It is a well-known fact that overweight and obesity are risk factors for many health problems such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, joint problems, and gallstones among other conditions and obesity are one of the leading risk factors for premature death. It equally affects women and men from all age groups (20-39; 40-59; 60 and over) and a large number of kids and adolescents are nowadays affected as well.
Here is some data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey related to obesity amongst adults in the United States in 2017-2018:
In 2017–2018, the age-adjusted prevalence of obesity in adults was 42.4%, and there were no significant differences between men and women among all adults or by age group.
The age-adjusted prevalence of severe obesity in adults was 9.2% and was higher in women than in men.
According to the NIH (National Institute for diabetes and digestive and kidney diseases), the factors that may contribute to weight gain among adults and youth include genes, eating habits, physical inactivity, TV, computer, phone, and other screen time, sleep habits, medical conditions or medications, and where and how people live, including their access to healthy foods and safe places to be active. (https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/weight-management/adult-overweight-obesity/factors-affecting-weight-health). In the light of all this…
WHAT DOES AYURVEDA SAY ABOUT OBESITY?
According to Ayurveda, obesity and overweight is considered to be an imbalance in the kapha dosha and a disruption in the metabolism of the adipose tissue (medha dhatu). The 3 main causes for this are:
sedentary lifestyle (lack of exercise and physical activity)
sleeping during daytime
excessive consumption of food items that increase mucus (slesmakara ahara)
Over a period of time, above factors will cause an increase of fatty tissue in the body. But it doesn’t stop here. The increased fatty tissue is then responsible for blocking the minute circulatory channels of prana and vata. Blocked vata in the digestive system will increase agni, which is basically your body’s ability to properly digest food (in other words: metabolic enzymes etc.) and has the person being constantly hungry, increasing his cravings and having him go into a downward spiral of snacking more and eating more while never really being really truly satisfied due to what we call “empty agni” in Ayurveda.
In another scenario, agni is first weakened due to one or a combination of the following factors:
wrong diet (wrong food, wrong time, wrong combinations, unhealthy food)
wrong lifestyle (wrong sleep rhythm, inappropriate physical activities)
destructive mental and emotional patterns (mainly: fear, anxiety, stress, anger, envy, guilt, hatred, suppressed emotions)
environmental causes (mainly: pollution, drastic climatic and seasonal changes, contagious diseases)
metabolic disorders (for example: obesity, anorexia, diabetes, cholesterol)
1. EXERCISE, EXERCISE, EXERCISE
Exercise is very important because according to Ayurveda, we have to keep 3 things in movement: our body, our breath and our bowels. We fully understand that starting an exercise routine can be very challenging. So check with your physician beforehand and start with easy exercises that don’t challenge you too much. It makes no sense to knock yourself out with your first workout and then spend many days recovering before continuing with your second workout. Much better is to take it easy and build up slowly over time. Consistency is the key! With that said, start your day by waking up just before sunrise. Drink a glass of warm water with fresh lemon juice or with 1-2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar. Then begin your exercise routine; go for a run or a brisk walk (30-40 min) or do some HIT exercises, stretching or a yoga routine. Allow 5-10 min of cool down or rest at the end of your workout. As mentioned before, start slowly, especially if you haven’t been active for a while, and build up through consistent practice over time.
2. NO DAYTIME SLEEPING
Daytime sleeping increases kapha dosha in the body, slows down your metabolism and increases your weight. So, unless you are a highly stressed vata constitution or it is excessively hot where you live, or your lifestyle involves strong physical activity, you should not be sleeping at all during daytime.
3. SHORT WALKS AFTER EACH MEAL (5 MIN)
Keep it simple: after each meal, walk around the room or up and down your staircase or in your garden for 5 min. This triggers your metabolism to burn off the carbohydrates from the food and reduces insulin resistance.
4. RIGHT FOOD ACCORDING TO YOUR CONSTITUTION
Once you know your constitution (by consulting an Ayurvedic Physician), eat about 80% of the time the food that is recommended for you. A Kapha constitution for example has to be particularly careful with weight gain and should follow all mentioned guidelines strictly for that reason.
5. EATING THE RIGHT AMOUNT AT THE RIGHT TIME
Eat your main meal at around lunchtime and eat only when you are hungry. Never overeat, instead, stop eating way before you feel full. About 1 quarter of your stomach should remain empty. That’s the way to go in order to keep your agni strong and your body free of metabolic toxins. If your job involves a lot of sitting, better stick to just 2 meals per day and replace one meal with a healthy juice or fruits. Do not eat carbohydrates for dinner (or only very little) and finish your dinner early. We recommend to eat dinner before 7pm and your bedtime should be at around 11pm latest.
6. DON’T DRINK LIQUIDS DURING YOUR MEAL
We recommend to finish your meal with a glass of warm water. You may also sip warm water during your meal, but only small amounts. Drinking liquids will dilute your digestive juices and will slow down the process of digestion.
Looking for inspiring and life-changing Ayuvedic Programs?
1. FOLLOW ALL TIPS GIVEN UNDER “HOW TO PREVENT OBESITY – THE AYURVEDIC WAY”
2. ADD ANOTHER EXERCISE ROUTINE IN THE EVENING
Do a 20-30 min workout before dinner and add some breathing exercises with long exhalations at the end of your workout.
3. STRICTLY AVOID:
4. OBSERVE CORRECT MEAL TIMES
Eat your first meal at 10 am (not earlier) and your last meal before 6 pm.
5. FASTING ONCE PER WEEK
Fasting will give your digestive system a rest and will allow your body to complete unfinished digestive processes. Depending on your body type and strength, we recommend to either fast on water, vegetable broth, or clear vegetable soups.
6. COMBINE THE RIGHT INGREDIENTS
Around 40% of your meal should be in the form of non-starchy vegetables, 30% should be in the form of a vegetarian source of protein (from beans and legumes) or from lean animal protein. The remaining part should be 25% complex carbohydrates and around 5% condiments.
7. KICK START YOUR HEALTHY ROUTINE BY DOING A 7 DAY DETOX ROUTINE
In order to restore health, your unique ratio of the three doshas must be rebalanced. This can be achieved by Ayurvedic Detox and rejuvenation procedures, dietary and lifestyle changes, herbal medications and various Ayurvedic treatment methods. Amrtasiddhi‘s Ayurvedic treatments are individually tailored to the composition of your doshas. In the course of an Ayurvedic consultation, we determine your personal constitution and current imbalances and design your individual treatment plan accordingly. You can have complete confidence in the profound knowledge of our Ayurveda experts. We at AmrtaSiddhi are looking forward to welcoming you as our guest!