Is slimming down part of your New Year’s resolution? Well, I am not going to sugar coat it. Losing weight might be easy. It is keeping it off that gets tough.
But, the good news is that it isn’t impossible. In fact, many people make a full transition from being overweight to reaching a healthy weight and size. For good.
The truth is: it will take time, LOTS of patience, commitment, and self-love.
Let’s see the Ayurveda approach that will set you up for a successful weight journey.
ARE YOU REALLY OVERWEIGHT?
The first step is to discern if you really are overweight or just trying to fit in the western stereotype of beauty.
Thinness standards portray women and men that look nearly perfect, making the rest of us mortals feel inadequate for not raising to that level of perfection.
If they really look as they seem – let’s remember photoshop is a well used practice that can make people look thinner- maybe it’s because their constitution is different from yours.
Or maybe they are taking their bodies to a dangerous level just to look a certain way.
This reflection and self-assessment is a priority. Consider your body type (take dosha quiz to find out) and then sincerely analyze if losing weight is really the right decision for you.
Now, if you know, you know.
THE IDEAL BODY IN AYURVEDA
Kapha folks typically tend to suffer more from obesity or being overweight that any other constitution. Just keep in mind that Pitta and Vata types can still have some extra pounds.
Kaphas are naturally bigger than the other constitutions. They have a good development of muscle and fat. Ideally, they are not thin but not fat either.
Pitta types are muscular and effortlessly toned. A little extra fat is good for keeping a nice balance.
Vata people are naturally thin. They do need fat tissue to protect their fragile bodies. And nerves.
We are all so beautiful.
In our own ways and forms.
So, this is my first advice:
Value your body. Don’t compare yourself to others.
We are not made the same.
Nature is meant to be diverse and unique.
Every minute you spend wishing you had someone else’s body is a minute spent hating yours. Just don’t.
– Monica Gisella
HOW DID I GET HERE?
There are several reasons that could have led to a notorious weight gain in your body. Some go beyond the general “you eat too much and exercise too little“.
- Consumption of heavy and cold food
- Eating before last meal was digested
- Excessive sleeping
- Hormonal imbalances
- Being over 40
These are not all the causes of those extra pounds. Emotional factors play a crucial role.
In Ayurveda, the extra weight is also seen as a security symbol, put on for greater protection in dealing with life. Interestingly, overweight people tend to feel attachment, sentimentality, grief, and lack of self-acceptance and love.
Having the extra weight acts as a shield against all that is hurting us inside. Food then becomes our solace. Our support. Even though we know is hurting us even deeper.
AYURVEDA GUIDELINES TO LOSE WEIGHT
How many pounds do you wish to lose?
If it is less than 10 pounds, simple Ayurvedic remedies can help boost your metabolism and lose the weight.
Try this one!
In addition to drinking this tea, add more spices to your cooking.
Garlic, black pepper, cayenne, turmeric, and ginger are really good to help you eliminate excess fat, produce better tissue quality, and improve the condition of your digestive fire.
Finally, increase your exercise. Already working out? Then try to have more intense workouts and take fewer rest periods. Try this home workout.
- Avoid eating early in the morning or late at night. Ideally, eat from 10 AM to 6 PM at the latest.
- That brings me to Intermittent Fasting! Me and my clients do it daily. Practice it by having an eating window of max. 10 hours. Fast the rest of the time (14 hours, sleep included)
- Follow an Anti-Kapha diet.
- Diminish the consumption of salt.
- No Sugar! Eat a small portion of fresh fruit instead.
- Don’t oversleep. Go to bed early and wake up early. Try to establish a routine.
THE RIGHT DIET
To lose weight, you need a lightening (langana) diet. Both in quantity and quality you should aim to eat foods that are light and that left you feeling light, dry, and warm after eating them.
You should avoid foods that are greasy, fried, cold -ice cream – or heavy.
This is a list of the foods you should eat.
If your diet is composed mainly of these foods and you eat until you are satisfied, not full, you are on the right path to shed those pounds.
FOOD LIST TO LOSE WEIGHT
LIST OF FOODS – SPANISH
YOU LOST THE POUNDS. NOW WHAT?
How to keep those pounds you lost off. That’s the question.
Hopefully, you acquired some new habits that helped you get here in the first place. Let’s review those principles you need to make sure you MAINTAIN a healthy weight.
You don’t necessarily have to count calories.
With Ayurveda, you go by your instinct. However, you need to make sure that you are:
- NOT eating after your first burp.
- Eating to get satisfied. Not full.
Knowing when to stop eating is basically the golden secret to remain in the weight you want.
PRACTICE MINDFUL EATING
A big factor is controlling emotional eating.
Ask yourself the question: AM I REALLY HUNGRY?
If you aren’t. Don’t eat.
In addition, eating – or cooking -when you are feeling negative emotions is never a good idea. if feeling stressed, worried, or angry, take a few breaths. Calm down first. Ayurveda tells us that not following this principle will aggravate your dosha, impair your digestion, and intensify the negative feelings.
Make sure that you pay attention to your plate with all your being. The smell, the taste, the colors. Take it all in. Enjoy every bite. Chew well. Don’t start next bite until you have fully swallowed the last one. Be present.
Avoid any distractions. Don’t watch TV or check your phone while eating. If you want to feel the inside of your body and the clear sensations it gives you when enough food has been eaten, then try to eat without noise or polemic conversations.
VERY LITTLE CARBS AND FATS
The tastes that you should favor are: pungent, bitter, and astringent.
Pungent is provided by the generous amounts of spices you use in your cooking.
Bitter can be taken from leafy greens.
Astringent from apples, vegetables, and most beans.
You should avoid the sweet taste. And since most foods are sweet in taste (carbs, fats, proteins) you should eat mostly steamed veggies and whole grains cooked with very little oil.
Don’t include eggs, cheese, and red meat as they are heavy and we’ve seen how like increases like and opposites bring balance.
Let’s be honest. Motivation doesn’t last. Commitment does.
Most people start a Fitness program 100% excited. A couple of weeks after, they get discouraged.
Maybe it’s the diet, maybe it’s waking up early in the morning, maybe is the lack of fast results.
Losing weight, specially when you’ve followed an unhealthy lifestyle for years, is not a quick fix as you are changing your mental connections and patterns as much as your body.
And it takes time.
A minimum of 3 weeks of repeating an action are needed to make it a habit.
Give yourself time.
And trust the process.
Continue your commitment to your transformation.
Have a friend or family member join you in your quest and help each other OR seek support from your family. Changing your lifestyle when the other members in the household are still eating junk food is not easy. So, have a conversation with them on how much you’d appreciate their support.
For instance if going to a restaurant together, ask them not to pressure you to eat foods that you know don’t serve you.
I would also suggest that you set short term goals. That will help avoid temptation. A good one is to take progress pictures and compare them throughout time to see how far you’ve come. Set goals on changes you want to see in your body for the next month or so. That will keep you motivated.
And remember WHY you started. Don’t go back to the old ways.
Take control of the process.
Cook at home. Don’t outsource your meals to a third party.
Plan your meals ahead of time. And if necessary, pre-cook some foods so they are ready to eat and you don’t have any excuse to eat something bad.
Limit the amount of tempting foods at home. I have zero because I know that will set me up for failure.
Drink more water. The goal is to drink minimum 1/2 a gallon of water a day. I would suggest to drink it hot -if you are not Pitta aggravated – to promote detoxification and cleansing.
Move! Move! Move!
And meditate to keep your emotions balanced and avoid eating emotionally. Every time you say YES to things that will impede your progress (not going to the gym or eating a greasy donut) you are sending your precious life force to those objects of your desire. Doing so makes you weak and depleted of Life. Every times you say NO to them is a outstanding triumph to get and stay in the weight you desire.
Say NO. Workout the discipline muscle and increase your Prana energy.
Monica Gisella xx