Hot tub yoga and a sensible diet combine to shed pounds
05 Mar Hot tub yoga and a sensible diet combine to shed pounds
How to Lose Weight in a Hot Tub
by Matt Giovanisci, swimuniversity.com
I’ve struggled with my weight since 4th grade. I started out as a skinny kid and worked my way up to a fat kid. In high school I was a skinny teenager and later finished off just being a fat guy.
For years I ate whatever I wanted and threw caution to the wind, which resulted in testing the durability of my bathroom scale. However, when I watched what I ate and exercised I felt awesome, and my bathroom scale thanked me.
Since the beginning of 2013, I have managed to lose 15 pounds by following a SUPER easy diet and exercise routine, which feels effortless. In light of my success, I wanted to share my excitement and write this post to encourage others to join me on the path to easy weight loss.
Last year, I met Susan Atkinson and Susan Irby via social media. Susan Atkinson is a yoga instructor and creator of a new Hot Tub Yoga DVD that is now available for purchase. Her videos are what inspired me to create my Hot Tub Yoga Infographic.
Susan Irby is an Award-winning TV, Radio host and best-selling author known as The Bikini Chef. Her newest book, The Clean Separation, is a self-help book with author Kara Landau.
We teamed up to create an easy way to help you lose weight in a hot tub by combining the ease of practicing Hot Tub Yoga and the benefits of following a simple, healthy diet. This is not a gimmick, nor are we trying to sell you any “secrets” to weight loss. Shedding pounds requires diet and exercise, but as a struggler myself, I’ve found when you try to drastically change the way you live your life, it can often lead to failure. It’s all about making small changes that lead to big results.
Why Practice Yoga in a Hot Tub?
To explore the science behind why doing yoga in a hot tub I talked with Kelly Larson who is an internationally acclaimed Yoga and Meditation teacher, speaker, scholar and Director of the Center for the Study of Yoga and Health. She talks about how doing Hot Tub Yoga helps people lose weight through three main categories: calorie burning, de-stressing and improving digestion.
The calorie burning part is the most straightforward. You are literally doing poses that burn calories, or using breathing techniques that burn calories. With postures, this can be done through rapid movement or through holding poses that require you to engage the muscles for a long time.
“If you want to take it a bit further on the calorie burning side, you can choose to hold the postures for more breaths and longer breaths (always listening to your bodies limits, of course – the hot water changes things!),” says Kelly.
The de-stressing begins when you simply step into a hot tub, of course! But you can take it much deeper with some slow deep breathing into your belly. As you do each pose, try to let your breath become a little more full and a little more slow. This will maximize all the benefits of the postures and the practice in general.
Video for Breathing Techniques
Feel free to check out the first few minutes of my free yoga video to learn simple breathing techniques that you can use in the hot tub. (Requires name, email and zip code).
3. Improving Digestion
Generally, you don’t want to do yoga within a couple hours of eating. Kelly suggests to wait at least 3 hours otherwise your blood is moving away from digestion and into your yoga practice instead.
“If you have just eaten, it’s ideal to keep your yoga to simple deep breaths. Taking slow deep breaths gives your blood more oxygen, so not only does your digestive system work better, so does every other organ in your body (in other words – deep breathing rocks!),” says Kelly.
A hot tub is really useful for losing weight, because:
It burns calories by helping you build muscle
It requires you to drink more water
Increases blood flow to aid in digestion
Increases your metabolism
Allows you to de-stress
How to Practice Hot Tub Yoga
Susan Atkinson was kind enough to film a short video demonstrating some easy yoga poses you can do in your hot tub.
NOTE: Before practicing, check with your primary care physician if you have any health issues. Pregnant women should not practice Hot Tub Yoga. Drink plenty of water and stop if you feel dizzy, lightheaded, or sick.
If you are looking for more Hot Tub Yoga poses, I recommend you pick up a copy of Susan’s DVD, which is now available for sale.
5 Diet Tips for Getting the Most out of Your Hot Tub Workout
According to Susan Irby, The Bikini Chef, practicing Hot Tub Yoga can be an effective workout when also eating the right kinds of foods and drinking plenty of water. Working out in warm water is relaxing and aids digestion but it can also be dehydrating.
Even though your body is immersed in the water and you don’t feel the sweat, just sitting in a hot tub will cause dehydration and this is even more true when you are doing yoga.
Here are some tips to get the most out of your workout:
1. Drink Water
The obvious first step is to drink plenty of water. While it is true that each day the average person should drink half their body weight in fluid ounces, water consumption should be increased by at least 20% or more. Drink at least 2 8-ounce glasses of water prior to your workout. Then continue to drink at least 8-ounces each during and after your workout. Remember, this is in addition to the recommended daily amount.
2. Eat Your Water and Nutrients
Cruciferous vegetables are key to an effective workout. Not only do they provide vital nutrients for skin, hair, and the overall body, but they provide anti-aging properties, aid digestion, and contain a high percentage of water which helps keep the body hydrated.
Cruciferous vegetables, include:
3. Pre-Workout Nourishment
Heat can cause nausea so it is best to eat more frequent smaller, lighter meals. Try not to eat immediately before your workout, especially a high fat or large meal, to avoid nausea. If you do eat immediately prior to your workout, keep foods simple such as a banana and stay away from caffeine, processed foods, and sugars.
4. Post-Workout Nourishment
Repair muscle tissue and replenish water loss through a light meal of greens and lean protein such as a salad of mixed greens or fresh or lightly steamed spinach served with fish, broiled, steamed, grilled, or baked. Renew energy with whole grains and high fiber, nutrient dense foods such as barley and quinoa. Avoid foods high in fat, processed foods, and those high in sugar which slow the digestive system and cause blood sugar imbalance.
5. Avoid Caffeine
Despite advocates of caffeine for its metabolism enhancing properties, caffeine has a dehydrating effect on the body. The good news is that there are several naturally decaffeinated teas and drinking tea provides a calming effect that can enhance the Hot Tub Yoga experience. Consume before or after your workout, try these naturally decaffeinated calming teas: Peppermint, Chamomile, and Ginger.
Here is an awesome post-workout recipe that you can make for the whole family!
Lemon Quinoa Salad with Oven-Grilled Salmon
OVEN GRILLED SALMON WITH QUINOAServes 4
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt plus more for salmon
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper plus more for salmon
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 cups water
4 4-ounce salmon filets, with skin
2 tablespoons olive oil (not extra virgin)
1 medium celery stalk, diced
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup green peas, fava beans or soybeans
Prepare Lemon Vinaigrette: In a medium bowl, whisk together mustard, honey, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and extra virgin olive oil. Set aside.
Prepare quinoa: In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add quinoa and water. Stir once. Heat to boiling then cover with lid, reduce heat to low and cook about 15 minutes or until almost all the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and set aside, covered.
Prepare salmon: Preheat broiler to high. Coat salmon filets on both sides with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil each. Lightly season each filet with a little sea salt and black pepper, about 1/2 teaspoon each. Place on a baking sheet that has been lined with aluminum foil. Place under broiler for about 5 minutes, turn and cook an additional 5 minutes or until desired level of doneness. Remove and set aside.
To serve: Toss cooked quinoa in a mixing bowl with remaining ingredients. Add lemon vinaigrette and toss to coat. Serve one salmon filet per person with approximately one cup of quinoa salad.
Nutrition per serving:
Saturated Fat: 4.2g
Track Your Progress
We provided you an easy diet and exercise routine to get you started on the path to weight loss, but in order to be successful you need measure your progress — what gets measured gets managed. I know what I’m doing is working because I track my progress everyday.
I recommend weighing yourself every morning (before a shower with no clothes on) and track your weight using the Lose It! app on your smartphone (if you don’t have a smart phone, use can use their web-based app).
Also, take body measurements with a simple tape measure around your hips, your waist, both biceps and thighs, and total them. Write down these measurements every week. If your scale says your not losing weight, you may be losing fat and gaining muscle, so it’s important to take both these measurements.
Are You Ready to Lose Weight?
Imagine following a simple diet, doing some yoga poses in a hot tub and actually losing weight!
I want to thank Susan Atkinson and Susan Irby for collaborating with me on this post and a special thanks to Kelly Larson for her yoga expertise. I recommend you Like Susan Atkinson’s Facebook Page, Hot Tub Yoga Therapy, and also follow Susan Irby on Twitter @TheBikiniChef — don’t forget to use the hashtag #SOBikini.