One’s weight-loss regimen need not be the usual mix of aggressive cutting of calories and strenuous exercise. Instead, by embracing Ayurveda, the 5000 year old holistic healing system, one can achieve ideal weight by balancing all elements of one’s life.
Ayurveda observes excessive weight, obesity and underweight, as an imbalance of the predominant doshas, Vata, Kapha or Pitta. Through proper nutrition, exercise and meditation men can achieve a harmony of the body, mind and spirit and eliminate all physical and mental disorders.
This includes the restoring of balance by losing excess weight or gaining weight if malnourished. The first step is to correct any digestive problems based on one’s inherent dosha. These include vata, pitta and kapha, each of which represents two of the five universal elements of air, fire, water, earth and space. Ayurveda provides an elaborate outline on requisite food, beverages and herbal formulations to augment metabolism for men with different constitution types.
Usually due to a low metabolic rate and the lack of digestive fires known as Agni, there can be a Kapha type overweight imbalance. Kaphas gain weight even if they eat sparingly. Usually in such constitutions there is an imbalance of digestive impurities or ama as a result of which fat tissue accumulates in the body. The formation of bone tissue is hampered due to the amassing of the fat tissues. Ayurveda based herbal solutions and foods aim at burning up the impurities and boosting metabolic rates.
Foods that stimulate digestion and pacify Kapha must be consumed. This includes adding astringent, bitter, and pungent tastes into one’s meals while consciously cutting down salty, sweet and sour dishes. There are certain Ayurveda herbs that help in losing those unwanted pounds. This includes Guggul which helps stabilize fat metabolism and the gathering of cholesterol. Ram’s Horn herb (Meshashringa) and Indian Kino aid swift fat metabolism and enhance the speed of carbohydrate absorption. There is also Zinc Bhasma that aids fat metabolism while Indian Tinospora, Nut grass, Indian sarsaparilla, and Cumin improve absorption and assimilation.
Exercise is also important as it helps in burning off the ama and increases circulation and metabolism. Half an hour of jogging or brisk walking can be integrated into any man’s regular schedule. One can also try a hand at weight training, swimming or dancing. Detoxifying via therapeutic herb infused teas and massages are also good for Kaphas. Garshan massage stimulates digestion and enhances blood circulation. Once a week, one can even opt for a gentle laxative therapy by using herbal cleansers.
With Pitta type of body excess weight gain has different implications. It builds up nutrient circulation that can aggravate their constitution rapidly. This can produce excess acid, irritability, tremendous thirst, and intense craving for sweet, heavy, cooling foods.
This in turn makes one put on more weight. A gentle blend of Ayurveda based herbal formulations that can balance the appetite, control stomach acid and support fat synthesis. Thus the desperate desire for sweet, heavy foods can be curbed and the vicious cycle will thus collapse. One can also try warm herbal waters laced with coriander, licorice, fennel and fenugreek. Coriander on the other hand eliminates toxins while licorice is cooling and fennel helps with assimilation.
Fenugreek plays an active role in decomposing fats and aids absorption. The diet can be supported by squash, warm milk, and homemade buttermilk. Sweet juicy fruits, stewed prunes and figs can be eaten on the weekends as laxative therapy without disturbing Pitta. Veggies and legumes can be spiced by turmeric, cumin, coriander and fennel. This will aid in assimilating and balancing the stomach acid and amas. One must avoid commercial protein shakes.
Instead one can go for nature’s bounty for live proteins such as walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, legumes, pumpkin seeds and dairy derivatives. Pitta men can try around 30 minutes of moderate exercise about 3-4 times a week. Brisk walking, yoga, swimming, and light weight training are good for Pittas. One can also do pitta oil massage which helps in pacifying Pitta sue to the wondrous properties of the sandalwood. Yoga asanas and transcendental mediation can also contribute to the same.
For men who have a Vata type constitution it is the other end of the spectrum. They are usually very thin and wiry but can suddenly put on weight if their natural metabolism has been tampered with. Vata-prime men succumb to mental stress and also eat irregularly. This disturbs there digestion, thereby creating ama and blocking all channels. This poses to be a precursor to weight gain. One needs to de-stress, relax and meditate. Even fifteen to twenty minutes a day can greatly improve their lives.
Vatas should eat a balanced and nutritious diet. In imbalanced states a tridosha diet is best for Vatas. Foods which are fresh, organic and produce ojas are the best. Three warm cooked meals a day are a must. One can have stewed fruits like apples and pears for breakfast and a lunch with light dal, grains like quinoa, zucchini and squash along with cottage cheese. It can be cooked in ghee or olive oil with turmeric, cumin, fennel etc. For dinner soups of fresh veggies and pulses with whole grains is apt.
For easy digestion, purification and elimination of toxins one can also try herbal tea with Brahmi and other herbs that dispel stress and anxiety. One must evade spicy, astringent (chilies, peppers, cayenne etc.), heavy (cheeses etc.) and cold foods (ice-creams, desserts, cold juices) from one’s diet. Additionally canned, leftovers, frozen foods, processed and ready made foods must be avoided.
Vatas must follow routine in their lives for balance. One must sleep well before ten and rise by 6 am. Yoga and breathing exercises like Prayanama can be included in one’s morning workout. Oil massages can help in relaxation and thereby promote metabolism, and soothe the nervous system. Eating must also be at the same time to help the body getting acclimatized with the daily sequence of digestion.
Hence, there are different therapies for weight balance crafted on the basis of a man’s natural constitution or dosha.