Yoga is an effective way to gain and maintain a healthy body. This ancient Indian meditation art is a great way to get rid of extra flab from the body. From ages, this art has been a popular method of fat reduction and weight control. In fact some asana of yoga are specially meant for weight reduction only. Yoga is also a preferred method for weight reduction as it is sans any kind of side effect. Yoga directly influences the metabolism of body by acting upon several hormonal secretions in the body. Apart from weight reduction, yoga also helps in achieving a better muscle tone and vitality.

Excess weight gain has become a phenomenon in today’s age, when lifestyles have become sedentary, and food more liberal with extra calories. Today our children prefer T.V. over their friends and play, merely a reflection of their parents who also somewhere prefer T.V. over socializing or even over spending time with their children (if they spend some time surely some running around will help burn some calories). These are only a few factors, which have resulted in increasing amount of people with the problem of excess weight or obesity.


Stress, wrong food habits (i.e. irregular timings for food, unhealthy (junk) food), lack of exercise, thyroid problem etc. could be some of the reasons resulting in weight gain.


Medical problems commonly resulting from untreated obesity and morbid obesity include:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Certain cancers, including breast and colon
  • Depression
  • Osteoarthritis

Obesity can lead to a gradual decrease in the level of oxygen in your blood, a condition called hypoxemia. Persons who are obese may temporarily stop breathing while asleep (sleep apnea). Decreased blood oxygen levels and sleep apnea may cause a person to feel sleepy during the day. The conditions may also lead to high blood pressure and pulmonary hypertension. In extreme cases, especially when left untreated, this can lead to right-sided heart failure and ultimately death.


Yogic cure:-

 [1]Shatkarma                                                {Purificatory techniques}

{a} Kunjal                                            {Volitional stomach wash}

{b} Kapalbhati                                     {Lungs & brain wash by breathing}


 [2]Yogasanas                                      {Posture}

{a} Halasana                                         { Plough}

{b}Shalabhasana                                  { Locus }

{c} Akarna-dhanurasana                     {Reverse Bow Posture)

{d} Ardh-matsyendrasana                   { Half spine twist}

{e} Ushtrasana                                      {Camel }

{f}  Bhujangasana                                 { Cobra}

{g}  Chakrasana                                     {Wheel}

{h}   Supta-vajrasana                            {Lying adamantine}

{i} Dhanurasana                                    {Bow}

{j}  Paschimottanasana                   {Posterior-stretch}

{k} Surya Namaskar                        { Sun Salute }

   [3]Pranayama                                  {Body-mind energising breathing practices}

{a} Surya-bhedna                 {Right nostrilar pranayama}

{b} Bhastrika                        {Bellows pranayama }


[4]Bandhas:-                                                       {Bands}

{a} Maha bandha

[5]Mudras:                                                         {Finger –posture}

{a}  Surya mudra

{b} Tadagi mudra

{c} Agni mudra


 {7}Yogic diet:-


Foods to be Avoided for obese patients

  1. Rich carbohydrate foods like sugar, jaggery, glucose, sweets, toffee, choc­olates, cakes, pastries, puddings and other such sweetened food.
  2. Fats, oils, cream, butter, whole milk, cheese, processed cheese, con­densed milk and others milk products.
  3. Jams, marmalades, honey, syrups, jaggery etc.
  4. Cornflour, arrowroot, macroni, rice, vermicelli spagthetti and noodles.
  5. Thickened soups, rich curried foods and
  6. Tinned fruits and tinned foods.
  7. Dried fruits and nuts.
  8. Fried foods.
  9. Mayoinnaise and other such salad
  10. Ice creams, aerated drinks, alcholic drinks and glucose drinks.
  11. Peas, beetroot, bread beans (Bakla), lentils, sweet corn rajmah, and urad –
  12. Sauces, chutneys, pickles, marketed
  13. In-between
  14. Non-vegetarian foods under corne-what-may all circumstances.
  15. Artificially sweetenned and flavoured fruit juices.


Foods Allowed for obese patients


  1. French beans, runner beans, cab­bage, carrot, cauliflower, celery, cu­cumber, leeks,  lettuce,   marrow, mushrooms, mustard leaves, onion, spring onions,  broccoli,  parsley, pumpkin, raddish, tomatoes, turnips, parwar, capsicum, drumsticks, green papaya, plaintains, salad leaves arid green leafy seasonal vegetables.
  2. Grapefruit, lemon, oranges and other citrus fruits, melons, soda water, lemon juice, tomato juice, orange juice, yeast extracts, all thin soups and seasonal fruit and vegetable juices.
  3. Spices, salt, herbs and pepper.
  4. Light home-made gelatine desserts.
  5. Skimmed milk and its products like curds, cottage cheese etc.
  6. All cereals in moderate quantities, whole grains – unre-fined  and unsieved, except rice preparations.
  7. All pulses with. skin in moderate quantities.
  8. All kinds of sprouted pulses and seeds moong, channa, fenugreak, wheat etc in moderate quantities.
  9. Food eaten should be preferably baked, grilled, boiled, steamed or raw but not fried.


Scientific explanation:-

Does yoga help in weight management? Most definitely. There are a number of factors involved. Firstly, some of the asanas stimulate sluggish glands to increase their hormonal secretions. The thyroid gland, especially, has a big effect on our weight because it affects body metabolism. There are several asanas, such as the shoulder stand and the fish posture, which are specific for the thyroid gland. Fat metabolism is also increased, so fat is converted to muscle and energy. This means that, as well as losing fat, you will have better muscle tone and a higher vitality level.

Secondly, yoga deep breathing increases the oxygen intake to the body cells, including the fat cells. This causes increased oxidation or burning up of fat cells. ). Yogic exercises induce more continuous and deeper breathing which gradually burns, sometimes forcefully, many of the calories already ingested.

Thirdly, yogic practices that reduce anxiety tend to reduce anxious eating. When under nervous strain we tend to gulp our food without attaining much genuine satisfaction. We end up in eating more. If, on the other hand, we approach our meals with greater calmness of mood, whether produced by habits which have calmed our life or by yoga (like a pause for prayer before a meal), we tend to be less likely to overeat in a frantic effort to quiet our midday anxieties.

Lastly, yogic aids may be employed between meals whenever one becomes tempted to search for a snack. One may deliberately turn to yoga, rather than to the icebox or snack bar, when he feels the need for a lift or relief from restless nervousness. Practicing yoga may make you aware of your weight problem that may also act as a deterrent from overeating.

If you are not overweight, your weight will remain about the same. If you are underweight, you will gain weight. The weight you gain will be healthy firm tissue, not fat. That is, yoga will tend to produce the ideal weight for you. This is due to yoga’s effect of ‘normalizing’ glandular activity.

An article that appeared in the San Francisco Examiner of October 13, 1959 shows that the weight reduction potential of yoga was recognized in the USA more than quarter of a century ago.

“Would you like to lose weight without resorting to the miseries of dieting? Well, try the miseries of Yoga exercises instead. One staunch advocate is Metropolitan Opera star Robert Merrill, who has been practicing these exercises for two years, and keeps trying to win converts. In those two years he has lost twenty pounds and now he’s down to a trim, rhythmic-breathing one hundred and sixty, even though he continues to eat like a lumber jack. ‘At one time I went on a lot of diets but just couldn’t lose any weight,’ he said. ‘Then along came Yoga and look at me now.’ He punched his hard flat stomach and started breathing through one nostril. And to further demonstrate what it’s all about, he did a little flip and stood on his head. After that he showed the lotus position, legs scissored under the body. Was he still breathing through one nostril? Yes, the other one. ‘If people weren’t so lazy they wouldn’t have to worry about diets,’ he said.”

For those whose eating habits, whether at meals or between meals, are believed to be due to feelings of weakness rather than anxieties, most yogic postures and breathing exercises are designed to increase one’s strength. Hence, they may relieve feelings of weakness more effectively than additional eating. The exercises themselves, although consuming some energy, also store up energy which, when combined with oxidizing breathing, provide energy that is ready for use rather than for s

Further suggestion:-

  1. Take it one step at a timeStart by paying attention to what you eat. Cut back on fat and sweets and add more fruit and vegetables. After you have that under control, add exercise. If you hate to exercise try it for only 15 minutes a day at first, then a 1/2-hour. Keep in mind that while you are exercising you are burning calories and not eating. Also, it will be easier if you chose an activity that you enjoy.2. Find a friend

    It is always good to have support when you are trying to lose weight Find a friend who wants to lose weight and compare notes, weigh-in together and maybe even have a contest.

    3. Use weights

    Working out weights will build muscle and raise your metabolism so you will burn more calories. Also, muscle takes up less space than fat so you will be smaller ( but probably weigh more).

    4. Eat fewer carbs

    Don’t eat as much bread and pasta and you will see a difference.

    5. Set a goal

    Set a deadline to lose the weight and write it down. For example, ‘ By Dec 14/04 I will weigh 150 lbs or less’ put it somewhere you will see it daily.

    6. Give up soda

    If you drink a soda or 2 a day you are adding empty calories. If you find it hard to stop completely, cut back at first and drink water instead.

    7. Grill or boil

    Avoid fried meat, grill and use lots of spices. You will get used to it and probably enjoy it more.

    8. Don’t buy junk food.

    When you go Shopping, don’t go on an empty stomach and you will be less likely to buy junk food. Keep your home ‘junk food free’ so you won’t be tempted to indulge.

    9. Eat breakfast

    Consume most of your calories early in the day and always eat breakfast. Don’t eat after 8pm and not only will you avoid those added calories but you will sleep better.

    10. Give yourself a treat

    When you tell yourself that you can’t have something you want it more. Give yourself a treat once a day ( ie. half a cookie) and you won’t feel you are missing out.
    11. Use smaller plates

    Trick yourself into believing that you are eating more by using a smaller plate.

    12. Drink lots of water

    Drink water when you are feeling hungry and you will get that ‘full’ feeling.

    13. Don’t eat everything on your plate

    Many times we eat just because it’s there. Pay attention to when you have had enough.

    14. Eat five or six meals a day

    Eating more frequently will keep you from getting too hungry.

    15. Plan your workout sessions

    Write your workout sessions in your journal or planner.

    16. Stay away from fad diets

    Fad diets don’t work. If you lose weight fast chances are that you will gain it back ( and more) just as fast. It takes time to put it on and time to take it off.

    17. Do several workouts a day

    While you are watching crunches and leg lifts.

    18. Measure your food.

    If you decide to have junk food, for a snack – be sure to measure and control what you eat.

    19. Keep pre-cut vegetables

    …and ward off those cravings.

    20. Create Good Habits