How to lose 20 pounds without trying: Diet learnings from Yoga

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By Karan Bajaj

Lose weight with these yoga diet learnings

I’m pretty healthy since I’ve had a regular exercise and eating routine for many years. Or so I thought. Embracing Yoga and meditation in the last year made me more conscious of what I put in my body. As I result, I made some intuitive dietary changes just to feel better. Unexpectedly, I ended up dropping twenty pounds, sleeping better and vibrating with energy through the day. Below are the main changes I made. Incidentally, they are vetted by my wife, Kerry, a wellness coach certified by Integrative nutrition, an excellent nutrition school I highly recommend you check out to get a deeper understanding of the subtle physical and psychological effects of your diet.

1. Eating a LOT of the good stuff

I’m 6 ft. 4 inches tall and weigh 180 pounds (earlier: 200 pounds) so I need to eat a fair amount. Earlier I used to portion control and ended up grazing. Now I don’t think at all about quantity and just eat a lot of the good stuff. My breakfast, for instance, is three apples and two bananas. It keeps me pleasantly full until lunch where I have a large salad with seven or eight toppings. As a result, the craving for snacks in between meals has all but disappeared, reducing my daily calorie intake without trying to.

2. Learning to Cook

Ignore recipe books and cooking classes, cooking healthy delicious vegetarian food is very simple. Not only is cooking a few meals a week at home cheaper and more nutritious but also it greatly heightens your awareness of what goes into your food. As a result, you end up making sharper, healthier choices even when you are not cooking.

3. Having a routine I am passionate about.

I have similar meals four or five days a week. Rather than making food predictable, routine unleashes your creativity as has also been well proven by research. The two or three days a week I break from routine becomes a rich forum for experimenting with new cuisines, going out with friends and indulging without restriction. If one has no established routine, too much attention is spent in sourcing food, putting health at a back-seat.

4. Taking wheat, sugar and coffee out of the routine.

In just a few months of cutting out my breakfast bagel, a chocolate bar post dinner and a can of diet soda in the afternoon, I saw my waistline and joint inflammation reduce. Eliminating my two cup-a-day coffee habit improved my sleep. More and more research is indicating that bread, processed sugar and coffee are addictive with harmful physical effects. This is not to say I don’t have bagels, pizzas or dessert at all–they are just not a part of my four-day-a-week routine.

5. Adding Green Juices and green powders to my diet.

Natural green juicesand green powders are the only food groups I’ve added to my diet in the last year and they have been transformational in giving me a light, vibrating energy through the day. Highly recommended.

6. Understanding the nature of craving

This is a more philosophical point. Yoga and Buddhist philosophy instruct that the nature of the mind is to crave helplessly. No matter how many desires you satisfy, another will spring up momentarily. Whether it is chips, cookies or alcohol, just observing the wave of craving arise makes you realize the futility of satisfying it because you realize that another craving will soon arise.

You are now liberated to make less impulsive and more considered choices.

Have you tried any of these? How did they work for you? I would love to hear from you.

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