Can't Lose Weight? Try 7 Minutes of Meditation

Frantic to lose some weight? First, calm down. Next, try this: Spend 7 minutes a day meditating. Yep, just 7 minutes can help you control cravings, eat less, and get thin

It's no secret that we're big fans of meditation. It helps us sleep, destress, fight inflammation, and concentrate. (Dr. Mike even does quick deep-breathing sessions when he's stuck in long, slow elevator rides.) One of meditation's benefits is its effect on cravings. Spend about 7 minutes meditating each day and you'll not only experience far fewer food cravings, you'll also be far more likely to resist that doughnut.

The technique that's been found to excel at this is an easy relaxation method called mindful meditation. Want to give it a whirl? Find a quiet place (the bathroom is fine), get comfortable, close your eyes, and breathe in and out at a natural pace. Notice whether your breath feels warm or cool. When other thoughts and sensations butt in, acknowledge them, and then refocus on your breathing. After 7 minutes or so, open your eyes and re-enter the world slowly.

That's it. Pretty easy, right? There's a bonus: A few minutes of daily mindful meditation can also counteract aches, stress, and memory loss. It helps control your alpha rhythms (a type of brain wave that boosts your ability to focus and tune out distractions), including pain signals, which mess with your memory. That helps you recall important stuff, such as where you put your cell phone, or what your spouse just said.

Learn 9 ways to stress less.

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