Yoga for Weight Loss - My Success Story
How effective is yoga for weight loss? Traditionally yoga was considered a spiritual journey. However, in western society such as North America, yoga has become a source for weight loss. I know I was originally drawn to yoga to become more fit.
Yoga for Weight Loss – Fact or Fiction???
I have now been practicing yoga steadily for a year and half. I have been attending 2 to 3 yoga classes a week, which is suggested if you want to see results. My arms are toner than ever and I look more slender. This is coming from someone who’s been a distance runner for years. And I haven’t made major adjustments to my diet.
Just how many calories? According to this article I read on Livestrong.com, the average person (what’s average? 150lbs??) will burn 300 to 445 calories doing regular yoga. However, in bikram yoga (a militant style of hot yoga) a person burns as many as 630 calories.
If you do lose weight from practicing yoga I wonder just how much of that is just water weight since you’re sweating up a storm?
Since yoga means "union", the mind-body connection in yoga causes you to be more conscience of what you put in your mouth. Or that’s what they claim. I have to admit after a long and sweaty yoga class I’ve worked up quite an appetite. I instead try to reach for something healthier than pigging out on junk food.
A basic principle in yoga is to honour your body. The more yoga classes I take, the more respect I have for my body (by feeding it with nutritious foods) and in turn the greater I feel. My energy level increased, I became stronger and I am able to deal with stress a lot better.
That’s why I swear by yoga. I still run a lot but after a long run my body is tired and it needs to rest. Yoga, on the other hand, is the perfect go to form of exercise if you’re looking to boost your energy level.
When is the best time to attend a yoga class? For me its right after work and especially when I’m feeling sluggest. Yoga restores my energy and it gives me enough energy to work or do anything at night.
Again more energy equals the less likely you'll reach for an empty calorie treat later.
To recap then, turning to yoga for weight loss will give you a killer body because:
1. Unlike cardio, yoga is a strength training exercise that builds lean muscle on your body that allows you to burn more fat.
2. Yoga makes you more conscience of what you fuel your body with because it creates a strong self-awareness.
Additional tips if you’re turning to yoga for weight loss:
Remember one pound is equal to 3300 calories. I know that’s crazy! So if the average yoga class burns 400 calories per session, you have to attend at least 8 classes a week. That doesn’t sound realistic. So instead, cut down the amount of calories you consume just by eating less. No crazy crash diets necessary- just eat less.
Also, I think you should stop weighing yourself like I did. If you’re turning to yoga for weight loss you might not loss anything on the scale. Why? Because muscle weights more than fat!!! I use to weigh 15 lbs less than I do now but I’m in the best shape in my life because I stopped obsessing over the number on the scale and started to pay attention to how my clothes felt on my body.
Finally, I wouldn’t rely solely on yoga for weight loss. Cardio is great way to burn calories fast and give you cardiovascular health. Try to fit in cardio at least 3 times a week- running, walking, swimming, jumping rope are all great forms of cardio.