4 Ways Yoga Helps with Weight Loss

Terri Carr

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I think a consistent and frequent yoga practice can certainly help you lose weight. The key, though is regular, repeated practice. This is where I slip up.

What I love about the power of yoga to impact my eating habits is that it seems almost effortless. I don’t have to restrict myself from eating things I really want. The things I want just naturally change for the better.

Better Sleep

When you don’t sleep well, you might consume more caffeinated drinks hoping to perk up enough to get through the day.

But caffeine is a stimulant, so it often makes you more hungry. You end up eating more frequently and in greater quantity not because you’re burning more energy but simply to offset caffeine-induced cravings.

Anthony William, author and Medical Medium, says that caffeine creates a surge of adrenaline in the body and many people eat excess carbs to absorb all this adrenaline coursing through their bloodstream.

Less Stress Eating

The increased mental steadiness brought on by yoga will often result in less stress eating, late-night bingeing, etc.

Frequent yoga practice makes you more mindful of everyday activities so that you can make better choices instead of compulsively snacking or overeating in an attempt to self soothe.

Next time your friend suggests ordering restaurant takeout followed by indulgent desserts for movie night, instead of responding with your usual “Heck, Yeah!” you’ll find yourself saying, “I want to eat a little lighter. How about we get salads and split an entree and dessert?”

Fewer Snack Attacks

Often by mid-afternoon of the workday, I’m looking for a snack or some kind of pick me up. That might be a run across the street for a cup of tea or and a cake pop. Or I might run down to the deli in the lobby for a little ‘treat’. And that treat will NOT be a piece of fruit or pretzels.

But after a few days of practicing yoga every day, I’m more likely to find myself thinking, “A nice, juicy apple would be perfect right now.’ Sweet, hydrating, energizing.

Even better, I often notice that I don’t even experience an afternoon dip. I just FORGET about snacking. For me, that’s radical. And way more preferable than looking sadly at a little baggy of carrot sticks and celery and wishing they tasted like sandwich creme cookies.

Cravings for Nutrient Dense Food

I do actually enjoy many healthy foods in my diet.

But some of the most nutrient-dense foods we can eat are dark leafy greens like spinach, swiss chard, salad greens, bok choy, kale, and many others.

I don’t get enough of these in my diet. They’re just not the foods that I frequently crave.

That is unless I’ve been practicing some kick-butt yoga.

The detoxing effects of all those yoga twists will often make me start craving green veggies. In general, when I’m practicing yoga regularly, I find it’s easier to eat cleaner, less processed foods and to steer clear of junk food.

Full disclosure

You might assume that since I wrote this article, I must have lost a solid chunk of weight thanks to my yoga practice.

Wrong.

Unfortunately, my yoga practice is missing one essential thing: consistency. I’ll practice 3 or 4 times one week, once the next week and not at all for a couple of weeks after that.

Eventually, I’ll notice some stiffness and sluggishness from not practicing and start a new cycle of practicing again.

However, I know that some people have more staying power than I do.

If you’re one of those people, perhaps you could write an article here on Medium that explains how an erratic person like myself can overcome a tendency to start and stop activities before they create real change!

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