Ayurveda views each person as a reflection of the universe. In this vein, there is no “right” or “wrong” way to look. The weight loss industry has capitalized on people not feeling “ good enough” and not ever feeling happy with their bodies. Ayurveda views weight gain as a natural cycle that mimics nature. In winter it is more natural to have more weight and in summer its more natural to be more active. Both are natural cycles that the body goes through. We’ve probably all been seeing ads for “bikini body 6 week plan” and “shred your fat” programs. While these programs can be fine, many of them don’t take a long-term approach to health. We don’t want people to feel “shredded”, “ripped”, or “torn”. We want people to feel whole, healthy, and happy. When it’s colder, the metabolism slows down and begins to store fat for insulation. This is why people tend to have more weight in winter. Luckily, the warm weather and renewal of spring is a wonderful time to shed the unwanted weight and clear the body of excess Ama (toxins). Spring is a Kapha season saturated in water from melting snow and April showers. Our bodies follow these Kapha qualities and retain heavy, oily, cool, and smooth qualities. Therefore, it is important to follow a Kapha-pacifying lifestyle and avoid foods that aggravate Kapha in order to feel good in Spring. We’ve developed some helpful tips to lose weight the natural way.
Tips to Lose Weight:
Weight loss isn’t just about going to the gym. It’s important to make lifestyle changes to support a sustainable pathway to health. Our first tips to have a regular bedtime and time you wake up. As spring is the season of rebirth and renewal, the ideal time to wake up is between 6 and 8 am. Sleep is one of your greatest allies when it comes to looking and feeling your best. The second tip is to do fifteen minutes of yoga or movement every day. This might sound like a huge commitment but it will show amazing benefits after only a week. Tip number three is to exercise four times a week. A good aerobic exercise that gets your blood pumping and sweat going will have your metabolism burning fat quickly and efficiently. Practice something you can find pleasure in, such as going on a bike ride or a run along the beach! The fourth tip is to eat three satisfying meals a day with lunch being the main meal and avoid snacking on anything but fruit. This way, your body will be supported nutritionally and your digestive fire will be at its strongest. Ideally, lunch should be the largest meal while breakfast and dinner are small portions. Our fifth and final tip is to prioritize nutrition. In addition to eating the right sized meals at the right time, it is important to eat kapha-pacifing foods that will support weight loss.
Spring Nutrition Guideline:
Kapha is heavy, oily, cool, and smooth in quality, so it is important to eat whole foods that are opposite in nature. A Kapha-pacifying diet is one that emphasizes light, warm and dry foods that are rough and digestible. Generally, fruits and vegetables should constitute the majority of your meal followed with some grains and legumes. In the spring season, it is okay to eat raw fruits and salads as the season supports digestion of raw foods, as long as the weather is warm. Foods that are dry in nature are: beans, potatoes, dry fruits, and an occasional glass of wine. Make sure to eat plenty of foods with fiber such as broccoli, cabbage, and dark leafy greens. Foods to avoid are those that are Kapha-aggravating such as dairy, pudding, nuts, wheat breads, pastas, red meat, fried foods, eggs, and avocados.
Emphasizing foods with pungent, astringent, and bitter tastes also helps pacify Kapha. Pungent tastes are found in foods such as chilies, radishes, turnips, onions, and most spices. Biter tasting things such as kale, dandelion greens, and dark chocolate helps to cleanse and tonify the skin, muscles, improve appetite, and support digestion. Astringent foods such as legumes, beans, apples, and cranberries, and pomegranates are dry and light, therefore reducing the watery and heavy qualities of Kapha and help utilize fluids.
Foods to Avoid:
Tastes to avoid are sweet, sour, and salty. Remove all refined sugars and processed foods from your diet as they are major contributors to weight gain. Sour foods are moistening and oily and tend to aggravate Kapha. In addition to sugar, salt is one of the main culprits when it comes to gaining weight. This is because salt causes water retention, increasing the watery and heavy Kapha qualities in the body and can also cause excess thirst, intestinal inflammation, and high blood pressure. By avoiding sweet, sour and salty and favoring astringent, bitter, and pungent, the excess Kapha in the body is pacified and extra weight can be shed.
We hope you start to feel healthy, happy, and energized!
“Managing a Kapha Constitution.” Banyan. N.p., 01 Apr. 2014. Web. 24 May 2017.
Rudman, Aarajean. “Eight Ayurveda Tips for Weight Loss.” Kripalu. N.p., 22 Sept. 2016. Web. 24 May 2017.