Yoga and Nutrition for Weight Loss
As the holidays draw to a close and we begin the New Year many people decide now is the time to shed those unwanted pounds. At the heart of weight loss is a positive connection with our bodies. This can be approached with the connection of both yoga and nutrition.
We cannot approach our wellness or weight loss from purely an exercise standpoint but must address our diet as well. In fact, diet is often a larger part of the equation. Experts believe weight loss is 75% what we eat and 25% our activity level. Yoga can help with both aspects; it teaches us how to hear our bodies’ messages and translate this to a better understanding of our hunger signals, also giving us a physical boost to our activity level from the exercise. As we learn to listen to our body better through our yoga practice we come to realize that what we once thought was hunger may actually be a need for connection or something other than food.
We also need to consider not only how much we are eating, but what we are eating. The best general advice is to eat more vegetables and shy away from anything in a box. Specifically, the first three things to focus on with diet change are water, fiber, and eating low glycemic to manage blood sugar.
Water is needed to flush toxins from the body which can interfere with metabolism. Drinking enough water also ensures we don’t confuse our thirst for hunger. Some people confuse low grade thirst with hunger and reach for food when they really just need a glass of water. Staying hydrated also keeps our energy up and reduces fatigue. When we are feeling more energetic we are more inclined to get out to the gym, go for a walk and generally increase our activity level.
The more we eat whole foods like fruits and vegetables, the more fiber we are ingesting. It is important to monitor fiber in our diet because it keeps us feeling fuller longer and helps to manage our blood sugar. Nutritionists can help you learn how to measure and track fiber in your diet and ensure you are achieving recommended levels.
Eating a low glycemic diet is huge for weight loss. First and foremost is eliminating refined sugar, but beyond this is learning how to correctly balance the macronutrients. Protein, carbohydrates, and fats are the three macronutrients and each causes our blood sugar to raise at different rates. When we include all three in our meals and snacks our blood sugar stays more stable. When reaching for an apple for a snack, include a half dozen almonds to get some protein and fat, complementing the carbohydrates in the apple. This is a more balanced snack, will leave you feeling fuller longer and will keep your blood sugar and mood stable.