Obesity is a medical condition which is the result of excess body fat that accumulates in the body. Obesity is most commonly caused by a combination of excessive food intake, lack of physical activity, and genetic susceptibility. A few cases are caused primarily by genes, endocrine disorders, medications, or mental disorder. Overweight and obesity are major risk factors for a number of chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
In Ayurveda, Atisthaulya (Obesity) is described as excessive accumulation of Meda (fat/adipose tissue) and Mamsa (flesh/muscle tissue) leading to flabbiness of hips, abdomen, and thigh. It is considered as one of Santarpanottha Vikaras (disease due to consumption of excessive calories) in Ayurveda.
Increased Ama disturbs metabolic processes to form more fatty tissue (Meda Dhatu Agni) and blocks the formation of the furthermost tissues such as Asthi (bones). The poorly formed tissue layers increase unwanted meda dhatu (fats) and cause disturbances in the functions of Kapha.
On the other hand, when Ama blocks the channels of all body tissues, this creates imbalance in Vata. Vata keeps stimulating the central digestive fire (jatharagni), which causes an increase in appetite so the person eats more and more. However, due to Meda Dhavagni Mandya (weak fat metabolism), improper or abnormal Meda Dhatu is formed, which is the root cause of obesity
Body Mass Index (BMI): Overweight and Obesity are assessed using Body Mass Index (BMI). It is defined as a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of his / her height in meters (kg/m2 ).
Body mass index[BMI]=Bodyweight[in kilogram]
Height [in meters]2
Healthy/Normal BMI – 18.5 – 24.9
BMI of Overweight – 25 – 29.9kg/m2
BMI of Obesity – ≥30kg/m2
CAUSES OF OVERWEIGHT/OBESITY ∙ Increased intake of energy-dense foods that are high in fat, carbohydrates ∙ Overeating and Irregular food habits ∙ Lack of Physical activities due to sedentary life style ∙ Genetics, endocrine disorders, Medical Reasons or Psychiatric illness ∙ Day – time sleeping
In order to be healthy and increase the digestive power (agni) while losing weight, the following steps should be followed: ∙ Eat according to your body constitution.
Vata reducing herbs, diet and lifestyle, complex carbohydrates (whole grains and starchy vegetables), avoidance of refined sugar, fewer hot spices and more. Guggulu helps cleanse and warm the body.
Pitta reducing foods, avoiding meat, fish oily, greasy, or fried foods, sugars, and desserts. Herbs include aloe vera gel, katuka, and turmeric.
Kapha reducing food, avoiding refined sugars, salt, dairy, sweet fruit, bread, pastry, meat, fish, fruit juices, cold liquids, and oils. Hot digestive herbs like black pepper, ginger, turmeric
- Eat fresh and seasonal vegetables and fruit.
- Eat freshly cooked warm food. It will strengthens agni, digests food better, reduces excess Kapha and Vata
- Eat food, which has enough oil, and is moist enough (not fried). It tastes better, helps agni, builds dhatus, and increases strength.
- Eating sequence: First eat carbohydrates or sweet taste, next eat salty, sour, pungent and bitter foods. Finally eat astringent .
In Ayurveda for weight loss and to maintain health for people who are obese or overweight. Deep, dry massages with herbal powders and pastes (Udwarthanam), synchronized massage with specific oils (Abhyanga), detoxificationand Panchakarma therapies are also administered based on the requirement of the individual.
Yoga, when combined with healthy eating, has proven beneficial as it helps to lose weight along with keeping your mind and body healthy. Yoga does not always result in weight loss immediately as these poses are simple. This yoga pose is focused on body building and flexibility, improving concentration and building your muscle tone. Once your body gets used to these asanas, you will begin to practice Yoga asanas for weight loss. Chaturangadandasana, Virabhadrasana, Trikonasana.