How can Ayurveda help treat Obesity?
Obesity is a wide-spread condition in the modern world. It is linked to many health issues and diseases, such as diabetes, heart problems, certain types of cancer, strokes—just to mention a few. Additionally, obesity is the leading preventable cause leading to death! Here are some of the Ayurvedic rules to succeed with a healthier weight loss.
- Respect the natural rhythm of the body.
- Keep regular times for sleep, a minimum of 8 hours of night sleep.
- Wake up between 6-7 am, brush your teeth and scrape the tongue to remove digestive waste from the tongue.
- Exercise for 45-60min helps to energise the body and counteracts sluggishness and heaviness.
- Enjoy 3 satisfying meals a day, observe regular meal times.
- By stopping snacking, you can stabilise your energy levels and improve the body’s capacity to utilise stored fat.
- Pay attention to your digestion. Digestive fire and metabolism are usually hampered in obesity, leading to the accumulation of heavy endotoxins, Ama resulting in heaviness, lethargy, low energy, etc. Kindle the digestive fire with herbal teas made of ginger, cumin, and black pepper.
- Eat light breakfast and dinner, lunch should be the main meal. Digestive fire is strongest at noon. It’s okay to skip breakfast if you are not hungry.
- Diet should include 30-40% of whole grains, 20-30% of proteins (meat fish, lentils, etc) and 40-50% fruits and vegetables.
- Try to include all 6 tastes in a meal—sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent. In order to feel satisfied after eating, it is critical to include at least a small portion of each of these six tastes in a day.
- Sip hot water, hot herbal teas throughout the day. Avoid drinking an excess of water or tea 1 hour before and after the main meals as it can hamper digestion.
- Stay away from refined sugars, refined flours, canned and over- preserved food.
- Minimise Kapha-increasing qualities like heavy, oily, cheesy, creamy, frozen, and cold foods. Eat less of yoghurts and bananas.
- Red meat and pork are the least optimal for weight loss. Lighter meats like chicken, goat, and fish are okay.
- Include spices like cinnamon, turmeric, black pepper, long pepper, cumin, carrom seeds, and fenugreek in your recipes as they can kindle digestion and aid fat metabolism.
- Yearly panchakarma cleanses under the guidance of an Ayurveda doctor can set the metabolism right and shed weight.
- Preparatory treatments like powder massages, dry poultices, herbal decoction body baths, enemas with decoctions fortified with herbs specially indicated for weight loss, etc. will help.
- Many Ayurveda herbs and formulations are clinically proven to be effective in weight loss, they should be taken under the supervision of an Ayurveda doctor.
Aparna K. BAMS, MD, PhD
Aparna is one of the few specialists in the world with a PhD in Ayurveda. Born into an Ayurvedic family which operates a traditional Ayurvedic Panchakarma hospital in Kerala, India, she grew up observing her father, the renowned Dr. Padmanabhan