In India, especially the urban centers, obesity or even being overweight is becoming a new epidemic. The increases in consumption of fast foods, sedentary lifestyles and stress have increased the incidence of this problem. This has in turn, led to an exponential increase in the cases of diabetes, heart diseases and blood pressure among a host of other problems.
The Ayurvedic approach
Ayurveda is a discipline, which has been practiced over many millennia and contains the collective wisdom to effectively treat problems of obesity or being overweight without side effects. According to Ayurveda, the body is made up of 7 elements or Dhatus:
However, if you are overweight then it means that due to an imbalance of the ‘Kapha’ dosha, you are accumulating more ‘meda’ or fat. Ayurveda has some very effective actions to prescribe through which you can lose weight very effectively. Some of these tips are mentioned below.
Drink a mixture of lemon, honey and water first thing in the morning: Drinking a mix of lemon, honey and water helps to jump start your metabolism and boost your digestive system. Drinking this regularly over a period of a few months and would help reduce your weight very quickly.
Meditate for at least 10 minutes a day: This is a very important step as meditation helps relax your mind, muscles and nerves and reduces stress. This enables you to take better decisions throughout the day. It also controls your appetite thus stopping you form binge eating. Meditation and relaxation have also been shown to contribute to weight loss by keeping the metabolism regulated.
Do at least 30 minutes of exercise: It is important that you do at least 30 minutes of exercise daily as it would regulate your metabolism and help you to keep burning fat throughout the day. Incorporating light yoga along with a brisk walk is possibly the best way to safely and easily lose weight. Some of the easiest poses to lose weight would be
Dhanurasana or Bow pose
Setubandhasana or Bridge pose
Bhujangasana or Cobra pose
Vakrasana or Half spinal Twist pose among many others
Consider your diet according to season: According to Ayurveda, you should be careful about what you eat during the various seasons as this will ensure maximum nutrient absorption without the deposition of fat.
Eat three meals a day, not more: According to Ayurveda, you should have three meals a day without any snacks in between. Have a heavy breakfast as that tends to set the tone for the day, followed by a comparatively light lunch and an even lighter dinner. This is because your digestive system functions most effectively in the morning, fairly fast at noon, but it is the most sluggish at night.
Go to bed early and rise early: This is often propagated as disturbances in the Circadian rhythm or the natural sleep and waking cycles are a big contributor to weight gain. Once this is properly regulated, it could result in weight loss because of your body metabolism being properly regulated.
The boom in the convenience food culture in the last two decades is largely responsible for the weight issues that the present generation is staring at. Lifestyle diseases associated with the same are forcing us to adopt a healthier approach with a focus on our body needs.
But, due to our fast-paced life, we want a quick fix solution to losing weight too. What we forget is that there can be no shortcuts to achieving that goal in a healthy and reasonable way. Crash diets or sudden bursts of exercise can never be the best ways to lose weight. The body likes slow changes in terms of food and exercise.
When we suddenly start to starve ourselves, we run the risk of becoming deficient in necessary nutrients and vitamins that our body needs. Similarly, sudden changes in exercise regime might cause injury to one’s body and set our fitness levels in a back gear. At times, it may even leave us demotivated.
So, if one needs to lose weight, what should one do?
Understand the relationship between energy needs and body weight
Our body uses food for energy. It stores any excess energy as fat. Therefore, if we eat more food than what our body needs for daily activities and cell maintenance, we are bound to gain weight. To lose weight, we need to get your body to use up these stores of fat.
Follow the three-prong strategy:
Adjust the daily diet scientifically to help reduce the extra calories one is used to eating.
Increase the levels of activity one is used to. This helps to increase our metabolism and thus, the body burns more calories throughout the day.
Let us try and further explore these strategies in detail.
Strategy 1: Gradual restructuring of the present food pattern
Sustained weight loss should involve permanent change in one’s eating habits. But, this must be achieved by taking baby steps. Even small changes can make a huge difference.
These changes could mean changing the kinds of food, time of food, meal portions or method of cooking. Also, if the change in eating habits is done keeping one’s preferences in mind, with little deviation from their routine, it takes less effort to follow a plan.
Over a long term this strategy helps to change our perception about food and bring about a lifestyle change.
What it does not mean -
Crash dieting which usually ends up with you either getting weaker or giving up in desperation. It can also lead to a yo-yoing effect of drastic weight loss followed by weight gain, resulting in a vicious cycle.
Strategy 2: Set up a sustainable exercise regime
The second aspect of one’s health plan must be a recommended exercise routine. This follows a simple logic that if one increases the amount of exercise one does for the same diet and calorie intake, they will almost certainly lose weight. So, if it is coupled with diet changes, the results are always encouraging.
The exercise plan need not make a huge dent into your pocket. This too should be thought through and planned keeping one’s preference in mind. Physical activity is more important than the form. So, if one is not a gym person, brisk walking even for 45 minutes a day, would work wonders for you.
Key is to find something that one enjoys, is easy to do in terms of location and cost. It is then more likely to be build it into one’s routine and taken to a logical conclusion.
Strategy 3: Be patient and persevere
Staying motivated throughout the entire transformation process is probably the toughest challenge. It might take a while before one notice any changes, but they will steadily appear.
There will be days when you would want to or probably will give into your temptations. There would also be times when the weighing scale would simply refuse to budge. Instead of losing weight you would be frustrated on having put a little back on.
Remember, that everyone goes through this phase - it is normal! Only thing is that one should not let it come in the way to a healthier self. All it might need is a tweak in the health plan.
Set realistic goals and keep in mind that slow and steady would always win the race!
Did you know the history of tea goes back some 5000 years? As a matter of fact, the earliest variants of tea were very different from how we perceive the beverage today. Back then, tea was drunk as a concoction to keep one warm and fortified with vital nutrients. Somewhere down the line with the introduction of milk and a various other innovative herbs, tea became a beverage for leisure. But, the truth is that tea is indeed replete with many medicinal benefits. Black tea is a type of tea that has a very strong flavour and is one of the most popular teas across the world. It is true that black tea is a variant that is the most oxidised, but if consumed in moderation, black tea's strong antioxidants could help regulate cholesterol levels, improve heart health, boost immunity and energy levels, and also regulate weight loss. Yes, you heard us! Think weight loss and the only tea you would ever associate with it is green tea, which is not wrong. The abundant amount of catechins does help burn belly fat. Similarly, black tea has its own mechanism to steer weight loss.
Here's why you may want to include black tea in your weight diet:
1. The gut connection: According to a study published in the European Journal of Nutrition, black tea, with help of a specific mechanism through the gut microbiome, may also contribute to good health and weight loss in humans. This mechanism is different from the one adopted by green tea particles. However, the scientists said that both the teas were effective in cutting down weight in the mice model.
2. Lowers triglyceride levels: The flavonoids present in your cup full of black tea may prevent inflammation-induced obesity and lower triglyceride levels and visceral fats.
3. Low-calorie beverage: Did you know that the calorie count of your cup of black tea is almost negligible (approximately 2 calories per cup). It also has zero percent saturated fat and cholesterol. The amount of calories in tea is linked to other products added to it such as sugar, honey or milk. It is best to steep your black tea in nothing but water to derive its best weight loss benefits.
Please Note: It needs to be understood that anything in excess is not a sustainable strategy for weight loss. Caffeine content of black tea is significantly higher when compared to green tea. Excess of caffeine can leave you dehydrated. Black tea also contains natural substances called tannins, which gives black tea a characteristic strong flavour. Tannins are present in types of tea, but they are slightly in higher concentration in black tea. In moderate quantities tannins don't harm, but when consumed in excess, tannins upset our stomach or may cause nausea and vomiting.
Therefore, include black tea in your weight loss diet, but make sure you do keep everything sugary or fattening products away from your concoction. Also keep a tab on your tea intake. Make sure you do not overdo it in a bid to lose weight.
Weight loss may be a difficult goal to achieve, but with the right kind of diet and the right amount of exercise, you can shed kilos faster. There are a number of fruits and vegetables which may expedite weight loss by various methods including blocking the body's ability to store fat and even suppressing appetite. Garcinia Cambogia, commonly known as Malabar tamarind, is one such fruit. Malabar tamarind or kudam puli is a tropical fruit which has been gaining considerable attention for its purported weight loss benefits. The fruit looks like a small pumpkin and its colour varies from green to yellow. The fruit is well known in Southeast Asia, coastal Karnataka and Kerala and the fruit is also made into a supplement, which is now sold commercially. Along the coast of these states, the fruit is often put to culinary use which is similar to that of the regular tamarind or Tamarindus indica.
What Is Garcinia Cambogia (Kudam Puli)?
The fruit is known as uppage in Kannada language and it is traditionally used as a souring agent in the preparation of some curries. Many traditional recipes use the fruit's extract and rind due to the sour flavour that it lends to the food. It is similarly used in Assam as well as in Thailand, Malaysia, Burma and other Southeast Asian countries. The weight loss benefits of the fruit first came to light when in 2012, American celebrity doctor Dr. Oz promoted the extract from the fruit to achieve natural weight loss. Other purported benefits of the fruit include boosting energy, detoxification of the body and promoting cardiovascular and digestive health.
eg9ceh38Garcinia Cambogia for weight loss: The rind is sun dried and smoked to a black colour
Malabar Tamarind For Weight Loss: Does It Work?
The claimed weight loss effects of Garcinia Cambogia are credited to the presence of a phytochemical called Hydroxycitric acid or HCA. Some studies have shown that the phytochemical has the ability to burn fat and suppress appetite. HCA works by blocking an enzyme called citrate lysase, which is used in the body to make fat. Moreover, it is also known to increase the release of the hormone serotonin in the brain, which makes you feel less hungry. A study published in the Journal of Obesity said that people who consumed Garcinia supplement were able to lose two pounds (about 0.90 Kg) more than people who didn't take the supplement, which is a very minor difference. This is why scientists have concluded that more research and study on Garcinia is required to ascertain its role in weight loss.
However, other research studies conducted on mice using Garcinia Cambogia supplement concluded that it may help lower levels of insulin in the body. Some studies have even shown the role of Garcinia Cambogia in lowering the levels of blood cholesterol and triglycerides in the body.
How To Consume Garcinia Combogia or Kudam Puli For Weight Loss
Kudam puli or Malabar tamarind rind is usually sun dried and then smoked to a dark brown or black colour and is then used to prepare a drink, which is claimed to burn fat. Usually, to make the drink the rind is first washed and then soaked in some water for about 10 or 15 minutes. Then you can take some water in a stainless steel or clay pan and transfer the soaked kudam puli to it. Cook this for some time, until the water comes to a boil. Allow it to cool down and filter the drink into a jar. Consuming this drink 30 minutes before each meal, may help you lose weight faster.
Oats are a popular breakfast food around the world. They are easy to cook and also incredibly versatile. You can use them in smoothies, milkshakes, porridges and even in desserts like cake, cupcakes, muffins and cookies. Oats come with a number of health benefits, weight loss included. Did you know that you can eat oats for all three meals of the day in order to lose weight? That is because oats are rich in satiating fibre, which prevents hunger pangs and eliminates the need for you to snack between meals. Although it is not advisable to restrict your food intake to just one food type or food group, but if you want to lose weight fast, the oatmeal diet could be perfect for you. However, it is important to remember that oatmeal isn't some miracle food that you can eat to lose weight, but it may bring you results when consumed as part of calorie-restricting diet, along with other nutritious foods.
There are a number of different variations of the oatmeal diet, which different people follow for different periods of time. There is one which is extremely restrictive and where people only eat oatmeal for all three meals of the day, with calories for all meals coming to a total of 1,300 calories per day. This is followed by reducing it to just two meals a day. In another one, two meals of the day consist of oatmeal while dinner consists of a lean protein like chicken or fish along with salad or cooked vegetables. The second version is healthier from a nutritional standpoint as it provides you with more micro nutrients like essential minerals and vitamins as well. The components of the meals can be changed according to your own convenience, given that the calorie count is constant.
oatsOatmeal Diet For Weight Loss: There are a number of different variations of the oatmeal diet
Oatmeal Diet For Weight Loss
To follow this 7-day diet, people start off with eating just oatmeal for all three meals of the day for the first two days, followed by eating oatmeal for at least two meals of the day for the next two days.
Finally, dieters consume oatmeal for just one meal of the day for the remaining three days. This plan is more sustainable and the calorie count progression in the three phases of the diet is as follows- 100-1200 calories in first two days, 1200-1400 calories in the next two days, 1400-2000 calories in the remaining three days. Oats work by providing the body with fibre, which is great for digestion. Moreover, the fibre in oats can also bind with fat in the intestine, preventing the absorption of fats.
Healthy Oats Recipes For Weight Loss
Here are five healthy low-calorie recipes made from oats that you can consume while following the oatmeal diet for weight loss:
1. Oats Khichdi: A healthier version of the popular Indian food khichadi is the oats khichdi. The savoury dish is easy-to-make and filling.
2. Oats Uttapam: A delicious and healthy variation to the south Indian favourite, oats uttapam makes for a good, filling breakfast.
3. Oatmeal Porridge with Fried Egg: A breakfast dish that can also double up as a lunch recipe, oatmeal porridge with fried eggs has the right amount of fibre and proteins to keep you going.
4. Oats Idli: This recipe takes the health quotient of idli to the next level, by replacing semolina with oats.
5. Oats and Chicken Porridge: A comforting and nutritious dish fit for any meal of the day, oats and chicken porridge is the perfect combination of taste and health.