Is yoga good for losing weight?

Yoga is becoming more and more popular among people who are choosing this type of a workout for various reasons. While many individuals have already noticed the incredible benefits for mental health of practising yoga especially living in the modern world full of stress and pressure, others appreciate its general positive effects which allow people of different physical condition to choose exercises of an appropriate intensity.

Still, there are also some people who prefer yoga to all other types of workouts and hope to be able to lose weight with its help. Is it actually a good idea to practise yoga in such a case?

Yoga and its effectiveness in burning calories

As you certainly know, the basic way of losing weight is creation the calorie deficiency. This is usually done by minimising food intake and increasing physical activity. The latter one is not particularly efficient if you chose yoga for losing weight. The average amount of calories which can be burnt during 30 minutes of exercising is between 120 and 178 kcal, whereas light cardio exercises, for instance running with a speed of 8 km/h will let you burn twice as much calories.

As you can see, yoga is not the best type of a workout for those who wants to burn calories efficiently. Yet, it does not mean yoga is pointless for losing weight.

One of the major advantages of yoga for people who are trying to decrease their body weight is the fact yoga helps to develop muscles and increase lean body mass. It can happen even if you fail to lose weight. You will just lose fat which will then be transformed into muscles. This also means such exercises will help you to keep a stable weight.

Benefits of yoga which can contribute to losing weight

Actually, yoga has a variety of positive sides which are not thus obvious as burning calories in the context of losing weight. Still, these features of yoga can prove to be highly effective in overcoming the problems with excessive weight.

Decreasing stress

One of the greatest advantages of yoga workouts is the possibility of decreasing stress. We have already mentioned the fact many people chose yoga for this feature of yoga workouts in the first place.

You are certainly aware of the fact how stress makes many individuals overeat. Actually, a great number of people suffering from excessive body weight are having a problem with compulsive eating used as a comping mechanism with stress. Stressful situations are particularly bad for your body as they increase the levels of cortisol which changes the metabolism in such a way as to make you put on weight in the abdominal area. Unfortunately, the fat in this part of your body tend to stay there for a rather long time even if you decide to use any diet.

Yoga is teaching consciousness

One of the most important aspects of yoga is consciousness which can be developed through various breathing exercises, yoga poses and meditation. This mechanism can help you to increase your concentration in various situations including having a meal.

Learning consciousness will let you use this great mechanism while having your food. You will be able to feel your body better, understanding when it is really hungry, what type of hunger it is (physical or psychological), how much food you need and how you feel after having particular types of food. Certainly, practicing mindfulness will also let you understand the signals given by your body better so that you will know when you are already satiated or not.

Improving your hormones

While the previous two positive features of yoga are well-known to many people, there is one more crucial benefit of practising yoga which you might not know.

Multiple experiments have revealed that yoga can change the number of crucial hormones in your body improving your health and metabolism. For example, people who already have some experience in yoga have a 28% higher level of leptin than the beginners who have just started practising yoga. This hormone is produced by the body to signal the brain that it is not hungry anymore.

Another crucial hormone known as adiponectin is produced by the bodies of people who practise yoga regularly is at even higher level. To be precise, these individuals had 36% more of this hormone than others. Adiponectin is decreasing the sensitivity to insulin.

As you can imagine, a decreased level of these vital hormones can trigger a whole range of metabolic disorders which will result in putting on weight.

What should you do to make yoga help you to lose weight?

The answer is simple – feel free to practise regularly. Yoga does not require a long time for helping you to restore your energy after workouts so you can easily practise it even every day.

It is also recommended to mix various types of yoga and not ignore its breathing exercises.