Music and Weight Loss

September 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Music and Weight Loss, Weight Loss Exercise

Music is such a natural part of the daily lives of people this generation that they tend to take it for granted: they sit in the car and turn on the radio, their kids play CDs all day, malls have music piping in to enhance one’s shopping experience, and, more importantly, fast food restaurants also have music playing in the background.

Do you know that music can play a major, though subtle role, in your weight loss goals? If you are not convinced, perhaps you can pay a bit more attention to the type of music that restaurants play: a fine dining setup will likely have relaxing music, while a fast food chain or a food court might have a faster beat. What sorts of effect do you need to know about music in order to use it to help you in your weight loss goals?

1. Music, when played during meal times, can enhance appetite. A study has been done on the types of music and their effect on the way people eat: fast music tends to lead people to hoard down their food, while slower, relaxing music tends to lead to longer, drawn-out times of bonding over several courses. This might give you an idea of your choice of eating out places when you are on a diet: do you go for the food court, or the pricier, but more relaxing, atmosphere of a fine restaurant?

2. Music may be an option for relaxation. Many people, especially women, turn to food during an emotional low. This is called emotional eating. Learning to use music to counter these negative emotions, instead of compound them, may actually help curb the frequency of your emotional eating incidences. For example, after a break-up, the now single person tends to find the most heart-wrenching songs to play over and over on the CD player, while wolfing down pint after pint of Rocky Road ice cream. Is it possible that playing a happier tune, say, an inspiring song, can protect against your desire to buy another plate of pizza?

3. For those who play a musical instrument, music as an outlet further helps turn your attention away from food. Maybe you used to play a lot when you were younger. Is it possibly a good time to recapture the hobby you once enjoyed so much? Perhaps you had dreams of becoming a great musician, but because of the call of reality, you’ve set your old violin or guitar or keyboard aside. But deep down, you know that you love the way music makes you feel, even only as you express yourself and play for nobody but yourself. If so, brush the dust off your old guitar case! How does this have anything to do with being on a diet, you ask? It can actually help cut down on your time in front of the TV, where you tend to munch on chips and other fatty food! The fun thing about music when you are on a diet is that you typically cannot eat while playing it; the same goes for people who love to sing, as you really cannot do music and gorge your face at the same time.

4. Sharing music with a group of people also enhances your connection with it. Hanging out with friends does not always mean a night out at the bars downing a whole tray of calorie-laden bottles of beer, or finishing an entire plate of pizza watching a football game. Why not get together for a jam session? More likely than not, some of your friends also have hidden interests in music, and jamming with your instruments allows you to bond socially as well as emotionally without sacrificing your waist line. Of course, there might be some snacks afterward, but the satisfaction that comes from playing well will likely help keep you from overeating.

Perhaps you’re thinking that the connection between music and weight loss actually seem a bit hazy to your diet plans. This is the beauty of knowing how it can actually help—or break—your diet. Try these ideas out and you will see that there are actually many other forces on the planet that can help you achieve your ideal weight, and they’re not just limited to food and exercise.