Obesity or being overweight is a condition caused by an increase in the size and amount of fat cells in the body. It is a serious medical condition which may lead to many disorders like high blood pressure, heart diseases, diabetes, metabolic syndromes, sleep disorders and cholesterol related problems. Losing weight delays or prevents a lot of diseases. According to Ayurveda, the imbalance of Kaph dosha leads to obesity.
To determine obesity, doctors use BMI (body mass index). BMI more than 30 is considered obese. Obesity happens over time when one eats more calories than he/she can use. A person weighing 100 pounds over his/her healthy body weight has severe obesity.
Causes of being obese
- Improper eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle are the prime causes of being obese. Skipping meals, eating at irregular times, over eating and consuming fried and oily foods, sweet sugary beverages all leads to weight gain.
- Women tend to gain weight after or around menopause due to hormonal changes. In some cases, the hormones that signal hunger and fullness do not work correctly which leads to weight gain.
- Inadequate sleep impacts the hormone production (body produces ghrelin also known as hunger hormone) that controls the appetite and there is lower production of leptin hormone (a hormone that regulates weight regulation) that suppresses the appetite. This leads to sudden weight gain.
- Overweight may happen due to genetic reasons. Side effects of some medications may lead to weight gain over time.
- Thyroid problems also lead to quick unexpected weight gain.
Life style changes
- Life style changes is the simplest and most effective way to treat obesity. A healthy diet is a key to lose weight. To lose weight one has to reduce the number of calories he/she consumes.
- Staying Hydrated plays an important role in losing weight. 6 to 8 glasses of water daily can help lose weight easily. Water has zero calories so it doesn’t lead to weight gain as other sweetened drinks do. Prefer unsweetened tea or coffee, lemon water especially warm water with lemon first thing in the morning helps a lot in losing weight naturally.
- Consuming boiled water with jeera/cumin seeds an empty stomach is another way to lose weight fast. Drinking sips of hot water or tea throughout the day helps in dissolving Ama or toxins. The frequency with which one drinks this water is more important than the amount.
- Starting the day with a glass of water and a spoon of apple cider vinegar helps in detoxifying the body and prevents further accumulation of fats.
- Eat small portions of meals as often as possible to improve metabolism and avoid overeating.Chewing or mastication initiates the digestion process. It is very important to chew the food properly.
- Fresh fruits, foods and whole grains contain fiber, which makes the person feel fuller for long and encourages healthy digestion. A diet high in protein is a good way to lose weight. Fast foods should be avoided completely as they are low in fiber.Low glycemic index diet and low carbohydrate diet is helpful in losing weight.It is highly recommended to avoid foods containing high fructose corn syrup like energy drinks, sodas, sauces, bread, breakfast cereals.
- Take light dinner at least 2 hours before bedtime and to maximize digestion, eat a larger meal during noon as the digestive fire is strongest around noon.
Herbs that should be included in the daily diet:
- Consuming one or two cloves of raw garlic is an excellent remedy to overcome obesity. Garlic is proven to stop pre fat cells from converting into actual fat cells. It also helps in reducing high blood pressure and triglyceride levels.
- Consuming ginger tea in the morning by boiling fresh ginger in water, is an effective way to lose weight. Ginger helps in digestion. It increases the body’s temperature and helps in burning fat effectively. Ginger also helps in overcoming stress as it suppresses the stress hormone cortisol which is responsible for weight gain.
Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cayenne Pepper, Mint, Ginseng and Dandelion are some of the most useful herbs that help with digestion and gradual weight loss. Essential oils of grapefruit and cinnamon are very effective in losing weight.
Seeds like Fennel seeds, Chia seeds and Flax seeds are excellent remedies for obesity.
Aloe Vera Juice
Consuming Aloe Vera Juice helps in mobilizing unused fats in the body and stimulates weight loss. It can be easily prepared by boiling fresh Aloe Vera leaves.
Kapha pacifying diet
Kapha pacifying diet is best to lose weight. It is advised to go for foods that are bitter, pungent and astringent in taste rather than the ones that are sweet, salty or sour.
- Consuming raw tomatoes in the morning also helps in losing weight as they act as a dietary fiber.
Vitamin D deficiency
- People with Vitamin D deficiency are more likely to be obese. One needs to consume food rich in Vitamin D like egg yolk, fortified foods and try to get sun exposure as much as possible. Vitamin D supplements may also be consumed.
- Opt for coconut oil for cooking as they contain MCFAs that our body can easily burn as fat and are less likely to be stored as fat.
- Being physically activity doesn’t always mean, being in gym. It could be walking, cycling, climbing stairs, and doing house hold tasks. One needs to get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week to prevent weight gain.
Yoga, Meditation and Pranayama
- Yoga, Meditation and Pranayama also work great in reaching weight goals. They give peace and relaxation to mind and body, thus alleviates stress.
- It is advised to lose weight gradually so that it stays off. Shedding weight too fast leads to muscle and bone loss along with water instead of fat.
- There are many ways to lose a lot of weight fast but most of them leave the person hungry and unsatisfied and do not give permanent results.
- The longer a person is overweight, the harder it is to lose weight.