How to lose weight without trying thanks to yoga and psychology
I am not a diet expert. In fact, I have never been on a diet for more than 12 hours! The fact to know that I am on a diet makes me hungry as if I am anxious to be food-deprived. Over the last 3 years, I lost 6 kilos without trying. My friends have obviously noticed it and sometimes even worry about me. I would like to share that it is possible to lose weight without trying. I would not have believed it a few years ago… until it happened to me!
This article has two goals. First, to send a message to my friends: no, I am not food-deprived and I do not have an eating disorder, far from that! Then, I would like to share with those who are interested in the 4 tips that made me lose weight without trying. The tips come from the practice of yoga and psychology. They do not include any kind of diet! These tips to lose weight without trying come from my own experience and have also been backed by scientific studies.
4 tips to lose weight without trying
Tip 1 – Practice mindful eating
When reading this first tip, some people may wonder “What is she talking about?! What kind of hippie tip is that ?!”, and others may think “well, that’s quite simple. I am mindful that I will eat a 4 cheese pizza, drink some cherry beer and finish the meal with a chocolate and caramel fondant”.
With this first tip, I would like to introduce the concept of mindful eating. Mindful eating is a technique that allows us to take back control over our eating habits.Studies have shown that it is associated with weight loss and a decrease in binge eating (i.e. empty the fridge AND the cookie jar).
Following the principles of mindful eating helps to replace automatic thoughts and actions (e.g. eating a processed cookie in the afternoon) with other more mindful and healthy decisions (e.g. a homemade cookie, berries, etc.)
Tip 2 – Practice a physical activity that you enjoy
Any physical activity contributes to burn calories and lose weight. Therefore, your goal is to identify the physical activities that you enjoy practicing: walking, cycling, swimming, dancing, hiking, kung fu fighting, sumos wrestling, etc. As far as I am concerned, I love yoga and hiking. So it is not an effort to practice them regularly.
If you would like to lose weight with yoga, I recommend practicing the Sun Salutation. A study showed that doing 24 Sun Salutations 6 days a week and during 24 weeks, strengthens the body and helps lose weight. I tried it for a few days. Conclusion: I am convinced that it gives quick results in terms of weight loss and body strengthening! On top of that, it takes only around 10 minutes to complete 24 sun salutations, which is not very long. Here is a quick video of one of my sessions of 24 Sun Salutations. You may skip the first 15 seconds where I explain in French how convinced I am that I would lose weight and get stronger if I did this daily for 24 weeks! You can also view this video as well as others on my YouTube channel.
Tip 3 – Change your habits by making the least amount of effort
What ?! Losing weight without making any effort ?!
Why is it difficult to implement new healthy habits (healthy eating, working out) and give up the bad ones? Often, we rely on our willpower alone. But it is a limited resource that can be gone quickly. Studies show that willpower alone is not efficient to maintain lifestyle changes because willpower can be exhausted when it is used too much.
In fact, an experiment wasconducted with two groups of participants that were given a plate of radish and cookies. One group was asked not to eat the cookies, but only the radish. After that, all participants had to solve a jiggle. Those who exhausted their willpower by not eating cookies gave up the exercise much quicker than those who did not have to handle to cookie-radish situation.
What does this experiment tell us? In order to maintain good habits, we have to reduce the amount of energy activated, which is the physical and mental energy that we need to overcome a situation. Let’s put it this way: in order to lose weight durably, we should not feel that we are making much effort. Otherwise, we are at risk to quit and gain the weight back.
Studies show that the lack of sleep is associated with weight gain. So, sleep like a (sleepy) baby and this will help you lose weight! I usually go to bed around 9:30 pm or 10 pm. However, I do not say it too much in order not to be called a grandma! Keep it for yourself 😉
Losing weight without trying: let’s summarize
In order to lose weight without trying, I practice mindful eating and physical activities that I like. I also implement little lifestyle changes that do not require much effort and I have proper (9 hours) nights of sleep!
For more practical tips to lose weight without dieting, I recommend you read the following article: How to lose weight without dieting – 10 practical tips.