Summer may be winding down, but the urge to lose weight is never ending. As we often discuss natural hair, nature, beauty and wellness, wanting to lose weight is always hidden in the shadows as a big topic of concern for black women. As more women turn to Ayurveda for dieting, it’s time to discuss what it is and how it can positively or negatively effect your weight loss journey.
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is the oldest scientific medical system with a holistic approach towards proper health where you learn to cure diseases and take care of your health by understanding your body type. There are three body types in Ayurveda; these are Vatta, Pitta, and Kapha. Vattas tend to be thin, open-minded and curious. Pittas are medium, athletically built, and hardworking. The Kaphas, on the other hand, are well-built, struggle with weight gain, and loving. Each of the above body types is susceptible to different diseases and requires a different measure of care.
Ayurvedic diet and weight loss?
An Ayurvedic diet is an eating plan consisting of guidelines on when to eat, what to eat, and how to eat. The primary purpose is to boost health, prevent and manage health issues, and maintain wellness. Mainly, it involves eating whole foods, minimally processed foods, and mindful eating rituals.
There has been a lot of skepticism revolving around Ayurveda and its benefits in anyone trying to lose weight, despite being around for years, much of the evidence, which supports this practice, is observational – not scientific.
To properly lose weight, a person needs to accustom some eating habits. These include intake of the six tastes per day, eating mindfully and decent quality food, and maintaining a scheduled eating pattern. You are also advised to eat according to your Dosha (body type.)
However, an Ayurvedic diet alone does not contribute to weight loss. Incorporating a regular exercise regimen into your daily habit is essential. Combined this with Ayurvedic foods to increase your chances of losing weight.
Ayurveda is not a fast-track scheme. As with any diet plan, it takes patience, effort, and persistence to see results.
Each food – herb or plant – has a unique flavor. Knowing a food taste is a beautiful way to tell the food effects upon each dosha. It helps us understand how food stimulates the body. The different tastes exasperate some body types more than others. For instance, bitter tastes favor Vatta, while sweet flavors accelerate the Kaphas’ body growth. There are six food tastes namely: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent.
Sweet comes in many forms: we have the pure sugar, carbohydrates, lipids, fats, and oils. The primary purpose of sweet tastes is to cool down digestion and to increase moisture in the body. It is also helpful in sedating the mind and causing a relaxing feeling.
Sour foods are foods like citrus fruits, berries, sour plums, acidic vegetables, alcoholic ferments, and other ferments such as dairy ferments. The primary purpose is to promote digestion, create warmth in the body, and also awaken consciousness.
Examples of salty foods are like minerals, complex salts, salted meals, and salt that comes from the sea. Salt mildly stimulates digestion and allows proper water retention in the body.
Examples of bitter foods are simple bitters like goldenseal, bitter vegetables like dandelion, and bitter aromatics. Bitter foods are used in cooling the body, normalize an aggravated Pitta, and help lend clarity to consciousness.
These include aromatics, fermented vegetables like onions and alkaloids like tea and coffee. They are mainly used to balance Kapha and promote digestion.
These include beans, lentils, cabbage, potatoes, green beans, broccoli, lettuce, carrots, chickpeas, and corn. They are the foods that have potassium and magnesium qualities. They are mainly used in cooling to balance Kapha and Pitta.
How to use Ayurveda to lose weight
There are different Ayurvedic diet plans according to your Dosha. However, there are general practices that are helpful to all body types if practiced.
As stated earlier, the Vatta body has the following body conditions:
They tend to be thin.
They have small bones,
They put on weight slowly,
And sometimes struggle with digestion.
While Vattas tends to be slender, they are not immune from weight gain. They are susceptible to stress, anxiety, and doing things in a rush. These can lead to excessive eating and weight gain.
The most significant adjustment you can make is eating a three-course, warm, and a correctly scheduled meal each day. When you do this, you significantly boost your digestion and nutrient intake in the body; you should also favor moist cooking and avoid frying, baking, and roasting; use coconut oil, and prefer warm drinks over cold ones.
Pittas are medium, athletic build, and quickly put on weight and muscle. They are susceptible to problems like over-excretion, hypertension, heart disease, and digestive conditions. Pittas’ emotional imbalances lead to stress eating, due to excess gastric acid produced in the stomach, and, therefore, drastic weight gain. Pittas have an active digestive system.
There are some significant adjustments you can make as a Pitta Dosha to lose weight.
You should avoid excessively sour, spicy or salty foods. Instead, you should favor warm food with moderate textures such as sweet, bitter and harsh tastes. Delayed eating while stressed, angry or frustrated. Stress eating increases metabolism and adds excess fats and oils into the body. Remember, this is not part of the three-course meal. Be sure to drink pure water at room-temperature throughout the day.
Kapha Dosha is solidly built and struggles a lot with weight gain. The Kapha body type gains weight easily even while eating smaller portions. This is mostly caused by a slow metabolism, causing excess fat in the body to accumulate.
You are advised to drink a glass of warm water after each meal, especially during winter. It is also recommended to eat lunch at noon; this is when proper food digestion occurs. Appetizers like bitter lemon, tonic water, grapefruit, and bean soup also help. You should use dry cooking like frying and baking instead of boiling and use the minimum amount of healthy cooking oil.
Alongside these, these additional Ayurvedic practices can help you lose weight.
Sleep for eight hours per night between 10.pm to 6.am.
Exercise after waking up.
Do away with junk food and snacks.
Include the six-tastes in your meals on a daily basis.
Eat the heaviest meal in the afternoon.
Drink hot water or tea during the day.
And practice meditation.
In spite of being the oldest medical system available today, Ayurvedic diets are still useful in weight loss if practiced in the right way. There has been a lot of skepticism around the practice, and most wonder if it works. However, from research, it is considered the only method that has more prolonged effects on health while other solutions have brief benefits. Although there is a connection to losing weight, following an Ayurvedic diet is more about maintaining your general health. Ayurveda shows us the path to finding harmony between our mind, body, and soul. Getting to lose weight is a bonus.
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