Ayurveda Diet and Weight Loss: Are They Compatible?
By: Alice Moore
The Ayurvedic Diet is an ancient holistic diet based on the Indian Ayurveda system of traditional healing. Ayurveda is believed to be highly beneficial to the mind, body, and soul. According to Jiva Botanicals, Ayurvedic diets usually are personalized to suit a person’s unique ‘Dosha’ or body type which is determined by their mental, emotional, and physical traits. An Ayurvedic diet primarily consists of nourishing fresh foods, lots of flavors, and an abundance of color.
Healthy practices such as getting enough sleep, avoiding stress, staying hydrated, and exercising are an essential part of the Ayurvedic approach. There are many benefits associated with this diet including improved gut functioning, lowered blood pressure, and reduced levels of stress and anxiety. The Ayurvedic diet has also been linked to weight loss, but can adopting this approach really result in weight loss? Here are some things to keep in mind.
The Ayurvedic approach promotes a mostly plant-based diet rich in antioxidants and nutrients. Fruits, vegetables, teas, lean proteins, healthy fats, herbs, and spices are all standard features of the diet. These foods are easily digestible and very valuable to the body. Ayurveda further emphasizes the need to incorporate all six tastes in a meal to enhance satisfaction derived from eating.
Weight loss is not the primary goal of the Ayurvedic diet. The focus is on creating balance in the body through a nutritious and holistic diet. However, adopting an Ayurvedic approach can result in weight loss and weight maintenance. This is because all of the lifestyle practices promoted by Ayurveda are inadvertently connected to weight loss. Ayurveda outlines some basic eating practices to adopt such as eating mindfully, not overeating particularly at night, eating at the right pace, and ensuring your food is properly digested. Such practices, while basic, can over time contribute to weight loss.
As earlier mentioned, the Ayurvedic diet is tailored to suit the needs of your body. Those who seek to lose weight can seek out an Ayurvedic diet that is not only suitable for their Dosha but also for weight loss. The Chopra Center suggests that this diet will likely involve more focus on exercise, consumption of water, and relaxation and meditation to lower stress and improve hormonal balance. While the Ayurveda appears to help in weight loss, there is generally a lack of scientific evidence to support its effectiveness. There are, however, a few studies which show promising findings on the potential of the Ayurvedic diet to promote weight loss. A 2009 study by Sharma et al. is an excellent example of this.
An essential factor to consider before adopting an Ayurvedic approach is adherence. Ayurveda requires one to be consistent and devoted to truly enjoy the benefits the diet has to offer. An Ayurvedic diet may, therefore, not be suitable for those seeking out a quick weight loss option as weight loss is slow and steady. It is, however, ideal for those wishing to boost their health and maintain wellness.
As highlighted earlier, for excellent results, Ayurveda recommends that you eat in line with your ‘Dosha. This can be regarded as your most significant power. The Ayurvedic Doshas’ are grouped into five categories including fire, earth, space, water, and air. Every type possesses different attributes. Based on these attributes, they are further categorized into Vata, Pitta, and Kapha . It is advisable to first find your prominent Dosha before embarking on an Ayurveda weight loss journey.
You could start by visiting some Ayurveda websites to get an evaluation of your dominant Dosha by answering a questionnaire. More so, you could visit an Ayurvedic doctor for evaluation. Nonetheless, accuracy from both the doctor and the polls is not guaranteed since it is a subjective process. Visiting an Ayurvedic doctor would, however, be better since they can advise on the appropriate food to combine. This would not only ensure a balanced Dosha, but it would also boost the probability of weight loss. Moreover, the doctor will offer counsel on the foods to avoid, and in case you encounter some medical issues, they will be there to help.
As long as you are stressed, eating well may not do much good. Hence, among its prerequisites, Ayurveda recommends observing a daily routine. This would go a long way in aiding weight loss since besides soothing the nervous system, it reduces stress. A daily routine would blend the daily hustles into every day’s natural obligations.
This promotes the development of supportive and helpful behaviors. Anyone who adopts the lifestyle should not over commit. They should be inspired. Advisably, they should begin with more manageable tasks, and as time goes by, they will comfortably expand their horizons. A significant aspect of the daily routine is, knowing when to sleep and when to wake up. Owing to different schedules, everyone sleep and wake at different times, but Ayurvedic practitioners recommend at least seven hours of sleep.
Supplementing your diet with herbs and traditional Ayurvedic formulas would also radically boost your chances for weight loss. Among the formals is Triphala which consists of three fruits that balance for Kapha, Vitta, and Pitta diets The formula is famous for its capacity to detoxify the digestive system while nurturing and restoring the tissues  Advisably, take two Triphala tablets an hour before you sleep. If you prefer it in powdered form, mix a half teaspoon of the formula’s powder into a cup of boiled water and drink.
You could also add thirty drops of the Triphala liquid extract into warm water and take before bed. Generally, Ayurveda focuses on creating body balance through a healthy diet. If weight loss is your main agenda, adopting an Ayurvedic diet may not be enough. You also have to limit your intake to wholesome, unprocessed foods and be cautious of your eating practices. Furthermore, although Ayurvedic herbs, products, and formulas may be essential, some may yield some adverse side effects. Therefore, before making any changes in your diet, consult a medical practitioner.