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A study conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports yoga diet, exercise, breathing, and meditation promotes and maintains lasting weight loss.

Twenty subjects participated in semistructured interviews about their weight loss. Eleven participants were overweight when they started yoga and 9 subjects lost weight unintentionally.

The researchers qualitatively analyzed the data and identified five key themes. The themes included a shift toward healthy eating, the impact of the yoga community and culture, physical changes, psychological changes, and the belief that the yoga weight loss experience was different than past weight loss experiences.

"The subjects believed that yoga led to physical and psychological changes that supported weight loss including increased muscle tone, improved metabolism, reduced stress, as well as increased awareness, improved mood, and greater self-acceptance and self-esteem," the study authors write. "This weight loss experience was markedly different than past attempts, in that the weight loss was easier, and subjects felt more confident in their ability to maintain lasting weight loss."

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