"We are what we eat” - enough to explain the importance of proper food and food habits in life.
Although there are a lot of advances in science and technology, the humanity is left with innumerable health problems. Over weight is one among the lifestyle disorder where the person will be attempted to watch his weight on and often. Thus, food plays an important role in our day to day life for the maintenance of our health, energy and various activities.
Controlling your weight from gaining is quite a difficult task if you are a person who is habituated to faulty dietary habits which includes binge eating, excess intake of junk foods and sedentary lifestyle.
So the first step in controlling your weight should be to reduce or limit the practice of the above said factors.These are some of the tips and guidelines advocating ayurvedic dietary principles that will help you prevent from excess fat depositions causing weight gain.
How should be the diet plan?
The diet plan should be such that, the food should have the following qualities
- Include food which digests slowly: this helps to slow down the metabolic process thereby reducing the hunger.
- Include food which is rich in dietary fiber: this helps to regulate the speed of digestion and contributes to satiety;
Food which has a low glycemic index: foods which are low in glycemic index takes longer to convert into glucose, and thus the sugar is released into blood slower and more steadily, thus slow the digestion process..
Weight loss is about diet quality not quantity!
Dietary modification to be followed
- Don’t skip your meals!
- Develop a habit of eating food rich in proteins, minerals and vitamins in adequate amount and carbohydrates and fats in least amount.
- Weight should be reduced gradually and steadily just like gaining weight. As it may cause reduced glucose levels leading to hypoglycemic changes such as giddiness, fatigue etc.
- The caloric requirement should be calculated and adjusted accordingly, for this you can use Mifflin-St Jeor formula.
Diet for weight watchers
Fruits and vegetables
- Intake of snake guard, bottle gourd, bitter gourd, lady finger, ridge gourd, drumstick, fenugreek, gherkins, French beans, indian gooseberry, cucumber, carrots, cabbage, mint leaves, coriander will be helpful in managing weight gain.
- All fruits especially citrus fruits, pomegranate, papaya, apple, guava , pears,musk melon, pineapple, except mango and banana can be a good weight losing aid.
The potential role of fruit and vegetables in the management of overweight and obesity is related to their relatively high content of dietary fiber and are hard to digest. They are also rich in antioxidant, thus reduce LDL Oxidation plus provides essential micro-nutrients.
Mode of intake - can be taken in the form of salads, salad dressing, soups, raw vegetable intake etc.
- Intake of fruit salads, which are rich in anti oxidants in between the meals helps to manage your hunger.
Cereals and pulses
- Food items such as rice( especially 1 year old), barley, horse gram, Bengal gram, green gram are said to be good in controlling weight.
- Studies have proven that they help in reducing the triglyceride levels. Also it helps to pacify hunger and they take long time for digestion. Pulse derived fiber and resistent starch have been shown to alter energy expenditure and fat oxidation as well as visceral fat deposition
Mode of intake- Yusha is a special ayurvedic preparation by cooking one part of grain in 18 parts of water. Yusha(soup) prepared out of horse gram is proved to be best in weight loss as it takes long time for digestion and gives sense of satiety.
- Water boiled with fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds,10 gms each in 50 ml water is good in enhancing digestion.
- Water boiled with barley powder(10 gms) in 50 ml of water is said to be effective in weight loss.
- Buttermilk is also good in weight loss.
- Skimmed off milk is beneficial to maintain nutrition in obesity.
Madhudaka (honey mixed water)
Intake of 1 tablespoon honey mixed with lukewarm water daily is said to be an excellent remedy for controlling weight gain.
For best result, take this mixture in empty stomach in morning hours.
- Last but not the least, always drink sufficient quantity of water to maintain the electrolyte balance.
Therefore, dietary modification in overweight is a prime factor because the ingested food material should act as an agent in body, keeping it safe from manifestation of various complications.