Home Uncategorized 21 Ayurvedic and Yoga Based Weight Loss Tips
21 Ayurvedic and Yoga Based Weight Loss Tips
21 Ayurvedic and Yoga Based Weight Loss Tips
- Intermittent Fasting: Ayurveda is the science of life and is a 5,000 years old natural health system. Intermittent fasting is not just a current phenomenon promoted for weight loss, Ayurveda recommends fasting and detoxing methods from ancient times. Ayurveda states eat three balanced meals per day and do not snack in between.
- Fix Meal Times: If you follow Ayurvedic way of eating – you eat 3 meals a day at a certain time that you have chosen according to your lifestyle. You can eat breakfast at 7:30 AM, Lunch at 12:00 PM and Dinner at 6:00 PM. Erratic eating time may result in digestive problems including bloating, constipation, cravings, IBS and excessive weight gain.
- Avoid Snacking: If you are overweight and have experienced weight stagnation then this is the right way to go. Ayurvedic weight loss guides you to avoid snacking in between meals. Add fruits and nuts or other snack items with meals to add fiber and good fats to your diet. For example, add stewed apple or pear with oatmeal for breakfast and add nuts and seeds to salads or soups.
- Avoid Mucus Forming Foods: Avoid eating mucus-forming foods such as dairy (milk, cream, cheese, etc.), bread or too many wheat-based foods, red meat, eggs, sweet desserts, corn and corn-based products, soda, pop, coffee, alcoholic beverages, bananas, etc. completely. Mucus aggravates Kapha dosha and therefore can result in weight gain or stagnation.
- Reduce Kapha Aggravating Foods: Sweet, sour and salty aggravated Kapha dosha, therefore, reduce these tastes significantly from the diet. You do not have to completely avoid these but reduce them and increase bitter foods that would help detoxify, pungent foods that are thermogenic and astringent foods that will reduce inflammation.
- Rasa or Six Tastes in Meals: Ayurveda encourages to eat a complete balanced meal that consists of all six tastes. Sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent and astringent. Note that grains, legumes, fruits, dairy are sweet in taste and therefore should be consumed in small amounts. Vegetables (but not root vegetables because they are sweet), leafy greens, etc. are bitter and astringent. Lastly, sour fruits, pickles, and fermented foods are sour tasting and will add good bacterial culture in the diet.
- Stop Eating after Sunset: Eating when the sun is still showing improves metabolism and digestion. Eating earlier in the evening assists in proper metabolism and assimilation of the food.
- Heavy to Light Meals: Breakfast can be moderate, lunch heavy and dinner must be light. Having a good breakfast such as high in fiber, fat, and protein would be ideal. This will keep you going until lunchtime. Lunch can be slightly heavy therefore you can add grains, legumes or nuts and seeds. Dinner could be soups and broths.
- Cooked Meals: Cold food such as raw foods are not suitable for Kapha Dosha. One of the best Ayurvedic Weight loss tips is to choose foods that are more heating and cooking. Salads and uncooked foods may increase mucus in your body.
- Fresh Foods: Make freshly cooked meals as many times as possible during the week. It is hard to cook fresh meals every day – especially when you are working. Try your best to cook fresh meals whenever you can. Frozen meals lack prana and therefore is advised to be avoided in Ayurveda.
- Sleep and Metabolism: Restful sleep does impact fat metabolism. Disrupted sleep is often overlooked as a cause of weight gain but it is true for many. Studies show that people who sleep less than 6 hours per night have the tendency to eat more (especially carbohydrate) because they have reduced leptin levels. Short sleep increases insulin level due to interruption in overall hormone levels. People who sleep less do not have the energy to exercise which will lead to weight gain. 7-8 hours of sleep is considered adequate.
- Water and Kapha Dosha: Staying hydrated is the most important for all Dosha’s. Most of us loose 3 – 4 liters of water through urination, sweat, breathing, and bowel movement. Those who exercise also lose a lot of water as well as those who consume dry foods (chips, cookies, bread, etc.). Kapha dosha imbalances happen due to overeating, eating dry foods, high salt foods, and poor water metabolism. The body becomes more dehydrated and struggles in enzymatic activity. 1-2 liters of warm water per day is ideal for Kapha dosha. Sip water throughout the day to keep the body hydrated all day long.
- Meal Planning: Ayurveda recommends six tastes in meals – sweet, salty, sour, bitter, pungent and astringent. Very rarely one recipe could showcase all six tastes. Therefore, a few components in a meal can bring the six tastes together. Meal plan for a minimum of four days so that the busiest days during the week are covered. Keep a few pickled items in your fridge or pantry or add lime/lemon to your meal. Ginger pickle have both sour and pungent taste. Make 1-3 vegetarian mains, a leafy green, and a dal or lentil soup.
- Eat Local: Eating local is tough in winterbourne countries. However, when possible eat local to support the agriculture of your area and in turn, it will strengthen the economy. Freshly picked local foods taste better, provide more nutrients and support seasonal eating.
- Understand the Power of Rotational Diet: A rotational diet promotes a balanced and complete nutritional approach. The rotational diet reduces the risk of food sensitives, food intolerance, and digestive issues. Rotational diet could be hard if you really want to avoid eating foods from the same family however start with breakfast and then move to lunch and dinner. For example. Eat eggs and whole wheat bread for breakfast first day of the week, then eat oats with nuts and seeds on the second day, the third-day have a protein shake that has whey protein, etc. Check out the link for the food families sheet here.
- Morning Detox Drink: A fantastic way to start the day is a Kapha Detox Drink first thing in the morning. Start with a triphala drink. You can soak ½ teaspoon of triphala powder in 500 ml of water in a copper jug. Soak overnight and strain in the morning before drinking. If weight loss has reached a stagnation point then I would drink a warm cup of Trikaru tea. Trikatu powder is easily available in the market. Pour hot water in a cup and add ¼ teaspoon of Trikatu powder. Cover the cup and let it steep of 5 minutes. Strain and then drink this before breakfast.
- Asanas to Increase Metabolism: Asana’s such as, plank, downward dog, lunges, triangle, warrior 2 & 3, bridge, bow, and chair are amazing poses that promote weight loss. However, I highly recommend sequence planning to get in and out of poses and to move onto a new pose. Any Asana or pose that holds the legs up is amazing to reduce swelling and varicose veins. Performing sun salutations 2-4 times will warm up the body and promote weight loss.
- Pranayam’s for Weight Loss: Pranayams are equally important as Asana’s, if not more. Pranayama technique teaches you how to control and move the breath to achieve various health benefits. Kapal Bhati, Bhastrika, bhramari, and anulom vilom are great for stress reduction, thyroid stimulation, promote flat tummy and weight loss. Kapal bhati and bhrastika are amazing to increase inner heat and calorie burning.
- Meditation for Weight Loss: I have been using meditation for relaxation and pain management. Therefore, I believe the power of the mind can be used for weight loss. Ensure you believe that the steps that you are taking towards weight loss are effective and will work. Meditation is all about increasing awareness of your thoughts, emotions, and actions. Meditation will assist with being aware of your relationship with food and reduce cravings and binge eating. Meditation will help you to stop and look within yourself. Find a good Asana practitioner or Yogi who assist you with the first few meditation sessions.
- Ayurvedic Herbs for Weight loss: Formulations such as Triphala and Trikatu are amazing for weight loss. Bitter herbs such as neem, gurmar as well as pungent herbs such as ginger and turmeric are very effective for Kapha dosha. Ensure you speak with your Ayurvedic practitioner or Herbalist to find out which herb would be best for you.
- Reduce Stress: Both weight gain and loss are connected to elevated stress. Stress induces cortisol, DHEA and adrenaline hormone release. Cortisol is connected to weight fluctuations. Excess cortisol impacts blood sugar levels, thyroid hormone and induces low metabolism. Cortisol also causes emotional imbalance, insomnia, the tendency to overeating and cravings for sugar. Holy Basil is an amazing herb to reduce cortisol levels.
Let me know once to start to apply these tips and what worked for you. You can also try my Kapha Detox program. I have both vegetarian and non-vegetarian versions.
There are also some recipes on my website that promotes healthy weight loss. Such as Mung Dal Soup. Ayurvedic Protein Balls, Makhana recipe, Homemade Curry Paste, and Almond Milk Recipe.
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