How Yoga Can Help
with Weight Loss
Looking for a way to get rid of those extra pounds? Then perhaps you should try yoga for weight loss. It’s an excellent way to strengthen your muscles and burn fat. It will help you feel more relaxed and improve your flexibility too.
Transform Your Health with 10 minutes a day of yoga
I was amazed at the difference I felt after doing yoga for just a few days. After just 10 minutes first thing in the morning, I felt refreshed, energised and ready for the day ahead. Within a few days I could feel a difference in my muscles – no more stiff joints or aching shoulders.
And to my surprise, I also saw a difference in the fit of my clothes and on the bathroom scales.
Previously, I wouldn’t have associated yoga with weight loss. My traditional concept of weight loss being purely dependent on calories in vs calories out meant that yoga would not have been an obvious choice for slimming down.
However, I now understand that the key to lasting change, and keeping the weight off, is to look after your body properly and give it what it needs on a daily basis.
How yoga can help with weight loss
Mindfulness is simply the process of being fully engaged in what you are doing in a particular moment. In our modern world we spend so much time doing things ‘mindlessly’. Whether it’s scrolling through your endless facebook feed during your coffee break, or driving to work on autopilot, we are often removed from what is really happening to us.
By making an effort to be present in every moment, we can fully focus our energy on the task at hand and are more likely to enjoy it. This reduces our cortisol levels, which in turn reduces the feeling of stress.
Reducing stress in your everyday life is key to sustained weight loss. When your brain perceives a threat, it releases chemicals to help you survive. In the days of our ancestors, the threat may have been a huge grizzly bear chasing us! By releasing adrenaline and cortisol, our brain is giving us the chance to outrun the bear and survive.
However, in the absence of grizzly bears, our modern stresses are more likely to be a hard day at work or an unexpected bill. Our bodies are still working in the same way they did 5000 years ago, so our brains will still produce the adrenaline and cortisol.
All forms of exercise are effective at reducing stress levels, however with yoga, the combination of breathing and stretching allows the body to relax even further, keeping you calm and stress-free for hours afterwards.
Learning mindfulness through yoga will have an impact on your eating habits, which will improve your chances of losing weight.
Mindless eating is one of the major factors which prevents us from losing weight. How often have you found yourself having ‘just one’ chocolate, only to find you’ve eaten the whole box 10 minutes later? Or demolishing a whole share-size bag of crisps in one sitting?
By increasing mindfulness while we eat, we will slow down the speed of eating and enjoy our food more as we savour every bite. If we are being mindful, we are also less likely to eat when we are not hungry.
Cortisol is also known to increase appetite and cause cravings for sweet and unhealthy foods, so reducing cortisol levels by practising yoga will have an impact on these cravings too.
Yoga and sleep
It may surprise you to know that there is a strong link between the amount of sleep you get and maintaining a healthy weight.
Not getting enough quality sleep can disrupt your hormone levels. This means that insulin is not released properly after eating the following day. This leaves your blood sugar levels high and will increase the chance of you craving unhealthy food later in the day.
Since eating too much sugar can lead to poor sleep, many of us find ourselves in a vicious sleep-sugar cycle. This is not helpful for our everyday health.
By getting a decent night’s sleep, we are reducing the chances of succumbing to temptation the following day. This will, in turn, lead to another good night’s sleep.
Builds muscle mass
Yoga helps burn fat by increasing your heart rate, which means that you’ll use more calories while doing yoga than if you were just sitting on the couch! But yoga also helps build muscle, which can increase your metabolism and help you burn calories throughout the day. By starting your day with a quick yoga practice, you can keep burning calories for hours afterward!
Yoga is not just a great way to improve your health and feel better, it’s also a great way to lose weight.
Yoga has been shown to be beneficial in a number of areas including boosting the immune system, decreasing stress levels, and improving sleep quality (which all lead to positive weight loss results). So why not add a 10 minute yoga practice to your day and enjoy the many benefits that come from regular practice?