Weight Loss Tips for Better Weight Management with Diet, Exercise, & SupplementsDr. Surya Bhagwati
As any Ayurvedic physician will tell you, weight loss does not require restrictive dieting. In fact, it is advisable to eat a wide range of foods for balanced nutrition. However, there are steps that you can take to reduce weight gain and promote weight loss. In addition to consuming less calories than you burn, you can use some simple diet and lifestyle modifications, and natural weight loss supplements to enhance weight loss. Here are some of the most important and simple tips to improve weight management to reach a healthy body weight.
10 Essential Tips for Healthy Weight Loss
1. Drink Water Before Meals
Under normal circumstances, Ayurveda does not encourage drinking water before meals, except for those with kapha prakruti. Incidentally, individuals with dominant kapha dosha are more vulnerable to weight gain and this practice is said to promote weight loss. Studies now confirm that drinking water can boost metabolism, thereby increasing calorie burning for at least an hour and a half. Researchers also observed reduced calorie consumption and increased weight loss among dieters who consumed half a liter of water just 30 minutes before meals.
2. Cut Back on Sugar
Ayurveda has always advocated the use of natural sweeteners like fruit sugars in food, while others like honey and jaggery should be used in moderation. Granulated sugar that is now widely consumed and added to processed foods is best avoided. The risk associated with such added sugar is now well-established. Research shows that high sugar intake is linked to obesity, as well as lifestyle diseases like diabetes and cardiac disease. Cutting back on sugar intake is one of the simplest and most effective ways to limit weight gain and perhaps lose a few pounds.
3. Ditch the Processed Foods
Don’t be fooled by instant foods that are labeled as weight loss products or diet snacks. In Ayurveda, eliminating processed food is far more important than cutting carb intake. This is because processed foods are believed to cause dosha imbalances and increased ama, leading to weight gain. On the other hand natural foods help maintain balance, promoting weight control. This is supported by current food science, which recognizes that complex carbs from fresh fruit and veggies provide vital nourishment, while simple carbs from processed foods can cause spikes in blood sugar – this leads to food cravings, overeating, and ultimately weight gain.
4. Boost Protein Intake
The popularity of protein shakes and high protein diets among athletes and weight watchers is not without reason. It is the most important nutrient for weight management or weight loss. This is because high protein intake boosts metabolism to increase calorie burn. At the same time it helps reduce calorie intake as protein increases feelings of satiety and reduces food cravings. Not surprisingly, some research shows that getting up to quarter of calories from protein can cut your snacking habits by half!
5. Use Half Plates
Instead of using your regular plates for meals, switch to half plates or any smaller plate. This is a simple and effective trick to reduce food intake and lose weight. It may seem too simple to work, but studies do show that it’s quite effective. Studies have found that overweight individuals tend to consume fewer calories when using smaller plates. This works on the same principle as portion control, but it’s easier to practice portion control when using smaller plates.
6. Do Some Cardio
Aerobic exercise or cardio is simply any activity that raises both your heart and respiration rate. These will be of a moderate to high intensity and typically will last for at least ten minutes at a time. Brisk walking, running, cycling, and swimming are all good cardio workouts. Engaging in such activity early in the day can improve calorie burn, as well as physical and mental health. Cardio is especially good for burning abdominal fat and is the main form of exercise in all good weigh loss programs.
7. Get Good Sleep
This is one essential lifestyle practice that is overlooked in most weight management programs. In Ayurveda however, sleep is recognized as vital for good health and the maintenance of healthy body weight. Without adequate sleep, your body cannot rejuvenate, leading to dosha imbalances, ama buildup, and accumulation of fat deposits in the body. This association of sleep deprivation with obesity was not understood or recognized by modern medicine until very recently. Research has now proven that poor sleep is a leading risk factor for weight gain.
8. Yoga & Meditation
Yoga is one of the best forms of exercise not just for fitness and flexibility, but also for its soothing effect on the body and mind. When meditation is included in your practice, this de-stressing effect is even more powerful. Meditation can be particularly powerful when you are struggling to lose weight because of stress eating or emotional eating. The benefits of meditation are not direct when it comes to weight loss, but they are immense. A review of several studies confirms that mindfulness meditation can change one’s eating habits and relationship with food to aid weight loss.
9. Sip on Some Green Coffee or Tea
Forget those weight loss supplements containing green coffee bean extract and opt for the real thing instead. Both green coffee and green tea can aid weight loss efforts. Green coffee is simply unroasted coffee and is therefore extremely high in chlorogenic acids. Although it is technically coffee, it tastes more like herbal tea. Green tea has similarly powerful effects because of its antioxidant and caffeine content. Studies show that green tea intake can enhance fat oxidation and calorie burn marginally.
10. Try Ayurvedic Polyherbal Blends
There is no single Ayurvedic herb that will yield miraculous weight loss benefits. However, a combination of herbs such as amla, guggulu, nagarmoth, gokhru, sunth, and others can improve the success of your weight loss efforts. These herbs work through various therapeutic actions – some can improve blood glucose regulation, reducing food cravings, while others can improve metabolic response and digestion. These indirect mechanisms have a direct influence on weight loss as has been shown in some studies. To get the best of these benefits, it is advisable to use Ayurvedic weight loss tablets that contain at least some of these herbs.Although these are some of the most effective tips to achieve healthy weight loss, they may not be effective enough for all of us. In case you find that you are still gaining weight or unable to lose weight despite adhering to these recommendations, it would be best for you to consult an Ayurvedic physician. Ayurveda recognizes the uniqueness of the individual and such doctors can provide personalized weight loss programs to match your unique dosha balance.
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