Despite a history of around 5000 years, the holistic approach to wellness that is promoted in the ayurvedic teachings is flexible and adaptable into modern lifestyles. This is why even today millions of people all over the world follow ayurvedic practices to strengthen the digestive system and immune system and thereby achieve complete overall health. Ayurveda promotes a balanced lifestyle where the mind, body and soul work in harmony so that you enjoy optimal health. An important aspect of ayurvedic teachings is to nurture our agni or digestive fire to strengthen the digestive system which helps remove impurities from the body, causes an improved metabolic rate and ensures the body is well nourished.
Ayurvedic perspective on weight loss
According to ayurveda when we gain balance it helps ignite the digestive fire which in turn helps you lose weight by speeding up your fat metabolism rate. In keeping with its holistic approach to health and wellness, ayurveda offers a comprehensive system of achieving your ideal healthy weight and maintaining it.
Ayurveda says that we each have a body type based on the life force energies or dosha – vata, pitta and kapha – all existing in a unique balance within each and every one of us. When the kapha dosha is in imbalance it can be responsible for weight gain.
Understanding your body type
Identifying your ayurvedic body type is important because it helps you take the correct steps towards achieving health which includes achieving your ideal body weight. An ayurvedic practitioner will determine your body type and advise on the best lifestyle and diet habits to adopt to keep your dosha in balance. If your kapha dosha is in excess you will be given steps on how to bring it back into the correct ratio for your body type. When you start eating and adopting habits that nurture your dosha combination you start to enjoy the benefits such as wellness and weight loss, if so required.
How to integrate Ayurveda into your weight loss journey
If you are looking to shed excess weight ayurveda is flexible and easily adaptable in our modern lifestyles. The teachings offer practical and effective tips including diet tips for weight loss, incorporating physical activity and following ayurvedic diets that cater to your body type.
Diet and nutrition
Ayurveda promotes eating a diet that suits your body type. Depending on our dominant dosha there are certain food types that are beneficial while others are not so good for us. Generally, the emphasis is on eating a diet that incorporates plenty of fresh and organic produce. You are also advised to include lots of nuts, seeds, legumes, ayurvedic herbs for weight loss and spices into your meals and if you can tolerate dairy products, then milk, yogurt and soft cheeses are also beneficial. Drink warm water when possible and have a hot water with lemon at the start of the day. Ayurveda encourages mindful eating because when you pay attention to what you are eating you will be able to feel when you are satiated and avoid the pitfalls of mindless eating or snacking.
As said based on your body type there are certain food types that you should focus on while avoiding or reducing the consumption of others. Pitta dosha body types benefit from cold foods, cooling and energising foods, nuts and seeds. It is best they avoid anything too spicey. Vata dosha are nourished by warm, moist, hearty and grounding foods while it is best they reduce or avoid raw veggies, bitter herbs and dried fruits. Kapha dosha body types should consume veggies such as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, beans and dark leafy greens along with legumes while limiting heavy foods such as oils, nuts and seeds.
Exercise and physical activity
Ayurveda advises regular exercise or some sort of physical activities daily to help maintain harmony between the mind, body and soul. Warming up the body helps to mobilise kapha while relaxing muscles and joints. Physical activity helps to pacify the three dosha for balance while helping the digestive fires strengthen which in turn helps to burn excess fat.
Ayurveda advises that we should move daily but to 50% of our total capacity which means until we break a bead of sweat on the forehead, under the arms, and along the spine. Warm up the body – this helps mobilise kapha, release stiffness in the muscles and relax the joints.
Panchakarma is one of most well-known ayurvedic treatments to burn body fat because it consists of five steps that completely detox and purify the body including herbal massages and cleansing enemas. By expunging the body of toxin build up it helps with bloating and weight gain while also helping the dosha find balance. A traditional dry massage, Udwarthanam is a deep tissue massage that uses herbal powders and gentle upward massage strokes. It promotes blood circulation and complete detoxification and helps to burn fat thanks to the herbal powders that are used. There are self-massages as well that you can incorporate into your daily routine that aid with blood circulation.
Ayurvedic detoxes are based on the trusted teachings of ayurvedic medicine and use recommended treatments and natural herbs to rid the body of toxins or ama which assists with reducing weight and improving overall health. Ama is the by-product of incomplete digestion, so when it is removed from the body it can help the body feel lighter while also improving overall health.
Panchakarma and Purvakarma are two bodily ayurvedic detoxes. Ayurveda also prescribes dietary detoxes based on your body type along with water as the primary beverage. You may also be recommended herbal teas such as ginger tea to help cleanse the dietary track. Othe detox tips will include maintaining set times for meals everyday so that your body learns and adapts to regular eating habits.
Integrating an ayurvedic lifestyle in your weight loss journey will help you achieve sustainable and healthy weight loss that will help you maintain your ideal weight.