Excerpt: Ayurveda approaches weight loss and fat reduction by providing guidelines for all dimensions of your being. This article details Ayurveda’s recommendations for your Physical Dimension in order to fight obesity and get fit.
In the article Healthy Ayurveda Diet to Lose Weight & Burn Fat, we discussed what constitutes a healthy weight loss diet based on Ayurveda’s model of Vata, Pitta & Kapha body types. In that article we indicated that the Kapha Dosha (humour) is primarily responsible for fat and adipose tissue and by reducing Kapha we reduce fat and excess weight. To get a quick overview of Ayurveda and the 3 doshas please read the following article: Introducing Ayurveda – Alternative Medicine for Self Healing.
Continuing on the war path against excess weight, Ayurveda proposes the following weight loss tips to help reduce Kapha Dosha and thus battle obesity and being overweight. Of the 4 dimensions of our being, physical, emotional, mental and spiritual, in this article I will cover the Physical Dimension which is most important for the reduction of Kapha and the correlating reduction in weight. In future articles I will cover the other dimensions.
Weight Loss Tips from Ayurveda for The Physical Dimension:
1. Ayurvedic Diet for Weight Loss:
The Healthy Ayurveda Diet article already detailed this most important food aspect for reducing Kapha and burning fat so I wont repeat that here, but, please note that diet is a very key aspect in this battle against being overweight.
2. Exercise for Weight Loss:
The following Ayurvedic guidelines should be followed for proper exercise with regard to weight loss:
More Exercise the Better: Kapha’s qualities of fixed, dull, heavy, soft and cold are all negated via exercise. In other words, the more exercise you do the more you reduce Kapha and therefore fat in your body.
Exercise Without Excessive Strain: According to Ayurveda, Kapha individuals need the most vigorous exercise, but at the same time, the exercise should never be extreme. Find a good balance between doing too little and over doing it. Breaking a nice sweat is good, but being totally breathless is probably too much.
Be Consistent: A Kapha body type has a propensity towards weight gain so you need to make exercise a daily part of you life. The hardest part will be to get the exercise program underway. Once this is done Kapha people tend to be very determined and steady, so they will be able to adhere to it long term. Getting started though is another matter for Kapha types and usually requires shock treatment. In the spirit of shock treatment, understand that by NOT exercising and NOT losing the weight you are putting your longevity and quality of life at risk. Enough said, start today!
Yoga for Weight Loss: In the article Online Yoga Exercises for Healthy Weigh Loss I have provided a potent yoga set to help you burn fat and lose weight. Feel free to incorporate that into your exercise regiment.
Post Exercise Diet: After exercises do not drink cold liquids. This period is key as you are trying to increase the metabolic fire in your cells so they burn more calories and drinking cold liquids at this time will negate this important benefit which exercise bestows.
3. Hard Physical Work to Burn Calories:
According to Ayurveda reduction of Kapha is promoted by living a physical, active lifestyle. In today’s age of technology, computers, TVs, TiVO, internet, etc. manual labor is getting more rare for people to do. So you need to consciously incorporate physical work into your life. Whether that be mowing the lawn, tending to the garden or shoveling snow, it is important to not live a sedentary live of watching TV and eating twinkies.
4. Massage Therapy to Reduce Fat:
There are many treatment modalities in Ayurveda of which massage is highly recommended. In the context of weight loss and reducing Kapha, strong massage with light oils such as mustard or flaxseed is helpful.
5. Sleep Guidelines for Weight Loss:
No napping or going to bed early. Yes, a recommendation from a Meditation and Yoga website to actually not retire to bed early :-). If you want to reduce Kapha and weight remember you burn more calories when you are awake and being active, than when you are happily snuggled under the blanket.
Feel free to join the Free Online Weight Loss Course offered here to help you in your goal to reduce weight and get fit. In the next part of this series I will cover Ayurveda’s Emotional, Mental and Spiritual recommendations for burning fat and reducing weight.
Internet Resources Below
Other Weight Loss Resources:
FDA Nutrition & Weight Loss Q&A
How to Use Fruits & Vegetables to Manage Your Weight (Center for Disease Control & Prevention)
Tips for Exercise Success (American Heart Association)
How to Stop Emotional Eating (Mayo Clinic)