Ayurveda is an alternative health practice with methods taken from age-old Hindu medicinal practices. Its philosophy is to prolong life by living a healthy and balanced lifestyle where the mind, body, and soul all work harmoniously. It’s like incorporating spiritual, practical, and scientific elements into your goal of healthy living. Here are some basic guidelines on how you can lose weight through Ayurveda.
- Find out your body type first and follow the diet according to your body type. In Ayurveda, there are 3 kinds of Doshas (translated as bodily humors): Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. The combination of dominant doshas determines one’s body type. A Kapha extreme in particular leads to overweight or obesity. A Vata extreme on the other hand, is underweight. Balance must be attained to attain harmony in body, mind, and soul. Find out the characteristics of each dosha and determine which ones are dominant in you. Only when you know your body type, can you follow the appropriate diet.
- Start your morning routine with a honey-water drink. Take a glass of warm water mixed with a tablespoon of honey and the juice from one-half of a lemon. Honey helps by mobilizing fats in your body so that it can be readily used as an energy source.
- You can choose to have a heavy breakfast or lunch, but always eat a light dinner. For breakfast, one suggestion is to have wheat cereal or mung bean sprouts. Follow it up with a cup of skimmed milk. For dinner you can have salad and include whole wheat bread or whole wheat chapattis. Include vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, and beets. You can choose to eat them raw, boiled, or steamed.
- Always complete your meals and establish a regular eating schedule. Three meals a day are sufficient, and always eat your meals on time so your body can establish normal eating and metabolism patterns.
- Opt for hot drinks instead of cold, iced ones. Drink glasses of warm water instead of cold water throughout the day. You can have a drink of fruit juice, coconut water, lemon tea, ginger tea, or mint tea. Mint and carrot juice in particular, help in flushing out fat.
- Include more vegetables and fruits in your low calorie meals. Dark, bitter vegetables in particular, like the bitter gourd, aid in losing weight. Munch on cabbage every now and then because it stops converting sugar to carbohydrates and fat. Including sprigs of mint in your meals also eliminates fat.
- Have healthy snacks in between meals. You can have a snack of dried fruits, whole grain bread, or vegetable soup. Remember not to resort to unhealthy snacks or even processed foods as these can only add to your weight.
- Combine food items that are compatible with each other. In an Ayurveda diet, the philosophy is: Like goes with like. Learn how to prepare a balanced meal. Infuse herbs and warm spices like cumin, ginger, cayenne, and black pepper.
- Avoid extremes such as very salty, sweet, sour, or fatty foods. Forego adding salt to your meals if you can, or use it sparingly. Avoid dairy products like cheese and butter as these are high in fat content. Also avoid food with lots of carbohydrates like rice and potato.
- Complement your diet with exercise that’s fit for your body type. Like diet, there are also types of exercise suited for a particular body type. To know what kind of exercises you should do, you can research or consult an Ayurveda fitness expert. Walking, jogging, running, and yoga works well for most body types.
- Ayurvedic gums are also recommended for those who are overweight. Commiphora Mukul, or “Guggulu” is a medicinal solution to losing weight.
The Hindu ancients knew the secret to prolonging life and good health. And until now, their knowledge and wisdom are still very much alive in the Ayurveda health practice. Take a page from their book; get healthy and lose weight through Ayurveda.