Obesity is a condition in which an individual is significantly overweight, and an excessive amount of body fat has accumulated under the chin and on the breasts, belly, buttocks, and/or thighs. Though it is not a serious dis?ease in itself, it may shorten the span of life, as well as create diminished efficiency and a predisposition to diabetes, hypertension, low libido, and arthritis. Ultimately, obesity reduces happiness.
To a great extent, obesity is due to the socioeconomic problems of an affluent soci?ety. A prosperous life, a sedentary job, and lack of exercise are the major contributors to obesity. From an Ayurvedic point of view, the main causes of this condition are eating too much, sitting too much, and doing too little.
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Obesity is a kapha disorder. In obese indi?viduals the gastric fire is strong, but the cel?lular fire in the tissue is relatively low.Whatever excess food or calories a person consumes are not burned and instead turn into adipose tissue, leading to overweight and obesity.
There are numerous other potential causes. Certain hereditary factors of the endocrine system, such as excess production of growth hormone, may contribute to the condition. When women are pregnant, they may eat too much and be unable to lose the weight afterward. Stress may induce repeated emotional eating, leading to significant weight gain. Frequent munching between meals is also detrimental to maintaining a healthy weight. Certain drugs, including steroids and oral contraceptives, can change the metabolism and produce weight gain, as can insulin. Addictions, including alcohol and cigarettes, are often associated with obe?sity. But the main factor is usually eating too much, along with insufficient exercise.
Habitually drinking cold drinks and eat?ing fatty fried foods, dairy products such as cheese, yogurt, and ice cream, and consuming excess sugar and carbohydrates are all causative factors.
In treating obesity, the first step is to control what you eat. Follow the kapha-pacifying diet . Avoid habitually drinking cold drinks and eating fatty fried foods. Minimize dairy products such as cheese, yogurt, and ice cream. Be sure to include salad (without creamy dressings) and beans in your meals. Drink hot water instead of ice-cold drinks. Obese people generally hate hot water, but they should drink it, either plain or in herbal teas such as ginger, mint, or cinnamon.
If you like to eat meat, you can have some fish or chicken once a month, but no beef, lamb, or pork.
Do some regular exercise. A daily walk of at least half an hour is essential. And do some aerobic exercise, such as gentle jogging. Obese people hate jogging, but they should at least walk fast, carrying 2.5-pound hand-held weights. Swimming is also good exercise.
Lift weights to reduce body weight. Do some gentle weight lifting, using 5-pound weights to get started. This will help to burn adipose tissue. Also, muscle tissue burns calories more quickly than fat.
If you want to lose weight, you must understand some simple arithmetic. When you take in more calories than you burn off, you will gain weight. In order to lose weight, you must burn off more calories than you take
in. In practical terms, this means two things reducing your caloric intake, and increasing your output in the form of exercise. Follow the kapha-reducing diet, and increase the amount of exercise you do every day.
Immediately after exercise, kapha individuals will feel hungry and thirsty and will want to rush to the restaurant to have a cold drink and a bite to eat. But the cold drink will slow down the metabolism, defeating the gain from the exercise. And we know that the eating will be counterproductive. So after exercise heavy and obese people should skip snack and stay away from cold water and other cold drinks, and choose hot drinks such as herbal teas.
According to Ayurveda, the best policy regarding meals, if you are overweight, is to skip breakfast entirely (maybe have some hot herbal tea), then take your biggest meal at noon. Supper should be light. Don't snack between the two meals.
If you can't seem to skip breakfast, take your main meal then, early in the day. Have a light lunch and a lighter supper; skip supper entirely if you can.
Quit drink?ing alcohol and smoking. These emotional habits unduly stimulate jatar agni (gastric fire) and make a person hungry.
While eating your meals, listen to soft music and chew your food more, so that moderate eating gradually becomes habitual.
Most obese people do not love themselves. This is significant because there is a deep relationship between food and love. Food is the food of the body; love is the food of the soul. When an individual is missing love in a relationship,he or she may try to find love through eating, and food will become a substitute for love. When a woman misses her husband or a man misses his wife, they frequently begin to eat too much.
Obese people also hate how they look, and they hate looking in the mirror because they don't like what they see. When people hate their body, they become anxious and worried; then suddenly they become hungry and need to eat. This is not real hunger; it is false emotional hunger.
To help develop more love for yourself just as you are, try this technique. Go into your bathroom and remove all your clothes, or wear some shorts. Then take a good look at the person you see in the full-length mirror. Look at that image, starting at the head, the eyes, cheeks, lips, and neck; look at your chest, your belly, and so on.
As you look at the image in your mirror, at the same time look within. Ask yourself, do you like those eyes of yours? Do you love your nose? Don't you have some affection toward your own lips, your own chest?
In this way, gradually, by looking outside, into the mirror, and at the same time inside at your own inner observer, two things will happen. First, you will begin to feel that you are beyond your body, that you are something higher, nobler, greater, and more beau?tiful, that you are pure existence. Second, this process will also bring greater accep?tance, and you will start feeling more love for yourself. So look at yourself in the mirror, and love that person that you see.
A second important factor in loving your?self is to stop judging, comparing, and criticizing yourself. What you are is unique, and it is divine. Stopping judmgent, criti?cism, and comparison is the beginning of self-love.
These two exercises will really help.
Whenever you become hungry, drink a cup of hot water with 1 teaspoon honey and 10 drops of lime juice added. This will be a good substitute for eating and will help to melt the fat.
Here is an herbal formula that will help you lose weight.
Take 1/2 teaspoon of this mixture twice a day with 1 teaspoon honey, before meals.
In be?tween meals, if you like to munch, eat raisins, which are a mild laxative. Don't eat corn chips, which are salty and fatty and difficult to stop eating don't eat popcorn either. You might also try celery sticks or carrot sticks.
Use spices in cooking. The kapha-pacifying diet uses many spices, such as cumin, coriander, fennel, cardamom, gin?ger, cinnamon, and garam masala: These spices are good for kindling the gastric fire.
It is better to eat with friends, particularly with skinny people and people with good eating habit. You will be happy to be surrounded by them. But don't compare, thinking, "All my friends are thin, and I'm chubby." Be in the company of slim people, and be active with them. That will help to reduce your weight.
Certain gentle yoga asanas are helpful,- including the Palm Tree pose and the Triangle pose. Also, while sitting on the floor, bend forward as far a! you comfortably can, with the goal of eventually touching your head to your knees (You'll have to work up to this one gradually.) The Fish, Camel, Cobra, and Cow poses are simple, helpful postures you can easily perform. Remember, don't try to do them perfectly right away.
Bhastrika pranayama (Breath of Fire) will increase the rate at which your body burns off fat. Right Nostril breathing (surya bhedi) will also be helpful.
Obese people frequently like to take siestas, but this is a helpful practice. Don't sleep during tile day. Daytime sleep slows down agni (metab?olism) and increases kapha dosha. Rather, do some hard physical work, and watch less TV. Generally I find that obese people get fixed to the couch, watch TV, and drink soda pop.
If you follow these suggestions, you can def?initely take control of your weight problem. Don't try to lose a lot of weight all at once. That almost never brings long-term im?provement. Kapha individuals are noted for their ability to make steady, determined, consistent progress. So be persistent, and over time you will be successful.