You've figured out that diet and exercise are the keys to fat loss, but how do you put the puzzle together for success? Luckily, you don't need a gym membership or expensive equipment -- many yoga moves lend themselves well to living-room workouts. Keep in mind that yoga won't banish tummy fat all on its own, because there's no way to reduce fat in a specific area of your body. However, the combination of healthy eating and an active lifestyle will shed weight from your whole body, shrinking your belly while the yoga poses tone your abs.
Warm up. Injuries are no fun, so spend five to 10 minutes walking briskly or jogging to get blood flowing through your muscles. This will help you stretch your body into yoga poses without hurting yourself.
Stretch your belly with the Camel pose. Kneel on the ground with your knees at a 90-degree angle, and place your palms just above your buttocks. Lean your upper body back, chin up, to bow your belly and chest. Hold this pose for 30 to 60 seconds. If you're flexible enough, move your hands further down to rest on your feet.
Work those abs with the Four-Limbed Staff pose. This move looks easy, but does a number on the tummy muscles. Lie on your stomach, and lift up so your weight is distributed evenly on your toes and hands, body straight. Bend your elbows so your body is a few inches from the ground, keeping your legs and trunk straight. Contract your stomach muscles, and hold this pose for 15 to 45 seconds.
Perform the Full Boat pose. Sit down on the floor with your knees bent in front of you, hands on the floor behind your hips. Lift your feet off the ground, keeping your thighs together and at a 45-degree angle from the floor. Straighten your legs if you can; you may not be able to as a rookie, so keep them bent if need be. Lift your arms and straighten them in front of you, parallel to the floor, or hold your thighs if that's too hard at first. Hold this pose for 30 to 60 seconds.
Cut calories. The only way to trim your body is to burn more than you eat, so put down the brownies and start keeping track of each meal and snack in a food diary. Most women lose weight with a diet of 1,200 calories a day. Do this the healthy way by munching on fresh veggies and fruits, whole grains like oatmeal and buckwheat, and low-fat proteins like fish and egg whites.
Get in 300 minutes per week of cardio. Walking, jogging, jumping rope or bicycling will burn calories to help you slim your body faster. Do cardio most days of the week, fitting in at least 10 minutes per session for aerobic benefits.
- Give away all of the junk food in your home to avoid temptation.
- Never push too hard to attain a yoga pose, or you risk pulling a muscle.
Nina K. is a Los Angeles-based journalist who has been published by USAToday.com, Fitday.com, Healthy Living Magazine, Organic Authority and numerous other print and web publications. She has a philosophy degree from the University of Colorado and a journalism certificate from UCLA.