“Lose weight now, Ask me how” – I see these banners popping up everywhere . And the funny thing is those banner sporters are overweight themselves and don’t look healthy at all. Should losing weight at any cost be the motto ? Shouldn’t be losing weight but preserving health be more important? That’s what Ayurveda says. Lets see in detail what Ayurveda says about weight loss in Ayurvedic tips for weight loss.
What is being fat according to Ayurveda?
Ayurveda doesn’t consider weight as the most important marker of being fat, because weight could be due to your strong heavy bones , or good concentrated muscles, or yes, may be due to your fat. So you cannot rely on weighing machine to give you exact analysis. Ayurvedic measurement for obesity is as simple as it could get- Spheek stan udar lambanam- . When you can see the flabby overgrowth in your buttocks , breasts and more importantly tummy , you can be sure you are fat . No need of machines calculating fat density in your body . A mirror is your best friend and the best machine to gauge your unhealthy fat or deciding when to start to worry.
You must worry when your body starts to jiggle. . Lose the jiggle .Fat which is drudh (Toned) is not so harmful. Un toned, loose flab is the thing you must worry about, as “Abaddha meda” is the cause of a lot of diseases.
Ok. Let’s considered you passed this test for being fat, and you need to lose the weight because you are overweight due to extra fat and not due to heavy bones or muscles, so lets go towards the solution to this problem –
Ayurvedic tips for weight loss-
1.Eat at Pitta time.
Agni or digestive fire is strong at that time. It helps to digest the food properly and eliminate toxins .Eating at a time when digestive juices are secreted makes sure that it is utilized properly.That is, 10 am to 2pm in afternoon. So, make lunch your largest meal of the day.
In the evening you should ideally have food before sunset. If that is not possible, keep your goal to eat as close to sunset as possible.Eat as little as you can after sunset.
2.Crash diets are just fads.
Yes they are. They can do no good to you. They put your body in a panic mode as it thinks that you are starving and the weight is regained as soon as you stop the diet and come to routine. Food is a physical as well as mental and emotional necessity. In “Food clothing and shelter”, FOOD comes first. Food gives you happiness, and you cannot avoid it. It will just make you miserable, and anything that makes you miserable can’t be continued for long. You might just binge eat when the diet period is over, and regain all the weight you have lost. Eating correctly lifelong henceforth is the correct option. And it is not as difficult as it seems.
3.Counting calories every time you eat is not something which is actually feasible.
Ayurveda has given a simpler way instead. Watch out the tastes of food. Sweet , sour , and Salty are the three tastes which increase kapha and promote weight gain , while Hot (Teekha), bitter, and Astringent (Turat) reduce kapha and promote weight loss. Here bland taste (sweetish neutral taste) is also included in sweet. Rice, wheat are considered in this bland sweetish taste as increasing kapha and causing weight gain. Have them in moderation. “Kuch meetha ho jaye” (let’s have something sweet) is not something we should glamourise in ads.
4.Don’t use food to denote your love for someone. We stuff the people we love with food. We give chocolates to express our love and we throw parties to celebrate. Many times we equate food with love. That’s why it is one of the toughest addiction to come out of. Stop this as early as possible. Politely refuse food if you are not hungry. It’s just food, not love.
5.Eating before the earlier food is digested (Adhyashan ) is a strict no- no.
6.Consider your hunger every time you eat. Overeating is cause of many diseases. While eating, imagine your stomach is divided into four parts -fill two parts with food ,one part with liquid and keep one part empty .That means don’t eat till you have a sense of fullness . Stop way before that. Two bites extra food you have eaten every time add up to kilos.
7.Take time to eat slowly. Savor your food. Enjoy it thoroughly. That will satisfy your craving and you will not over eat.
8.Ghee must not be avoided, but be taken in proper amount. One teaspoon per meal will be great. It increases digestive fire and helps in losing weight. Of course don’t binge on it. Moderation is the key
9. Have Guru Aptarpan food –
The food which you eat must be heavy enough to satisfy your hunger, be digested slowly so that you don’t get hungry again soon. But still it must be such that it does not provide much food value. This concept is called guru aptarpan prayog and it is the most important mode of treatment for weight loss. If the food is not heavy, it will keep you feeling hungry, causing you to eat more. Vyoshadi saktu is such a very useful guru aptarpan Ayurvedic recipe. You can get vyoshadi saktu from an Ayurvedic doctor and have it as following –
10. Take Vyoshadi saktu –
Barley is the chief content of Vyoshadi saktu. Besides Barley, it has various herbs for weight loss. We have to prepare a shake out of it. If one part Vyoshadi saktu is taken, 14 parts of water is added and 1 teaspoon oil, 1 tsp ghee, 1 tsp honey is added. Then you have to stir it a lot. You can use mixer for that .Have it as per your hunger. A glass or two is usually enough. It makes you feel full for a long time. You can take this as a substitute for one meal daily until you reach your desired weight. As Barley is one of the most nutritious grains, you can safely have weight loss without side effects, and as it guru , you will not feel hungry like you usually do when you are dieting.
11. Include Millets in your diet –
Image credit- Wikipedia
Millets are long forgotten and not so popular grains, but they are great for weight loss. They reduce kapha as they are not heavy and help in losing weight in long term. Include them in your daily diet as a substitute for wheat, rice etc and see the difference. They are power packed with vitamins, minerals and have a low glycemic index. Some of the useful millets are finger millet (Ragi/Nachani), Little millet (वरी, kutki,) Foxtail millet (राळ,), kodo millet (कोद्रू), Barnyard millet (झान्गोरा) etc.
12.Diet is not something that you do instead of exercise.
Proper weight loss can be done only with a combination of right eating and proper exercise.
Take up the exercise routine only which you can keep up the whole life. Going to gym and working out two hours a day for two months and stopping altogether after you once have achieved your weight loss goal is too bad. This weight loss will come back to you like a boomerang. You throw it away and it will come back to you in no time.
Find out the exercise type you love to do and will be able to continue. Just because someone lost weight by going to gym doesn’t mean that you should do the same thing. Maybe you will love to play tennis, maybe you like swimming, or maybe you could do trekking, or have long walks at beautiful places. Do what suits your personality. That will surely stay. If you are a gym person and like to pump the metal and are sure you can do it always, do go for it. Or you can change exercise type if you get bored by one type of routine.
Don’t make exercise a punishment for your enjoying food, make it feel like reward by mixing it with things you like. Go for swimming one day with your kids, a long stroll in park with your love day the other, a trek with your friends on weekends, or a family outing which includes a hill climb some day. Just keep moving.
13.Afternoon nap is something you must avoid completely.
Only sick people, children and old people must sleep in the afternoon. Especially don’t sleep after a meal. This rule can be loosened a bit in summer, when you can have a nap in afternoon.
14.Menstrual problems in women must be addressed immediately.
Menstrual cycle is a mirror of balance of Doshas in women. In modern terms you can say that menstrual problems in women signify a hormonal imbalance, which can cause a weight gain which is difficult to lose. Make sure to get treatment promptly if it is out of whack.
15.Hating your body does not help.
Ayurveda calls Medorog (Morbid obesity) as one of the hardest diseases to treat ,as it needs a lot of determination from the patient. The overweight person himself is more important than the doctor in treating obesity .A doctor or dietician or fitness trainer or ayurvedic tips for weight loss can do nothing to help you if you yourself are not willing to make a change. So the toughest part in this treatment is having the determination, because it takes a lot of hard work to make lifestyle changes
But be patient, be easy on yourself. Don’t beat yourself up for letting yourself go. Whatever caused you to gain weight is a past. Learn from your mistakes but don’t fret over it. Forget what happened in past, live in present. Don’t be depressed, but keep an optimistic attitude of making a change. Losing weight is not just how many kilos per week .It is an art of modifying your diet and rectifying mistakes which have lead to weight gain in first place.
Find out what you have been doing wrong, by reading the Ayurvedic tips for weight loss given above , and craft out your own personalized plan to weight loss by rectifying your mistakes. Just because something worked for someone, it won’t for you so don’t indulge in fads. Eating right, exercising correctly and modifying lifestyle will give you a little slow but healthy and steady weight loss.