Yoga for weight loss: Try these yoga tips and asanas to shed weight
Food & Health  
Hindustan Times

Yoga not only helps you shed extra calories on mat, it also makes you mindful of your food choices that further aids weight loss.


People aiming to lose weight often try fad diets, shed kilos temporarily only to gain them back and feel demotivated. The downside of these diets is also the nutritional deficit they may create apart from not helping you with your sustainable weight loss goals. Yoga on the other hand is more likely to help you manage your weight and be overall healthy with its variety of asanas, pranayamas, mudras and meditation techniques.
Studies have proved that Yoga not only helps you shed extra calories on mat, it also makes you mindful of your food choices that will further aid weight loss. Many people who are emotional eaters benefit from Yoga. Yoga also helps you with stress, another reason for weight gain.
If you are overweight or obese, losing weight can prevent you from many health complications from type 2 diabetes, heart disease, depression, respiratory problems, cancer and more.
"Yoga is the perfect choice for those who are looking to get fit as it helps you to lose weight in a healthy way and keeps you active and energetic," says renowned Yoga expert Grand Master Akshar, adding, "Yoga poses combined with pranayama and meditation cleanses, stimulates, and encourages good digestion."
Here are dietary tips by Grand Master Akshar to follow if you are aiming to lose weight
* Fibre-rich food can make you feel full for long which helps reduce the calorie intake. Including such foods in your diet can help you with weight loss. Try to include foods that contain water-soluble fiber as this type of fibre can help increase the feeling of fullness.
* Practice mindful eating: Practicing Yoga also make you mindful of what you are eating as you learn to listen to your body cues. "This process helps you make conscious food choices so you eat only when you are hungry," says the Yoga guru. He says that mindful eating is especially helpful against binge eating and emotional eating and has significant effects on weight, eating behaviour and stress in overweight and obese people.
Eat protein and good fats to your diet: Many studies have shown that low-carb diets are very effective for weight loss. Limit your carb intake, eat more fat and protein as this reduces your appetite and helps you eat less.
Nourish your body with home cooked food: "Let your goal be a healthy weight while you still have strength, stamina and flexibility. For this you will need to exercise and also nourish your body with healthy food. Instead of eating out, consume only fresh, home cooked food rather than heavily processed packaged foods," says the Yoga expert.
Grand Master Akshar also suggests three yoga asanas for weight loss:


* Begin in Samasthithi
* Exhale and gently bend your upper body, dropping your head and keeping your shoulders and neck relaxed
* Bring the stomach closer to the legs by moving from the hip joints. You may bend your knees initially
* Place palms on either side of feet
* With practice, slowly straighten your knees and try to touch your chest to your thighs
* Hold this asana for a while
* Lie down on your back
* Fold your legs at your knees and ensure that your feet are placed firmly on the floor
* Bend your arms at the elbows with your palms facing the sky. Rotate your arms at the shoulders and place your palms on the floor on either side beside your head
* Inhale, put pressure on your palms and legs and lift your entire body up to form an arch
* Relax your neck and allow your head to fall gently behind
* Begin by lying down on your stomach
* Bend your knees and hold your ankles with your palms
* Have a strong grip
* Lift your legs and arms as high as you can
* Look up and hold the posture for a while



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