Do you dream of having a flat belly but want to lose weight in a healthy way? Are you ready for a holistic approach to weight loss, one that feels healthy and balanced rather than promising unrealistic results? Then Ayurveda is the best answer. Why?
According to Ayurveda, obesity or fatness is regarded as a disorder of the fat tissue and metabolism (medodhatu vridhi).1 In this condition, the fat tissue (Medodhatu) increases and blocks all the channels (srotas) in the digestive system. Vata then gets trapped in the abdomen.
This results in an increase in the digestive fire or Agni, creating a tornado of hunger in the individual, which becomes insatiable.2 Low-quality dhatus and excessive fat that is raw and unprocessed is therefore produced.
Vasant Lad, M.A.Sc, teaches that in cases of obesity, the excess fat (medas dhatu) retains increasing amounts of water and oil, which can lead to “fatty tumors, gallstones, tartar on the teeth, fatty stools, diabetes and hypertension.”3
How To Manage Weight And Get A Flat Belly
Management includes: strengthening of digestion (balance agni), removing toxins (ama), improving dietary habits, practicing yoga, pranayama (breathing exercises), adjusting inappropriate daily routines and lowering stress.
Reduce your extra weight by drinking warm water.
Warm water is an excellent remedy for getting a flat belly and it’s also a natural detoxifier. It mops up all the impurities of the digestive system, sweeping away molecules left behind from partially digested food that can slow down the metabolic rate.
It relaxes muscles and dilates the blood vessels which allows the assimilation and absorption of the contents of the meal to occur more efficiently.
Ideal Rules For Drinking Water
Sipping water during a meal is ideal. It helps to moisten the food, breakdowns food particles into smaller pieces, assists in digestion, absorption, and tissue (dhatu) building. It quenches the thirst, and so water intake in an appropriate quantity in between food is ideal.4
Drinking water before a meal will dilute the digestive fire (agni), which hinders digestion and leads to weakness.4 Drinking water right after a meal affects both the quality of food and digestion.4 This increases Kapha, causing weight gain.
The most ideal time for drinking water is right after waking up in the morning and one hour before and one hour after each meal.
The quantity of water consumption varies with body type; Vata types need more water than Kapha types.
Mindful Eating For A Flat Belly
Mindful eating is necessary. Mindful eating means being conscious and present while eating. When food is eaten mindfully, the brain sees, tastes, smells and feels. It sends signals to the stomach to release enzymes and juices to digest the food.
The first stage of digestion starts in the mouth with saliva (bodhaka Kapha). The moment any kind of food or substance comes into contact with saliva its taste is felt. Ayurveda says that taste has direct actions on the doshas, so the moment you start eating food the process of digestion begins.
For losing weight and getting a flat belly, you should consider the following Ayurvedic health tips.
What To Avoid
- Overeating and eating heavy foods in large quantities.
- Talking or laughing while eating. Eating very fast or while watching TV.
- Sweet, sour, salty and oily food as it aggravates Kapha and fat (Meda). Sweet foods include sugar, rice, pasta, breads, sweet milk products, cakes, cookies, pastries, chocolates.
- Dairy products especially cheese, cream and ice cream.
- Meat, especially red meat.
- Packaged foods, processed food and restaurant fried foods – pizza, hot dogs, burger, doughnuts, and French fries.
- Drinking alcohol and smoking.
- Food items that make the mind dull and create inertia, laziness, disorientation and depression
(Tamasic food). Heavy, leftover food, canned or frozen food, beef, fish, eggs and cold buffalo milk are Tamasic in nature.
Avoid Incompatible Combinations Of Food
- Milk with… fish, meat, curd and sour fruits, bread containing yeast, cherries, and yogurt.
- Yogurt with… milk, sour fruits, melons, hot drinks, meat, fish, mangos, and cheese.
- Eggs with… milk, meat, yogurt, melons, cheese, fish and bananas
- Honey and ghee taken in equal quantities can be poisonous.
If you’d like to learn more about Ayurveda and how it can help you with weight loss, check out Dr. Kshirsagar’s course below.
Belly Fat + Your Body Type
According to Ayurveda, all people are a unique blend of three constitutions or doshas, and their blend is called their Prakruti. Depending on the particular ratio of the three dosha, their nutritional needs change.
Digestive fire (Agni), also plays a very important role in this. One should eat what the body can fully digest, so there is no leftover undigested foodstuff in the body.
Eat according to your body constitution in order to stay fit.
Vata Body Type
Take Vata reducing herbs. Practice a Vata reducing diet and lifestyle. Include complex carbohydrates (whole grains and starchy vegetables) and avoid refined sugar.
Pitta Body Type
Have Pitta reducing foods. Eat larger quantities of sweet or building foods as well as heavy and cooling foods, making sure to have enough protein. Avoid red meat, oily, greasy or fried foods, and sugars. Raw salads and green vegetables are the best foods to reduce weight and to counter sugar addiction.
Kapha Body Type
Have Kapha reducing food. Avoid refined sugars, salt, sweet fruits, bread, pastry, red meat, fruit juices, cold liquids and oils. Spice teas, vegetable juices, steamed vegetables, beans, and whole grains are good. Take less sleep, no naps, and do strong, aerobic exercise.
Hot digestive herbs like black pepper, ginger, turmeric, and trikatu burn up the fat and raise the digestive fire. Bitter herbs like Picrorrhiza (kutaki), triphala and Guggul are beneficial. Take smaller quantities of light, dry, and warm foods.
Maintain regular mealtimes with minimum snacking throughout the day. Plenty of hot spices should be taken with each meal.
The 3-Season Diet, According to Dr. John Doulliard 5
This is the best time for a low-fat, low-calorie diet. Throughout time animals have shed off their winter fat layer with “spring greens” and sprouts. This is a natural time to cleanse and reduce.
Summer is the best time for a diet high in carbohydrates when the days are longer and we burn more energy. Nature supports this with an abundance of fruits, vegetables, and grains.
Winter is the best time for a protein-rich diet. This includes fall because most winter foods are harvested in the fall, and last throughout the cold months, providing deep warmth and sustenance.
19 Easy And Effective Ayurvedic Tips For A Flat Belly
Anyone regardless of their constitution can follow these tips.
- Maintain a regular daily routine. Try to wake up before 6 am.
- Drink two teaspoons of honey and two teaspoons of lemon juice with one glass of warm water. This remedy readily burns the fat of the belly.
- Exercise in the morning for at least 40 minutes per day, four days a week. Or practice pranayama and yoga for 20 minutes daily.
- Have a light nourishing breakfast of cooked apple, toast, cooked barley or oatmeal.6
- Use spices and herbs that are suitable for you while cooking. Choose from fenugreek, turmeric, cumin, mustard, asafoetida, curry leaves, ginger, black pepper, cloves, and cinnamon.
- Boil water with fresh ginger and drink frequently throughout the day.
- Make lunch your main meal. Dinner should be as light as possible.
- For dinner, eat light one-dish meals, or vegetable or lentil soups.
- Do not sleep during the day.
- Keep regular timings for meals. Avoid eating late at night.
- Concentrate on your food and what you are eating. Eat fresh and seasonal vegetables and fruit.
- Eat freshly cooked warm food. It strengthens digestive fire (agni) which helps digestion.
- Eat food which is moist in nature and not fried. It tastes better, ignites the digestive fire (agni), builds tissues (dhatus) and increases strength.
- Follow this sequence while having food. First, eat carbohydrates or sweet things (madhurrasatmak) then sour (amla) and salty (lavanrasatmak) and at last pungent (katu), bitter (tikta) and astringent (kashayrasatmakahar).
- Eat only when you are hungry.
- Eat three meals a day and avoid snacking.
- Take a walk after a meal.
- Replace caffeinated and carbonated beverages with herbal spiced teas.
- One day fasting per week is good for health.
Triphala For Weight Loss
It is helpful to take of triphala powder every night for reducing belly fat. Take one half to one teaspoon of triphala powder in one cup of warm water. Let steep for ten minutes and drink one hour after dinner daily.7
Breathing Exercises (Pranayama)
Easy breathing exercises (pranayama) enhance weight loss and aids in achieving the flat belly you dream for.
Bhastrika pranayama strengthens the heart and lungs, improves the digestion and calms the mind.
Breath Of Fire
Kapalbhati pranayama stimulates the metabolic rate, producing heat and flushing out wastes and toxins.
Right Nostril Breathing
Surya bhedi tones the digestive organs.
Yoga For A Flat Belly
Yoga can help greatly in the reduction of belly fat and fat deposits in the body. There are several positions which are helpful in the reduction of weight.
Bow pose (dhanurasana), boat pose (naukasana), fish pose (matsyasana), cobra pose (bhujangasana), half plow pose (ardha halasana), half lord of the fishes pose (ardha matsyendrasana) are a few of the most effective yogasanas for belly fat.
Ten minutes of sun salutations (surya namaskar) every morning improves cardiorespiratory fitness, and promote weight management.8
Obesity is not because it runs in the family; it is because no one runs in the family.
Regular exercise like walking, jogging, running, swimming and cycling helps in losing weight safely. Try to take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk instead of drive. Walk 30 steps every 30 minutes.
Ultimately keeping weight under control is a challenge that has to be taken up individually. Ayurvedic management says that weight imbalance should be corrected before it could contribute to other health problems.
If you are determined enough to lose weight and get a flat belly in the quickest time without any side effects, follow these Ayurvedic tips. When you follow these tips religiously, weight management will become a reality.
Also imagining a slimmer, smarter, healthier you, will help in exercising and eating right continuously.
Please consult a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner before following the weight management guidelines mentioned in this article.
1 Charaka Sutra sthana chapter 21, verse 4.
2 Charak sutrasthan chapter 21, verse 6.
3 Vasant Lad, M.A.Sc. 2007. Textbook of Ayurveda: Fundamental Principles: Volume 2. The Ayurvedic Press, Albuquerque, NM. pg 253-254.
4 Astang Hriday Sutrasthana chapter 5, verse 14.
5 Dr. John Douillard. 2000. 3-Season Diet. Three Rivers Press, New York. pg 9-10.
6 Nutritive value of Indian Foods. Published by Indian Council of Medical research – Hyderabad.
7 The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies by Dr. Vasant Lad.
8 J Bodyw Mov Ther. Acute effects of Surya Namaskar on the cardiovascular & metabolic system. 2011 Jul;15(3):343-7. Epub 2010 Jun 22. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21665111