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Can Yoga help you with weight loss?

Updated: Jul 19, 2020

Female yoga instructor

As a personal trainer, many times I've been asked, " Does Yoga help me to lose weight?" My short answer would be "Probably." A more extended response would be that you should think about what happens in your body to help you lose weight (or instead to help you lose body fat because losing muscle is not good). A lot of physiological changes happen within the body to reduce body fat storage. Exercising and clean eating along with enough rest and recovery can make those changes in your body. If you want to lose weight and maintain it, you need a balanced plan which includes all of those components, and not just one or two of them. So, If you ask me if yoga helps you lose weight, first I'd ask if the other three parts of your plan work properly. If your answer is yes, then I'd tell you that any physical activity can make you lose weight as long as the intensity level reasonably increases above your comfort level. What I mean is that the people you see on the streets walking as they talk, or the ones holding to the handles of treadmills in the gym as they walk and check other people, will never lose weight because their intensity level doesn't go beyond their comfort level. So, if your yoga training is hard enough and you maintain the other three components of the plan, you CAN lose weight. However, you should also know that yoga may make you stronger and more flexible, but it won't build muscles, and it doesn't directly improve your cardio. More muscle mass and better cardio capacity are two essential elements of higher metabolism, which results in lower body fat and a fitter body. In other words, a fitness program including weight and cardio as well as stretching can make you reach your weight loss goal faster than yoga because it affects your metabolism more efficiently. Unfortunately, because of sale purposes in the past decade, we've witnessed many exaggerations and misleading advertising about the benefits of new trends in the fitness industry. They exaggerate the benefits of Yoga, Pilates, tai chi. Remember, there is NOT only one solution to your fitness and weight loss goals. If you have a plan for all of those four components mentioned earlier, you can and will succeed.

Hooman Jamshidi Founder @Dur1 Health Registered massage therapist, Certified personal trainer, Student Acupuncturist E: C: 416.726.4652

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