A recent issue of a leading lifestyle magazine advocated fool proof methods of effectively losing weight. Naturally, it raised a lot of curiosity and I quickly went on to read the article. The article suggested ways in which we can curb our cravings for sweets and oily food. There were a lot of other diet plans as well, many of them emphasized on strict vegetable and fruits regime.
After reading all this, I was reminded of a simple and yet natural way of avoiding obesity as prescribed by Ayurveda. And not surprisingly enough, these methods relied more on what was to be taken in, rather than what had to be avoided. Desi Ghee or oil is considered to be an essential part of the daily diet. It is believed that the internal machinery of the body works well if it is lubricated well with oil, in moderate quantities that is.
Charak Samhita describes eight different types of bodies which are prone to diseases and an obese body is one of them. It is needless to mention that obesity, or the extra deposition of fat in the adipose tissues of the body, can lead to a number of fatal diseases such as heart disorders, high blood pressure, arthritis among others.
Ayurveda stresses on perfect knowledge of one’s body type and its metabolism before any treatment is advised. Various body types are classified under different prakritis or a combination of them. Body system is put under Vata, Pitta and Kapha type. These types depend on a number of things, some of which include the metal make up of a person, the level of stress, temperament, body structure and digestive processes. When the inner body system is out of balance, problems of being overweight or underweight crop up.
The best part about following the ayurvedic way of losing weight is that one does not have to put those taste buds on a patience test. A diet of boiled vegetables is not what is suggested. The herb ‘mint’ is recognized for its properties that help in cutting fat. Including mint chutney with simple spices in your meals is a good idea. The other spices like dry ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, cumin, cayenne etc, for similar reasons, can also be used in a variety of ways in the food that is eaten daily. Consumption of honey is also recommended for weight loss.
Another focus of ayurvedic treatment is about keeping the internal system free of toxins. It is important to eliminate all the ‘doshas’ that may have been formed in the body. Ama, which is defined as the by-product of incomplete digestion, tends to clog circulatory channels in the body, if not taken care of timely.
A lot of other treatments, which depend on the prakriti of the person, include bringing all the five senses under calm. The taste is taken care by the food we eat. Use of essential oils, following a colour code, listening to ragas and massaging the body is advised for the rest of the four basic sensations.
This comprehensive system of treatment takes into account the mental, emotional, spiritual and physical activities and strategizes to correct any imbalance in them. It’s about getting to know your body and achieving its natural health. When the mind processes and the body are in balance, the weight will also come to its natural balance.