Can yoga help you lose weight?

women doing yoga

How does yoga aid weight loss?
Yoga’s primary benefit is as a type of strength training or stretching. Stretching does burn someTrusted Source calories, but it does not burn as many calories as intense cardiovascular exercise. So while a daily yoga session may help a person burn slightly more calories, it is unlikely to play a major role in weight loss.

What is yoga?
Yoga began in ancient Indian philosophy as a spiritual and wellness practice. It involves a series of poses and stretches, along with mindfulness and meditative breathing practices. Different yoga schools practice different styles.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)Trusted Source, research suggests yoga may aid weight loss, improve stress and mental health, reduce chronic pain, and help people manage chronic diseases.
Research and statistics
A handful of studies have looked at yoga as a weight loss tool. But most have explored yoga as part of a comprehensive lifestyle intervention rather than a stand-alone weight loss strategy.
The groups did not differ significantly in weight loss. However, among participants who initially lost more than 5% of their body weight, yoga improved long-term weight loss.

A 2019 study followed 150 women with obesity and hypothyroidism.
One group practiced yoga along with other lifestyle and diet interventions. The yoga group lost more weight and also saw a reduction in thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels. Higher TSH means more severe hypothyroidism.
How yoga changes the body
Yoga is a type of strength training. Like other forms of strength training, it can improveTrusted Source muscle strength, protect the bones, and improve mobility over time.

The NCCIHTrusted Source reports on several research-backed benefits of yoga, including:

better sleep
support to quitting smoking
a reduction in stress, anxiety, and depression
help to manage chronic illnesses
Addressing these issues may indirectly support weight loss. For example, better sleep may help a person feel more energized so they can exercise.

How often should you practice?
There are no official guidelines for the frequency of yoga. The CDCTrusted Source recommends at least 2 days per week of strength training to promote optimal health, but more frequent training could offer additional benefits.

The 2019 study of women with hypothyroidism who practiced yoga explored the benefits of daily yoga for 45–60 minutes, suggesting frequent yoga may offer more benefits.

Tips for effective weight loss
People who want to lose weight should consult with a doctor first. This can help guide their food and exercise decisions, as well as identify any chronic medical conditions that could affect weight loss.

A person can use the following strategies to help aid weight lossTrusted Source:

Create a caloric deficit by moving more and eating less.
Integrate more movement into daily life. Try walking to nearby stores, getting up from a desk more frequently, or taking breaks to walk a dog.
Find ways to reduce daily calories. For example, sauces and dressings often add significant calories. Soda and sweetened coffee can cause weight gain.
Set realistic goals. Weight loss can be slow. Sometimes it is more helpful to focus on specific health goals, such as lowering fasting glucose.
Get emotional support. Body image issues, depression, and feeling overwhelmed can all make weight loss more difficult and affect a person’s ability to stick with a weight loss program.
Know that even small changes can make a difference. Some exercise is better than none at all, and a person can steadily build on small victories.

Losing weight is about more than calories and exercise. Weight loss requires significant commitment and often means overcoming body image issues, time constraints, chronic pain, and mobility issues.Yoga can help people surmount many obstacles to weight loss. It may also encourage a person to focus on leading a healthier lifestyle, whether or not they lose weight.

Before beginning any new fitness regimen, a person should consult a doctor.

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Post time: Jul-30-2023

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