We all want to be healthy, and we know being overweight or obese is a risk of many health problems in the long run. Managing your weight comes down to an overall healthy lifestyle, which is focused on eating nutritious foods and keeping physically active in a way that is sustained and enjoyable.
Unfortunately, more and more Australians are becoming overweight or obese. In 2014-2015, a staggering 63.4 percent of Australian adults were overweight or obese- well over half of our nation's population. That's almost two in three adults. This is an increases from 1995, which 56.3 percent, illustrating that the problem is getting worse.
The medical world generally defines 'overweight' as a condition in which a person's weight is 10 to 20 percent higher than normal as defined by a body mass index (BMI) of 25 to 30. 'Obesity' is defined as a condition in which a person's weight is 20 percent or more above 'normal' weight, or has a BMI of 30 or more.
Associated health problems:
2. Heart diseases
3. High blood cholesterol levels
4. High blood pressure
5. Gallbladder disease
6. Some cancers
7. Fatty liver
What makes us overweight and obese :
Eating more food than is needed to meet energy needs
Being less physically active
Consuming foods and drinks that are higher in energy (kilojoules)
The lack of vegetables in our diet could be attributed, inpart, to our penchant for cheap and convenient food. Aussies make a staggering 51.5 million visits to fast food outlets every month, with 40 percent of diners loyal to one to two brands.
Obesity described as 'Medhoroga' or 'Atisthula' in Ayurveda, is considered as one of the eight "nindya parkarities" (undesirable constitution) of the body. In an obese person, individual medas (fat) are excessively nourished and the other remaining dhatus (tissues) get malnourished.
According to Ayurvedic philosophy, the kapha type (water and earth) individuals are more likely to gain weight easily. The Vata types (with more of air and ether) are generally skinny and devoid of much fat. The pitta (fire) dosa personalities, who are generally gifted with proportional body weight, could gain weight if they lose their balance.
Accumulation of kapha slows down fat metabolic which further leads to obesity. Thus, for weight loss, the kapha types need to be more strict both in the terms of diet intake and undertaking exercise routine.
So, Ayurveda explains the pathology of obesity as
Increase of Agni - digestion strength, leading to increase of appetite and food intake.
Hampered conversion of Meda Dhatu to Asthi dhatu, leading to increased production of Meda Dhatu.
Imbalance/ vitiation of vata Dosha- leading to increased digestion strength.
Increase of Kapha Dosha- which is caused by excess sweets, fried food, excess rest, etc.
Management of Obesity :
When treating obesity, the first step is to control what you eat to reduce the excessive kapha in your body. The kapha diet includes warmer, lighter, less oily food that is pungent, bitter and astringent in taste.
Here are some suggestions:
Eat astringent fruits like apple, pears, apricot, peach, pomegranate and prunes.
Dairy products like milk, butter and ghee are high in fat, so these should be kept to a minimum. You may want to mix low fat milk with fat reducing spices like ginger and black pepper.
All sweetness except honey should be reduced.
Sweet grains such as rice, wheat, corn and oats should be avoids; instead opt for light grains such as barley, millet and buckwheat.
Reduce meats. Meats are difficult to digest and indigested mass causes fat deposition in certain areas of the body.
Reduce sweet, sour and heavy fruits like banana, lemon, lime, orange, vinegar, tamarind, pickles, avocado, coconut, watermelon, grapes, pineapple and mangoes.
Sweet and watery vegetables like potatoes, carrots, beetroots, tomato, zucchini and sweet potato should be reduced.
Salt intake should be reduced as it aids water retention.
Avoid all nuts that are high in fat such as almonds, cashew and walnuts.
Quit drinking alcohol, teas, coffees and smoking because these emotional habits unduly stimulate gastric fire and makes a person hungry.
Drink hot water throughout the day instead of ice cold drink.
Increase your intake of pungent and bitter vegetables like onion, garlic, radish, cucumber, cabbage, spinach, bitter gourd, cauliflower, pumpkins and lettuce.
Ayurvedic Treatment :
The Ayurvedic approach to drugs in general is quite different from what we've been used to. Herbal supplements can be of great benefit in weight control without the negative side effects of conventional drugs. With the diet therapy alone, the treatment of obesity is incomplete. Diet can avoid the further possibilities of obesity, but the fat has to be treated and the defective metabolism must be corrected, which is done by ayurvedic herbal formulations. The formulations improve fat metabolism is an obese individual. One a person's metabolism is correct it is easy for him to maintain his weight. Ayurvedic formulations used for the treatment of obesity are:
Medohar Vidangadi Lauh.
These should be taken strictly under a qualified Ayurvedic doctor’s supervision.
Yoga Therapy with Ayurveda for weight loss :
Yoga therapy, when undertaken with an ayurvedic diet and herbal formulationin the form of asansa, techniques and pranayama helps considerably in weightloss. Some helpful asanas are:
Deep breathing techniques like bhastrika pranayama and kapara bhati.
Ayurvedic Natural Therapies:
Many Ayurvedic natural therapies are used along with ayurveda herbal formulations to help reduce weight, some are:
Udvartana ( Medicated massage).
Herbal steam Bath.
Virachana ( Medical Purgation).
Vasthi (Medicated enema).
Contact expert and qualified Ayurvedic doctors at Life Line Ayurvedic Herbal Clinic to reduce your weight through specific herbal formulations, appropriate diet yoga & lifestyle management.