Although restrictive meal plans and intensive workouts will always be the standard allies of weight loss, there are currently plenty of other options on the market. Using weight loss supplements isn’t uncommon nowadays, and if done correctly it can change your life. But you also need to eat healthy while taking them. Ayurvedic weight loss is based on dietary balance and portion control, which is why incorporating the six Ayurvedic tastes into every single meal is a good way to not only enrich your menu but also stay fit and healthy.
But first of all, you need to understand how they work.
What is Ayurveda? The Three Doshas
Ayurveda is the ancient Indian wisdom which professes that true health comes from exquisite equilibrium among the three humors, or doshas as they are referred to in Sanskrit. They are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, and they are responsible for all the bodily functions that man possesses. Depending on what your daily nutrition is, their state will vary.
When the doshas are balanced, you are able to carry your life out properly. But when one of them is either aggravated or diminished, it invites discomfort and disease straight into your vital organs.
Before seeing how that happens, let’s go through a brief presentation of the three humors, their characteristics and the natural elements that dominate them.
- Tightly connected to air and ether, Vata is always changing and flowing. Thus, people dominated by it are enthusiastic and expressive, yet unstable. Sudden and unpredictable changes of mind are not uncommon to these individuals. The bodily function of movement is closely controlled by Vata.
- Dominated by fire, people in which Pitta is predominant tend to get angry easily and sweat a lot. Their skin might even exhibit a pinkish hue at times. However, they are also incredibly sharp, focused and intelligent. Pitta promotes the bodily function of digestion.
- Comprised of earth and water, Kapha makes one reliable, but also slightly immobile, even stagnant. This is why those who exhibit too much of it are more likely to be couch potatoes in dire need of physical exercise and awakening. However, the function of Kapha is stability, which means that people who have plenty of it are more likely to be calm and collected in any situation.
Ayurvedic weight loss traditions say these three functions need to be in the perfect state of equilibrium especially if you’re planning to lose weight mindfully. Too much or too little of one of them leads to imbalance, discomfort, and even illness in extreme cases. The way to keep them in the best shape is by eating right. And this is achieved by combining the six Ayurvedic tastes.
The Six Ayurvedic Tastes or Rasas
Culturally known as rasas in Sanskrit, the six Ayurvedic tastes usually incorporate one or two of the natural elements and stimulate the doshas in various ways. To achieve the perfect formula, you need to include each of them in every meal you cook. Here are the Ayurvedic tastes, as well as some examples of corresponding foods:
1. Sweet (Swadu)
The Ayurvedic sweet taste is made up of water and earth, thus balancing the Vata and Pitta by decreasing them and increasing Kapha. It’s by far the most nourishing of the tastes, with its grounding qualities providing the body with strength, longevity and tissue health. It is oily and moist, which slows down digestion and promotes weight gain. So careful with this one.
Most grains, such as rice, corn, wheat and barley, are sweet, as is milk and its derived products. Legumes also fall into this spectrum, together with cooked vegetables, namely carrots, beetroot, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and cauliflower. Last, but not least, sweet fruit is defining for this taste. They are mangoes, grapes, dates, figs, pears, and coconuts predominantly.
2. Sour (Amla)
Sour foods decrease Vata and increase Pitta and Kapha due to their heavy bond with water and fire. It stimulates one’s appetite and improves the entire process of digestion at the same time. Furthermore, it stimulates emotional well-being.
Most fermented products are sour, such as wine, vinegar, and pickled foods. Certain fruits also fit in this category, and they are oranges, lemons, limes, pineapple, passion fruit and tamarind. An unexpected addition to the list is carbonated drinks, such as beer or soda, which are also considered sour.
3. Salty (Lavana)
Just like the sour taste before it, Ayurvedic saltiness decreases Vata while increasing Pitta and Kapha due to its belonging to the circles of fire and earth. Its properties include hydration and the promotion of healthy digestive processes. However, excessive consumption is detrimental to the skin and blood.
When it comes to corresponding foods for this, they are easy to single out. Any kind of salt fits the bill, including rock salt, sea salt and Himalayan salt. On top of that, other foods to which it is added also pertain to the salty Ayurvedic taste. An example would be processed Deli meats, but they are not recommended for any healthy meal plan.
4. Bitter (Tiktha)
The bitter taste pertains to the natural element of air, making it light and purifying. It increases Vata and diminishes the rest, making it an excellent choice for flushing out toxins from our systems. Green leafy veggies such as spinach, kale and Brussel sprouts contain it, as do bitter ones such as chicory or gourd. Cocoa, olives, and grapefruit are also sources of Tiktha.
5. Pungent (Ushna)
Also known as the spicy hot Rasa, the pungent taste embodies fire and air, aggravating Vata and Pita, but balancing Kapha. It sustains digestive and respiratory health, while at the same time heightening the senses and sharpening your intelligence. But be careful not to go overboard, because it will make you angry and critical of the world.
Most spices belong to Ushna, including black pepper, chili, ginger, garlic, cumin, cardamom, mustard seeds, turmeric, anise, oregano, thyme, cinnamon and even mint. Some vegetables known to pack a punch make it on the list too. They are mainly onions, hot peppers and the different types of radishes.
6. Astringent (Kashaya)
Composed of air and earth, the astringent Ayurvedic taste is firm, cool and dry. This helps decrease Pitta and Kapha, but it does increase Vata in return. It is both purifying and strengthening, and it can be obtained from okra, lettuce, walnuts, hazelnuts, honey, turmeric, beans, peas, and lentils.
There are also fruits that pertain to Kashaya, such as persimmon, apples, pomegranate, unripe bananas and berries. While grounding, this taste also promotes the formation of intestinal gas, which is why moderate consumption is recommended.
Yoga for Weight Loss
There are many yoga poses for our doshas, the most important step is to figure out which dosha needs balancing. Once you’ve determined how to enter a more grounded state of mind and embodiment, it’s moving on to the next step which is intensity yoga for weight loss.
You’ll find many tutorials on yoga for weight loss with these basic principles:
- Heart rate elevation – Physically focused poses
- Mindful muscle building and mindful muscle strengthening
- Exercising bigger muscles to burn more calories
You can also choose a specific HIIT yoga practice that suits your needs. Here are 5 styles you can choose from:
- Vinyasa – the most fast-paced one, with a high cardiovascular element included.
- Hatha – sitting and standing will have you lose weight like crazy with this one.
- Bikram – also called “hot yoga” and it comes with an extra sweat.
- Iyengar – this one is for the more advanced yoga student as it shifts through a lot of asanas (postures) and pranayama (breathing).
- Forrest – intensity asanas that focus on core strengthening.
Ayurvedic weight loss is all about acquiring true balance to stay healthy and slim. This is why stimulating the equilibrium of the three doshas by incorporating all Six Ayurvedic Tastes into your dishes is essential for your general well-being. And it’s not hard to do either. All you need is a little ambition.
Author bio: Article provided by Luke Mitchell of www.DefendYourHealthcare.us Luke is an independent fitness instructor focused on mastering the science and art of nutrition while building a strong mind and a lean body.