An extraordinary amount of research is pointing to meditation as one of the greatest exercises to physically alter your brain. These studies suggest people who meditate have stronger immune systems, deal with stress better, and are happier.
It's also been shown to help you lose weight without radically changing your lifestyle. In fact, just by becoming more aware of what you are putting in your mouth, you will naturally begin to lose weight. Your stomach is connected to your brain, and when you are mindfully eating, your stomach naturally tells your brain to stop eating when it's full.
This simple mindfulness technique can help you reduce the number of calories you take in on a daily basis. This training is rooted in Buddhist and Taoist monastery traditions, where part of the original training was to meditate while eating. In one exercise monks would make a student take a vegetable or fruit and spend 15 to 20 minutes mindfully observing and patiently controlling any impulses to eat. This gave the student a greater sense of astonishment and joy - one that would spread through other areas of their life.
Developing this type of mindful awareness is the first step to changing any type of behavior. Ask yourself – is this food healthy for me? What can I notice about it? Paying attention to what you are eating can give you a more conscious choice about how food is affecting your body. By doing this type of training you build a stronger muscle for attention. When you get an urge to eat your favorite candy bar, stop and bring your awareness back to your breathing.
Meditation helps people become more conscious of how much they are really eating. We tend to lose this awareness of our body because of our stress-filled lives. By doing meditation, we can recapture our body's natural ability to recognize when it's full after eating.