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Yoga for Weight Loss

Most people begin a yoga practice to capitalize on the stress-reducing benefits of this ancient mind-body discipline. But one of the little known gems about yoga is its ability to support weight loss.

While it may be hard to believe that a few stretches and downward dogs can actually torch calories, yoga’s weight loss effects have much more to do with the mindfulness that yoga engenders and less to do with the actual asanas, or postures. That is not to say that yoga asanas don’t produce a calorie burn or stimulate muscle growth, which they do. Both of these factors significantly contribute to weight loss by helping your body expend more calories than you consume and developing muscle tissue burns, which burns more calories than fat tissue.

Here is what you need to know about yoga and weight loss.


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Michelle May Answers “Am I Hungry?” In Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat

The National Nutrition Month interview series continues. I’m so excited about this interview! Everyone needs to listen to it. If you have ever dieted, felt uncontrollable eating or binging, think you are an emotional eater, or just have “food rules” you will benefit from hearing what Michelle May, MD, author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat, has to say about dieting and weight management – and it’s not “count your calories and eat less.”

She should know about weight management, she has struggled with her own weight most of her life. She gets it. Not only that, but the book offers realistic and practical advice and encouragement for changing the way you think about eating and dieting. If you’re ready to stop the cycle of eating and repenting for your “food sins,” you will love what this book has to offer.

Listen now to our conversation to get a taste for the whole “Am I hungry?” approach. Find out how you may be sabotaging reaching your healthy weight by dieting and ignoring your body’s own hunger and fullness signs.

Let me know what you think about it in the comments section. One reader will be chosen to receive a copy of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat on April 9, 2010.

Michelle offers an “eating cycle” quiz on her website as well, which is well worth your time. Enjoy the conversation!



Calories Counts on Food Labels and Menus Don’t Add Up

food labelResearchers at Tufts University looked at 10 frozen food items and 20 restaurant meals and found that they are serving up more than what dieters are asking for. According to a new study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, prepared foods may contain an average of 8% more calories than their package labels own up to and restaurant meals may contain a whopping 18% more.  Some individual restaurant items contained up to 200% more calories than expressed on the menu.

Eeek! What’s a dieter to do? Well, before you go throwing out your food journal read this article for some perspective. Without question, this study suggests a potential threat to weight loss for people who are counting calories as a means to weight loss. Yes, it would be great if the FDA stepped in and said “Hey, these labels need to be more accurate.” But if you wait for the government to change a regulation you’ll be old and gray before you reach your weight goal. So, take matters into your own hands with these simple tips.
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How to Fight Flight Anxiety

Travel is integral to my life. I start to relax when I walk in the airport and immediately relax when I board a plane. As a therapist, though, I know that more than 35% of the population experiences at least some anxiety about flying. tropical beach

Calm your mind by practicing mindfulness and meditation. Visualize a soothing environment, perhaps your destination, imagine and experience it using all of your senses. After returning from a trip to Bermuda several years ago, I started using this picture to help clients practice visualization. What do you see? (The blue of the ocean and sea rocks.) What do you hear? (The waves crashing, the cars passing above.) What do you smell? (Salt water and sunscreen). What do you feel? (The warmth of the sun, the sharp rocks, the firm sand, sunglasses on my nose.) What do you taste? (Fruit juice.) Choose a setting that is calming for you and immerse yourself in it using your imagination.
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Intuitive Eating Puts the Dieter in Charge

male dieterHow much fun do you have when you eat? If it sounds like an “odd” question then the answer is obvious – very little. Most dieters eat what they think they “should” or what some diet plan tells them to eat because it’s the obvious solution to reaching their goal weight. But one thing all dieters have in common is the “dieter’s mentality” – restrict, skip, and avoid.

These negative words give dieting a negative connotation. And what is pleasurable about negativity? Absolutely nothing. So what’s a desperate dieter to do? I say “get over it” – the diet that is. Get over dieting and embrace the idea that you can lose weight, nourish yourself, and be healthier for a long time if you just let go.  Are ‘ya with me?
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