Yoga has many health benefits. From strengthening muscles to improving your sleep to reducing anxiety, Yoga is a great way to improve your health. Does it also help you lose weight?
According to Judi Bar, Yoga can help you lose weight in various ways. She is the manager of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Integrative Medicine’s yoga program, and she has been certified by both the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) and Yoga Alliance.
She says, “Yoga is a lifestyle choice if done correctly.” This can increase physical activity and reduce emotional eating. She says it can also help you manage stress, which will help maintain your weight.
Bar claims that she has seen yoga aid in weight loss for people in her practice. Her research confirms this.
Bar and her team published a Review in July 2013 of the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, where they reviewed dozens of research studies that evaluated the effects of Yoga on weight loss.
Yoga is linked to weight loss or maintenance due to several factors. These include increased mindfulness, improved mood, reduced stress, and increased energy expenditure.
Therapy analyzed data from interviews conducted with 20 adults that reported weight loss through Yoga. Researchers concluded that five factors contributed to weight loss. These included a shift in eating habits, the impact of yoga culture and community, changes to the physical body, and psychological changes.
According to Bar and others, Yoga can help you lose or maintain weight.
Yoga can help with Mindful Eating
Yoga strengthens more than your muscles, according to Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Ph.D., an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, Boston, and director of Research at Yoga Alliance.
Dr. Khalsa explains that you connect with your body when you hold a position for a long time. You may be asked to pay attention to your body, mind, and breathing. This is one way to practice mindfulness.
Mindfulness on the yoga mat is a great way to practice mindful eating. It is essential to recognize hunger cues and limit binge eating. Khalsa says that with time and practice, you can pinpoint foods that give you energy and fuel and have adverse effects. These behaviors can help you stay on track with your diet, weight loss plan, or healthier food choices.
Khalsa cites a Review published in July 2015 by the International Journal of Yoga, which found that Yoga was linked to changes in eating habits, explicitly reducing dietary fats and increasing fresh vegetables, whole grains, and soy products.
In 2015, a study was published in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. The study analyzed data from 159 women who regularly practiced Yoga or cardio-based exercises. The yogis had significantly fewer disordered eating habits than cardio-based exercisers.
Khalsa said, “This is the place where yoga shines.” It’s more than just physical activity. It’s essential to listen to your body.
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Yoga Can Help You Manage Stress
Many ways can cause weight gain, especially unmanaged chronic stress. Yoga can lower regular stress levels.
The cornerstones of Yoga are breathing and meditation. Both contribute to improving mood and energy levels and can help reduce stress, according to Sundar Balasubramanian, Ph.D. He is an assistant professor at the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston. His research focuses on how yogic breathwork can improve the well-being of people with chronic diseases. Dr. Balasubramanian, the founder of PranaScience Institute and a yoga therapist certified by the International Association of Yoga Therapists, has studied yogic breath.
Balasubramanian says stress can be a significant obstacle to weight loss because it can lead to stressful eating and difficulty sleeping. Deep breathing can help reverse stress and some adverse effects that may make weight loss difficult or contribute to weight gain.
Balasubramanian claims that breathing exercises cause physiological changes in the body. Studies have shown that mindfulness exercises can reduce cortisol levels in the body.
A review published in December 2017 in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology that analyzed data from 42 studies suggested that Yoga was associated with lower evening cortisol, waking cortisol, resting heart rate, and cholesterol levels.
Yoga helps build muscle
Yoga can also help you lose and maintain weight by increasing muscle mass.
We must hit the gym and lift weights when we think about strengthening muscles. We use our body weight to create resistance in Yoga. You’re working with your whole body to maintain balance, so you get a good workout from all parts of it,” says Carol Krucoff. She is a certified instructor by the International Association of Yoga Therapists and Yoga Alliance and a yoga therapist in Durham, North Carolina.
Imagine holding your body still in a plank position. She says you support your body using your shoulders, core muscles, hips, and legs. You can flow from a plank into a Downward Facing Dog, which activates muscles in the forearms and shoulders. Krucoff claims that this muscle-building helps burn calories.
In June 2016, a review in the journal Preventive Medicine analyzed 30 trials that involved more than 2,000 people. The study concluded that Yoga could reduce the waist-hip ratio among healthy adults and BMI in overweight or obese individuals.
In other research, it was found that slower restorative yoga classes improved the fasting glucose level in overweight or obese people — a sign of improved metabolic health.