The Real Reason We Gain Weight And 10 Actionable Weight Loss Tips
Weight gain is a gripe that we constantly hear about, but it’s also a problem that is inadequately understood. Obesity is the leading cause of various lifestyle diseases, but the excessive weight gain that contributes to the problem is a little more complicated. According to Ayurveda, this occurs as a result of depletion or a vata imbalance in the body.
Obesity is the leading cause of various lifestyle diseases, but the excessive weight gain that contributes to the problem is a little more complicated.
So, why does this imbalance occur? It is a result of unhealthy eating and exercise patterns, and poor self care. I’m describing a primary vata imbalance with a secondary kapha accumulation of weight. For those that don’t speak ayurveda, that’s akin to saying the body holds on to everything when it knows it’s running “in the red” (energetic deficit). While addressing lifelong patterns may take a while (and a long term supportive environment), there are a few things that we can do to see some quick changes in our vitality and our figures.
10 Tips on How To Lose Weight
We need to address both vata and kapha, the energy forces in the body, but moreso the primary vata imbalance. Here are my top 10 tips to looking, and more importantly, feeling younger and less heavy:
Drop The Salad And The Dried Nuts
All diet foods are vata. Overweight people are drawn to these foods because they believe that they will help them lose weight. When they don’t get the desired results it can be confusing, but this is because weight gain is not as clear cut. Evidence suggests that this is not a situation that develops solely from eating fatty foods. Avoiding vata foods is a good way to get your body out of the sense of depletion. Opt for warm, and moist foods that are also low-fat, instead of focusing solely on salads and nuts.
Oil Your Body
I recommend using an organic oil every day, after your shower. This is a modification from traditional abhyanga for our vata culture. Again, the aim is to reduce depletion by feeding the tissues through the skin, and reducing vata. In addition, a massage stimulates microcirculation, which helps to increase fat metabolism. This is why some spas claim to have slimming treatments.
Go To Bed On Time
I’m hoping this one is self-explanatory on reducing depletion and vata. You get bonus points if you go to bed around the same time every day and develop a stronger circadian rhythm to support healthy metabolism.
Even Out Your Meals
The theory on having 6 small meals a day works because it is based on supporting thyroid function. If you receive a nice steady stream of fuel to your main engine (reducing vata to the thyroid), it will work more efficiently than if you starve it for long periods of time and then flood it. This may not be the best approach for people who have a low appetite in the morning. Don’t force yourself to eat if you are not hungry. Just make sure you have food available when your body is ready for it. When you are hungry eat; when you are full, stop.
Wake And Walk
This is the best way to melt kapha, as it gets your metabolism up in the beginning of the day. Just get up and move before you have the time to think about not doing it. You’ll have to force yourself for the first few days, but you’ll soon start to feel so great that skipping it will make you feel off.
Spice Your Food
This is important for reducing both vata and kapha. Supporting the digestion of what you do, it prevents accumulation. Spices also help to decrease fat in the body.
Avoid Any Cold Dairy
Ice-cream is not your friend, nor is cold yogurt or cottage cheese or a tall glass of cold milk, when you are in secondary kapha imbalance. If you bring in dairy, make sure it is cooked and spiced (e.g. spiced warm milk, or cheese in lasagna).
Personalized Portion Control
Cup your two hands together to form the shape of a bowl to determine your personal portion size (leveled, not heaped). It would help to find a bowl in your kitchen that is of the same size and you can use it to monitor your portions. Of course, stop eating if you feel full before finishing this amount. Try to avoid eating anything more than this personal portion.
Eat Healthy Sweets In Moderation
Make it a point to avoid extremes, wherein we deprive ourselves and then swing the other way and binge. Healthy sweets, like dates, and all sorts of goodies at health food stores are good in moderation. Give yourself a daily allowance that you feel good about and stick to it.
Process Your Emotions
Including this on a “top 10″ list may seem bizarre, but it really does take a lot of work. You can start with something as simple as keeping a journal. The more you digest your emotions, the less you feel you need to hold on to, on a subconscious level. The strong relationship between emotions and eating patterns and weight has been well established in Western medicine. In Ayurveda, the fat tissues are proportional to the amount of love we need.