cooking, family, habits, healthy eating, healthy living, lifestyle, weight loss, yoga

The Skinny

Yoga for Weight Loss

People practice yoga for many ‘mind and body’ health changing solutions. Some people practice yoga to help them achieve mental clarity and improve their ability to concentrate. Others prefer to practice yoga simply because they want to exercise.

If your reason for doing yoga is to lose weight, you have to consider exercises that not only help you to achieve peace of mind and stretch your muscles, but also serve as a good workout to help you shed those extra pounds.

Yoga Classes and Exercising

Yoga is not a high-intensity exercise; however yoga classes usually run from 75 to 90 minutes of non- stop activity. This means that you will be working your muscles all-throughout this period. Whilst you perform these exercises, they will lengthen, strengthen and balance not only your muscles but your entire body.

You may also do core work by practicing chaturanga poses. Like any other weight loss activity, you may have to indulge in practicing these yoga exercises 4 to 5 times a week in conjunction with eating a portion-controlled balanced diet.

Experts suggest that the best first step towards losing weight is to increase one’s physical activity, so choosing yoga for weight loss is a good first step! All you have to do now is to choose the right exercises to perform.

Yoga Styles Ideal for Weight Loss

Vinyasa and Ashtanga are two styles of yoga that are ideal for people wanting to lose weight. These classes will usually last for 90 minutes.
Indulging in Vinyasa and Ashtanga Yoga will also provide you with cardiovascular benefits as you burn those calories. At the same time you will be still stretching and toning your muscles. Vinyasa and Ashtanga Yoga can also provide you with some weight bearing exercises to improve your bone health.

Yoga Improves Digestive Health to Help Promote Weight Loss

Yoga classes expose your body to different kinds of moves, such as forward twists and bends. These moves help release gas by compressing your abdomen. There are also yoga moves that will enhance blood flow to your digestive tract and bowels thereby improving your digestive health.
A weak gastrointestinal tract can hamper your body’s ability to lose weight. This is because a weakened or damaged gastrointestinal tract can lead to poor digestion which can inhibit weight loss. With the help of several yoga moves you will be able to stimulate your gastrointestinal tract and unleash its vital force to help improve your overall digestive health.

For best results, start performing your yoga exercises on an empty stomach.

Yoga Teaches You To Focus On Your Body

One subtle factor that yoga has that will power up your weight loss efforts is its ability to make you focus on your body. This allows you to be more aware of your body and how it feels as you go through your daily activities. This self-awareness will lead to a shift in the way you treat your body.

You will more likely begin to eat only when you are hungry and not just because you feel the desire to eat that delicious snack. It will soon become easier for you to feel satisfied and stop eating before you feel overfull.

Regular practice of yoga can significantly help in your development of ‘mindfulness’ especially during mealtimes. You will become more conscious of your habits in regards to your food preparation, portion sizes and your manner of eating.

If you follow a nutritional plan and practice your yoga exercises regularly, yoga can definitely help you lose weight.

Yours in good health, Elle


Aging And The “Middle Age Spread “

The phrase ‘middle-age spread’, by its own definition, is considered synonymous with aging. Unfortunately, for too many it has become an accepted part of life and growing older. It is as if we believe it is normal or inevitable, rather than a dangerous sign of poor lifestyle choices.

Distinguishing Subcutaneous Fat from Visceral Fat

Abdominal fat is also referred to as ‘visceral’ fat. If you have excess abdominal fat, you should do something about it, and the sooner the better. Abdominal fat has been linked to many health risks. Health professionals and organizations use waistline measurements as one indicator when performing health checkups.

Although subcutaneous fat is not as dangerous as visceral fat, neither of these should ever be allowed to accumulate in the midriff area.

Subcutaneous fat is the fat that you can grasp or pinch with your hands, located just below the skin. Visceral fat is much more dangerous to your health than subcutaneous fat.

Visceral fat is located deep within the body’s abdominal cavity, out of hands reach. Excessive amounts of visceral fat have been linked to different kinds of metabolic disorders, type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, gallbladder problems and cardiovascular disease.

While where the fat accumulates in the body is partly determined by hormones, gender and genes, it also reflects a person’s lifestyle habits and choices.

The Dangers of Abdominal Fat

Studies reveal that abdominal fat cells are biologically active and any excess can significantly disrupt the normal functioning and balance of hormones.

Abdominal fat releases cytokines which are immune system chemicals, which can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The release of these bio-chemicals can also affect the body’s insulin sensitivity and it may lead to blood pressure issues and blood clotting.

Another reason why visceral fat can be dangerous to your health is due to its proximity to the portal vein. The portal vein is responsible for carrying blood from the intestinal area into the liver.

When visceral fat releases substances such as free fatty acids, they are carried into the portal vein and then travel to the liver, affecting the production of blood lipids.

An increase in the amount of visceral fat equates to increased insulin resistance, higher levels of the bad LDL cholesterol and lower levels of the good HDL cholesterol. 

Visceral fat has also been shown to secrete proteins that contribute to the development of atherosclerosis, which is a condition that leads to clogged arteries. This puts the person at a higher risk of having a heart attack.

How to Stop the Middle-Age Spread

If you are around middle age, living an unhealthy lifestyle, dining on processed foods, sitting in front of the television or computer all day, drinking high volumes of soft drink and/or alcohol, you will most likely be able to look down and see your very own ‘middle-age spread’.

Avoiding any physical activity and eating a diet high in carbohydrates is a surefire way to a bigger belly and putting yourself at a higher risk of lifestyle diseases. 

A study showed that exercising vigorously for eight consecutive months helped participants reduce their visceral fat by as much as 8%. This may sound great to some people, but just watching what you eat and reducing your sugary, high carb foods can reduce that bulge even quicker than exercise can!

Sit-ups and other spot exercises may help in tightening the abdominal muscles, but it can’t reach visceral fat. Getting rid of excessive abdominal fat isn’t possible without paying attention to your eating habits. Plain and simple. So steer clear of refined grains, pasta, fizzy beverages, high sodium and sugary foods.

Instead, fill your body with real whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, fish and meat that hasn’t been processed. You can start your day with an egg or two, instead of pancakes and syrup. Making that one simple change will help reduce your midriff bulge, making you feel and look better too!

Yours in good health,


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