Can Yoga Help You Manage Your Appetite?

How yoga can help boost mind-body awareness, willpower, and heathy eating habits.

Four people stretch and practice yoga for healthy eating habits, willpower and body awareness.

Updated on November 2, 2023.

You probably know that yoga can help ease stress and increase muscle strength and flexiblity.

Turns out, yoga can also help strengthen your willpower as well. Research suggests that regularly practicing yoga may help you become more mindful about your eating choices.

Mindfulness and appetite

In a 2009 study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, researchers surveyed more than 300 adults on their exercise and eating habits. Detailed questionnaires revealed that people who regularly practiced yoga had a different eating style than people who did other types of exercise. Yoga practitioners were more tuned into their appetites and were better able to judge when they were full. This may be why the yoga devotees also had lower body mass indexes (BMIs) on average, too.

Work your willpower

Yoga requires calm and focus. The poses also require people to pay close attention to their bodies. And researchers suspect the increased mind-body awareness from yoga is what gives people an edge against many of life's challenges.

It’s that kind of mindfulness that may help them make healthy dietary choices.

Article sources open article sources

C Framson, AR Kristal, et al. “Development and validation of the mindful eating questionnaire.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 2009 Aug;109(8):1439-44.

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