These ten weight loss tips are important tools that according to Ayurvedic principles, help prepare the body for weightloss.
The added benefits of fat burning are huge and go way beyond losing weight!:
Fat is a calm fuel that burns slow and keeps the mood stable.
Fat burning neutralizes the disease-producing acids that are caused by stress.
Fat cells are where we store toxic heavy metals, fat soluble chemicals, pesticides, preservatives and environmental pollutants like estrogenic plastics. When we burn our fat cells, we continually detox.
TIP 1: GRAPEFRUIT
Grapefruit is one of nature's fat metabolizers. They are coming into season right now, so don't miss them. Remember the old grapefruit diets, where you ate nothing but grapefruits? That diet had merit but it was too extreme, I suggest eating just 1 or 2 a day. They are great for breakfast as a "fast breaking" food. Grapefruits support the momentum of burning fat that is established by having an early supper and no snacks through the night.This effect will continue through the morning as the grapefruit forces a metabolism that burns fat, stabilizes energy and balances blood sugar. Add raw honey for maximum weight loss (see why below).
TIP 2: RAW HONEY
Honey is another natural fat metabolizer and according to Ayurveda, honey stabilizes blood sugar. Unlike most sweets that create highs and lows in blood sugar, honey boosts energy and reduces cravings by forcing fat metabolism and detox. Honey allows us to maintain the basic weight balancing plan of three meals a day without snacking. For this to work however, the honey must be RAW, which means not cooked, not pasteurized and not heated. Raw honey also scrubs toxins (ama) off the intestinal wall and fat cells.
If honey is heated for any length of time or cooked (such as in muffins, bread or desserts) it will not burn fat or detoxify toxic fat cells. The cooked honey becomes a toxic hardened material.
TIP 3: WATER
Water is a critical tool for encouraging better fat metabolism. A study from The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, (volume 92 number 8) showed that drinking 500 ml increased thermogenisis (heat production) by 24 percent. This increase of metabolic activity before a meal will support more efficient digestion and fat metabolism. In Ayurveda it is recommended to drink 1-2 glasses of water 15-20 minutes before each meal. The water allows the stomach to be hydrated so it is more willing to robustly produce the hydrochloric acid (HCL) needed to digest a big meal. HCL ensures that what enters the stomach is properly broken down and absorbed in the small intestine.
If the stomach is dry or dehydrated, it won't produce enough HCL for optimal digestion because that much-needed acid would end up burning the stomach lining. In a future newsletter I will explain why lack of digestive acids is actually the major cause of indigestion and heart burn.
Squeeze a little fresh lemon juice in your water before a meal for an extra weight loss boost (see why below).
TIP 4: TREAT GLUTEN INTOLERANCE - RATHER THAN AVOIDING GLUTEN
High insulin levels caused by poor diet and eating habits tell the body to store fat. Low insulin levels are one of the major factors associated with weight loss. Breads are usually public enemies for losing weight because of the hard to digest gluten content and their impact on insulin levels. Many get results by avoiding breads and gluten altogether to lose weight. This strategy treats the symptoms of gluten intolerance, but it is essential to find out why the gluten is not digested in the first place. I will report on this in detail in a future newsletter.
TIP: Toasting breads helps lower the impact of gluten on the digestive villi because it makes it easier to digest.
TIP 5: SALAD DRESSING IMPROVES DIGESTION AND LOWERS INSULIN
Eating vinegar before each meal helps to balance blood sugar and lower insulin levels, which typically spike after a high starch meal according to the September 2005 issue of the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The vinegar is a weak ascetic acid that fires up the digestive acids needed to break down a heavy starchy meal. The Italians often start each meal with balsamic vinegar. If you're not a balsamic vinegar buff, just add more vinegar to your salad.
If vinegar isn't your thing, Ayurveda suggests a few simple recipes to increase HCL production in the stomach:
· Lemon juice does basically the same thing as vinegar and makes a perfect salad dressing with raw honey.
· Lemon juice can also be used alone, on food, or in some warm water that you sip with the meal.
· To really boost digestive strength slice ginger root into dime size slices. Sprinkle the slices with natural salt (Himalayan, Redmond or Celtic salt) and fresh lemon juice. Eat two before each meal.
Drinking green tea with meals, as the Japanese and Chinese do, helps decrease the absorption of excess fat according to the March 2007 issue of the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. White, green and black tea regulate the enzyme lipase, which breaks down fat. These teas have been shown to stimulate fat burning genes and aid in weight loss according to the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism in 2009. Antioxidants in white, green and black tea also neutralize the toxic chemistry of stress. When caffeine is taken with a meal, such as green tea, the caffeine acts as a digestive stimulant and is beneficial for the efficiency of digestion. The same caffeine on an empty stomach can be depleting to the adrenals and digestion.
TIP 7: SPICES
A little spice with each meal can slow the absorption of white sugar and increase the amount of calories burned during each meal according to the July 2006 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Digestion. Peppers, ginger, Turmeric, cayenne and digestive herbs like Trikatu help stimulate HCL production.
Turmeric: decreases physical pain, inflammation, cholesterol and liver ailments; increases mental clarity, intestinal health and bile flow, and fat metabolism.
TIP 8: SIP HOT WATER
Sipping hot water every 10-15 minutes all day for two weeks acts as a digestive cleanse and a lymphatic flush. This is one of the best techniques to treat dehydration, which is a major factor in weight gain. Dehydration triggers a survival response in the body that chemically tells the body to store fat. Proper hydration supports the bicarbonate level just inside the stomach lining that protects it from being burned by digestive acids. If the body is dehydrated, this water-based bicarbonate layer will dry out and the tummy will ache. If it isn't treated soon, the stomach will soon be told to make less digestive hydrochloric acid (HCL), which means that food is no longer being properly digested.
My favorite test for dehydration:
· Sip hot water every 10-15 minutes for just one day. If you are not craving and thirsting for more hot water by the end of the day, you are probably not dehydrated.
· If you are dehydrated, you will crave more because the hot water will hydrate, dilate and stimulate micro-circulation and lymphatic drainage. This will rehydrate the tissues as the body absorbs the water and you will get thirsty for more.
· If you are thirsty for more hot water after one day - continue for 2 weeks to totally rehydrate.
· Add a squeeze of lemon to spike the hot water every once in a while. The lemon acts like soap to scrub the tissue and the hot water becomes the cleansing rinse.
TIP 9: IMPROVE ELIMINATION
One of the most common reasons for weight gain is sluggish elimination. Assist with Probiotics, which helps as an intestinal cleanser and toner that flushes toxins and excess mucus off the wall of the gut. This helps re-assimilate nutrients properly.
I also recommend that you increase fiber in your diet by eating more vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
TIP 10: BEETS
Try to eat one fresh beet a day for the next 3 months to help thin the bile and flush the liver and gallbladder. Beets are best grated raw with lemon juice but also have benefits when eaten cooked. When the bile flows the digestive system can break down fat and neutralize digestive acids and the liver can remove toxic fat soluble chemicals. Optimal bile flow may be the most important piece of the digestive puzzle when it comes to weight loss - so eat your beets!