An Ayurvedic Approach to Sustainable Weight Loss
Have you ever bought a shirt that says, “one size fits all” and you put it on only to realize it doesn’t fit? The roller coaster of feelings that flood your thoughts, disappointment, excuses, and self-judgment are all too familiar for many of us. I am here to tell you one size does not fit all and there are many reasons why one has excessive weight gain and weight loss. Over 41% of Americans are considered overweight which can come with additional health concerns and the stigma surrounding excessive weight creates another battle for those who are overweight. From medical reasons to emotional ones or simply learned behaviors, excessive weight in many ways is a symptom rather than a focal point.
As an Ayurvedic practitioner, I explore and identify root causes to help individuals become more balanced through understanding their body makeup or Prakrit, the “whys” in many cases, and how to effectively remove root causes for long-term sustainable optimum wellness.
Let’s dive a bit deeper. Each individual is unique, and with ever-growing one-size-fits-all approaches to weight loss, most people find they are on a hamster wheel of dieting and exercise. I am not saying dieting and exercise are not good, exercising has great benefits for all sizes and shapes and although I am not a fan of dieting as I believe it is a bandage waiting to be ripped off, I am a fan of lifestyle changes. Ayurveda supports sustainable weight loss by emphasizing balanced eating according to one’s digestion or Agni, exercise according to one’s body makeup or Prakriti, and the Mind-Body connection.
Digestion is called Agni in Ayurveda; it is the site where it all begins and is essential for weight loss. An Ayurvedic approach to digestion emphasizes mindful eating that includes eating in a calm peaceful environment, the quality and quantity of foods, and the timing of meals. Incorporating organic whole foods, allowing proper time to eat, and creating a healthy relationship with food enhances the body’s innate ability to restore balance and lose weight.
Balancing Doshas. There are three main dosha, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. The doshas are made up of the elements air and space for Vata, fire and water for Pitta, and water and earth for Kapha. When imbalanced they can contribute to weight gain, when balanced they flow in harmony creating a healthy mind, body, and spirit. Ayurveda identifies the dosha imbalance and provides ways to restore them. When doshas are nourished properly, weight loss can occur a bit more effortlessly.
The Mind-Body Connection. There is a strong connection between the mind and body that Ayurveda acknowledges and honors. Emotional eating is comforting which is why it can become one's “drug” of choice, and it can contribute to excessive weight gain. Restoring the mind-body connection through Ayurvedic practices such as meditation, pranayama, yoga, sound therapy, and aromatherapy, can help manage stress and improve overall well-being. The beauty in the awareness of the mind-body connection is it enhances a greater sense of self-love, bliss, and harmony.
Lifestyle Modifications. Ayurveda is a lifestyle, not a quick fix, which is why it can be sustainable. It teaches how to align with natural law by implementing daily routines or Dinacharya. Dinacharya can include practices such as early rise times, morning walks, tongue scraping, or warm water therapy. Working with an Ayurvedic practitioner you can create your own Dinacharya based on where you are and where you want to be to optimize weight loss and overall well-being.
This is not an overnight fix, anything worth having takes time, commitment, and effort. Ayurveda can help individuals make healthier choices while providing a non-judgmental space and nurturing support. It is an ancient approach that can easily work alongside medical and healthcare professionals to optimize long-term sustainable wellness. It does not replace any medical and or healthcare professional however it beautifully compliments it and enhances a healthier lifestyle.
For more information on how you can create a healthier lifestyle through Ayurveda visit us at Your Ayurveda Consultation