5 Experts Answer: Can Yoga Help You Lose Weight?


Credit: Dreamstime

5 Experts Answer: Can Yoga Help You Lose Weight?

Each week, MyHealthNewsDaily asks the experts to answer questions about your health.

This week, we asked exercise researchers and nutrition specialists: Does yoga help with weight loss?

Beth A.
Lewis, Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota School of Kinesiology in Minneapolis

Regular yoga practice canِ influence weight loss, butِ not inِ the traditional sense ofِ howِ we link physical activity toِ weight loss.
Typically, weight loss occurs whenِ a person’s calorie intake (i.e., food andِ drink consumed) isِ less thanِ their caloric expenditure (i.e., energy isِ expended allِ day andِ more isِ expended duringِ exercise).

Most individuals need to change both their energy intake and energy expenditure to lose weight.

Many yoga practices burn fewerِ calories thanِ traditional exercise (e.g., jogging, brisk walking); however, yoga canِ increase one’sِ mindfulness andِ the wayِ oneِ relates toِ theirِ body.
So, individuals willِ becomeِ more aware ofِ what theyِ areِ eating andِ make betterِ food choices.
Individuals mayِ avoid foods thatِ makeِ them feel sluggish andِ lethargic (most processed foods).

Dr. Lewis Maharam, fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine:

Yes, andِ actuallyِ it’s becomeِ in vogue withِ a lot ofِ celebrities likeِ Madonna, Halle Berry andِ Jennifer Aniston.
Yoga isِ a sophisticated tradition withِ physical, relaxation andِ breathing exercises.
But] aerobic exercise isِ what helps youِ lose weight.

Leigh Crews, American College of Sport Medicine Media Expert:

The short answer is, there’s no short answer.
Yoga is too diverse for that.

Experts agree thatِ increasing yourِ physical activity level isِ a good firstِ step towardsِ losing weight.
So, withِ thatِ inِ mind, itِ isِ important toِ choose theِ rightِ style ofِ yoga.
The second, moreِ subtle factor, isِ yoga’s ability toِ foster anِ inward focus , making youِ moreِ aware ofِ howِ your body feels inِ allِ of yourِ daily activities.

Annie B. Kay, Lead Nutritionist, Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Stockbridge, Mass.:

Yoga facilitates weight loss inِ several ways and, whenِ combined withِ evidence-based nutritional guidance, canِ beِ highly effective.
Yoga isِ anِ ancient spiritual science developed inِ India overِ fiveِ millennia ago.
While yoga isِ often thought ofِ asِ the physical practice, theِ full practice includes allِ aspects ofِ lifestyle including diet, mental attitude, choices aboutِ one’s lifestyle andِ philosophical study.