When you think about weight loss, you automatically think about eating better and exercising. While both of these are extremely important, it is vital to understand the connection between your mind and your body and how that connection can affect weight loss success. We live very hectic lives, and this produces stress. Stress can cause many people to overeat as a way to deal with that stress and to not exercise because the stress and extra food has weighed them down. Luckily, there are ways to help manage life’s stress. Meditation is one of those ways.

Research has shown that mindfulness is a powerful tool to foster healthy nutrition and exercise habits, boost your self-image and manage your cravings. By slowing down to breathe and tuning into your body’s emotions and sensations, you can truly identify your hunger cues. By incorporating these strategies, you can be entirely present and enjoy your food.

Mindful meditation while eating can help you become aware of and connected to your thoughts. It helps to slow down the act of eating and focus on how you feel while eating. Think about every single bite you take. How does it smell? What does it look like? What does it feel like in your mouth and between your teeth? This is a form of mindfulness and guided meditation. As you do this over time, you learn to recognize your satiation signals so that you stop eating when you’re full instead of when your plate is empty. By doing so, eating becomes a conscious behavior instead of a mindless impulse.

Mindfulness and meditation also help control stress levels. By controlling stress levels, you lose the need to comfort eat. It becomes unnecessary. Also, when you are stressed, your body releases a hormone called cortisol. This increases your appetite, and your body starts to store fat. Meditation releases serotonin and oxytocin, which counters the effects of cortisol.

Meditation allows you to truly consider all aspects of why you avoid workouts and why you overeat. When thinking about these facets in an unstressed, peaceful condition, you can decide on a solution and modify your behaviors toward a healthier lifestyle. Here are some great mindful exercises to keep you motivated.

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