It’s holiday season, and with New Year around the corner, you would want to look your best, don’t you?
More than 30% of the World’s population in 2016 is either overweight or obese (1), and it’s time to hop into a healthier and more beautiful 2017, by losing that unwanted fat!
Being overweight has many physical and psychological side-effects. I have pulled my hair in agony looking at every extra inch that I gain over time. Not only did I feel that I looked unattractive, but I also developed damaging self-worth issues. Thus, I began my dissection of the weight gain dilemma.
Here are my findings and let me share how Power Yoga liberated me!
Common Factors Causing Weight Gain And The Science Behind Them
- Low Mood
- Lack Of Sleep
- Digestive Disorders
- Excessive Eating
- Bad Diet
What Causes Weight Gain?
Here are nine common medically proven reasons behind weight gain in otherwise healthy people:
1. Stress – Stress and tension lead to the production of ‘the stress hormone,’ Cortisol in the body.
Cortisol is responsible for higher levels of insulin. An increase in insulin drops your blood sugar levels and makes you crave for sugary and fatty foods. Beware!
2. Low Mood – Mood Swings and PMS are closely linked in women. Lifestyle and unhealthy habits also cause mood to see-saw between positive and negative. Fluctuating moods mess up the hormonal balance in the body. Even minute changes in hormone proportions have significant effects on your physical and mental health.
Hormones such as Estrogen, Progesterone, and Testosterone affect you enormously. Their delicate balance is affected by sudden fluctuations in your mood.
3. Depression – Several studies have linked weight gain to depression. This study published and indexed in the Archives of General Psychiatry (2) is clear proof of that.
The question arises, do you gain weight because of depression? Or you get depressed because you are overweight? The answer is similar to the eternal question—‘Did the egg come first or the chicken?’
It is a vicious cycle. Both are inter-dependent on each other. Depression causes many symptoms that worsen weight gain. A few are appetite abnormalities, depleted energy levels, and binge eating of comfort food.
4. Tiredness – Lack of enough rest and burning yourself out makes you feel tired all the time. Fatigue makes you more likely to crave for high-energy and high-calorie food.
Surely, eating such calorie-rich food keeps your energy levels up all day. On the flip side, it also makes you avoid physical activity. That means you will burn fewer calories! Be careful, and rest enough!
5. Lack of Sleep – Sleep deprivation leads to reduced levels of the hormone Leptin. Leptin is the chemical in your body that makes your stomach feel full. Therefore, it is also nicknamed as the “satiety hormone.”
A lower level of Leptin hikes the levels of another hormone, Ghrelin in the body. Ghrelin is the hunger-stimulating chemical. Insufficient sleep, eventually makes you eat more!
6. Medication – Weight gain is a frequent side-effect of many drugs, even over-the-counter (OTC) medication.
Even unseemingly harmless medication such as antihistamines (e.g. Benadryl) taken for allergies, and medication for Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Depression, Asthma, Migraine also boost fat retention. Certain Birth Control pills can increase your weight too.
7. Digestive Disorders – Problems in your digestive system cause incredibly rapid weight gain. Ordinarily, Acid Reflux Disease (Acidity), Constipation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), intestinal bacterial overgrowth and stomach Ulcers are issues that are commonplace culprits.
Gastrointestinal and digestion related issues play an important role in your dietary habits. They also affect how your body absorbs and digests food. If this process isn’t smooth or healthy, it causes an accelerated increase in your weight.
8. Excessive Eating – Balancing weight is as simple as maintaining a favorable equation between the number of calories you take in, and the number of calories you burn doing a physical or mental activity.
9. Bad Diet – Eating an unbalanced diet makes your body lack particular nutrients while having an excess of others. This natural need makes you hungry for more food!
A poorly planned diet will not just affect your overall health, but also make you eat more than necessary.
How Can Yoga Solve Your Weight Gain Woes?
Maintaining your weight is paramount in sustaining good physical and mental health.
Studies have been conducted to determine the exact reasons for increased body mass. Despite vigorous gym workouts and strict diets, there are still those stubborn few kilograms that won’t go away!
Surprisingly, scientists found that physical exercise isn’t the lasting solution to losing weight!
How is that possible, you ask?
Well, let’s find out!
Yes, that’s right. It starts from the inside.
That’s where your gym doesn’t truly help, but Yoga pulls up its sleeves and steps in!
Research and experiments conducted by The National Institute of Health (NIH), USA, clearly states, “Yoga appears to be an appropriate and potentially successful intervention for weight maintenance, prevention of obesity, and risk reduction for diseases in which obesity plays a significant causal role.” (3)
Yoga addresses major problems that cause weight gain. It does so by helping soothe your mind and bringing about a balance between your physical and mental wellbeing.
1. Reduces Stress – Regular practice of Yoga routines reduce stress and alleviates bodily health disorders (4). Scientists have successfully monitored levels of hormones in patients who practice Yoga and in those who do not.
Patients who followed Yoga routines and techniques showed significantly reduced levels of the stress-related hormones in the body.
2. Regulates Mood Swings – Research has shown that Yoga is a potent method to condition the mind into a happier state of being.
By channeling out the negative and making you aware of positive energies in your surroundings, Yoga can help you feel calm, peaceful and much more upbeat about Life.
Clarity of thought is the biggest plus of a tranquil mind. In turn, it affects your general mood and propels you towards a state of emotional stability.
3. Creates Mindfulness – The main reason why Yoga works is that it creates a sense of mindfulness in you. Improved Mind-Body Awareness leads to better control over your urges.
You are less compelled to feel hungry, less motivated to indulge in binge eating and greatly inspired to engage in physically and mentally challenging activities.
You start to pay attention to your calorie balance, and this solves the biggest hurdle in your weight loss journey.
4. Strong Self-Regulation – Self-Regulation is your ability to manage stress, regulate your emotions, and adapt your behavior to various situations.
On numerous occasions, psychological and neuroscientific research shows that yoga and meditation help you manage your mood.
It also generates strong willpower and self-control even in challenging situations.
5. Cultivates Physical Fitness – Yoga exercises and techniques strengthen your body and banish most physical ailments. Promoting a robust body, it also cleanses and detoxifies the entire system.
In the long run, it thereby prevents disorders from getting triggered easily even in patients prone to genetically inherited diseases.
Yoga brings about a balance between your body and mind, and empowers the two to work together! Know how to do power yoga at home for weight loss.
1) Weight Loss Yoga Routine – The Yoga Solution By Tara Stiles
Level – Intermediate
Workout Time – 10 Minutes
In this video, Tara Stiles who is a Model, Fitness celebrity and founder of Strala Yoga in the USA, shows you a routine focusing more on the deep burning of all that fat quickly!
This particular routine is a little advanced and meant for intermediate Yoga practitioners.
Tara is as charismatic as always! Her instructions are clear, precise and demonstrated with great finesse.
2) Yoga For Weight Loss – 40 Minute Fat Burning Yoga Workout By Adriene
Level – Beginner
Workout Time – 40 Minutes
Our very adorable Adriene shows you a 40-minute fat burning power yoga routine in her funny, peppy and simple to understand routine for rapid weight loss.
She is as fun as the Yoga she shows!
3) Beginners Power Yoga For Weight Loss—Total Body Workout – 45 Minute Yoga Class By Courtney Bell
Level – Beginner
Workout Time – 45 Minutes
Courtney Bell, a Celebrity Fitness Trainer from the USA, tells you how to do some powerful fat burning Power Yoga exercises for weight loss.
Courtney is a friendly and patient instructor. She strikes a chord even with those completely new to Yoga.
4) Weight Loss Yoga For Beginners By Tara Stiles
Level – Beginner
Workout Time – 10 Minutes
Once again, her instructions are as articulate as possible. You just can’t go wrong!
5) Intense Cardio Workout | Part 1 & 2 by Tara Stiles
Level – Intermediate
Workout Time – 10 – 15 Minutes Each
When practiced together, the sequences result in phenomenal and long lasting weight loss.