Lose Belly Fat The Ayurveda Way
You can’t live a healthy life if you’re overweight or obese. Unfortunately, our urban lifestyles are rampant breeding grounds for those extra kilos. Desk jobs, packaged food, vehicular transportation and little to no open spaces are often to blame. Haven’t you opted for a sugary soda when you were thirsty, or not thought twice before ordering a pre-packaged meal rather than making something fresh from home? Belly fat accumulation is simply the sum of such poor choices.
We often tend to blame low metabolism and ageing for weight gain, but this isn’t always the case. Fortunately, the ancient Indian science of healing – Ayurveda – can do wonders in reducing those extra inches on your waistline. These are best avoided through a careful balance of nutritional intake and caloric consumption, through which you can look and feel your best.
So, how can you lose belly fat, the Ayurveda way?
Here are six simple remedies to get rid of that extra belly fat.
1.Use natural herbs and spices during food preparation – There is never any one-size-fits-all diet plan. However, herbs and spices act as excellent gut healers and accelerate belly fat loss. Guggul, Garcinia Cambogia, Triphala, Dalchini and Punarvana are some popular natural medicines which restore hormonal and energy levels – causing you to lose belly fat naturally.Guggul tops the list in lowering triglycerides and cholesterol. Following Guggul is s Triphala, a triple-fruit combination of Haritaki, Amla, and Bibitaki, which aids digestion by eliminating toxins. Have it mixed with hot water twice a day for optimal results. Next is Garcinia Cambogia, a tropical fruit known to boost metabolism, reduce appetite levels, and keep track of stress and blood sugar levels. Third is the antioxidant-packed Dalchini, popularly known as cinnamon, which is best enjoyed as a cup of hot cinnamon tea. Fourthly, Punarnava or Boerhavia Diffusa is a diuretic plant and best known to restore bladder and kidney health.There are other lesser-known herbs that can do wonders for losing fat around your belly. Methi or fenugreek has for long been mixed into dals and rotis. Roast and crush methi seeds into a fine powder, and drink it with water on an empty stomach for best results. Another little-known ingredient best known is Vijaysar, commonly used to manage digestion, diabetes and obesity. Other miscellaneous spices – such as Kalonji (Nigella Sativa), aloe vera, pepper and ajwain are ancient ingredients used in versatile forms which can aid weight loss.
2. Maintain healthy dietary habits – Swapping breakfast for coffee is not an option! Many doctors and nutritionists recommend having three meals a day to maintain blood sugar levels. The Ayurvedic concept of dinacharya states that our digestive fire, or agni, is most active at specific hours. Ensure that your breakfast is just enough to satiate you, eaten between 7:30am to 9:00 am. Following this, lunch should be your heaviest meal, as your agni is most active during midday between 12:00 noon to 2:00pm. Finally, your dinner should be eaten between 7:00pm and 9:00pm. It is essential that this meal is kept light as your metabolic levels & agni begin to decline at this time. Ayurveda also recommends eating mindfully – that is, paying attention to the flavour and quality of food, and listening to bodily cues while eating. Unplugging from your devices is often stressed on, in order to pay close attention to your food. Mindful eating can also help you recognise the six tastes prescribed by Ayurveda – namely, sweet, sour, salty, bitter, astringent and pungent. Bitterness and astringency are essential counterbalances to the first three tastes, which will aid losing belly fat.
3. Ensure adequate movement – Ayurveda recommends going for short strolls after meals to stimulate the digestive process. Going for a walk after lunch (for 10-20 minutes) is possible even at the workplace, during lunch breaks.Apart from this, daily morning exercises for around 45-60 minutes to break a sweat can tone your muscles and accelerate the fat loss process. Yoga is highly recommended by Ayurveda to align both the body and mind, while increasing strength and stamina. Most importantly however, any type of exercise works. Some exercise is better than no exercise. Aim to slowly increase your level of exercise over time so that it is sustainable and slightly challenging to your existing stamina levels. Living in urban spaces is no excuse to not work out. Grab a yoga mat, jump rope, or play some music and dance, and that belly fat will naturally vanish.
4. Drink sufficient water – Water is a non-negotiable tool to the fat loss process. It increases the amount of calories burnt even at rest (known as resting energy expenditure) and is known to increase by 24-30% within the first ten minutes of drinking water. This lasts for ten minutes at a stretch. Drinking water before meals is especially recommended for weight loss to ensure proper digestion, ensuring satiety, and even increasing the likelihood of cutting back calories. This is especially true when water is used as a substitute to other sugary or calorie laden drinks, such as sodas.You may however find water to be too bland as an everyday substitute, if you have a sweet tooth – fortunately, lemon juice dissolved in hot water is an amazing fat loss tool that can refresh you as well. It is best consumed first thing in the morning.
5. Maintain a healthy sleep schedule – Following our natural circadian rhythms is crucial to hormone balance. Make sure to limit screen time at least two hours prior to sleeping to avoid fluctuation of melatonin levels, which can interfere with your sleep cycles. This is definitely much harder than it seems, but it gets better with practice! Sleeping and rising with the sun is ideal in maintaining a healthy body and mind, and can have a wondrous impact on losing belly fat & overall weight loss too.
6. Give yourself the gift of an Ayurveda detox retreat – Our health gets neglected easily leading to more flab accumulating around our bellies. Oftentimes recognizing that you need help and guidance in an environment that is meant to heal your body with leading experts that can target specific areas of weight loss is the best thing you can do. Mekosha offers a weight loss package specifically meant to help you lose weight.
As you can see, weight loss isn’t as hard as it seems – the trick is in dedicating time and effort towards the six key tips outlined above. Slowly and steadily, the power of Ayurveda can bring you closer to an ideal body, and good health in general.