Losing weight the Ayurveda way (part 2)
This is a continuation from yesterday’s article, “Losing weight the Ayurveda way (part 1).” Be sure to read it first for Nadia’s introduction to the topic and her discussion of option 1: gradual weight loss.
OPTION 2: FAST WEIGHT LOSS
I’m not a lover of losing weight quickly because I associate any strict regimes with dieting and that isn’t so good for my psyche. But not everyone has the same issues as me. And of course, some folks need to lose more weight… and a kick start can help them to stay motivated.
If you want/need to lose weight quickly, the fast method is pretty much the same as the gradual one… but is slightly more dramatic. It involves eating VERY LIGHT food for 1-2 weeks before moving back to the GRADUAL OPTION.
When I say VERY LIGHT, I mean predominantly moong daal and vegetables with herbs, spices and oils and avoiding all meat, dairy and most grains apart from buckwheat (which technically isn’t a grain anyway) and all fruit apart from papaya. So what I’m really talking about is living on:
- split moong daal soup with veggies
- vegetable soups
- daals made from split moong daal
- vegetable subjis
- vegetable stirfrys
- moong daal flour pancakes
- buckwheat flour pancakes
- and papaya as a snack.
Look for recipes in our cookbooks – there are lots of them!
Again, to help your Agni along the way and eliminate excess Ama, make sure you have a ginger tea in the morning before breaky and sip boiled water or herbal teas throughout the day.
This FAST OPTION to kick starting weight loss, fire up your Agni and reduce Ama can be fantastic but only keep it going for a short period of time (and if you are getting light headed or hungry along the way, it is best to introduce some rice to the equation). It is not advisable or sustainable as a longer-term diet.
If you need to lose a larger amount of weight (e.g. 15kgs or more) the best option is to mix up the two approaches. In your first month, follow the FAST OPTION for 2 weeks then the GRADUAL OPTION for 2 weeks. In subsequent months, follow the FAST OPTION for the first week of every month and the GRADUAL OPTION for the next 3 weeks – and keep this up until you reach your goal weight.
This can have a lovely, cumulative cleansing effect on the body without putting undue strain on your digestive system (or your mind!!). In fact, Ayurvedic Practitioners often prescribe this form of dietary therapy for people with pathological conditions where large amounts of Ama are present or weight loss is necessary.
From a lifestyle perspective, we also get too HEAVY when we don’t move enough. So as part of any weight-loss or weight-maintenance approach it is very, very important to exercise. But it shouldn’t be too excessive, especially when following the FAST OPTION. Just 20-30mins of any relatively gentle exercise each day (e.g. brisk walking, yoga, tai chi, qi jong, swimming, gardening) can be enough to help lighten your load, fire up your Agni and burn up any excess Ama. If you’re following the GRADUAL OPTION, you can do a little more. To stay motivated and make it a habit, only choose exercise that you really enjoy. If all else fails, think about getting yourself a dog. Preferably a sheepdog. They don’t actually let you stay still! Trust me….
Sleeping during the day, especially after eating can also increase the HEAVY quality in our bodies so getting to bed by about 10/10.30pm and getting up no later than 7.30am is advised. If you have a late night, rather than sleeping in, get up at your usual time and have a short nap in the afternoon instead.
There are also a bunch of Ayurvedic treatments that can assist weight lossm including Pindaswed Massage and Medicated Steam Treatments, both of which we offer at the Mudita Health Clinic. So, if you live locally and want to lose weight, come and see us!
So there you have it… the Ayurvedic secret to weight loss and weight maintenance. Makes intuitive sense doesn’t it? And the best thing is, these approaches look after your Agni first and foremost. Most other ‘Diets’ don’t. In my experience, they kill your Agni… so you lose weight initially but then very easily put it back on again when you’re done. Hence the weight-loss-weight-gain roller coaster most of us have found ourselves on at one point or another. Or worse, we might end up with nasty symptoms of indigestion or develop food sensitivities from these diets.
Also, 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 Ama and help to balance your doshas (Vata/Pitta/Kapha); helping to directly prevent the onset of chronic diseases.