Many people mistake the heavy sweating during Bikram yoga as equivalent to a high rate of calorie burn. While this type of yoga does burn calories, it might not be as many as you think. Overestimating your calorie burn hinders weight-loss goals, but combined with other healthy lifestyle choices, Bikram yoga is beneficial for dropping excess weight and getting to a healthy number. Talk to your doctor before starting a new yoga routine.
Healthy Weight Loss
The bottom line when it comes to weight loss is to burn more calories than you consume. You'll need to create a calorie deficit of 500 to 1,000 calories per day to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week. The best way to achieve this is to increase your exercise time and eliminate calories from your diet. Bikram yoga is a healthy option to add to your routine, as it burns calories and offers additional health benefits.
To produce weight loss, calculate your average calories consumed relative to your calorie output. If adding Bikram yoga to your exercise routine creates a calorie deficit, you're likely to see some weight loss, provided you stick with the workout. A 135-pound person burns a little more than 400 calories per hour during Bikram yoga. Combine this with a low-calorie meal plan and you can drop unwanted pounds. Making the mistake of thinking you're burning more calories during Bikram yoga just because you are sweating heavily might interfere with successful weight loss.
Regardless of the potential weight-loss benefits of Bikram yoga, filling up on high-calorie foods outside the studio is going to undo all of your hard work. If you want to lose weight and you burn 400 calories at a session, but then you go out for a cheesy Mexican dinner, you've likely just consumed more calories than Bikram yoga burns. Balance your yoga schedule with a healthy and well-balanced meal plan made up of a variety of foods from each food group. Include plenty of complex carbohydrates, which give your body energy. Good sources include brown rice, oatmeal and whole-wheat bread. Protein is also important because it promotes healthy muscle function and recovery. Meat, beans, fish and eggs are good sources.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise in addition to two strength-training sessions each week. This is beneficial for burning calories, but it also protects your health. However, the CDC categorizes yoga as a form of strength-training exercise. For the most effective weight loss, combine Bikram yoga with exercises that elevate your heart rate for additional calorie burn and weight control. Jogging, biking and swimming are good choices.
Eliza Martinez has written for print and online publications. She covers a variety of topics, including parenting, nutrition, mental health, gardening, food and crafts. Martinez holds a master's degree in psychology.