Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is one style of yoga better than another at helping me lose weight?"
I'm 24, male, and significantly overweight. Which style of yoga should I look into for weight loss?
While there are many diet fads and exercise or fitness trends out there, generally, weight loss comes down to burning more calories than you take in. So your first step will be to decrease how many calories you take in. This can be difficult, but you can work on it with the help of your primary care physician and dietician. As for burning calories, yoga can be a great source of exercise to help you burn calories. Generally, with exercise, the more intense the exercise is (the faster your heart beats and the more tired you get), the more calories you are burning per minute. But you don't want to do an intensity so high that you are not able to exercise for long enough. Yoga widely ranges in difficulty. Vinyasa is a more relaxed form of yoga, whereas Vikram/Bikram is as a harder type that is often in a room that is warmed up to 90 degrees! Since you are currently overweight and potentially new to yoga, you should start with one of the easier types of yoga (Vinyasa is a popular one), in a beginner's class, and slowly work your way up in difficulty until you get to a point of being able to do 4-5 full classes per week (or equivalent duration of exercise) without stopping, but while feeling at least a bit winded and tired for most of the class. You should see a dietitian to discuss the most effective and safest way to start a weight loss and exercise regimen.
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