Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Yoga for Weight Loss

Yoga has been around for ages. Its popularity ebbs and flows; however, everyone practices for various reasons- stress relief, improved flexibility, balance, digestive health…the list goes on. The best part about yoga is that anyone can practice. It doesn’t matter if you’re overweight, male, female, elderly, or nonathletic. Recently, I have read more about yoga for weight loss. It’s not that yoga necessarily burns more calories than cardiovascular exercise or strength training. Indeed, yoga taps into a different area of physical activity- ‘body awareness’. If you have ever practiced yoga, be it once, only a handful of times or daily, you quickly realize how your practice focuses on becoming ‘in tune’ with your body, positive thoughts and mental clarity. Depending on how concentrated you are during your practice, it can also enhance your feelings of self-control and foster a sense of personal empowerment. Points of interest from several studies have shown the impact of yoga for weight loss:

•Over a course of 4 years, a study of about 15,000 middle aged(55 years old) adults studied weight gain fluctuation. Those adults who incorporated yoga in their physical activity experienced less weight gain, especially overweight participants.

 •Yoga incorporated into a treatment program for obese women with binge eating disorder had significant effects. The 12-week program included personal journals from each participant and ‘qualitative analysis’ of these journals indicated a positive shift in their eating habits and perspectives. According to the journals, these participants developed self-empowerment, a healthy reconnection with food and cultivated an awareness of self. All of these factors translate to better health and positive strides in an eating disorder treatment.

 •Another eating disorder treatment program that incorporated yoga for weight management found that participants who practiced for 16 weeks had significantly decreased body weight, body fat percentage, BMI, waist circumference, and visceral fat.Wow! If reading this little blurb isn’t incentive enough…

 I would be remiss to stop here without mentioning that yoga isn’t just one style. There are certain types of yoga, which range from low-impact to higher activity. Patients with injuries or less mobility might find a slower paced practice rewarding, while an athletic person looking for a cardio workout might enjoy Vinyasa or Bikram. Vinyasa is a faster paced series of poses and Bikram focuses on generating an internal heat by performing poses in an extra hot room. Depending on the activity level of the practice, more or less calories will be burned. However, all the benefits mentioned above related to mental health are reflective of all yoga practices, in general. So, if yoga doesn’t burn more calories than other strenuous exercise, how can you lose weight? The studies emphasized they did not know the specific mechanism involved with weight loss. But it seems quite simple- the combination of physical activity, body awareness and healthy eating are probably responsible for the results. When you are more aware of your hunger and body cues, you’re less likely to overeat. Developing this awareness helps to control mindless eating, which is a culprit for weight gain. Therefore among weight control, yoga promotes many healthy behaviors. If you regularly practice, you know the sense of rejuvenation. If you’re new to yoga- give it a chance to positively change your body. Any of these benefits will have you feeling better!

 Reference: http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/030612p18.shtml Drop Those Pounds With Yoga — Studies Show Yoga Stimulates Weight Loss
By Jennifer Van Pelt, MA
Today’s Dietitian
Vol. 14 No. 3

Sara Shipley, Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Management, University of Central Oklahoma BS Student- Projected graduation May 2013

I am a nutrition and dietetics student at the University of Central Oklahoma. I am a career changer after studying and graduating with a BS in fashion merchandising and working in corporate retail buying in New York City for several years. I am now studying to become a registered dietitian because I enjoy the science of nutrition and want to share my passion for balanced eating and healthy living with others. I love helping people make educated decisions about nutrition. Eating flavorful, delicious food does not have to be compromised by choosing to eat healthy. I love to cook and eat all types of food. I am an avid runner and I enjoy writing, reading and learning about anything related to nutrition, sports, food and wellness. I practice yoga and enjoy being outdoors doing anything active,- hiking, running, walking or biking.


  1. I totally agree with this I heard people doing yoga lose a lot weight. In fact it is recommended for obesity.

  2. Yoga is said to be the best way to lose weight because it is your body without any side effects. Yoga in your body mechanism is simple and very effective.

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  3. Hi! I am a career-changer also. I hold a B.S. in Sport Management and really want to go back to school for a degree in Nutrition. Do you have any advice for me?? (shhurd@gmail.com)
    - Sarah

  4. Finding ways to cut down weight is a good start to a healthy life. The lighter you are, the more flexible and mobile you can be. That can help you do more activities. Not only that; it also makes your mood and well-being better. :)

    [Anton Houskeeper]

  5. I've always been skeptical that you could realistically lose weight with Yoga, but after giving it a try for a few rounds, I'm now a believer!
    -Jackie @ HCG diet plan

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  7. Yoga is an excellent tool for weight loss, primarily because it is safe and effective.But the main problem today is that most people just dont have the time to do yoga or exercise or even go to the gym because they are really tired. I also recommend yoga for people who want to lose weight. But i found a very good solution that is safe, effective and 100% organic, It is derived from cactus and is an excellent fat binder , which is safe and has no side effects. Check out PROACTOL PLUS. I find it is an excellent alternative to lose weight.

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  8. I used to do yoga and still currently doing it. It helps my health and wellness. From my inner thoughts through my physical body.

    This would give more of a mind and body experience doing yoga.

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  10. Thanks for sharing this post, Gina. I agree that yoga is one of the good forms of exercises that can help you lose weight. And I must say that one of the good things it brings is that it can help you release yourself from the stress either by taking a slow breathing pattern or setting your focus on an object.


  11. Thanks for your great post also thanks for that your giving us great information. Please keep posting. It is a great idea. Thank you for all the information. I feel interesting to use this way. Yoga Sutras || sql tutorial.

  12. “Many chiropractors are different, as I’ve found – some believe solely in a hands-on approach and don’t believe in tools or machines, and some are the exact opposite.” - True! Just like other physicians, chiropractors have their specializations too. Some focus on physical therapy and yoga, while others use massage and acupuncture. Either way, it can help in maintaining your healthy metabolism and help introduce you to an active lifestyle. With regular visits to your chiropractor, proper diet, and exercise, it'll be easier to get that superb body.

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  13. I agree with you. Really this blog is very informative.Yoga is fantastic, it has definately helped me to maintain good health and have plenty of energy.

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