic stress wreaks complete havoc with our bodies. Most significantly, it disrupts the natural rhythm of cortisol in our systems.
Cortisol is the primary hormone that regulates stress in the body.
In a healthy, stress-free body, cortisol is high in the morning but dwindles during the day.
In a stressed body, that rhythm is completely broken, and this leads to a host of problems which include, but are not limited to:
With all of the problems that stress causes, it’s no WONDER people have such a hard time losing weight these days — or even just maintaining a healthy weight.
Even losing sleep because of stress can impact your weight in huge ways!
So what can you do about all the above?
I know that some of you are going to be rolling your eyes at this.
Just hear me out. I can tell you right now that I’m not a big fan of meditation.
I know the importance of it, but it’s a very difficult thing for me to do — even as big of a fan as I am of yoga.
But just as there is hard science behind the fact that stress can cause health issues, and thereby issues with your weight…
There is also an abundance of science, research and plain old wisdom that shows getting rid of stress can get rid of some of your health issues (4).
And that also means getting rid of some of your weight issues too.
So if you’re one of those very unfortunate people who have done all you can to lose weight—diet, exercise, lifestyle changes—and those pounds aren’t going away, listen up.
It’s sad and a bit ironic that if you’re in the position above, it’s likely stressful.
And as you push to do all you can to lose weight and it doesn’t work, the higher your stress, and the less chance of shedding pounds and fat.
It’s actually cruel, not ironic.
But here’s where you need to take a deep breath and then release it along with some of your built-up tension. Because there are things you can do, and in a lot of ways they are much easier than cutting food groups and doing exercise.
By the way, I’m not saying there aren’t foods you probably should be cutting or minimizing like sugar and carbs, because that is also something you should do if you can’t lose weight.
I’m just saying that there are easier things that you can implement to at least combat the stress side of the problem.
First of all, what does meditation really actually mean?
To meditate simply means to take the time to focus your mind. Contrary to popular belief, this can be done in silence OR with music.
And it doesn’t have to necessarily be soft music, either. If listening to heavy metal rock helps you focus your mind, more power to you!
I personally think you might be nutzo, but hey, to each his own!
Everyone’s meditative state is going to look a little different, and it’s about finding YOUR place of quietness.
Finding the quietness in your mind can help you find clarity on an issue or can help calm you down. Reaching this state can also help lower your blood pressure and help take control of your stress.
The stress that can often impel you to eat or even worse, overeat.
Emotional eating, is a HUGE and terrible side effect of stress.
Comfort food may seem to be necessary (or able to be justified) on a psychological level but it is rarely necessary on a physiological level.
Being mindful and aware, which meditation should help you to be, should help you be more cognizant of your relationship with food.
The CDC recently reported that the use of both yoga and meditation has increased in use by children aged 4 to 17 and adults aged 18 and over.
So how can you make use of meditation for stress?
There are some common themes for successful meditation:
Don’t stress yourself out over the setup; find what works for you. For some, doing yoga at home may be all you need.
In line with that, I’ve put together a short list of free and paid programs that can help you get started with meditation to relieve stress.
Not all of the following are necessarily marketed as weight loss tools. Most aren’t. But weight loss could still be a byproduct of implementing them!
Designed to help with meditation and mindfulness, Stop, Breathe, & Think could be helpful for anyone struggling to overcome issues with various forms of stress, depression, anxiety or insomnia.
For those using the free version, you have access to 27 meditations—ranging in length from 2 to 20 minutes—plus guidelines on how to successfully mediate. However, note that there are some differences between what’s offered in the web and mobile versions.
For those who pay and subscribe, you naturally have access to much more content.
You have the ability to time the mediation audios for however long you want them, and they’re typically bells ringing or soundscapes. Whichever you prefer, the recommendation is to spend at least a few minutes every day meditating.
Users also have the option of a Check-In feature where they can record their progress physically, mentally and emotionally.
A My Progress feature allows you to keep track of your usage of the program.
Stop, Breathe & Think is available via the following:
Disclaimer: This awesome program was created by US at Avocadu! We’re naturally going to be biased towards it, but we promise you that it really is an awesome program for yoga, meditation, and weight loss!
The Yoga Fat Loss Bible is an ebook + video program and as the title suggests, it’s geared toward assisting in weight loss.
Naturally, yoga will help you meditate, but the poses in this book are specific to aiding in burning fat, getting toned, getting in shape, and ultimately getting healthy.
The Fat Burning Poses will target your whole body, so everything gets a bit of a workout. But don’t be scared by that word—workout. While there are some poses that would be for more intermediate or advanced yoga, most of these poses are for the beginner.
However, even the more advanced poses come with beginner modifications!
The Flexibility Guide will help you attain flexibility in some key areas. You’ll also learn warm-up and rest poses which will help you avoid injuries.
The 6-Week Workout Plan focuses on every muscle group with a goal of maximum toning and fat burning. All from the comfort of your own home.
And finally, the Mediation Guide. Remember how important reducing stress is when it comes to weight loss. This beginners guide to meditation will help you reduce stress and can aid in your weight loss goals.
The program also comes with 50 bonus poses and a workout video.
You can check out the Yoga Fat Loss Bible here.
With Aura, you tell it what mood you’re in that day and in return, you are presented with a customized, three-minute track based on your info.
And if you really like the meditation Aura provides, you have the option of saving it for a later date.
When you’re done with the mediation, you provide feedback and based on that, future meditations are adapted to your needs and or preferences.
The program includes:
If you opt for the premium version you have access to as many of the above you want, and the meditation sessions are longer.
Available in both free and premium versions, Aura is an app available on:
Unfortunately, if you don’t have or use either of these platforms, you are out of luck. There is no web-based version.
This program offers a three-step intro to meditation and mindfulness that will assist beginners as they progress through its many modules.
There are meditations for individual children and classrooms. For adults, there are different meditations categorized by issues:
There are also meditations for sports performance and the workplace.
This program allows you to track your progress, set reminders for yourself, and download your sessions so you can listen to them offline.
This free app is available on:
Unfortunately, for such a comprehensive program, there is no other way to get it, but it’s completely free! Free usually comes with a lot of compromises…
Simple Habit is the perfect choice for anyone who is so busy they need meditation but of course, don’t have the time for it.
If you can carve five minutes out your day that will be enough for Simple Habit which is available on:
If you are the type that is productivity-focused, this is the mindfulness app for you. Simply set a reminder when it’s time for your meditation and keep track of your progress as you go.
The free version gives you access to more than 50 meditations, and with the premium app, you have access to thousands.
Limited Free Version or Premium:
So what do you think?
If you’ve been struggling to lose weight, stop and consider your stress levels.
If stress is an issue in your life, you need to deal with that for a lot of reasons, and not just weight loss.
There are several recommendations above, but why not try the one that targets weight loss as well and get the most bang for your buck?
A stronger, leaner, more flexible body that’s a whole lot less stressed than the one you have now!
That would be The Yoga Fat Loss Bible!
But guys… No matter what you choose… Just DO SOMETHING!
Stress, if left unchecked, is bad news for a LOT of different reasons, and it WILL cause you problems down the road if you aren’t careful!
Finally, if you enjoyed this article on meditation to lose weight or have any questions for us, please leave them in the comment section below! We’d love to hear from you!