If you are looking to use yoga as a method to help you reach your weight loss goals, make sure you are combining your yoga with the right diet. If you are a beginner to yoga, be sure to also check out my Ultimate Guide to Yoga for Beginners. Yoga is a great way to build up strength but if you aren’t getting enough protein, you won’t build those lean muscles that will burn layers of fat. To get the most out of yoga first make sure if weight loss is your overall goal, that you are practicing the right style of yoga. Follow the following Do’s and Don’t to boost your metabolism and get the most out of your yoga workout.

What to Drink Before Yoga?

Staying hydrated is incredibly important and even more important if you are practicing Hot Yoga. I recommend drinking about 8oz of water 30 minutes before your yoga session and I always bring a water bottle to class with me. If you are doing morning yoga drink 8oz-16oz of water. If it’s hard for you to drink that much water in the mornings, you can substitute it with tea but I would not recommend drinking coffee or caffeine before any type of yoga class. Caffeine is especially advised against if you are doing Hot Yoga because caffeine dehydrates your body and you want to stay well hydrated for Hot yoga.

If you are doing morning yoga drink 8oz-16oz of water. If it’s hard for you to drink that much water in the mornings, you can substitute it with tea but I would not recommend drinking coffee or caffeine before any type of yoga class. I always keep boxes of Yogi Tea around. To get the most our of my yoga session, I drink Kava tea has incredible relaxation properties. A cup before class really makes it easier to unwind and relax.

If you are doing evening yoga, it’s recommended that you drink at least half of your daily recommended water intake before your class. If you are not sure what your recommended daily water intake is, here is how to do a quick calculation. You should drink half your body weight in ounces. For example, if you weight 120lbs, you should be drinking 60oz of water a day. So in this case, you should drink 30oz of water throughout the day, before evening yoga class.

What to Drink After Yoga?

You just spend an hour twisting, bending, and stretching and some of you did Hot Yoga! After a yoga class, it’s important to rehydrate your body. Water will do the trick but to get the most benefit, coconut water or water with electro lights are the best options. If coconut water isn’t your style, you can always add electro lights and vitamins to your water by added a packet of Airborn or Emergn-C. These packets are easy to carry and you can just place a few in your yoga bag for easy access.

More importantly be aware of things you shouldn’t be drinking after yoga. Please do not head on over to happy hour at the local watering hole or go home and open a bottle of wine. You just spent an hour cleaning your mind and body and being dehydrated will only get you intoxicated quicker and make you even more dehydrated. Not to mention the hangover will be a killer.

What to Eat Before Yoga Class?

DO eat a small snack or meal 60 to 90 minutes before class. If you are trying to lose weight, I would recommend eating small meals 4-6 times a day rather than 3 large meals. This will help you regulate your blood sugar and help you avoid overeating. A small snack before yoga will help sustain you through yoga class and give you the energy your body needs without weighing you down.

If you have morning yoga eat a banana of a handful of berries would be your best option. I like to eat a banana and a light berry yogurt before my morning yoga session. Another good option is a protein shake. Protein is essential to building lean muscles and this is a great way to get protein.

DO NOT eat a full meal prior to going to class. It will weight you down and make it harder to stay engaged. If your stomach is full and busy digesting, it will be harder for you to engage your core. You could also be risking an upset stomach, especially if you are headed to Hot yoga. You want to choose a meal that is easy to digest like a little bit of chicken with some leafy greens. Eggs are also a great option since they are a high protein food. Whatever my snack might be, I always eat at least an hour before starting class.

What to eat after Yoga?

DO make sure your body is getting the nutrients it needs to build muscles. If I had a morning session I would whip up a nutritious breakfast like an egg omelet with mushrooms or other veggies on hand. I would also eat fresh fruit and make sure I got enough protein with a side of turkey bacon. One of my favorite sources for healthy, fresh meal ideas is the Fresh Food Fast Cookbook, over 250 recipes and all can be made without using too much of your time.

After evening Yoga, I would eat lean protein like grilled chick or salmon with grilled veggies like a side of  grilled asparagus with fresh garlic. Getting enough lean protein is vital for your muscles to repair and grow.

DO NOT instantly go for sweets and junk food. If you are craving sweets, make sure you are getting the right kind of sugar. Instead of going to cookies aim for unrefined sugar like a bowl of oatmeal with a drizzle of honey and a handful of blueberries. Another great source of nutrients if a smoothie or drinking green juice. I don’t have all the time in the world to make sure I always have all the fresh ingredients I need to make a Green Smoothie every day. Instead, I get my nutrients through a Green Juice Powder, saves me tons of time and money. If you want organic and freshly made green juice delivered right to your door, look into Chef V’s Green Drink, it tastes amazing and packed full of nutrients.