Weight Loss in Ayurveda
Ayurveda Treatment for Weight Loss (Obesity)
What is obesity?
Obesity is a complex disease involving an excessive amount of body fat. Obesity isn’t just a cosmetic concern. This condition can increase your risk of other diseases and health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and certain cancers.
There are numerous reasons why some people gain weight. It is usually the result of a combination of inherited factors, combined with the environment and personal diet and exercise choices. Even modest weight loss can improve or prevent the health problems associated with obesity. Dietary changes, increased physical activity and behaviour changes can help you lose weight. With the right guidance, one can lose weight and regain lost health and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Obesity develops gradually from poor diet and lifestyle choices, and also result from other factors. A few causes of obesity are:
- Eating junk food frequently: Fast food meals, cakes and pastries, sweets, processed meats and sugary drinks are loaded with kilojoules.
- Drinking too much alcohol, which contains a lot of kilojoules with no nutritional benefits.
- Avoiding physical activity — only half of Australians do enough physical activity for good health.
- Family history — the habits you grew up with and the genes you inherited from your parents.
- Surroundings — what kinds of food are available and in what portions, where you work and sleep.
- Metabolism — how efficiently your body turns food into energy.
- Medical conditions: Some medical conditions cause weight gain, such as hypothyroidism.
- Medications: Some medications can cause weight gain as a side effect, such as antipsychotic medications.
There are no specific symptoms of overweight and obesity. The signs of overweight and obesity include a high body mass index (BMI) and an unhealthy body fat distribution that can be estimated by measuring your waist circumference. Obesity is diagnosed when your body mass index (BMI) is 30 or higher. To determine your body mass index, divide your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared.
The Ayurvedic Explanation
According to Ayurveda, obesity begins with the intake of incorrect food or the development of improper dietary habits and lifestyle that result in problems with the digestive fire, which in turn increases ama (bio-toxins).
Ama disturbs metabolic processes to form more fatty tissue (Meda Dhatu Agni) and blocks the formation of the furthermost tissues such as ashti (bones). The poorly formed tissue layers increase unwanted meda dhatu (fats) and cause disturbances in the functions of kapha.
When ama blocks the channels of all body tissues, this creates an imbalance in vata. Vata keeps stimulating the central digestive fire (jatharagni), which causes an increase in appetite so the person eats more and more. However, due to meda dhavagni mandya (weak fat metabolism), improper or abnormal meda dhatu is formed, which is the root cause of obesity.
Ayurveda for Weight Loss
In Ayurveda, obesity is treated not only for weight loss, but also in terms of adjusting metabolic processes by reducing ama and the excess fat to regulate the function of kapha without vitiating vata. Here are the common procedures used in ayurveda for treating obesity:
Panchakarma is one of the most famous treatment methods in Ayurveda. The process consists of five steps for the detoxification and rejuvenation of mind and body. This treatment contains herbal massages and cleansing enemas.
Applying stimulating oils like Bhringaraj, Til Taila on the Shira (head) and pressing down on the scalp in gentle, circular motions remarkably soothes the mind. This, in turn, boosts blood circulation to the central nervous system.
Basti is a treatment to support vata energy. An enema prepared with oil and fat, which are the sharp properties of vata, will help to reduce kapha, eliminate ama toxins and correct fat metabolism without vitiating vata.
Lifestyle and Diet Practices
To correct metabolism as well as strengthen the digestive and tissue fire and clear body canals, it is important to improve dietary habits and lifestyle and reduce the impact of stress.
Physical Exercise: Physical exercise makes up an important part of the weight loss plan. It helps burn calories stored in the body, e.g. fat. It also relieves body tension and energizes the muscles. Walking, running, swimming or any physical activity can help you stay healthy.
Sleep: The habit of sleep is very important, just like doing exercise to fight obesity. Insufficient sleep disrupts eating habits, resulting in increased energy consumption. Do not attempt to deprive yourself of sleep as this is often the cause of obesity, hypertension, increased acidity, diabetes and many other metabolic syndromes.
Recommended Foods: Aged rice, mung bean, lentils, barley bread and corn, old honey, Trikatu, hot water.
Foods to be limited: Sweets and desserts, savoury foods, dairy products such as cottage cheese and yoghurt, meat rich in fat, fish.
Ayurveda treatment for weight loss can help you lose weight and increase your overall health. At Krishnendu Ayurveda, we have a very systematic approach in treating obesity; we plan a customized treatment for each individual.