Globally, obesity is considered the most common chronic lifestyle disease; some even consider it an epidemic. Obesity can increase the risk of other health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, depression, high blood pressure, and certain cancers, so it’s essential to lose the extra weight burdening our bodies.
We all need to lose weight at some point during our lives, and there are many different ways we can go about doing it. One of those popular methods is Ayurveda, and in this article, you’ll learn all about how Ayurveda can help you with your weight loss goals!
What is Ayurveda?
The Ayurveda is a traditional Indian natural medicine system that originated thousands of years ago. It encompasses the knowledge of foods, herbs, yoga, and meditation. Being a holistic healing system that has been practiced for ages, Ayurveda offers some healthy and sustainable techniques that can help you lose weight and keep it off.
Obesity as per Ayurveda
Ayurveda describes obesity (Atisthaulya) as an accumulation of excessive fat(meda) in the hips, abdomen, and breast. It identifies the leading cause as consumption of excessive calories, creating an imbalance in the Kapha in your body.
Moreover, people with a dominant Kapha constitution are more likely to gain weight as compared to Pitta or Vata dominant individuals. As per Ayurveda texts, Nindya Prakriti, i.e., obesity(medoroga ), is one of the eight undesirable conditions of the body. People with obesity tend to have overly sterile fats(meda) that depletes other essential dhatus(nutrients) of the body.
Ayurveda tips for weight loss
- Prioritize health over taste: One of the main reasons people indulge in overeating is due to their desire to experience their favorite flavors again and again. Taste mostly takes the top priority when deciding what to eat, but it can lead to more fast food consumption. But, Ayurveda recommends focusing on nutrition first, then taste. It also advises to include all the six tastes(sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent) in our diet to balance vat, pitta and Kapha. Further, one should also eat at fixed times rather than randomly throughout the day.
- Have a light dinner before 7 pm: Having a light dinner helps our digestive system function better and easily digest the food we have eaten throughout the day. Dining before 7 pm or before sunset gives sufficient time to our digestive system to digest food and help us empty our stomachs in the morning. As people are mostly less active during the evening, a light diet also helps balance our calorie intake and use and help us sleep well.
- Eat A Kapha-balancing Diet: To balance the excessive Kapha in the body, people should eat warm, light, low fat, and easily digestible food. Further, one should avoid cold, stale, oil, and fatty foods. Eating fresh and fibrous fruits and vegetables, coarse grains(millets), pungent and bitter foods help balance Kapha.
- Drink lukewarm water: Drinking lukewarm water helps significantly in our weight loss journey. People can also drink warm water with honey and lemon juice to cut the extra fat. Warm water also helps our body to detoxify and boosts our digestion. People usually get fat because of low body metabolism and activity; as per a study, drinking at least 500 ml of lukewarm water before eating can increase metabolism by 30 percent.
- Improve sleeping habits: Sleep is an essential factor for weight loss; excessive sleep lowers our body metabolism, while less sleep increases stress levels and creates many other problems. Ayurveda recommends 6-8 hours of sleep as per physical activity and avoiding daytime sleep. Unhealthy sleeping habits also result in unhealthy eating habits like late-night snacking, eating a high-carb diet, etc. So, it’s better to balance our sleep for weight loss.
- Practice yoga and exercise regularly: Ayurveda recommends particular yoga asanas for weight loss. It is highly recommended to perform these asanas in the presence of specialists after adequately learning and understanding the asanas. Some of the recommended yoga asanas(postures) to help us lose excess body fat are- Tadasana, Paschimottanasana, Surya Namaskar, Pawanmuktasana, Bhujangasana, Dhanurasana, etc.
- Pranayama: Pranayama is known to improve digestion, boost metabolism and reduce excess fat. Special pranayama techniques like Kapalbhati, bhastrika, anulom vilom, bhramari, etc., help improve oxygen levels in our blood, cure thyroid-related issues, and help lose weight.
- Reduce/Avoid stress: Stress is considered a health epidemic by the WHO. High-stress levels can exacerbate weight gain, even after exercising and regulating diet. Ayurveda’s holistic approach focuses on a balanced and properly functioning mind, body, and spirit for healthy living. It recommends meditation to avoid stress. During weight loss, people can get stressed because of changes in diet and exercise, so it’s better to practice meditation to calm our minds.
- Include herbs in your diet: Ayurveda recommends specific herbs and formulations for weight loss. It’s recommended to take the formulations after consultation to avoid side effects and get the best benefits. Some recommended herbs and formulations are- Trikatu, Triphala Guggulu, Varanadi Kashayam, Guluchyadi Kashyam, Hingavashtaka Churan, Vrikshamla, Haridra, Guduchi, Ginger, Chitraka, Guggulu, Musta, Ayaskriti, Aswagandharista, etc.
- Consult an Ayurvedic doctor for a personalized weight loss plan: Everyone has unique needs as per one’s body, so it’s better to consult an Ayurvedic doctor to prepare your weight loss plan. It will help you figure out which formulations to take, which asanas to practice, which therapies to take, and which diet to follow as per your unique Prakriti.
Career as an Ayurvedic Doctor.
Students can take up a BAMS course to pursue a career as an Ayurvedic life coach/doctor. The opportunities are booming for Ayurvedic doctors and are expected to grow even further in the future. One can easily find good ayurvedic colleges in MP, UP, Delhi, etc. Some of the good colleges are- Nationa institute of Ayurveda, IMS BHU, AIIA, Sri Sai, etc.
Becoming a life coach requires a good foundation in Ayurveda’s holistic approach of diet, exercise, medication, and therapy. Thus, the BAMS is the right choice for students to take a career in Ayurveda. To kick start their career, one can easily find good BAMS colleges in MP, UP, Delhi, etc.