Food, Sweat and Beers
Hot Yoga is a strenuous physical endeavor. You don’t have to be in good shape to do Hot Yoga- you can be “FAT” and do Hot Yoga and receive many many benefits including weight loss.
The key is the fuel you run through your body.
So what to eat on days when you are planning to practice in the hot room? Well, it depends on the time of day. Whether or not you are trying to thin down these guideline will be helpful for you to plan your yoga practice.
EVENING PRACTICE PLAN
EAT breakfast: cereal or fruit or eggs or waffles whatever you want.
EAT Lunch- A nice salad with some meat or protein. (Salad with chicken breast or a nice piece of fish) maybe a reasonably sized sandwich or some soup
2-3 HOURS BEFORE HOT YOGA- eat an apple and have a couple of spoonfuls of peanut butter or almond butter or some other “nut butter”. (or Maybe a couple of handfuls of nuts) Have a banana if you prefer if you are not fond of “nut butters” have an apple and some nice mozzarella cheese. (I like to have Horizon Organic Cheese Snacks to control portions you know- those singly packaged string cheese things)
Have a V-8 perhaps but definitely have some electrolytes like Emerge’n-c.
AFTER HOT YOGA- If you MUST- Here is where you can skip a meal! If you are doing evening classes and are trying to lose weight it is my opinion that dinner is the ONLY meal you should skip. If you are STARVING after yoga- how about a bowl of cereal or some toast. Maybe some steamed veggies sprinkled with lemon juice.
MORNING PRACTICE PLAN
When practicing morning hot yoga you need to have the self-discipline to get up a bit earlier and eat. you want to finish eating breakfast at least an hour before your scheduled yoga time. Ideally you would get up and eat to finish 2 hours before your class. go back to bed and sleep a little more if you want. (BUT don’t forget to set the alarm to wake you for your class!)
Breakfast before yoga: have toast and peanut butter. If you don’t like peanut butter or nut butters then soak some (raw unsalted) almonds in fresh spring or filtered water overnight in the fridge and have those with toast. If you don’t want toast, have an apple or banana and the almonds. (eggs can cause gas for some, if they are okay for you, have an egg and some toast)
Avoid milk, coffee, oranges, orange juice and meat before morning yoga.
AFTER YOUR MORNING YOGA CLASS;have a nice satisfying lunch! Remember, It is “better” to have a bigger lunch and to have a nice light dinner than no lunch and a big dinner.
HOT YOGA DAYS: WHAT TO AVOID?
Beer, Champagne, Coke, Diet Coke and all carbonated beverages (yes! even carbonated spring water like Perrier and Pellegrino)
Beef (bad karma)
Veal (VERY bad karma)
Potato chips and other fried snacks (how about a few salty pretzels instead?)
Candy- Candy bars, Sugary Stuff
Ice Cream (have frozen fruit bars or Sorbet)
Whole Milk and Milky salad dressings
IN GENERAL HOT YOGA DAYS: WHAT’S GOOD TO EAT?
Good Fats: like low fat cheese and avocado
Put Celery and Carrots in every salad you make. snacking on celery is like eating FREE of calories!
Vinegar on your salad- Balsamic vinegar both red and white are wonderful add the best olive oil you can afford with a little FRESH GRATED Parmesan cheese and you will feel like you are FEASTING SINFULLY!
Steamed Veggies, yes have a little butter!
WATER WATER WATER
Fruit Juice in moderation
Veggie Juice- as much as you want
Fruits- especially cooling fruits like watermelon and other melons- go easy in the oranges-feast on grapefruit
The idea here would be to go to bed with as much of an empty belly as possible. You will be “fasting” while you are sleeping and you will feel fantastic in the morning. You might even feel “skinnier”. BUT no matter how “skinny” you feel, you MUST have food through out the day.
Yes, some may disagree with these guidelines, I am not a doctor nor a nutritionist, but I have been doing yoga in a hot room for almost 11 years. I was certified by Bikram 10 years ago and I have been teaching Bikram, Barkan and Forrest Styles of Hot Yoga for over 10 years. I have seen THOUSANDS of people do this yoga with every body type imaginable! I have seen the “fainters”, the “fatties”, the “athletes”, the “dancers”, the “bodybuilders”, the “runners” the Doctors and nurses, the “type-A’s”, the “lazy ones”, all doing it in the hot room. I have seen them all benefit and thrive. I have helped hundreds of people lose weight and gain body confidence. I know these suggestions can work for for many of you.
If you want to feel better, DO HOT YOGA! If you want to lose weight read these guidelines again and incorporate them into your practice!