How mindfulness-based practices can help you lose weight

If you’re struggling to lose some weight with diet and exercise, consider a different approach. Aside from helping you manage stress and improve your focus, mindfulness techniques can help you shed those unwanted pounds.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness, which is rooted in Buddhist meditation, refers to the constant awareness of your own “thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens.”

When you practice mindfulness, you also practice acceptance. Being mindful means paying attention to your thoughts and feelings without judging them. For example, you don’t judge a thought as “right” or “wrong” the moment you think of something. Mindfulness means not obsessing over what happened in the past or worrying about the future.

Hunger, mindfulness, and weight loss

Before you try some mindfulness-based techniques to lose weight, remember that weight loss can be affected by factors like your health. For instance, if you have a chronic illness, it can be harder to lose weight if your medication has a side effect like appetite stimulation.

These techniques are also an alternative if you want to try to lose weight using the power of mindfulness, if diets don’t work for you, or if a health condition doesn’t allow you to do weight-loss exercises.

Your mindfulness journey only has two steps.

1. “Become mindful of the physical sensation of hunger.”

Most of the time, you gain weight because you eat whenever you’re hungry.

Instead of grabbing a snack the moment you feel hungry, you can stop, take some deep breaths, and pay attention to the physical sensation of breathing. Feel every breath as you inhale and exhale so you can get in touch with your own body.

Notice the physical sensation linked to your hunger so you can experience it physically. Hunger is a “very definite sensation.” To enhance this connection, tell yourself something like “This is what being hungry feels like.”

This is the first step to losing weight with mindfulness: fully understanding what hunger feels like in your body. (Related: Mindful Eating for Weight Loss and Happiness.)

2. “Become mindful that the physical sensation of hunger is the sensation of losing weight.”

Now that you know what hunger feels like in your body, think about how this physical sensation of hunger, which you might have previously considered as a negative experience, can be associated with the feeling that you’re losing weight.

By reevaluating this physical sensation, you can eventually stop thinking of hunger as a negative feeling. With some practice, you may soon consider hunger as a “good” feeling that means you’re one step closer to weight loss.

This doesn’t mean you have to starve to lose weight. If you think a snack can cheer you up after a tough day at work, treat yourself to some chocolate or ice cream.

The challenge here is maintaining self-discipline so you can successfully lose weight through mindfulness. Whenever you feel hungry, remember that the hunger you feel is a “good” thing. The more you think that hunger equates to weight loss, the easier it will be to control those cravings, especially if you’re not really hungry and you just want to snack on something unhealthy.

While mindfulness can help, weight loss is all about eating healthily, exercising, and treating your body right so you can improve your overall health.

You can check out more articles about mindfulness and natural ways to get in shape at

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