Ayurveda identifies eight different types of bodies that are prone to diseases. Out of these, an obese body is described as the one afflicted with the most diseases and troubles. The Ayurvedic approach is the perfect answer to overweight because Ayurveda does not recommend any weight loss pills or fast weight loss programs. Ayurveda emphasize on a holistic solution that allows people to loose excess weight and keep it off, while also improving their overall health.
Ayurvedic approach to overweight • Causes & effects of obesity
Ayurveda considers underweight and overweight as signs of imbalance of the vata, pitta, and kapha systems. Overweight or obesity is mostly found in people with predominantly kapha-type constitutions. Obesity occurs when excess fat builds up in the adipose tissue. This excess fat buildup is caused when a person consumes more calories in one day than that person is able to burn off. Overweight people are prone to several diseases like coronary thrombosis, high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, gout, liver and gall bladder disorders.
Some of the most common symptoms of overweight and obesity are
- Enlarged stomach, waist, thighs, and/or buttocks
- Saggy breasts (in women)
Since different people have weight problems for different reason, Ayurvedic healing and weight loss is generally done on an individual level, with a plan being tailored to the individual. However there are some guidelines which addresses the fundamental lifestyle habits of virtually everyone.
Given below are some tips applicable to people of all body types trying to reduce and control their weight.
There are three basic facts that should be kept in mind if you want to keep your weight under control. They are:
- Controlling eating habits
- Avoiding the causes of weight gain
- Regular exercise.
Diet Planning and Diet recommendations for weight loss
Crash diets are no solution for long term weight loss. Therefore, if you are determined to bring down your weight, find an Ayurvedic diet chart and a natural weight loss diet and follow it every single day. An Ayurvedic diet chart includes the following guidelines:
- Increase usage of fresh fruits and vegetables
- Decrease the usage of white breads and other processed foods
- Avoid intake of too much salt
- Cook with spices like cayenne, turmeric, black pepper, ginger and rock salt.
- Avoid refined sugars and carbonated drinks
- Fasting once in a week is very effective. While fasting you may have fruit or vegetable juices, warm skim milk, light soups, teas, etc.
- Use vegetable oil in place of butter or margarine
- Avoid milk products like cheese, butter etc. and non-vegetarian foods as they are rich in fat.
- Mix one teaspoon of fresh honey with the juice of half a lime in a glass of lukewarm water and take several times a day at regular intervals.
- Avoid eating meat products as they slow digestion and cause heaviness.
Dietary discipline and Eating habit to be developed for reducing weight
- Eat a light dinner with easy to digest foods. This may include the following
- Whole grain bread or chapatis
- Half cooked or steamed vegetables
- Seasonal fruits except banana and apple.
- Eat the largest meal of the day at lunch with a wide variety of warm, cooked food. This may include the following:
- Salad of raw vegetables such as carrot, beetroot, cucumber, cabbage etc...
- Whole grain bread or whole wheat chapatis and a glass of buttermilk
- Roasted cumin seeds, green coriander leaves, a little salt and some grated ginger mixed in the buttermilk.
- Avoid drinking water immediately before or after meals as it will slow digestion.
- Do not over eat, especially cold, oily and heavy things.
- Avoid sleeping right after eating.
- Eat 4-5 smaller meals in a day rather than 2-3 larger meals.
Change in life style
Just modifying the diet alone is not the a solution for obesity. A weight loss program requires an overall change in the life style of the person. Some changes required in the life style are as follows:
- Regular exercise is a must to maintain a healthy body. Walking is the best exercise to start with and may be followed by running, swimming or rowing
- Fasting once a week is considered highly beneficial in the treatment of obesity
- Stress needs to be reduced, as stress is often the cause of bad eating habits.
- Avoid eating late at night
- Drink hot water frequently throughout the day