According to Ayurveda, our constitution is governed by three bodily intelligences called doshas, these are Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Among these three bodily intelligences, it is usually an imbalance with the kapha dosha that is mainly responsible for weight gain.
For excessive fat loss, we would look at a diet and certain lifestyle practices that will reduce kapha in our bodies. Although kapha is essential for strength, stability, protection and immunity, we want to avoid a build up of kapha which results in weight gain.
Causes of Kapha Imbalance:
- Adopting diet or lifestyle that aggravates the kapha dosha.
- Too much sleeping, too little exercise.
- Too much heavy, cold and sweet or salty foods.
- Eating more than our digestion can cope with or just eating a diet that reduces our digestive power
With above causes, we begin to accumulate toxins in our channels, which then move to our tissues,
resulting in an increase production of fat cells.
Diet principles to reduce kapha
- Ensure that each meal has a protein source to keep you feeling fuller for longer. Aim for around 30% of your daily intake to come from vegetarian protein source, or a small amount of white meat is ok if you are meat eater. Avoid red meat where possible.
- Small quantities of food more often during the day – making one meal a day your largest meal – usually lunch is the best time when digestion is strong.
- Include warm soupy type meals in your diet often as these are very easy to digest – a good staple meal is kitcharee (see recipe)
- The diet should have around 10-20% of wholegrains that could include buckwheat, millet, quinoa, corn etc. Include these mainly at breakfast and lunchtime as digestion is strongest at these times. Avoid any processed types of grains and try to keep breads to a minimum.
- Fruits and vegetables should be a staple in your diet, around 50% of the food you eat. Include as many types of fruits and vegetables as you can, variety really is the key here – we want to include as many of the 6 tastes as we can, lessening the reliance on sweet vegetables and fruit.
- Exclude all processed foods as these almost always include salt (and not the good kind of salt!). Although salt is an important part of our diet, this should come from a small amount of black salt or pink salt added to our meals.
- Diet should contains moderate amount if spices (all spices). Begin experimenting with spices in your cooking such as – turmeric, ginger, fennel, ajwain, fenugreek, cloves, cardamom, cumin etc.
- Dairy foods can be included in small amounts – avoid too much yoghurt as this is quite heavy to digest, and because kapha is heavy, we want to limit heavy foods. Only have warmed unhomogenised cow’s milk, cold milk will increase kapha. Avoid other types of dairy such as ice creams, custard, cream etc.
- Avoid all types of chilled drinks as these may kill our digestive fire immediately. The best drinks to have are warm herbal teas and warm filtered water. As much as you can, avoid alcohol and stimulants like coffee.
- Avoid sweeteners like sugar as these are heavy to digest and the sweet taste increases kapha – if you need to use a sweetener use a little bit of honey.
- Including salads in your diet will help to reduce kapha as these are light and dry, the opposite of kapha. The best time to include these is at lunchtime when digestion is the strongest.
- Warm water with Lemon juice and a little bit of black salt in the morning will help to reduce fat.
- Exercise – Minimum 45 min physical activity is essential. It can be just simple walking or yoga or jogging.
- Taking some of the Ayurvedic herbal preparations such as Trikatu, Guggle, Kasayam preperations will be very effective to balance the fat metabolism naturally.
- Ayurvedic detox (Panchakarma) can be very beneficial to unblock the blockages from the tissues and remove the toxins from them. Many of our patients with overweight have got remarkable benefit in losing a huge amount of unwanted body fat in a very small time with our detox program.
Please feel free to contact us for an appointment with Dr.Pradeep Neupane for more information and specific diet-lifestyle plan according to your personal needs. He has an extensive experience of treating many people with overweight by a simple diet-lifestyle changes, herbal remedies and special Ayurvedic body treatments.