Looking to shift those extra pounds that have appeared over the festive season? You’re not alone. But before you start restricting yourself too much or jump on the latest fad diet, why not consider an Ayurvedic diet to lose it the healthy way.
Rather than some new weight loss trend, Ayurveda is in fact an ancient Indian practice that’s been around for more than 5,000 years. And, for the skeptics, there’s plenty of long-term health benefits of Ayurvedic medicine that are sure to win you over.
So if you want to lose the Christmas weight, and start to feel stronger from within, take a look at these easy and effective Ayurvedic diet tips.
Eat more seasonal food
Yep, you read that right. This is a lifestyle that tells you to eat more. In fact, Ayurveda recommends that we eat three meals a day - using seasonal, wholesome and nutritious ingredients. That way, our bodies will be balanced and fulfilled. For example, in the winter, we need nuts, grains, fruits and seeds to help protect us from the weather.
As spring approaches, we need to eat leafy vegetables and berries to help our bodies to detox and cleanse after the colder months. In summer, Ayurveda says we should eat foods that can be digested easily and that reduce our body heat. Think roasted pulses, watermelon, Amla and Fenugreek.
It’s not just about our food choices though. Ayurveda suggests our biggest meal should be eaten at midday - as this is when our digestive fire is at its best, and the sun is at its peak. Don’t worry if you get peckish later on in the day though, as there’s plenty of light Ayurvedic recipes to enjoy. But make sure there’s at least 30 minutes before your last meal and bedtime - to give your body enough time to digest and detoxify while you sleep. Ideally, your last meal should be before 7pm, if you can.
Less snacking (hard, we know)
It might be an age-old dieting rule but if you really want to lose weight, then you might want to try and avoid snacking. Easier said than done, we know. But by doing this, you’re giving your body enough time to be able to digest the food from your last mealtime. And, as we know, digestion is key to overall good health. Of course, if hunger strikes, eating healthy snacks like small amounts of fruit and vegetables can help, as can sipping on warm water or herbal tea.
If you do feel hungry, think about how long it’s been since you last ate. Ayurvedic practitioners say we only feel true hunger around 4-5 hours after eating - anything in between could be caused by boredom or stress. The struggle is real.
Consider an Ayurvedic detox
If you really want to kickstart your healthy weight loss, a four-day Ayurvedic detox is a great choice. Each day, you’ll enjoy three nutritious meals (no snacking, but no starving!) as well as tongue scraping, mindful eating and light exercise to give your digestive system a break, remove any toxins, boost overall health and lose those all-important extra pounds.
Cook more often, and with more flavour
You’ve probably heard this one before; we all know that processed foods can be full of sugar and fat which will do nothing for our weight loss. But Ayurveda goes one step further. By cooking wholesome meals, it’s easier to digest the ingredients compared to eating raw and cold foods. It can also help to keep our doshas grounded and balanced, and support a healthy digestive system.
There’s also six different flavours that are used in Ayurvedic cooking - sour, sweet, bitter, salty, astringent and pungent. Depending on your unique make-up or dosha - Vata, Pitta, Kapha - you’ll need more of one flavour compared to the other. But having a little bit of all of them can help to combat any cravings - and therefore, snacking!
Sip warm water
Instead of reaching for an ice cold glass of water, Ayurveda suggests swapping it for warm or hot water, as well as herbal teas. Not only does it hydrate your body better than cold water but it helps to activate your gut and remove any toxins that have built up. It also doesn’t dampen your digestive flame like cold water does. It’s a win-win!
Feel free to add some lemon juice or honey to improve its taste though, and why not try it with Ginger for a refreshing morning wake up? Lemon water also contains purifying properties that have been shown to speed up metabolism and break down fats.
Stress has a huge part to play in weight gain, and one of the easiest ways to focus and calm your mind is with some exercise - not to mention the fact that it helps to burn calories too! Your dominant dosha will determine exactly what type of physical activity is best for you. Vatas need to keep grounded with regular and light movement like swimming, yoga and hiking.
Pittas need to release excess pressure via weight lifting, pilates and mountain biking. And Kapha doshas will benefit from short, sharp bursts such as spin classes, running and HIIT workouts.
Get some sleep
Seriously, sleep is super important in your weight loss journey. Research shows that poor sleep can lead to weight gain and the risk of obesity. And there’s also the fact that, with little sleep, you just won’t be feeling your best and concentration and self-control can be affected too. To get a good night’s sleep, Ayurveda says we should try to wake up and go to sleep at the same time every day to help our bodies to get into a routine. Not eating too much late at night can also help our bodies to relax and wind down.
Try TriphalaMade up of three Ayurvedic super fruits - Amalaki, Bibhitaki and Haritaki - Triphala removes toxins from the body and gives the digestive system a push in the right direction. This is just one of the reasons why we’ve included it in our Rest and Digest capsules, which help improve your digestion and maintain stomach health. One study even found that those adults who took a Triphala supplement lost weight more quickly than those who didn’t.
At Deja, we’re all about lifestyle switches and commitments rather than quick fixes. For this reason, our range of all natural supplements and products has been designed to help you to maintain a healthy and holistic approach to your daily eating habits.
Don’t forget we’re always on the other side of our DMs if you fancy a chat or have any questions about how to lose weight with Ayurveda. And if you do find success with Ayurveda, we’d love to hear about it.