Weight loss itself can be approached in different ways. There are various diets like keto diet that completely eliminates carbohydrate foods or the juice cleanse diet. You may have heard of idols going on cabbage water diet to lose weight. All these diets help in losing weight but many of these crazy diet restrictions affect your immune system making you weaker and prone to illness. Starving your body affects your lean muscles which means you are losing muscle mass and not the subcutaneous fat around your waist. Weight loss through ayurveda focuses on cleaner and healthier ways to make your body leaner and stronger at the same time.
If you maintain a diet of 2000 calories and burn 500+ calories through an hour of power yoga or vinyasa yoga, you will lose upto 4kg per month. You don’t have to starve yourself just avoid the foods that i have mentioned later in the article. Stick to it and have a cheat meal once in a while.
Here we will be dealing with the lifestyle and dietary changes you need to adopt and the herbal concotions and other medicinal supplements that aid in weight loss. Let us look into the major lifestyle changes you need to follow,
Make your daily routine the one you can follow:
Your daily routine is something you are going to follow for a long period of time. So instead of making super perfect life that is stressful to follow, keep things simple. A healthier lifestyle is the foundation to a strong, healthy and stable body and mind. So it shouldn’t be like a new year resolution.
- Make sure to wake up and sleep at a fixed time. Although sleeping before 11pm and waking up between 3-4am is considered the best not everyone can follow this. So sleeping from 11.30pm to 7.30 or 8am is fine too.
- Sleep well for atleast eight hours. Our body repairs and restores while we sleep. Sleep also helps in regulating our hormones. If you have sleep issues try therapy that includes meditation or music. Choose one that suits you and stick to it. There are several soulful music videos and guided meditation videos available on youtube. If this does’t work the there is no shame in asking for help from a therapist or psychologist.
- Practice Yoga for one hour. You can also opt for restorative yoga or yin yoga for bed time routine. Always try to include sets of suryanamskara to heat up your body and rise your heartbeat. Keep in mind that one hour of vinyasa yoga and power yoga burns 594 calories. Yoga makes your body stronger in the long term. Begin with short routines and work your way up to longer session as you build strength. Rather than focusing to do advance poses concentrate on staying longer in challenging poses even if they are simple modified versions.
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes. Although i prefer yoga, you can also go for exercises like brisk walking, stationary bike/ elliptical, swimming, playing tennis or badminton. Anything that elevates your heart rate burns calories. Remember that cardio should be kept within the time limit of 35 to 45 minutes. HIIT (High intensity interval training) burns more calories than a normal cardio session.
- Include strength training to your workout routine. Weight training helps build lean muscle and increases your stamina and overall health. Both HIIT training and weight training burns calories throughout the day even after doing the workouts. Yoga poses like planks and chathuranga pushups work well in building strength. Holding the poses for 30-90 seconds also challenges the muscle groups making it stronger in the long run. Include strength training twice a week not more than that.
- Take rest days to allow your body to restore and repair. You can do workouts 4-5 days of the week while taking rest days in between. It is important to rest our body and give it a chance to repair the muscles else we will end up with less energy, stamina and it might even result in an injury. Both HIIT and weight training should not be done everyday so alternate these with other exercises.
- Always listen to your body. There is a huge difference between tiredness and laziness. We are only human so there are things that our body can do and cannot. The endurance level differs for everyone. Avoid forcing your body into poses you are not comfortable with. If you feel dizzy or unstable in certain poses just back off. Surely you will reach there one day but the time it takes is just longer than others. If you cant do a pushup focus on building strength.
- Do not lie down immediately after having a meal. Take a walk as it aids digestion and helps regulate your blood sugar levels too. Even a 15 minute leisure walk is enough to bring a change.
- Have a satisfying and dosha pacifying meal. Each body is dominated by either vata, pitta. or kapha. Find out which group you belong to and avoid foods that aggravate those condition. I personally belong to the vata group and so when i have dairy products i get pain just like arthrytis. I don’t do well in winter season either.
Vata Dosha Symptoms:
Skin is either dry or rough
Have sleep issues
Sensitive to cold
Below the required weight requirement
Restless in nature accompanied by anxiety, panic disorder
Pitha Body Symptoms:
Rashes and other skin problems
burning in the eyes
Higher body heat
Competitive in nature, dominating and manipulative
Kapha Dosha Body symptoms:
Allergies, Asthma and sinus problem
Lacking Concentration, Prone to depression
Practice Pranayama. It is recommended to practice breathing exercises early in the morning and on an empty stomach. It helps with Stress related problems, relieves breathing problems, lowers high blood pressure.
Bhastrika Yoga Pranayama:
This practice increases your metabolic activity thereby boosting the calorie burn.
It helps in creating heat and eliminating toxic wastes from our body
Like any other pranayama practice, it builds strength in the respiratory system
This helps in regulating your blood sugar levels and promotes fat loss. This is the most effective and sort breathing technique for weight loss.
After lifestyle changes, next we deal with dietary changes that needs to be made.
- Avoid these foods to lose weight:
Fried items, Chips, cakes, cookies, ice cream, white bread or anything made with maida/all purpose flour, white sugar, alcohol especially beer, soft drinks and carbonated drinks.
(Ayurveda doesn’t support non vegetarian foods but i think as long as the chicken is grass fed and doesn’t have steroids and other hormones injected to them you can have them. Chicken breast contains 31gms of protein per 100gm.)
Food that aid weight loss:
Drink Lemon and honey water on an empty stomach. I used to add a pinch of cinnamon in it. Adding turmeric, pepper, ginger, garlic to our diet helps to boost the digestion process. So make sure to add these while preparing meals. Remember that pepper does not cause acidity or irritation. The herbs that help in weight loss are bibitaki, amalaki, licorice,tulsi, aloevera and haritaki. I believe these herbs are available in capsule form on healthkart.
Try to include the below in your diet, you can make a smoothie with a combination of these and drink in the morning. I have tried wheatgrass, aloevera, beetroot and amla in the past. I take a banana smoothie half an hour before my workouts. I also used to take Apple cider vinegar when i skip lemon and honey.
Ginger, Garlic,Pepper, Ajwain, Cinnamon, Chirata
Drink Lots of water especially warm water:
Toxins known as Ama in ayurveda can be flushed out by warm water. You can add herbs to this to increase its benefits. Drinking various kinds of tea such as mint, ginger, green tea are also fine. Make sure not to add white sugar. Opting for buttermilk is another healthier choice.
Fasting once a week is recommended in ayurveda for better digestive system function and also detoxification. You can have different types of tea or vegetable soups throughout the day. If you fasting then avoid doing strenuous exercises that day.
Ayurvedic Herbs: Available on healthkart
Guggul :Avoid if you have diabetes or pregnant
Garcinia Cambogia : Blocks fat absorption
Triphala: Detoxifies and cleanses your body
Daruharidra : antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic and antiseptic
Chitrak : aids digestion
Kutki : Powerful antioxidant and anti inflammatory
Nagarmotha :Detoxifying herb
Maha Yograj Guggulu
Try Udvartana, the dry massage technique. Below information was found on the Kottakkal Aryavaidyasala site.
Udwarthanam is a dry massage using medicinal powders which have fat reducing properties. A combination of Triphala and horse gram is normally used. Practitioners of Ayurveda highly recommend udwarthanam for its fat-dissolving ability. This course can be done once in six months. According to Ayurveda, udwarthanam dissolves fat and makes the body light and strong. The skin becomes unctuous and glows. A 14 or 21-day course of udwarthanam for one hour every day can reduce weight considerably.
BENEFITS UDWARTHANAM TREATMENT:
The elimination of excess water and harmful substances from the body
Reduction or cellulite removal
Reducing the volume of the body
Improves skin tone
The ideal medical process to reduce obesity should be an oil massage followed by wet fomentation and then udwarthanam. This is normally done for 14 or 21 days.
Below information was found on the Kottakkal Aryavaidyasala site.
People with obesity can be given vamanam (emesis), virechanam (laxative) and kashayavasthy (decoction enema). Virechanam can be done almost every month.
Food and drink: Roasted horse gram powder or soup, rice made out of shyamakam (a kind of German millet ) and barley, soup of green gram, water with honey, whey with a little honey, fermented Ayurvedic products like varanasavam and ayaskriti can be used daily by obese patients.
Some Medications Obese people should take everyday: but under doctor’s observation
A tablespoon of Triphala mixed with honey early morning on an empty stomach.
A decoction of Gudoochi, Abhaya and Mustha as drinking water.
A course of Maha Panchamoola Kashayam or Gulgulu Kashayam.
Regular use of shilajit in Bhasma form is another useful tip.
With a proper diet and exercise, you will lose weight. Keep motivating yourself and keep at it until you reach your goal weight.