Ayurveda and Obesity

A young boy to his mother after sitting for his breakfast……

Mummy…..i want only 2 iddlis…that’s enough…

His grandmother who was sitting nearby him on the table…..started saying……

Oh…ho….Geeta…how much times I have told you to feed him with 6 or 7 iddlis…..that time you did not listen to me….now see…what he says….

Geeta: Sanjay…..my dear boy….don’t you want to grow big and strong…..like your daddy…..if you want to grow big, you should eat more……see your daddy …..how he is…..! How much food he eats…..how strong he is…..with a big body…….

Thie is a typical breakfast scene from a family in the city….

Thousands of families are misled in the manner the boy was made…..do you know what will be the outcome of this? He will become like his daddy…….

Is this the real strength that we want? Is this the real health that we should focu…….?

Its time for us to rethink the situation. Should we be made to eat more than what we need? Should we grow big like….Sanjay’s Daddy……?….or should we stay like Sanjay?

Well the time has not yet run out….. We have enough time to think how our children should be.

So Think….Its always better to stay slim like Sanjay rather than growing fat like his dad……in the name of health…..

Ayurveda advises that staying slim is always gifted that being fat……

WHAT IS OBESITY?

Food is the substance that we require to give us energy and essential components to build up the body tissues and maintain its normal functions. It should only be taken in quantity according to our requirement. When this intake gets more than output in the form of physical work, excess energy is stored in body in the form of fats for further use in emergency like fasting or fever etc….. when this fats gets excessively higher, they get deposited in varoius parts of body mainly abdomen, thighs, buttocks, chest etc, leading to enlargement of these areas. This is called obesity.

Ayurveda defines obese as a person in whom his chest, abdomen, thighs etc shake when he jumps or runs or does some physical activity……

Obesity is a physical, mental and emotional disorder….

CAUSES FOR OBESITY OR STHOULYATA

• Eating more than what is needed – People eat till their stomach have not even a space for air. Eating more calorie foods than what is required daily will cause deposition of fats, thus makes a person obese.

• Lack of physical exercise – this is one of the important things that we miss today. Initially people used to wake up early and do a long walk or run for a few miles. Now people get up only late and they do not have time to do their exercise. Children initially used to play at lot a school and home. Now they sit in front of computer games instead.

• Technological innovations /Work nature – People now have more of sedentary jobs than physical work jobs. As technology is more and more advanced, the work that people have to do decreases. People now don’t work in farms or yards.

• Laziness – Keeping servants in the house for house hold work rather than doing it themselves. This leads to non-utilization of energy, thus causing obesity.

• Long work schedules – Long hours of sitting in front of a computer or sitting and writing a ledger without any other physical activity.

• Continuous munching of food stuffs wherever you go. – Wherever you go, you have readymade foods and it’s a time-pass for people to munch something. These foods are having higher calorie. They increase the fats.

• Leaving behind healthy foods and going behind fast foods – People now prefer packed foods like chips or vegetable rolls or burgers rather than vegetable salads or fruit salads, due to their easy availability and easy transportability and longer shelf life and of course, palatability.

• Food advertising – Increased advertising of packed fast foods in another major cause. Fried items are being packed with different artificial sweeteners are marketed. It is the children, teenagers and youth who fall into such mishaps.

• Increased cost of healthy products – cost of the fruits and vegetables is increasing very high day by day. Today you will only get 1 Kg of Onion for Rs. 50rs while u’ll get ½ a Kg of fried chips for Rs 20.

• Marketing of slimming products – Many Slimming products which are available in market are misguiding the public. Reduction of weight without any exercise and food intake as you wish is what they claim. People go behind such ads and get more health problems.

• Hereditary – there is a family background for obesity. If your parents are obese, you are likely to get obese.

• Secondary weight gain – due to diseases like hypothyroidism, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome etc

• Emotional factors – some people eat more when they are having emotional disturbances like grief, anger etc.

• Sleeping in the day time – Ayurveda says that sleeping in day time is a reason for obesity.

• Smoking – smoking increases obesity

• Side effects of certain drugs-Many different drugs — including contraceptives, steroid hormones, diabetes drugs, some antidepressants, and blood pressure drugs — can cause weight gain. Use of these drugs is on the upswing.

• Pollution

• Air conditioning- More energy is burnt out if the surrounding temperature is either too hot or cold.

Pregnancy – increases obesity, but after delivery she will come back to her normal figure in most of the cases.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF OBESITY?

• Abdomen starts bulging out and thus the dress will be tight

• Chest starts sagging.

• Increase in weight on a scale.

• BMI (Body Mass Index) increases – is calculated from weight in kg/height in meter2.

BMI

18.5–24.9 Normal weight

25.0–29.9 Overweight

30.0–39.9 Obese

40.0 and above Extreme obesity

• Looses Stamina to do physical work.

• Feels lazy and more sleepy

WHY IS TREATMENT NECESSARY IN OBESE?

If obese, in future, there is a higher chance of getting…..

• Metabolic Syndrome or Syndrome X – Apple shaped abdomen or abdominal obesity, high triglyceride level, lower HDL levels, Higher Fasting Blood Sugar.

• Heart problems – increased weight –results in increased cholesterol in blood – causes formation of clots in blood vessels to heart – leads to chest pain – ends in heart attack.

• High Blood Pressure.

• Stroke – Formation of clots in the brain – leading to paralysis

• Type 2 Diabetes

• Osteoarthritis – increase in weight – causes more pressure on joints – leading to wearing away of joint

• Menstrual irregularity and infertility complaints

• Cancers – especially in colon, breast, endometrial and gall bladder

• Gall stones

TREATMENT or WEIGHT REDUCTION PLAN

Ayurveda says that it is very difficult to cure an obese person. So it is a time consuming process. All of a sudden wonders will not be achieved by any medication or treatment.

4 Plans of treatment:

 Food and drink Plan

Exercise Plan

 Medicine and Treatment plan

 Mental Stress Reduction Plan

Goals in general:

 Allot a few months to lose the weight by setting short term and realistic goals. You can lose an average of 2-3 kilos a month.

 Make slow and steady changes in your dietary habits. Do not reduce your food intake drastically. Replace high calorie and fattening foods with healthy and low-cal alternatives.

 Prepare yourself mentally that losing weight is a slow and steady process that would require a lot of patience from your side.

A) Food and Drink Plan

Food and drink Plan has an inevitable role in obesity treatment. Food and Drink Plan has 3 aspects: – Qualitative, Quantitative and Time.

Qualitative Plan refers to the nutritional proportion that we eat. Eat more of vegetables and fruits that contain fibre, minerals and vitamins and reduce carbohydrate and fat containing foods. Eat more of fibre containing foods like cabbage and oats. Include Barley and Wheat more in your food.

Quantitative plan refers to the amount of food we eat. Reduce the amount of food gradually. Do not start do severe fasting. Eat only upto ½ of your stomach, leave rest ¼ rth to water and ¼ rth free. Do not over fill the stomach. Drink at least 2-3 glasses before you eat food so that amount you eat will be less and thus helps in weight reduction.

Time plan is following the correct time for having the food. Food timings should be correct and properly maintained. The time difference 2 meals should be 4 hours. That is intermediate heavy foods should be avoided like some fried snacks at 11.00 am and 4.00 pm. If at all feeling hungry at this time, have some fruit salads or vegetable salads or fruit juice or Oats that are with Low Calories.

B) Exercise Plan

Exercise is the next main plan. Ayurveda focuses and says that exercise is the key point to reduce the obesity. Daily brisk walking or jogging for a few miles will reduce the excess weight. Sports activities are encouraged. Ayurveda advises athletics, swimming, wrestling, martial arts etc that bring good amount of energy utilization. This should be done till the person starts breathing through his mouth. Never till he gets exhausted. Practice for a short interval initially and gradually build up the time for exercise.

C) Medicine Plan

Medicine Plan is the next intervention method. This is advised to persons whose BMI is greater than 25. Medicines alone does not have any role in treatment of obesity. Its only with the combination with the above 3 plans it works good.

Following are the commonly used medications:

• Lemon juice + Honey: This is one of the best remedies for helping to combat obesity. Mix 1 teaspoon of fresh honey with the juice of a half of a lime. This should be added to a glass of water and should be consumed throughout the day.

• Water + Honey

• Intake of Takra(Butter-Milk), medicated if needed.

• Arishtas Like Lodrasavam, Ayaskriti, Devadarvaristam etc

• Triphala/gudooci/sarshapa/mustha Powder + Honey

• agnimantha Kashayam + Kanmada Bhasmam

• Vidangadi Choornam + Honey

• Asana kashayam + Honey

• Vara asanadi Kashayam

• Khadira + Venga Kash with Triphala Churnam+Honey

• Varanadi Kashayam + Honey

Medicines are given only after assesing the condition of the patient.

To Drink: Water boiled with Asana +/Khadira

If BMI is greater than 26: – IP Treatment is reqiured. Special inportance is given to Udwartanam with Triphala Churnam or Kolakulathadi Choornam. Panchakarma is also very essential in this situation. It cleanse out and scrape the unwanted fats and make the body healthy. Out of the PanchaKarmas, Prime importance is to Vamana and Kashaya Vasti.

D) Mental Stress Reduction Plan

Achieved through Yoga, Pranayama and Meditation.

PREVENTION OF OBESITY

DONT’S DO’S

Food and Drinks

Nature of Food and Drinks

 Excessively eat meat, especially beef fries, chicken fries etc.

 Excessively use cheese, butter and ice-cream

 Excessively use fried and packed snacks like chips etc

 Excessively use yellow part of egg.

 Excessively use curd.

 Artifical sweetened soda, beverage drinks and soft drinks

Food Timings and habits

 Avoid eating in between like at 11 am and 4 pm.

 Do not eat fried items in the intermediate times.

Ill-Healthy Habits

 Stop Smoking

 Stop Alcohol

Activity

 Don’t be idle.

Exercise

 Do not Proceed your day without exercise

 Strenous and tiresome excercises should be avoided.

Sleep

 Do not sleep in the day time.

Pranayama

 Do not over do.

 Do not practice it without an expert advice.

At Work Place

 Do not countinously work for more than 2 hours.

 Stop having Bajjis or any other fried items at odd times like 11 am or 4 pm.

 Stop countinous munching.

 Reduce the number of pastries and other heavy calorie foods in parties

Rationale

 Never go behind any fake adds showing that they will reduce your weight within 1 week or so.

 Drink fat free milk

 Drink buttermilk in plenty

 Include cooked beans, peas etc

 Eat Whole-grain foods, such as whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, and brown rice.

 Eat more of fruits

 Eat more of vegetables.

 Drink fruit juice, carrot juice etc

 Drink plenty of water

 Follow a constant food timing.

 If feeling hungry at intermediate times have some fruits or vegetable salads which are nutritious and with less calories..

 Be active always

 Do exercise daily. Consider it similar to your meals.

 Practice them according to your comfortability. They are meant only to burn the excess calories in your body and not to show how strong you are.

 Sleep well during the night for at least 6-8 hours.

 Practice it daily, immediately after waking up from bed for at least 10 mins.

 After working for an hour or two, have a walk from your seat, chat with your mates for 10 – 15 mins. Break the work into schedules of 1 hour with entertaiment in between.

 Do walk to the place where you get water to drink and food to eat rather than keeping it on table for easy reach.

 Participate in Parties. But don’t make you stomach participate in that.

 Understand that weight reduction is a slow process and that can be achieved only through a sense of CONTROL.

NEVER TO MISS….

 Record your Waist Size Weekly…..and keep a comparison…..

 Check Yourself in front of the mirror daily…facing your face and your side…

 Think about your stomach and body before you eat…..

Reduction of weight is not an easy procedure like eating your favorite food…..It is very difficult and needs control on your body and mind…..

Only well planned and well guided health plans will make you healthy from Obesity……