With the new year comes new resolutions, and weight loss is number 1 on that list for most people.
Stats from Harris Interactive, (research in the Journal of Clinical Psychology), on top Americans resolutions found weight loss at number 1, with 21% of people making dropping the kilos their new year plan.
Weight loss is a big industry. There are endless diets, programs, supplements, wonder herbs, etc., that are claiming to help. If you’re in a battle with your weight, chances are you have probably tried the latest weight-loss trend with disappointing, and disheartening results.
Today we are going back to basics with some ancient Ayurvedic tips that assist in strengthening your metabolism – the key bodily system involved in achieving your ideal healthy weight. These tips not only help in losing weight, but also improve overall energy and wellness.
Ayurveda acknowledges that our digestion isn’t as strong in the evening as it is at lunchtime. When we go to sleep our digestion, metabolism and circulation slow down even further. When we eat a large evening meal our body can’t break down and assimilate properly. This puts strain on our vital organs which results in poorly digestive food and eventually creates toxins and weight gain.
So a large lunch and small dinner really is the key. Its best to eat 2-3 hours before going to bed to make sure the food is fully digested.
For best results it’s important to avoid the following foods in the evening; carbohydrates, dairy, meat, leftovers, cold foods, wheat, pasta and processed foods.
Just as Ayurveda says our digestions is less strong in the evening, they say it’s the strongest from the hours of 10am-2pm. As we have more digestive capacity during those hours, its best to take our main meal then. This also means that we have many hours left in the day to burn up and fully metabolise the food before we sleep.
Lunch should consist of warm, well-cooked foods with a wide variety of tastes. Warm food is essential as its more easily digested and assimilated than cold, raw foods. This actively supports a strong metabolism.
Ensure you are eating a good source of protein and fat with your meals. Yes, fat!! Good fats such as essential fatty acids (found in deep sea fish, ghee, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado, nuts, seeds) are our friend, and actually satisfy us. Fats send a signal to our brain saying that we are full and nourished. This will prevent overeating. It also prevents the body from developing food cravings – the nemesis to our weight loss goals at it leads to snacking! Food cravings also occur because of an imbalanced diet that includes restricted nutrient groups and tastes. So make sure you have a wide variety of foods and flavours at meal time.
Eating in an overly stimulating environment reduces your body’s ability to digest food as it divides your digestive energy between your external experience and your food. Distractions are putting your body into a sympathetic (fight and flight) response which is diverting the energy needed to break down food and stimulate the metabolism, to your brain or muscles.
Activities like watching TV while eating, playing on your iPhone, eating on the run or at your desk while still working, are actually blocking your weight loss ability.
Eat in a relaxed environment, listen to nice music, have light-hearted conversations and pay attention to the food you are eating. Rest and Digest is your motto!
Written by Tegan Wallis