For many, life has become a little more sedentary due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdown has taken away those morning walks and daily workouts at the gym. Now, add this sedentary life with ‘work from home’ and ‘stress eating’ – there’s no wonder if you start noticing the belly fat that wasn’t there before.
From an Ayurvedic perspective, being overweight or underweight involves an imbalance in five elements of the body and thee doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Ayurvedic way of achieving balance and ideal weight is,
- identifying the dosha
- making appropriate adjustments in diet and lifestyle.
In the case of overweight or obesity (Medarog), Kapha-dosha is to be blamed and the ama needs be removed to shrink fat (Meda dhatu). Ama means toxins that are accumulated in the body as a result of improper diet, chronic stress, and environmental stressors.
Speaking of the factors responsible for the imbalance, here are the important ones:
- less-healthful foods and beverages
- not getting enough physical activity
Then there are certain disorders like hypothyroidism and medications like antidepressants and steroids that can cause sudden weight gain.
Why Lose That ‘Extra’ Belly Fat?
For adults, overweight or obesity is defined based on body mass index, or BMI, a formula that relates your weight to your height. A healthy BMI ranges from 18.5 to 25 kg/ m2. If it’s 30 or higher, you are considered obese.
And, losing belly fat means ‘lower risk for diabetes, heart disease, and stroke’.
The Ultimate Diet Plan For Weight Loss
Many weight loss journeys usually start with this question: “Will I lose weight fast if I skip the meals?” Sorry to say but it causes more harm than good.
When it comes to all things weight loss, the simplest way to make impactful, lasting change is to form healthy eating habits you can stick with for life.
Here are some points to start with.
- Avoid the terrible three: Salt, sugar, and white flour. These are big-time contributors to weight gain.
- Include a high-protein food with every meal. Ideally, consume at least 20 – 30 grams of protein.
- Fast (and fried) food and sweet are light on nutrients and heavy on ingredients. Meaning they will add excess calories and cause weight gain. So, just avoid them.
- Fried fish, poultry, or lean meat also adds calories. Grilling, roasting, broiling, steaming, press cooking, and slow cooking are the healthiest ways to cook them.
Basic Ayurvedic Eating Practices
Here are some Ayurvedic practices that can ease your weight loss program during this lockdown:
- 1. Listen to your stomach
It is important to maintain a healthy metabolism. So, eat three balanced meals daily; stop when you’re satisfied, not stuffed.
- Eat a Kapha-pacifying diet
Choose light, warm, and dry foods; eat less salt, sweet and sour foods. Snack upon more grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables. Also keep in mind this eating rule: “Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper”.
- Sip warm water every morning
It aids in ama (toxin) removal and digestion. Here are some healing waters you could make at home to get relief from some conditions and to slim down.
- Ajwain water: Boil 4 tsp carom seeds in 1 L water and drink it warm or cool. It’s a miraculous remedy for bloating.
- Jeera water:Boil a few seeds (4 spoons) of jeera in water, it’s effective to suppress hunger and to prevent you from eating junk.
- Ginger water:Boil a teaspoon of dry ginger powder in water and drink it regularly to relieve joint pain and to remove ama from the system.
- Anantmool: It reduces body heat, cools down the body, and aids in weight loss. Add a teaspoon to hot water and drink regularly.
- Coriander seed water: helps fix burning sensation associated with urinary tract infection.
- Have dinner before 7 pm
Early dinner helps your system digest food better as well as in detoxification. Teeming with protein and fiber, moong dhal soup is an ideal starter for healthy weight management.
- Sleep well
Modern science says sleep deprivation increases ghrelin (the hunger hormone) and leptin (satiety hormone), which means over-eating and weight gain. Sleep for 7-8 hours, be an early riser and most importantly avoid day sleep.
As with eating, how and when you exercise also plays a key role. Early morning sweat sessions and Surya Namaskar help in shedding some kilos around the belly.
What Else Ayurveda Offers To Lose Weight Fast?
The Ayurvedic approach to weight loss is more or less holistic – it involves everything from healthy eating to correcting the metabolism as well as strengthening the digestive system and overall wellbeing. Let’s check how it is achieved.
Udvartana Massage – the deep, dry massage with herbal paste and powders will not only tones the skin but loosens body fat and removes Kapha toxins from the body.
Weight loss Yoga – Dhanurasana, bhujangasana, shalabasana, ardhamatsyendrasana, trikonasana, and vakrasana are recommended for losing belly fat.
Pranayamas – Regular practice of different breathing techniques not only helps with weight loss, but it also promotes circulation, digestion, and also helps with focus.
Panchakarma therapy – These are detoxification methods. For weight loss, Virechana (Therapeutic Purgation) or Basti (Medicated Enema) are recommended.
Ruling out ‘junk’ from the diet, adding a Kapha-compatible diet, and being active can seem intimidating in the first few days. Stick to the weight loss diet plan. Do not fret over the progress. You’ll definitely burn belly fat at home.