What Yoga Asanas & Diet to follow for Weight Loss
written by Muskan Verma, Yoga Instructor, health & wellness practitioner
Get on your yoga mat, and improve your flexibility and body balance along with weight reduction by practicing weight loss yoga for beginners at home. Being overweight and obese is one of the most common metabolic and nutritional disorders. Life becomes difficult in the smallest moment, where you are not able to do daily tasks efficiently because of your weight. People look at yoga as a slow and steady practice that can’t burn calories and help in weight reduction or body toning, but you will find it interesting to know that regular weight loss yoga practice will bring your body to correct BMI gradually, with an increase in your immunity level.
Weight loss yoga for beginners embraces alteration, consistent practice and progress with the following principles:
Detoxification processes: Yoga introduces the first step as shatkarma where the body is detoxified with certain procedures such as Kunjal, Shankh Prakshalan, Agnisar and Kapalbhati. Asana: It is a prominent, integral part of yoga. Here are the five best yogasana to lose weight and reduce belly fat: Trikonasana: One of the best Asana that shreds fat from the sides of the body also, it strengthens core muscles, and thighs, and alleviates backache. Trikonasana burns fat around the belly and does body toning. Stand on the mat with a two and half feet distance between your feet. Rotate your right foot to the right side and raise your hands parallel to the mat. Now, Inhale and slightly pull your body to the right side. With an exhalation bend down to the right side, and keep your palm on the mat beside your right foot. Hold it for 20-30 seconds, and keep breathing. Come back with an inhalation and repeat on the left side.
Mandukasana: You must have heard yoga teachers always telling mandukasana is the premier asana for belly fat loss. It is indeed, let’s see how? Sit in vajrasana, make a fist with both of your hands, and place them beside your navel. Inhale and with an exhalation bend forward completely so that both the fits compress your stomach. Gaze forward at a point in the final pose, hold it for 15 seconds and keep breathing. This compression boosts metabolism and melts excess fat from the abdomen.
Vakrasana: In this asana you twist your body to stretch all the muscles. Not only weight loss, but also flexibility and a sense of lightness in the body are achieved. Sit on the mat, and spread your legs forward and together. Now, bend your right leg and place your right foot beside your left knee. Inhale and lift your hands above your head. Twist and rotate your body to the right side with an exhalation. Place your right hand in front of your backbone behind your body and hold your right foot with your left hand. Hold this pose for 15-20 seconds. Keep breathing in the final posture. Do not put pressure or body weight on the right hand, instead, use your muscles to hold the posture. Inhale and come back to the centre, then repeat from the left side. Naukasana: Naukasana is a core strengthening asana that needs you to balance your whole body on your tailbone. In the final position, your body will look like a boat. Sit on the mat with legs spread forward and together, keep your backbone straight. With an inhale, lift your legs to a 60-degree angle and lift your hands parallel to the mat. Your body makes a V shape in the final pose, hold this pose for 15-20 seconds and keep normal breathing. Bhujangasana: This is a back bending asana that brings a good stretch in the abdomen and compression in the lower back that stimulates the metabolism and burns stubborn fat deposited in the belly. To do this asana lie flat on your stomach, keeping your legs together and palms right below your shoulder. Inhale and lift your chest with the help of back muscles. Stay here for 20 seconds and keep breathing. Dhanurasana: Also known as bow pose. It is a balancing asana which works directly on your internal organs, strengthens abdominal and core muscles, corrects posture and brings flexibility to the backbone. Lie down on your stomach, while keeping your legs straight and together. Bend your leg from your knees and hold your ankle with your hands, maintaining a hip-width distance between the knees. Lift your chest and legs away from the mat. Hold it for 15 seconds and keep breathing.
Yoga Nidra: Stress, depression, and anxiety are some reasons for obesity. Yoga Nidra is the solution for it. Yoga Nidra should be done at least once a week or daily for 20 minutes. Its continuous practice keeps serenity in mind in the most chaotic situations. Surya-namaskar: Surya-namaskar is a complete sequence of Yoga for weight loss. It includes 12 steps done from the right as well as the left part of the body, making it a total of 24 steps in one round. Surya-namaskar is a chain of seven asanas performed along with breath control that is pranayama and chanting of different mantras in each step. Steady and dynamic, both types of Surya-namaskar practice burn calories and help in weight loss.
“Yoga is the ultimate practice. It simultaneously stimulates our inner light and quiets our overactive minds. It is both energy and rest. Yin and Yang. We feel the burn and find our bliss.” —Beachbody Supertrainer Elise Joan
Diet: Yoga will certainly aid in belly fat reduction, but following a weight loss diet is mandatory. Mindful eating and the right choices of food for weight loss will help you to achieve your goal quickly. Let's have a look at what to avoid losing weight:
● Avoid frequent eating. Try to eat at a fixed time. You can eat four times a day with an interval of a minimum of 3 hours. ● Do not lie or sit in one place for too long. If you have to sit for too long, try to keep stretching up and twisting your body to keep the body active. ● Do not starve. Eat before you feel hungry. Doing so will help you avoid munching on unhealthy food. ● Go for a 10-minute walk after 5 minutes to your lunch and dinner. ● Ready-to-eat and packed meals are time-saving food items, but unhealthy. So, try to have home-cooked food.
Must include in your diet: It is recommended to include the following for an ideal diet in your weight loss regimen:
1. The most important weight loss food element to keep in your diet is fiber. Fiber helps in good digestion. Fiber-rich foods give a feeling of satiety for a long time. 2. Plant-based protein-rich food includes beans, legumes, tempeh, quinoa, and tofu. 3. Green leafy vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, tomatoes, kale, Brussels, sprouts, cabbage, lettuce, and cucumber. 4. Fruits: watermelon, cantaloupe, grapefruit, apple, orange, grapes, pineapple, guava, peaches, avocado, and raspberries. 5. Dry fruits and nuts: cashew, walnuts, almond, pistachios. 6. Seeds: flaxseed, chia seed, and pumpkin seeds. 7. Yoghurt and milk are essential parts of your diet. 8. Have Green tea once a day. They are full of antioxidants and help you to burn extra calories.
Food to avoid in the diet for weight loss:
9. Sweet drinks should be excluded from your diet. Aerated drinks are rich in sugar and preservatives. Sugar-rich drinks have no nutritional value; they are just good in taste. The more you find them refreshing, the more you consume; they only increase your appetite. Cut down sugar from your diet, instead drink plenty of water. 10. Processed food like chips, french fries, pizza, burgers, candy, pastries, ice cream, biscuits, and other munching snacks should be avoided. These packed items are full of refined flour, preservatives, and unhealthy ingredients. Consumption of these items leads to weight gain with time. 11. Breakfast cereals are advertised to be the best breakfast option to start your day with, but they are not as healthy as they seem. Because of their manufacturing process, they lack nutrition and overcome nutritional value, and the artificial flavours and sugar are added. 12. Avoid alcohol and smoking; they are the sneakiest culprits leading to weight gain. These are unhealthy and don't provide any nutrition. On top of that, the snacks consumed while drinking combined with alcohol are more responsible for a significant weight increase.
A complete lifestyle change becomes a difficult task that centrality fails after some time. You should also know some weight loss tips and hacks which will keep you on track always. These are dos and don'ts to lose weight:
● Following a strict diet is destined for failure, so it's better to make healthy choices instead of setting unrealistic goals. Try to adapt to your new healthy eating habits, and then following a diet will work.
● Trying to skip meals and staying starving won't help you to lose weight. People suggest stopping eating from losing, but that's not the weight you want to lose. You have to reduce stored fat in the body. Starvation will deplete your muscles. ● Carbohydrates are neither good nor bad. Your body can survive on fats and protein if you stop taking carbs. If you are training hard, then carbs will give you more energy and metabolise more fat. ● For easy bowel movements, try to drink three-four litres of water throughout the day.
Yoga is the best weight loss tool suitable for all ages. It supports mental, physical, spiritual and social well-being, bringing out the best version of yourself. Now, you know weight loss yoga poses and diet which will make your body healthy gradually. Consistent and disciplined yoga practice will help you to combat the main reason for weight gain which is stress. So, what are you waiting for? Are you ready to get started with your body transformation?