Surprising Benefits of Yoga for Weight Loss – Does Yoga Burn Fat?


Yoga is not about burning calories but still regular yoga practice offers multiple weight loss benefits. Find out how yoga can lead to faster weight loss, stress resistance and better health.

Weight Loss Benefits Of Yoga
© Nina Mel

Your mission is to lose weight. Nothing is going to deter you. Nothing is going to discourage you. However, if you could find a means of augmenting the weight loss process, you would be more than happy to embrace it.

Any form of physical exercise helps with weight loss because, obviously, you are moving and burning calories. Pulling out the fitness equipment is an important step in battling unwanted pounds.

Exercise boosts metabolism and helps burn fat and build muscle. It also improves mental health. The expression “runner’s high” refers to the endorphin rush people experience when exercising.

Endorphins are neurotransmitters. They are produced when a person is excited or in pain, eats spicy foods or exercises. They are comparable to opiates because they make a person feel good.

Doing aerobic exercise burns off calories faster than doing yoga postures; however, there are many men and women who cannot do aerobics or simply do not want to. Aerobics are hard on knees and ankles. Yoga is not.

Why Yoga?

Yoga improves blood lipid levels and improves mood. Blood lipids are fats in the bloodstream. When the levels are too high, an individual is at risk for heart disease.

If dieting puts you in a foul mood, this form of exercise will help counteract those negative feelings.

Yoga also stretches and tones the body. Your posture improves and you have better flexibility. When practicing postures, stress levels are reduced. When stress diminishes, fewer stress hormones like cortisone are released by the body. This is vitally important when it comes to weight loss.

The stressed-out person’s mind interprets situations that really aren’t dangerous as being just that. Work can be stress provoking; kids can be; driving in city traffic can turn a person into a nervous wreck. When in danger, or when the brain perceives the body is in peril, the body automatically releases powerful hormones, which provide a gush of adrenaline.

The body then taps into stored energy reserves to give the individual the ability to fight or flee. This is the fight or flight syndrome, which is necessary in a life or death situation. When an individual is having the fight or flight response regularly, this is not good on the body and, among other negative outcomes, leads to weight gain.


Cortisol is released when a person is stressed. Cortisol instructs the body it needs to stock up on energy even though the person hasn’t used up many calories while in the anxious frame of mind. The person gets very hungry as a result of the cortisol. As long as the stress continues, the body keeps pushing cortisol into the person’s system.

Typically, a stressed-out individual wants sweet, salty and high fat foods because they prompt the brain to discharge the happiness chemicals that lower tension.

Yoga Counteracts Stress

Yoga helps an individual lose weight by controlling the stress chemicals that cause a person to eat poorly and, as a result, gain weight.

Students of yoga learn proper breathing techniques and full awareness of breathing, which, in turn, helps the individual deal more effectively with stressful situations. Instead of freaking out at the slightest provocation, the person instead breathes, deeply and rhythmically, until he can collect his thoughts and respond in a manner that doesn’t raise his blood pressure or result in conflict.

Yoga practitioners become more insulin sensitive, which means their bodies get the message to burn food as fuel rather than maintain it as fat. When a person is insulin sensitive this means he needs comparatively normal or low levels of insulin to process glucose–which is sugar–that gives the body its main source of energy. When a person is insulin resistant this means he needs an ample amount of insulin to process glucose.

Running miles every day or working out at the gym may, in fact, help you lose weight faster than doing yoga, but yoga can help you lose weight and keep it off because your outlook is altered for the better, your response to stress is healthier and this lowers stress hormones, which make a person fat.

Yoga is a way of life. Once you lose the weight, keep practicing this form of exercise. Its benefits are plentiful and extend far beyond losing weight.


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