It’s natural to gain a few extra pounds over the winter. I like to think of it as Mother Nature trying to keep us warm and healthy in colder temperatures. While comforting, most of us are ready to ditch the extra weight as we approach spring.
If you are considering a diet, I have a better idea. Don’t. Diet. Don’t count calories, torture yourself on the treadmill (unless it’s your thing) or make drastic changes to what you are eating. Instead, take some advice from my Ayurvedic playbook. Your body will thank you, and you will have better results.
Ayurveda, a traditional healing system with a track record thousands of years old, teaches us how to optimize our wellness by living in harmony with Nature. The concept is simple – Nature has a balance. We are part of Nature. When we find harmony with Nature, we optimize our health. It’s that simple.
If you want to lose weight, and keep it off, ditch your diet and try these five Ayurvedic weight loss secrets instead:
Eat Your Main Meal at Noon
If you only do one thing, eat your main meal at noon. Why? In Ayurveda, we have a concept known as the Ayurvedic Clock. Traditional cultures, and farmers, have listened to this rhythm as long as humans have lived. It tells us the best time to eat, sleep, exercise, meditate, etc. In modern life, this can be mindblowing, right? And, for you skeptics, here is the science.
This Ayurvedic clock is the instruction book to our “natural rhythm” called a circadian rhythm. When we harmonize with this rhythm daily and seasonally, we optimize our digestion and metabolic functions. When we eat our main meal at noon, we eat our largest meal when our body is best prepared to digest. We get the most from our nutrition, and we optimize our ability to eliminate toxins.
I get it; our culture has made dinner the main meal. Making this change can be a challenge, especially if you feed a family accustomed to large meals in the evening. It requires a bit of a mind shift and then habit shift. You are creating a new ritual. But it can be done – and changing “when” you eat is often easier than changing “what” you eat.
Don’t Eat After 6pm
Just like eating your main meal at noon, eating your final meal by 6 pm helps optimize your digestion. We all know how we feel when we eat that large meal late at night. We go to bed feeling like we ate a brick. We wake up feeling heavy, and sluggish. When you eat late, your body is forced to digest while you sleep. Late eating can eventually result in a build-up of toxins and weight gain. When you wrap up digestion before you go to bed, your body can do what it needs to do while you sleep – rest and restore.
Replace Your Wine With A Healthy Ritual
Yes, I know – I have entered sacred territory. Not a popular suggestion. But if you indulge regularly, these empty calories may contribute to weight gain. An occasional glass of wine – 1-2 per week – will not make you fat. But, drinking 2+ glasses each evening will contribute more to your waistline than to your wellness.
What to do instead? Create a new ritual. We typically reach for wine to relax, unwind and de-stress at the end of the day. Instead, try a walk, gentle yoga class, Epsom salt bath, or a cup of tea. Not your cup of tea? Then take the time to figure out what your cup of tea is. You’re welcome.
Drinking with friends? Save it for the weekend, and do it in moderation. Better yet, create a new “girls’ night out” ritual that centers on something other than drinking – recipe sampling, art class, or game night.
Take Triphala To Improve Gut Health
“Gut health” is currently all the rage. But, in Ayurveda, gut health has been the focus for thousands of years and, along with it, Triphala. Triphala is one of my go-to favorite Ayurvedic herbs. It’s a blend of three Indian Fruits, and is traditionally used in Ayurvedic cleanses to balance the gut. And, when taken with probiotics, Triphala may be the secret to longevity. Studies have shown Triphala is effective for weight loss. How does it work? Triphala helps keep the stomach, small intestine, and large intestine healthy by flushing toxins from the body. It tones and strengthens the colon tissue, improving digestion and making your metabolism more efficient.
Give your digestion a break, and become a fat-burning machine between meals. On average, you need three to four hours to digest a meal. When you snack, this process is disrupted. Snacking causes digestive disturbance, including gas and bloating. Not only do you compromise absorbing the nutrition from the first meal, but you also start building up more toxins – and fat.
Where To Start?
Take it one step at a time. Choose the suggestion that resonates with you first, and start there. Once successful, move on to the next step. Consider a guided seasonal cleanse as well, to jumpstart your mind and body rebalance. If you take your time and celebrate small successes, you will eventually meet your goals – while looking and feeling your best.
Which of the Ayurvedic Weight Loss Secrets do you plan to try first? Please share in the comments below!