Swimsuit season is literally just around the corner. With that being said, many of us are looking for ways to shed some of our winter weight in quick and easy ways. While a lot of us don’t have the time and the discipline to spend hours in the gym each week, there are some easy tricks you can use to help shred some of the extra weight without feeling hungry or deprived.
1) Skip dinner. Instead, opt for one or two cups of juice or decaffeinated tea. According to the ayurvedic perspective of living, this will help not only reset your digestive "thermostat", but it will improve your digestion and it will help you sleep more soundly. When you don't eat much in the evenings, it allows your body to better function and flush toxins from your system, which will help to break down unwanted fat and shred pounds fast. Ayurveda teaches us that good digestion is key to good health. So by eating light at night, it helps to give your digestive system a rest and get it working as nature intended.
2) Eat the right foods for your constitution. Ayurvedic medicine focuses on balancing the three doshas: Kapha, Vata, and Pitta. Understanding these three doshas will help you understand what your dominant dosha is, and how to balance it properly to keep your weight balanced. By balancing your doshas, your entire well-being is kept in harmony. Kapha dosha is the one primarily responsible for weight gain, however it is not typically the cause. Vata dosha is responsible for movement, and often when vata is out of balance, you may gain weight because you are feeling anxious and this leads to binge eating. Try vata balancing spices and teas. It may be difficult for you to determine which dosha is dominant, but there are several websites with questionnaires (or "dosha quiz") which can help you determine your dominant dosha. Once you know which one is your dominant dosha, you can begin to eat the right foods to keep it in balance and help lose any unwanted weight.
3) Chia seeds. These highly nutritious seeds are a great aid for weight loss. Chia seeds help to stabilize blood sugar, which in turn combat cravings. They are also full of fiber, which help you feel fuller longer. They are naturally energizing when added to decaffeinated teas, juices, or water, and can help you recover quicker after a workout. They also prevent your digestive system from absorbing too much fat, which makes it easier for fatty foods to pass through your digestive system.
4) Drink a protein shake. Protein is the fundamental building block for the body. It helps to repair on a cellular level, and protein is needed for just about every single body function. Not only is protein an essential part of your body’s constitution, but consuming protein will help quash cravings for sweets or starchy foods, helping to achieve overall weight loss. High quality protein shakes are a great way to start off the day, and will not only jump start your metabolism, but will help you naturally fight cravings all day long. Organic whey protein is recommended as it contains a better amino acid profile when compared to regular whey protein. There are also tasty vegan protein shakes and hemp shakes that taste good without containing any dairy or animal products. If you are into ayurvedic supplements, try an Ayurvedic protein supplement that contains herbs known in ayurveda to help build muscle and balance the doshas.
5) Eat raw. Raw food diets are becoming increasingly popular. One reason could be because it they have worked so well for many people! When you eat whole, raw foods, your body is getting what nature intended without added preservatives and harmful additives. Raw foods are full of essential vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that are destroyed by cooking. These foods also typically take longer for your body to break them down, making you burn more calories to digest them AND keep you fuller for longer. Raw foods don’t have to make up your entire diet, but if you increase the amount of raw foods you consume, you can help yourself lose weight. Simply substituting some raw foods for others can also help you on your way to quicker weight loss. Some delicious and easy to use raw foods include cacao butter, coconut water, coconut oil, seeds, fresh fruits and veggies, and unprocessed nuts.
6) Do yoga. You don’t have to be a master yogi to enjoy the benefits of this type of exercise. Not only will yoga help to fight disease and prevent the onset of certain types of arthritis, but it will also help connect your mind, body, and spirit. Yoga is a wonderful way to improve mobility and flexibility while strengthening your body and burning calories. Even beginning with a simple yoga ritual that only lasts a few minutes will help your body burn calories and become toned and tight, all while helping to relieve stress and cleanse your mind.
7) Drink ginger tea. When you are experiencing cravings, sipping on ginger tea will help the cravings pass. Ginger has long been known for its healing abilities, but it is also a good way to help stabilize blood sugar and reduce cravings. Drinking a cup or two of ginger tea in the afternoon between lunch and dinner can help eliminate those daily cravings for something to snack on between meals, and will help you lose the extra weight around your middle while you are at it! 8) Ban sugar. You will be amazed at how much sugar you consume. There are a lot of different names for sugar on food labels, and recognizing the names of these harmful additives can help you to avoid them. Instead, opt for natural, low glycemic sweeteners to fix a sweet tooth without causing the cycle of blood sugar spikes and crashes (which will lead to unnecessary snacking). There are a lot of different natural sweeteners which will cure a sweet tooth while providing countless health benefits. Agave nectar and lucuma powder are some wonderful alternatives to cane sugar, and both of these have a low glycemic index number. The best part is that they are naturally low in calories, which makes it easier to reduce your overall calorie consumption.
9) Don’t eliminate entire food groups. Banning sugar is different than banning an entire food group from your diet. There are a lot of popular diet plans which have you cutting out carbs, only eating cookies, or other strange plans. These diets do work short term for people, but the reason they work is because they are cutting calories, not cutting food groups. Once you understand how your body works, you will know how to better feed it to prevent cravings and eat the right number of calories. Again, the ayurvedic perspective will help you determine the best way to balance your dominant dosha without cutting out entire food groups from your diet.
10) Change your lifestyle. Once you begin following these tips to lose weight, you will already be well on your way to changing your lifestyle. It doesn’t have to be a major change, but enough so that your body is working the way it should be working. The best way to lose weight is not to diet, but simply to make changes in the way you eat and stick with it. For example, eat without any unnecessary distractions around you. Don't use the computer, watch TV, or have intense emotional discussions while eating. All your attention should be on chewing the food slowly, and keeping mostly quiet during the meal. You can chat afterwards. Not only will this help you to lose weight, but you will enjoy your meal more.
Losing weight doesn't have to complex. By understanding what your body needs and how to aid in digestion, you can help your body to shed unwanted pounds naturally. These ten tips for losing weight are hopefully easy, inexpensive, and natural. There is no need to cut entire food groups from your diet, or to strictly count calories. Rather, eating the right foods and understanding your dominant dosha will help to feed your body properly and effectively. Weight loss will naturally follow suit when one lives in harmony with oneself and Nature.