People can and do disagree on pretty much everything but if you want to get a clear consensus of opinion on a subject ask a group of individuals if they want to gain weight during the holidays. I’ll bet you (and I think I will win) that every person will answer that of course they don’t wish to gain weight. But, alas and alack, many of us do put on a few pounds during holiday time.
The holidays are a dangerous time for weight gain. But, if we follow general Ayurvedic guidelines we can maintain our weight.
Following are some Ayurvedic tips for maintaining ideal weight.
1. Ayurveda tells us that no one size fits all! The next time you read about that perfect diet in a magazine remember that it will work for some people, but not for everyone. We each have a unique constitution and the weight loss plan that works best for you depends on your particular constitution. To learn more about your constitutional type pick up a copy of Healing Depression the Mind-Body Way. Sandra and I have included questionnaires that will help you zero in on this. If you are a person who can follow a diet, the information in our book will assist you in deciding what type of diet will give you the best results. If you are following a diet right now and it isn’t working for you, toss it out. After you learn about your constitutional type you will be better able to find an eating style that fits your needs.
2. Ayurveda suggests that dieting should not be about calorie counting. A focus on calorie counting causes restriction and restriction puts stress on the mind-body. Stress only brings about more physiological imbalances, mentally, physically, and certainly emotionally. Ayurveda tells us that lasting change is achieved step by step and should be done in an easy way. Make one small change in your lifestyle and when that change becomes a habit and feels good to you, then add something else. Eventually your lifestyle will support your ideal weight.
3. In order to lose weight Ayurveda tells us to focus on ama reduction and optimizing metabolism. Ama is the Sanskrit word for toxins. Ama takes many forms (the plaque on our teeth is ama) but is frequently large molecules of undigested food that clog the digestive tract, i.e. “gunk”. Ama gets in the way of optimal metabolic power and can contribute to cravings. When we diminish ama the nutrients from the food we eat can be distributed throughout the body, and communication among the physical systems is unimpeded. The eventual result is that we feel satisfied after eating and can maintain a healthy glow, a vibrant spirit and an ideal weight.
In Chapter 14 of Healing Depression the Mind-Body Way we offer many tips for ama reduction and the creation of a healthy metabolism.
4. If you do gain a few pounds over the holidays we suggest you begin a routine of consuming only liquids one day a week. You can eat anything as long as it is in liquid (pureed) form. Liquids are easy to digest and help an overworked digestive system to recuperate.
5. Of course on holidays you won’t be following a regular schedule but before and after those special days you can create a routine that will help you to maintain your weight. Ayurveda always suggests making lunch the biggest meal of the day and eating a small dinner. This is a good idea for your overall health and will be helpful if you wish to lose weight. Digestive power is strongest around noontime. Soup is an excellent choice for dinner.
6. Eating before 7:30 p.m. is suggested because digestive power is weakest at night when the body is shutting down and preparing for rest. Make sure your food is warm. Cold foods cause a build-up of ama (toxins.)
Sandra and I hope that if you are at your ideal weight Ayurvedic tips can help you to stay there. If you wish to lose weight don’t stress or strain. Most diets do not work because they encourage restriction and restriction is stressful, therefore, in the end these calorie-counting diets are bound to fail. Put your focus on reducing ama and encouraging a healthy metabolism.
We send our best wishes to you for perfect health, happiness and we wish you happy holidays and joy with your waist line!