This guide to dieting meditation techniques will reveal how you succeed in your diet by utilizing the natural power of your mind.
Using meditation techniques for dieting is one of the best choices you’ll ever make.
For more than ten year scientists have been studying the effects of meditation on wight loss. And they have consistently shown that meditation can help you on your diet
In 2014, researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago reviewed fourteen studies into the use of mindfulness meditation for dieting.
Mindfulness (which you can learn about in our free guide to mindfulness) is one of the best meditation techniques for diets.
If you binge eat then you will probably be interested in this next bit. The studies from Rush University showed that mindfulness reduces binge eating significantly.
Jean Kristeller is professor emeritus of psychology at Indiana State University. She tells us that mindfulness meditation changed the way she thought about weight loss. “It was more than a light bulb moment,” she said.After hearing famous mindfulness teacher John Kabat Zinh discuss mindfulness, she decided to start a programs called Mindfulness Based Eating Awareness Training. The program teaches people to be more aware of the food they are eating. In one exercise, participants slowly eat a raisin while paying very close attention to the flavor and sensations of eating. “People are stunned by the exercise,” she says. “They see that if they eat a few raisins mindfully they can enjoy them as much or more than if they eat a whole box.”
Scientists aren’t the only ones who believe that meditation helps dieting. Both Rosie Huntington Whitley and Gisele Bunchen used meditation to diet.
Mindfulness is one of the best meditation techniques for dieting
Mindfulness helps you to diet because it makes you more aware of the process of eating. I’ve written a list of 25 mindful habits you can develop, and mindful eating is one of the most important.
Mindfulness makes you aware of the thoughts that initiate your desire for food. It helps you to recognize how you feel about different types of food, and what happens in your mind when you eat. By being more aware of the process of eating you empower yourself to change that process.
Do You Comfort Eat? Depression might be the cause. And meditation can help
The majority of people who overeat do so because they have a negative relationship with food. Perhaps the best example of this is people who comfort eat.
For comfort eaters, food isn’t just nutrition, it’s a survival mechanism they use when they feel depressed or stressed. They feel stressed, they want something nice, they eat some tasty food, it makes them feel better. But then they feel bad for eating too much. This makes them aware of their diet. They then feel stressed and depressed. So they eat something nice again and the vicious cycle begins all over again.
A person suffering from comfort eating associates food with depression, stress and relaxation. Food is the thing they go to when feeling depressed. It helps them to relax. It’s all a mental pattern.
The same is true for people who overeat for other reasons. Some people associate good food with a luxurious lifestyle. They want the luxurious lifestyle so they have to eat lots. Other people associate food with socialising. None of these associations are healthy. Food should equal food, nothing more.
Feel stress / Depressed = Need relaxation = Food
Clearly this is not healthy. In order to break this eating cycle we need to make food just food. We need to get rid of the FOOD = RELAXATION part. To do this we need to practice meditation for dieting.
Dieting meditation techniques put your mind in the right place. And once your mind is in the right place, the rest will follow.
Mindfulness meditation is a type of meditation in which you focus your mind on the present moment. This silences your thoughts, helps you to control your feelings, and essentially gives you power over yourself.
In the example of comfort eating, mindfulness meditation lets you become aware of the thoughts of stress and depression, those thoughts that lead you to eat. When you practice mindfulness meditation you will become more aware of the fact that you are associating food with relaxation. You will then gain power over your thoughts.
This process will be very easy to understand once you try one of the diet meditation techniques.
So, let’s look at how to do one of the diet meditation techniques.
Read these instructions carefully, then try the exercise while leaving this page on so that you can look back at the instructions if you need to.
- Go somewhere quiet and peaceful and sit comfortably with good posture. (use our guide to creating a meditation space)
- Relax for two minutes
- Now focus your mind 100% on the sensation of your breath coming and going through the space between your nose and mouth. Focus on this area for a couple of minutes.
- Now bring to mind your favourite type of food, the food you eat that you shouldn’t (so, if you’re a comfort eater, the sort of food you eat for comfort).
- Focus your mind on this food.
- As you focus your mind on the food you will notice that certain thoughts arise. You will have specific thoughts about the food. It is these thoughts that form your negative relationship with food. We need to get rid of these thoughts.
- To get rid of the thoughts, every time you experience ANY thought, SEE the thought (imagine you are looking at yourself experiencing the thought, as though you were spectating yourself). Next, say to yourself, “This is just a though. It isn’t reality.” Finally, imagine blowing that thought away from you until it fully disappears.
So just why exactly is mindfulness so good for dieting?
Mindfulness is the best of all diet meditation techniques. It helps you to eliminate the negative thoughts you have about food. With mindfulness, you teach your mind to see food as ONLY food. In other words, you’re teaching your mind to see the fact that food isn’t relaxation, nor fun, nor luxury, nor anything else. Food is food.
Did you do the exercise above? If you didn’t now. But if you did do the exercise above, you may have been a little surprised during the exercise when I told you to remove ALL thoughts, even good thoughts. You may have thought at one point (for instance) “Food is nutrition. I should eat healthily.” This is a good thought, isn’t it? So why get rid of it?
The reason for getting rid of all thoughts and not just the bad ones is that thoughts exist in our mind as something of a mesh. Thoughts are like a really badly tangled piece of string. Thinking one good thought doesn’t necessarily lead to another good thought. When you think “I’m going to eat healthy,” your next thought is just as likely to be “No I probably won’t because I have a bad diet” as it is “Yes, I’ll eat healthy and exercise.” Diet meditation techniques help you to remove those thoughts.
Train Your Mind To Think Healthily About Food
We have done one of the basic diet meditation techniques and we have learned to get rid of all those thoughts that lead us to eat in unhealthy ways. The next step is to continue to train our mind to see food as only food.
In the previous exercise we focused our minds on our breathing and on an image of food. Now we’re going to meditate on food itself.
Go and get a piece of food. It can be anything. It’s better if you get the type of food you wish you didn’t eat (like chocolate), but anything will do.
Okay, so you’ve got your food, let’s do this…
- While holding the food in your hand you will once again experience different thoughts.
- Take a minute to notice the types of thoughts you are experiencing.
- Again, tell yourself that they are only thoughts. They’re not reality, their just delusions in your mind.
- Now, in order to continue this exercise I’m going to be using the example of a chocolate bar, but you can continue with whatever piece of food you have.
- Open up the chocolate bar. Now study it. Meditate on it. Focus your mind 100% on the food, on the colors, the smell, the texture and every other aspect of the food. Again notice the types of thoughts you are experiencing. Tell yourself “These are just thoughts. They are not reality.” Imagine those thoughts floating off into the distance.
- Now eat the food. SLOWLY. Bite into it, hold it in your mouth and stop. Don’t swallow. Meditate on the flavour. Be aware of your thoughts. Tell yourself, “These are just thoughts. They are not reality.” Imagine the thoughts floating off into the distance.
- Now swallow. Repeat the process with the thoughts.
- Now throw the food away.
Consult our guide for more meditation techniques.
And we’re done. These dieting meditation techniques will help in many ways. They will have made you aware of why you eat, you will have learned to recognise your thoughts, you will have learnt to overcome those thoughts and you will have gained a new appreciation for food.
I hope you found this article helpful. If you would like to discover more about meditation for diets and how to use meditation to live a healthy, happy and successful life, pick up a copy of my new ebook: Mindfulness and Meditation Techniques for Beginners.
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