Fighting Fat With Ayurveda: Part 1

One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight, and for good reason. Excess weight gain is linked to multiple medical conditions including heart disease, diabetes and cancer. The extra pounds can also make you feel more tired and mentally cloudy. There are many ways to lose weight, but the methods that give you lasting results are the ones that change your daily habits, one step at a time.

Over the next several weeks, I will be sharing some of the most powerful ayurvedic secrets for removing ama from your body and helping you achieve your weight loss resolution. Join me as I coach you through the fastest way to shrink your waistline and bring balance into your life in 2011! 

Ayurveda offers a unique perspective on weight loss with the concept of ama, or toxins. Ama results from the accumulation of impurities in our bodies as a result of improper diet, chronic stress and impurities from the environment. Some of these toxins are water soluble, making them easier to remove from the body. But other toxins are fat soluble, meaning that they become sequestered into fat cells. The fat cells expand as they accumulate these toxins, making it more difficult to lose weight. This leads to those hard-to-remove pockets of fat around the stomach, hips and thighs. 

Ama clogs the channels of the body and over time it becomes even more difficult to remove these impurities from fat cells. That is why as we grow older, it can be challenging to lose fat through dieting and exercise alone. To help with the removal of ama, and therefore assist with weight loss, ayurveda recommends simple detoxification programs that can be performed on a daily basis. Many of these programs are simple regimens that you can do at home.

The first step is to determine if you have an excessive amount of toxins in your body. If you answer “yes” to the majority of the statements below, you have an excessive accumulation of ama:

1.  I tend to feel obstruction/blockages in my body—constipation, congestion/heaviness in the head area, blocked nose, or a general feeling of non-clarity.

2.  When I wake up in the morning, I do not feel clear; it takes me quite some time to feel really awake.

3.  I tend to feel tired or exhausted mentally and physically.

4.  I get common colds or similar ailments several times a year.

5.  I tend to feel heaviness in the body.     

6.  I tend to feel that something is not functioning properly in the body – breathing, digestion, elimination or other.

7.  I tend to feel lazy (i.e., the capacity to work is there, but there is no inclination). 

8.  I often suffer from indigestion.     

9.  I tend to spit repeatedly or have a bad taste in my mouth.

10.  Often, I have no taste for food and no real appetite.     

11.  My tongue is often coated with a thick film, especially in the morning.

Once you recognize that you have an accumulation of ama in your body, then it is time to take action to reduce these toxins. The New Year is the perfect time to start these changes. It represents a time of hope for improving your daily routine. It is also the perfect time to prep your body for the upcoming season in which your body naturally goes through a detoxification – springtime.

The first ayurvedic secret is the Detox Tea. This tea is one of my favorite tools for fighting fat. The combination of ingredients helps to improve digestion, break down fat, and “unclog” the channels in our body by removing ama. The key is to make the tea fresh every morning, place it in a thermos, and take small sips of it throughout the day. It is best to drink it warm or hot.

Detox Tea:

Boil 4-5 cups of water in the morning.

Add ½ tsp of the following seeds to the water and continue to let it boil for about 5 minutes with the lid on.

Whole cumin seedsWhole coriander seedsWhole fennel seeds

Strain out the seeds and pour the liquid into a thermos. If the tea is too strong or if you experience some initial discomfort, reduce the amount of seeds to ¼ tsp for 2 weeks, and then increase it back to ½ tsp.

In a couple of weeks you will have your next fat-fighting tip from the ancient healing tradition of ayurveda …