We live in a world that is obsessed with diets. Every week a new diet makes the headline, claiming to be the best path to weight loss. Whether it’s Paleo, Vegan, Atkins, or Ketogenic, it can be hard to decide how to live our life with so many “options”. Isn’t there something that has been proven to work for centuries? Well, in fact, yes, there is! Ancient practices like Ayurveda or Chinese medicine have helped people achieve optimal health for more than 5,000 years.
According to them, the more you move into a state of health, unneeded weight naturally melts away. Since we all come from different backgrounds with our own unique taste buds, the Holistic philosophy does not require you to eat a specific type of food. However adopting the following guidelines will help you to shed excess weight and feel amazing.
1. Sleep from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Every Night
Our ancestors lived in harmony with the natural rhythms of the Earth. When the sun went down, their bedtime shortly followed. Electricity has slowly moved us from natural rhythms to artificial ones. As a result, sleep quality and time have been compromised, causing stress, disharmony and weight gain. The time period that is most supportive of restful sleep is between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.To make the most of nature’s rhythms, turn off your screens and begin to wind down by 9:30 p.m. At 10:00 p.m., turn off the lights and get in bed.
The ideal time to exercise is between 6 to 10 a.m. or in the evening after dinner, when the earth and water elements are high in the environment. Exercise counteracts sluggishness, warms the body, brings fresh blood to your brain, and prepares both body and mind for a new day. Aim for 45 to 60 minutes of movement whether it is yoga each morning and/or a brisk walk after dinner.
3. Cut Out the Mindless Snacks
To snack or not to snack, that is the question—and the answer is not to snack on chips and candy. Three nourishing, balanced meals each day will stabilize your energy levels. Choose to snack on healthy choices like fruit or vegetable juices in-between meals if needed.
4. Include all 6 Tastes at Every Meal
Ayurveda recognizes six distinct tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent. In order to feel satisfied after eating, it is critical to include at least a small portion of each of the six tastes in every meal. Below are a few examples of foods that might be found in each taste category.
- Sweet foods build muscle and produce energy. Ex: whole grains, dairy, meats, nuts, legumes, and sweet fruits
- Sour foods are cleansing to the body. Ex: citrus fruits, pickled or fermented foods
- Salty foods stimulate digestion and absorption of nutrients. Ex: Sea salt, ocean vegetables, and fish
- Pungent foods clears the sinuses and stimulates metabolism. Ex: peppers, mustard seeds, ginger, cloves, onions, and many spices.
- Bitter foods detoxify the body. Ex: dark leafy greens and vegetables, coffee, and cacao.
- Astringent foods tone the bodily tissues, reduce heat, and pacify inflammation. Ex: green tea, grapes, garbanzo beans, and pomegranates.
5. Eat Your Largest Meal at Breakfast
“You are not what you eat, you are what you digest.” You can eat the healthiest food in the world but if you are not able to digest it then it will cause stagnation. To maximize your digestion, eat your largest meal for breakfast and a. medium meal for lunch. This is when your digestive fire is at its strongest. Dinner should be light and easily digestible. In addition, it is advisable to finish dinner two to three hours prior to bedtime. If you are going to bed by 10 p.m. then dinner needs to be completed by 7 p.m. You will sleep better and your body will be able to detox and rejuvenate rather than deal with the digestion of food.
6. Sip Hot Water or Tea Throughout the Day
Hot water is a health elixir in ancient traditions. Toxins accumulate within the body from external sources (e.g., pollution, pesticides, poor food choices) and internal sources (e.g., stress, anxiety, anger). Toxins are sticky, by nature but can be dissolved with hot water. The amount of water that you drink is not as important as the frequency with which you sip. Try to have a few sips of warm water every half an hour. You can add fresh ginger or lemon to further enhance it’s benefits.
7. Practice Meditation
Hormones associated with high stress can decrease your ability to lose weight, particularly abdominal weight. Meditation is a powerful way to unwind and de-stress. To see results in both your life and your waistline, devote at least 20 minutes a day to meditation. Sit quietly, relax your body, and focus on your breath. Let thoughts pass by like floating clouds. Eventually the mind will quiet, and you will be able to receive all the beneficial effects of a regular meditation practice.
Each body is different and functions optimally in its own way. Some work better with less meals or by eating more at lunch instead of at breakfast. Some prefer a workout in the afternoon before dinner while others sleep from 11pm – 5am. This is all to say, that these secrets are guidelines that can be adjusted to your lifestyle.
To create a personalized plan visit our Holistic Lifestyle and nutrition expert so you can start seeing the results you are looking for.