Obesity is a very common condition characterized by excessive deposition of fat in the adipose tissues. Ayurveda describes eight types of unhealthy bodies. Out of these eight, the two that are widely explained are a very thin body and a very fat body.
It has been explained in Charaka Samhita, one of the authorized texts on Ayurveda, that out these two types of bodies, people who are very fat tend to have the most diseases and troubles. This is because the extra fat puts a strain on the heart, kidneys, liver and the joints such as the hips, knees and ankles.
Overweight people are susceptible to several diseases like coronary thrombosis, high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, gout, liver and gall bladder disorders. Not only do they suffer from more diseases, but they are more difficult to treat.
The chief cause of obesity is often overeating, irregular eating habits and not following the rules of eating such as mixing incompatible food items in one meal.
Three things that help in losing weight are:
Controlling eating habits.
Avoiding the causes of weight gain.
AN AYURVEDIC WEIGHT LOSS DIET:
A glass of warm water mixed with the juice of half a lemon. and a teaspoon of honey.
Wheat or Mung beans (green beans) sprouts and one cup of skimmed milk.
A glass of orange, pineapple or carrot juice.
Salad of raw vegetables such as carrot, beet, cucumber, cabbage, tomatoes etc. (In case you cannot digest raw vegetables, either steam or boil them) along with whole grain bread or whole wheat chapatis (Indian bread) and a glass of buttermilk. Some roasted cumin seeds, green coriander leaves, a little salt and some grated ginger can also be added to the buttermilk.
Coconut water, dry fruits, lemon tea or vegetable soup.
Whole grain bread or chapatis, steamed vegetables and any seasonal fruit except banana and apple.
If one truly wishes to be in shape, it is necessary to follow this regimen sincerely, avoiding any overeating, for some weeks.
SOME HOME REMEDIES
Fruits and green vegetables are low calorie foods, so overweight people should include them in the diet.
One should avoid eating too much salt as it may increase weight.
Milk products like cheese, butter etc. should be avoided as these are rich in fat. Meat and non-vegetarian foods should also be avoided.
Mint is very useful in losing weight. Mint tea or a paste of fresh green mint mixed with some simple spices can be taken as a chutney with meals.
Spices like dry ginger, cinnamon, black pepper etc. are good for losing weight and can be used in a number of ways.
Regular intake of carrot juice is very beneficial.
Food items like rice and potato that contain a lot of carbohydrates should be avoided. Among cereals wheat is considered to be good.
Vegetables like bitter gourd (karela), and bitter variety of drumstick are helpful in losing weight.
Honey is an excellent home remedy for obesity. It mobilizes the extra deposited fat in the body and puts it into circulation. This fat is utilized as energy for normal functions. One should start with small quantities of about 10 grams or one tablespoon taken with hot water. It is good to take it early in the morning. A teaspoon of fresh lemon juice may also be added.
Fasting on honey and lime juice is highly beneficial in treating obesity without the loss of energy and appetite. In this mode of treatment, one teaspoon of fresh honey should be mixed with the juice of half a lime in a glass of lukewarm water and taken several times a day at regular intervals.
Cabbage is also considered to be an effective remedy for losing weight. as it inhibits the conversion of sugar and other carbohydrates into fat. Hence, it is of great value in weight reduction. It can be taken raw or cooked.
Exercise is an important part of any weight reduction plan. It helps to use up calories stored in body as fat. In addition, it also relieves tension and tones up the muscles of the body. Walking is the best exercise to begin with, and may be followed by running, swimming and rowing.
The gum of Commiphora mukul calledguggulu is the drug of choice for the treatment of this condition. There are many compound preparations to whichguggulu is added as the principal ingredient.