Weight management is a big challenge in today’s world, one way or the other everyone is busy to get this right. The problem is we don’t know what our ideal weight should be. Based on modern science of medicine the best scale is Body Mass Index (BMI).
According to CDC website, Body Mass Index (BMI) is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. A high BMI can be an indicator of high body fatness. BMI can be used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems but it is not diagnostic of the body fatness or health of an individual.
So the question remains, What are we trying to get rid off ? Is it the weight or excess fat, One’s goal should be clear. Here is what Ayurveda has to say about weight gain.
Ayurveda has different approach when it talks about weight gain. According to ancient Ayurvedic text weight of the body for a healthy person is defined based on prakriti (Psycho somatic constitution). Just like we have three primary colors in nature, we have three primary prakriti which are Vata , Pitta, Khapa. Ayurveda gives us a basic understanding of appearance or physical characteristics people under their prakriti.
|Blood Vessels||Prominent,Reticulated||Less Prominent,Greenish||Deep Seated,Not visible Easily|
|Body Temperature||Cold,Less than Normal||Hot, above normal||Normal|
|Pulse||Irregular, quick||Fast,Less volume||Slow Voluminous|
|Body Odor||None||Foul smell||Oily smell|
|Voice||Fast, Irritating||Sharp, Commanding||Soft,Sweet, Resonating|
|Walk||Very Quick, Swirling move||Normal||Slow ,Steady|
|Performance of Activity||Quick Acting||Moderate||Stagnant|
People falling in Vata category are light in body frame compared to other two. One has to consider the prakriti and then try to manage the weight of the body.
One of the key ingredient for weight management is food. People in general have developed fear towards food, or there is no proper concept of how to eat and what to eat. Evolution is a part of human lifestyle, same way food habits are evolving too. Medieval cuisine which included foods, eating habits, and cooking methods of various European cultures during the Middle Ages had some basic understanding of diet compared to the eastern part of the world which is India.
Ayurveda says consumption of grains is always beneficial, same was adapted in medieval cuisine Barley, oats and rye were eaten economically weaker class. Wheat was for the governing classes. These were consumed as bread, porridge, gruel and pasta by all of society’s members. Fava beans and vegetables were important supplements to the cereal-based diet of the lower orders. Meat was more expensive and therefore more prestigious. The most prevalent butcher’s meats were pork, chicken and other domestic fowl; beef, which required greater investment in land, was less common fish which was dried, smoked or salted, they made their way far inland, but a wide variety of other saltwater and freshwater fish was also eaten.
In the present food habits Grains, Vegetables, Millet and seasonal fruits are replaced with large portion of Red meat. Therefore during the course of digestion red meat produce carcinogens like N-nitro-so compounds (NOCs) (cancer causing substances) it also has Heme iron that gives meat its red color, which may promote carcinogenics due to its ability to increase cell proliferation (abnormal growth of cells) in the mucosa. Barbecue is on of the most favorite dish in meat consumers.
Usually cooking meat without water directly on high flames is discouraged in Ayurveda. Because even modern science has proved that, the brown crust though smells nice and tastes amazing, they are the AGEs (Advanced Glycolized End products).These AGEs are supposed to produce immunity disorders, oxidative stress and are termed as carcinogenic (cancer producing).In short they are highly dangerous for human if consumed very frequently and in meal quantity.
Eventually the uncontrolled and abnormal growth of cells not only cause in weight gain but also resulting in invitation to some serious immune disorders and allergies. Which lowers the digestive fire (jathar agani) or inadequate production of required enzymes responsible to digest the food resulting in accumulation of undigested food molecules, disturbed sleep, loss of interest in doing work, lethargy and stress.
- Get and stick to diet which is suitable for your prakriti, this aids towards proper extraction of nutrition values required for your body type.
- Retiring early to bed channelize repair of tissue in a better way enabling body to produce good cells and eradicate impurities from the body at the right time.
- Waking up before sunrise helps the body to throw out the waste, which is accumulated in the form of urine an stool.
- Most of the modern diets to lose weight are based upon leaving out one of the major food components like fat, protein or carbohydrates. This kind of deprived regimen is not natural and is harmful for health. Ayurvedic wholesome diet is promising for losing and maintaining weight. This Ayurvedic Diet promotes your energy and purifies your body.
- Be conscious of eating.Don’t divide your attention by reading, working or watching TV,Cell Phone while you are eating.
- When someone is conscious of mindful eating, a hormonal signal is passed from the tongue to the digestive system which produces the required enzymes for digestion.
- Include practice of Yoga in daily life.
- There are many treatment modalities in Ayurveda of which massage is highly recommended. In the context of weight loss and reducing Kapha, self massage with oils such as sesame or flaxseed is helpful.
The modern weight loss regime is mostly designed towards in lowering the digestive fire or Agni. Which results in weight lost, but as soon as that process is stopped body regains the weight. Whereas the Ayurvedic approach isn’t just a weight-loss approach, it is actually a preventative health approach – it will help look after the Agni in your gut, your liver and your tissues, prevent the production and accumulation of undigested food molecules (Ama) and help to balance your doshas (constitution of elements for your body). Which also helps you maintain the actual weight required as per your prakriti.