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Ayurveda for weight loss


If you have been trying to lose weight and failed here is something that might help — Ayurveda. In this post Dr Swapnil Bhanushali, Ayurvedacharya tells you how you can lose weight holistically without harming your body. 

How does Ayurveda help with weight loss?   

The definition of Swastha purush (healthy individual) as per Ayurveda is ‘Sama doshah – where all three doshas are in equilibrium, Sama Agnishcha — where your digestive fire is in balance, Sama dhatu mala kriya – a situation where all the dhatus are in balance and all three excretory processes function adequately, Prasanna atma indriya manaha – the soul, sense organs and mind is in bliss. Obesity is the result of increased meda dhatu (fatty tissues). And, hence the treatment is focused on balancing the increased meda dhatu.

There is a three way approach towards weight loss

  • Aahar – dietary modification which does not mean undue starvation.
  • Vihar  – lifestyle modification
  • Chikitsa – medication and panchakarma

Aahar - the person should avoid high calorie diets (Santarpaniya aahar). Aahar or a healthy eating habit is the cornerstone of any weight loss regimen. It has been proved scientifically that if you restrict your diet to 1300 to 1600 calories per day, those extra pounds will start melting. So, keep  in mind that you should make each calorie count for nutrients. You should take care and avoid having empty calories like those in colas that are loaded with sugar.

Vihar – Daily exercise in like brisk walking, running, cycling, swimming, playing outdoor games like tennis, badminton, etc. should be promoted. Moreover, a person willing to lose weight should live an active life. Avoid sitting in a place for long periods of time. Avoid sleeping in the day, or stay up late at night and sleeping in late in the morning. Adequate sleep is essential for the body to lose those extra kilos. Sleeping at 11 pm and waking up by 6 am is the best time for the body.

What kind of Ayurvedic treatment will a person need?

In case of moderate obesity, the points above regarding aahar and vihar should be followed along with certain medicines like Punarnavadi Kashaya, Triphala Guggulu, Medohar guggulu, Arogyavardhini vati, etc. as per the patient’s body type and other associated problems. Apart from that, there is a need to screen for thyroid hormone dysfunction as well. In case, your menses are irregular and you notice that you are gaining weight then there are chances of you having PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome). In such cases a person’s mode of treatment varies accordingly.

In case of obesity; Panchakarma procedures like Vamana (induced vomiting), virechana (induced purgation), Lekhan basti (medicated enema) and udwartanam (herbal powder massage) will be necessary.

How fast will a person be able to see results?

If a person follows the above mentioned dietary and lifestyle modifications, they can lose two kilograms per month.

Are there any side-effects?

If not done under the guidance of a good Ayurvedic physician there are chances of complications.

Here are a few tips to help you lose weight:

  • Consume fruits in the first half an hour after waking up in the morning.
  • Avoid fried food in excess quantity. Moderation is the key.
  • Some foods like almonds, peanuts, fig, pumpkin seed and flax seed can be used as healthy snacks that you can have between meals.
  • Have  about 4-5 kokum (Garcinia) bulbs at around 11 am to help speed up your metabolism.
  • If you do drink tea or coffee, make sure you do not add sugar to it.        
  • Have enough water. You could even try having sips of water during your meals, as this helps fill up your stomach faster, controlling your caloric intake.
  • Have one tablespoon of isabgol powder with a glass of water every night before bed time. This will help clear out your stomach the next morning and help get rid of toxins in your body. 

Here is a chart of the number of calories you should have on a daily basis:

Break fast

300 calories


400 calories


200 calories


450 calories


1350 calories

Photo source: Getty images

You may also like to read:

  • 10 ayurvedic tips to stay healthy this monsoon
  • Ayurvedic medicine — health benefits of Guduchi
  • Benefits of living the Ayurveda way

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