Diva Yoga

Weight loss and Yoga

Wellness coach
November 24, 2022
Weight Loss
Weight loss and Yoga

7 scientific techniques (with research proof) you need to know about the scientific process of weight loss.

1. You’ll have to work really hard to gain back the weight and inches.

Have you been in a place where you’ve lost a few pounds and eventually gained them back? Of course, we’ve all been there. The moment there’s an important meeting or a stressful family situation or you’re experiencing strong negative emotions in your personal life, we slowly sneak in comfort food or we deprioritize our workout times. Yoga as a practise helps you deal with all this. When you manage your emotions better, and continue to manage stress effectively, the need to turn to food is negated. You can choose to condition your mind to move more when you feel stressed. All this and more is outlined by the leading researchers at the Department of Nursing Research and Translational Science, National Institutes of Health Clinical Center. They call it “A Different Weight Loss Experience” which outlines the benefits of Yoga for the weight loss in major areas like, physical, mental, emotional, and social. Your weight loss experience with yoga will be very different from other weight loss techniques.

Research paper: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4995338/

2. Yoga helps deal with fear of failure and the anxiety.

If there’s something weight loss aspirants dislike, then it’s the back and forth on trial weight loss techniques. While its common knowledge that weight loss journeys are anything but linear, it can be a frustrating process to work on your body but feel a lot of negative baggage that comes with the effort. And half the battle with weight loss is won mentally. “What if this doesn’t work either?”. “What if I am never able to lose weight?”. These questions raise the heart rate (which Is brought about by hormones like Epinephrine/Norepinephrine), the physical reaction to this is anxiety and the fight/flight/fright response triggered by the sympathetic nervous system. Yoga encourages one to relax, slow the breath and focus on the present, shifting the balance from the sympathetic nervous system and the flight-or-fight response to the parasympathetic system and the relaxation response. Your mind is literally defining your success in this journey and yoga helps mould the mind.

Research paper on Yoga and anxiety: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3193654/

3. Yoga will almost instantly make you feel better. (The weighing scale may not the right measure for it)

Years and years of struggling with weight can be a difficult habit to unlearn. Yes, Yoga will definitely help you burn off the excess weight on the body. But first, it will teach you to accept that all that extra weight is nothing to be ashamed of. At the beginning of any Yoga class, the first step is to take a few cleansing deep breaths. We breathe 22,000 times in a day, what are we doing differently in those 5 deep breaths? Most of us hold in our stomach during the day because tummies are frowned upon and we’d rather have a flat attractive stomach. This restricts the complete oxygenation of the lungs and increases tension. In the first 5 breaths before a class, the 5 deep breaths are satisfying because they are “FULLER” breaths than those we take everyday. Better oxygenation >> better energy >> better stamina/endurance >> easier to do high intensity exercise >> better calorific burn and more. Shallow breathing also triggers the stress response which supresses the immune response. So if you’re someone who suffers from frequent colds and coughs, you may be breathing wrong.

You can read more here: https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/relaxation-techniques-breath-control-helps-quell-errant-stress-response This stress response can be countered by 6 medically approved relaxation responses. 5/6 of these are practised in yoga several times in one session: https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/six-relaxation-techniques-to-reduce-stress

4. Yoga will reset your metabolism and normalise BMR.

We look at people with “fast metabolism” and constantly compare our journeys to them thinking “I wish I could eat what I want and still stay thin”. This is based on BMR (Basal metabolic rate). Often used interchangeably with RMR or resting metabolic rate, these are calories required to perform the absolute basic functions of the body (breathing, circulation etc). If you consume more calories than your BMR, you gain weight and vice versa. BMR is defined by several factors which cannot be controlled consciously, like biological sex, age, ethnicity, genetic make up etc. The factors that can be controlled are body composition, weight and height. Simplistic explanations say: Increased muscle mass >> increased BMR>>effective weight loss. But how much BMR is too much BMR? Is it possible to have “too fast” metabolism? Yes and No. A very high BMR can increase risk of mortality by speeding up aging: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/23161889_High_Basal_Metabolic_Rate_Is_a_Risk_Factor_for_Mortality_The_Baltimore_Longitudinal_Study_of_Aging/link/0fcfd50e6f6de324c0000000/download And a low BMR can increase risk spontaneous weight gain and the risk of type 2 Diabetes: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32690630/ Yogic practises allow to increase and decrease BMR by impacting the core of this process, the DIGESTIVE system. Yoga regulates the secretion of enzymes required in digestion, which in turn defines how nutrients are used in the body. BMR changes can be seen within a week and prolonged yoga practice can normalize BMR for longer lasting periods even after cessation of yoga practice. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1564415/ But how would one know which asanas to practise and what BMR should be targeted. These are answers available with our master trainers, who are trained in the physical impact of Yoga and its direct benefits for any health goal.

5. Yoga will reset your gut health which controls weight loss, anxiety, digestion.

We have about 100 trillion bacteria living in our digestive system at any given time. And these bacteria help chop up food into smaller pieces which then get absorbed by the human body and the food is “used up” to provide calories. This is the simple process of nutrient absorption. But does this mean that someone who has more bacteria doesn’t have the ability to lose weight quickly? There are many theories about the “good” and the “bad” bacteria in the gut. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/do-gut-bacteria-inhibit-weight-loss Researchers have long found that the gut bacteria can control food absorption for energy production, function of the immune system, hormonal products(as an endocrine-like organ), support cholesterol metabolism, regulate appetite hormones and appears to have an impact on brain function. So, it is not surprising that this has an effect on the weight loss journey. Yoga helps in creation on favourable conditions for the “good” bacteria to flourish. This aids in weightloss. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6748614/ In several studies, too intense exercise has shown to damage gut bacteria but Yoga has consistently shown progress.

6. Yoga helps you rely less on medications

Common medications like Diabetes drugs, Antidepressants, Beta blockers, Oral corticosteroids and Migraine meds can cause rapid weight gain. This can be another reason why weight loss could be so tough. Yoga can decrease stress and cortisol levels, enhance mood, decrease anxiety and depression, improve sleep, and improve chronic conditions such as hypertension and diabetes, reducing the need for medications that can cause weight gain. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3415184/ https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/yoga-for-weight-loss-benefits-beyond-burning-calories-202112062650

7. Yoga relieves insomnia, reduces serum cortisol levels, reduces craving and binge eating tendencies

Studies have shown that insomnia and obesity have a direct connection. Whether it is clinically diagnosed or self diagnosed, the chronic loss of sleep has a much deeper impact on our lives than we choose to believe is true. NCBI says that Sleep is the ‘most sedentary activity’, yet may be the only one that protects from weight gain. Experimental studies have shown that short-term partial sleep restriction decreases glucose tolerance, increases sympathetic tone, elevates cortisol concentrations, decreases the satiety hormone leptin, increases the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin, and increases hunger and appetite. Yoga has been known to control cortisol, normalize brain activity for sleep, reduce stress and promote rest. It is one of the rare forms of exercise and lifestyle that is capable of changing so many elements with very little intervention from medication. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20823775/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3632337/#R85

These are 7 scientifically approved studies that prove that Yoga can lead to rapid and sustained weight loss in addition to holistic transformation of lifestyle.