Weight loss and dosha balance
Whether you are new to Ayurveda or not, you’ve probably heard the word ‘dosha’ and wondered what it means. Doshas are the central concept in the ancient tradition of Ayurveda. As per the philosophy, the world constitutes five elements, i.e., space, air, fire, water, and earth. These energy patterns are known as doshas, and they are present in every cell, every tissue, every organ in our body. They govern all the body’s processes, from bodily functions to our thoughts and feelings.
All of us are made of a unique combination of these three forces. Everyone has some of each, but most people tend to have a surplus of one or more doshas. This combination is determined at the moment of conception. As you move through life, each of the three doshas constantly fluctuates according to your environment, diet, and many other factors. As they run out of balance, the doshas can affect your mental, emotional, and physical health. Hence, it is crucial to understand in detail.
What are the different types of dosha
The three primary doshas are wind or Vata, fire or Pitta, and water or Kapha.
The Vata Dosha
People with Vata dosha are known to have the quality of wind and space. It is responsible for the body movement, expression of speech, circulation of the blood, elimination of waste, and regulation of the immune and nervous system. When in balance, Vata dosha brings comfortable movement, regular breathing, consistent appetite, healthy bowel function, positive enthusiasm, good energy, a calm mind, and innovative ideas. When out of balance and excess, you may lose weight, experience pains, numbness, dry skin, dehydration, excessive bloating, indigestion, and insomnia. If Vata is less, you may feel lazy and become increasingly fearful and anxious.
The Pitta Dosha
The Pitta dosha balances two seemingly opposing doshas, i.e., Vata and Kapha. Together, they regulate digestion, metabolism, and hormones. Pitta dosha’s primary purpose is to control heartbeat, hormone levels, body temperature, visual perception, thirst, and skin quality. It’s also responsible for liver function and healthy digestion. When in balance, Pitta dosha brings a healthy appetite, the right production of hormones, intelligence, courage, a glowing complexion, and sharp eyesight. When out of balance, it causes an aversion to heat, a bitter taste in the mouth, heartburn, high blood pressure, fever, and skin rashes. If Pitta is less, it results in poor digestion and coldness.
The Kapha Dosha
Kapha holds the body together by moistening the stable structures of the body. It primarily resides in the stomach, but it also manages the chest, throat, head, lymph, and pancreas. Kapha gives stability to the body by helping to hold cells together and form muscles, fat, and bone. It also has the qualities to enhance the brain, the joints, the lungs, and heart, as well as manage the protective lining of the stomach. When in balance, Kapha dosha gives a person physical and mental strength. When out of balance, it can lead to a wet cough, congestion, sluggish digestion, and an excessive desire to sleep. If not resolved, it can lead to heart problems, diabetes, high cholesterol, or obesity.
How is dosha related to weight loss
Weight loss is always the talk of the town, and everyone is trying to know which diet is working for who, and which one would work for them. But, out of all, ayurvedic diet steals the show for its benefits. It is more about eating for the dosha of your body to boost overall wellness and weight loss. Since the diet depends on the dosha, the first step is to identify your dosha. Once you know the answer, you need to eat accordingly.
How to bring about balance
Vata dosha is associated with dryness. Hence, you can balance it by bringing more warmth into your life. Therefore, you need to eat foods that are warmer, rich in oils and heartier. Other options are staying warm at all times and taking more warm milk, cream, butter, warm soups, stews, hot cereals, freshly baked bread, raw nuts, and nut butter. Herbal tea and fruits are great to balance Vata dosha. Avoid foods like popcorn, white potatoes, salads, iced drinks, raw vegetables, and caffeine.
Pitta can be adjusted with the opposing qualities of calm, coolness, compassion, and moderation. In particular, not skipping meals, favouring ‘cooler’ foods like salads, milk, and ice cream. To work on the Pitta dosha, take herbal teas, vegetarian foods, milk, and grains. Avoid pickles, sour cream, cheese, alcohol, egg yolks, nuts, hot spices, honey, and hot drinks. Have less spicy and oily food.
To balance Kapha dosha, indulge in a diet of freshly cooked, whole foods. The food you eat should be light, dry, well-spiced and easy to digest. You should increase the amount of movement you do, stay warm and avoid dampness. Reducing the intake of dairy, avoiding sweeteners and drinking hot ginger tea can also help.
Ayurvedic tips to lose weight
Here are some tips
As per the Ayurveda, transformation and digestion are closely interlinked. So, it is necessary to maintain a healthy metabolism which can be done by adding regular and reliable fuel to the body. So, eat healthy, well balanced, digestible meals three times a day. This will stimulate the digestive fire and encourage it to grow stronger.
Prefer eating a light dinner before 7 pm. This will allow your stomach to empty itself before you go off to sleep and supports the natural detoxification processes that occur overnight.
With a Kapha-pacifying diet, you can clear excess Kapha from the system. This includes foods that are warm, dry, rough, light and digestible.
Take time out from your busy schedule to engage in different exercises. This will ensure a faster metabolic rate and efficient fat-burning.
Hot water is an elixir in Ayurvedic tradition. Toxins tend to accumulate in the body from external sources. But, it can be easily dissolved with hot water or green tea.
Sleep, if it is not sufficient, can ruin your health and weight. Hence, it is crucial to take proper rest.
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