Obesity is a complex disease. It appears as a polygenic condition. But environmental factors also called epigenetic influences have a major influence on obesity and obesity management.
Food, lifestyle changes, and exercise need to work upon simultaneously to bring about weight loss. Let me briefly describe Ayurveda-based solutions for your benefit.
Food and diet:
Ayurveda recommends regular hydration with warm water. It helps remove impurities and enhances metabolic rate. Warm water relaxes muscles and dilates blood vessels allowing the assimilation and absorption of the nutrients in food efficiently. Sipping water during a meal helps the digestion process.
Ayurveda does not recommend drinking water before a meal. It dilutes the digestive fire hindering digestion. Water is also not recommended to be consumed after the meal as this, too, will lead to weight gain. Water is best drunk after waking up in the morning or one hour before and after a meal.
A drink of water, honey, and a few drops of lime juice when hungry is a good substitute for eating. When eating, the focus should be on the food rather than other things like watching television, reading, talking, or doing other things. The focus should be on eating. It helps the optimal release of digestive enzymes and improved digestion.
It takes six hours or more to digest food. Food should be eaten fresh, cold water and cold foods should be discouraged, and diet should be according to the individual body constitution.
Ayurveda diet is customized for an individual. There will be variations in Vata, Pitta, and Kapha’s personalities. An obesity control diet in Ayurveda will contain trimming foods like barley, red variety of rice, green gram, and puffed corn. Fruits recommended are banana, white gourd, pomegranate, mango, raisin, and citrus fruits. Garlic, onion, and dry ginger are the spices recommended in cases of obesity. Other foods include buttermilk, jaggery, and meat soup. (Bhat et al., 2005)
Herbal combinations based on Ayurveda:
The body’s malfunction, according to Charaka, is attributed to imbalances created in the three humors of the body – Vata, pitta, and Kapha. These together are called tridosha.
A herbal combination containing the following herbs – Cyperus rotundus, Saussurea lappa, Curcuma longa, Berberis aristata, Acorus calamus, Aconitum heterophyllum, Picorrhiza kursoa, Plumbago zeylanica, Holoptelea integrifolia, and Iris ensata is a formulation prescribed to control obesity. (Kumar and Bhandari 2015) A small trial with 70 obese individuals claims a reduction in obesity. (Paranjpe et al., 1990)
Ayurveda anti-obesity formulation – lekhana basti contains Terminalia bellerica, Terminalia chebula, Embilica officinalis, Cyperus rotundus, Holoptelea integrifolia, Berberis aristata, Curcuma longa, Embelia ribes, mustard oil, honey, cows urine, a formulation made from barley (Hordeum vulgare), and rock salt.
A trial on 40 obese individuals prescribed Lekhaniya vati and Lekhana basti formulations for 30 days. Better results accrue when the formulations are used in combination than singularly. (Payal et al., 2017)
Before you start picking up any of these combinations, please be aware that the clinical trial-based evidence for these herbs is inadequate and the impact of these herbs maybe be limited.
The most suitable time to eat is dawn and dusk. Diet variations vary for each of the three personality types- Vata, pitta, and Kapha. Age and gender are also considerations in recommending an Ayurveda diet.
You should eat when you are calm and no overpowering emotions such as stress, anger, grief, etc., in play. Emotions impact both the sensory and digestive processes.
Yoga, pranayama, and meditation help in weight loss and weight management. Traditional yoga that is done slowly with the focus of the mind to the body part being exercised and your breath is the recommendation in literature.
Discipline is an integral part of the Ayurveda-based lifestyle. A life of moderation is the key recommendation.
Natural Solutions for Obesity