Having excess fat stored around your abdominal area has been proven to be bad for your health.
As we all know, it is incredibly easy to put that weight on, but, sadly, it is also one of the hardest places to lose it from.
Many people are looking for the best ways to lose fat around the belly area. Those same people are also asking, does yoga reduce belly fat?
If you’re wondering about the same thing, we’ve got your back.
Does Yoga Reduce Belly Fat?
Being overweight heightens the risk of several common health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
All of these diseases are found to be more common in people carrying that extra weight in their abdominal area.
The good news is that yoga can help reduce belly fat, and it does so in a number of ways.
Benefits of Practicing Yoga
There are a great number of benefits to practicing yoga regularly, with the obvious ones being burning calories and toning and strengthening your muscles.
Due to yoga’s connection between the mind and the body, it also affects your mood and, with it, your eating and sleeping habits.
Let’s take a closer look.
We all know that the secret to losing weight is to burn more calories than you consume. Like all types of exercise, yoga can help you in this regard.
There are many different types of yoga; some will burn more calories than others due to the movements’ pace.
If you’re just starting out, it may be beneficial for you to begin with slower-paced and more mindful classes.
Restorative yoga and hatha yoga routines will help introduce you to many beneficial asanas (poses) while helping you learn more about mind and body connection.
Faster-paced classes, such as vinyasa and ashtanga, will get your heart rate up more and, therefore, burn more calories.
You’ll feel more comfortable in faster-paced classes once you are already familiar with basic asanas, which you’ll learn in hatha yoga.
Strengthen and Tone Muscles
Yoga involves a great number of poses that help to strengthen and tone your entire body.
As with all types of exercise, there are some moves (or, in this case, poses) that specifically target the abdominal area.
Plank, chaturanga, and boat pose will all help to strengthen and tone your abs. They will also work the rest of your core muscles in your torso, front and back.
Other asanas you can practice that will combat belly fat include cobra, bow, and one-legged downward dog.
Improve Your Mood
It is believed that depressed people are more likely to gain weight than those who aren’t depressed.
Feelings of depression and anxiety can often lead to comfort-eating, which needs to be avoided if you want to lose weight.
Anxiety and stress can also increase cortisol levels, causing a build-up of excess fat in the abdominal area.
Practicing yoga allows you to lose weight in a more healthy and holistic way. It does so by also helping you relax and meditate.
A hatha yoga class will often involve physical poses and controlled breathing practices. You will also find that it involves a short period of relaxation or meditation.
A growing number of studies have proven a link between yoga and a reduction in depression and anxiety symptoms.
Therefore, the meditation aspects of yoga will also have a knock-on effect on your belly fat by improving your overall mood.
Affect Sleeping Habits
Did you know that people who don’t get enough sleep are likely to have larger appetites? This is because when you lack sleep, your leptin levels fall.
Leptin is a hormone that helps to regulate your appetite, so tired people end up feeling more hungry than people who sleep well.
People who have insomnia found that yoga helped them fall asleep faster and sleep for longer. It also helps seniors suffering from insomnia, improving sleep quality and reducing daytime tiredness.
There are many poses you can practice just before bed to help you relax, such as butterfly and corpse pose.
Change Eating Patterns
In Yogic philosophy, there is a direct connection between your diet, your mind, and your body.
The practice of yoga encourages mindfulness that makes you more aware of what you’re eating and when you are full.
People who practice yoga on a regular basis are, therefore, more likely to make more mindful choices when it comes to the food they eat.
In fact, regular home practice is directly linked to lower body mass index (BMI) levels and higher fruit and vegetable consumption.
It is also linked to better sleep, reduced fatigue, and subjective positive well-being.
Interestingly, you might also notice the likelihood of vegetarianism in people who follow a yogic lifestyle based on how often they practice yoga at home.
So, improved mood and mindfulness can motivate you to eat more healthily and better manage emotional eating.
It helps reduce your cravings for fast food, sugary beverages, and snacks and increases your cravings for healthier food that properly feeds your body and mind.
So, does yoga reduce belly fat? The answer is a big, fat, yes! It helps you burn calories and tone your problem areas, but the help it provides goes much beyond that.
Introducing yoga into your daily life can help improve your mood, sleeping habits, and eating patterns, all of which will have a huge impact on your ability to eat well and lose weight.
Yoga has become very popular over the last few decades, and it should be very easy to find at least one weekly class to go to.
Still, the real benefit of yoga will be felt from your own daily practice at home, and there are millions of free videos online that you can follow.
In fact, even just 10 minutes a day can go a long way toward staying motivated to eat more healthily.