Natural Weight Loss for Kapha Dosha
Date Posted:10 December 2011
Maharishi Ayurveda separates individuals into three doshas: Kapha, Vata and Pitta. Although a person may have elements of more than one dosha, most are predominantly one dosha. Individuals who are Kapha types may have a harder time with natural weight loss.
If an individual dislikes exercise, has an overwhelming propensity for wanting to eat sweets, is larger-boned, slow-moving and often fatigued, they are probably predominately Kapha, and need to restore balance to encourage natural weight loss. Realizing what causes an imbalance in Kapha is integral for restoring and maintaining balance.
It is common for a Kapha-type to have a slow or sluggish metabolism. They also tend to be structured larger than other dosha types, with bigger bones and an easy, personable, and gentle nature. An imbalance of Kapha dosha can often be aggravated by overeating, oversleeping, not enough exercise, and too little variety in their life.
A great first step for this type of individual is learning the art of pranayama, or deep breathing. Pranayama can be practiced while lying down, sitting or standing. It should be fluid, with a natural rhythm, and should be practiced throughout the day. Deep breathing is calming, restorative and can quickly eliminate stress and tension from the body. It also helps to awaken the metabolism, brings fresh oxygen to body cells and clears the body's channels of toxic build-ups.
Diet is also an essential area for a Kapha-type to restore balance and allow the body to begin its natural weight loss. Kapha-types must find ways of adding the fire of Pitta into their diet. Kapha dosha is the water and earth element, so this type of individual generally displays traits from these elements. Including fiery elements from Pitta will help balance out the earthen and watery Kapha dosha.
Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day for other dosha types, but this does not hold true for Kapha. Drinking herbal tea with lemon or having a light fare is enough to keep classic Kapha types sustained until lunch. It is important to have something to get the metabolism going, but a full breakfast is not necessary.
The essential meal for a Kapha is the mid-day meal or lunch. This allows their body to break down the food and turn it into usable energy when they need it the most.
A portion of the meal should include fresh vegetables like asparagus, spinach or endives, while another portion should be comprised of cooked whole grains. Quinoa is an excellent choice for natural weight loss due to its high zinc content. The lunch meal should also include a protein, like eggs, chicken, or lean turkey meat. Food should be flavoured with pungent spices like black pepper, turmeric or ginger.
Other flavours used to restore Kapha balance are bitter and astringent tastes. These include broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and green leafy vegetables. Bean soups and dhal soups are also excellent dietary choices for Kapha individuals.
It is also helpful for Kapha types to have a healthy late afternoon snack like pumpkin seeds, dried fruits or a small serving of soup flavoured with cumin. Dinners should follow the same guidelines as the lunchtime meal, but in smaller portions.
The fiery Pitta element can also be added to drinking water by boiling the water before drinking. Even after it has cooled, the fire element is still present and the water can be sipped on throughout the day.
Kapha individuals should avoid cold and heavy foods. These foods impact the metabolism negatively and increase the cold and heavy elements of earth and water. Other foods that aggravate Kapha are rich desserts, sugary pastries, chocolate, dairy products, alcohol and salty fried foods. These foods will eliminate the body's ability for natural weight loss, slow the metabolism, and increase the lethargic feeling so common for Kapha types.
Daily routine exercise is one of the most important changes a Kapha individual can make. Most Kapha-types feel like they do not have the energy, drive or motivation to exercise, but those feelings must be overcome in order to restore balance. Kapha individuals, out of the three doshas, are the most at risk for morbid obesity and weight-related diseases like cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Kaphas do tend to have great stamina once they motivate themselves into following a regular exercise program on a day-to-day basis. Individuals should seek the advice of an Ayurvedic expert before beginning any strenuous exercise regime or if there are any health concerns.
Start with low-impact exercises such as biking, walking, swimming, or use exercise equipment like stationary bikes or elliptical machines. Set a goal of exercising three times a week, and once that goal is met consistently, consider increasing it to four or five times a week. Many Kaphas find they experience natural weight loss more easily than anticipated and they feel better than they ever have before, so exercise becomes a daily occurrence. Start modestly with ten or fifteen minute workouts and add five minutes each week until a target range of thirty to sixty minutes is achieved.
An excellent exercise tool for a Kapha that doesn’t involve actually working out is keeping an exercise journal. An individual should note how they feel before, during, and after each workout, and what they ate that day. Other important elements to add are any natural weight loss, such as inches lost around the arms, breasts, waist, thighs and hips. Once a Kapha sees the vast difference exercise can make in their life and body, their motivation to continue their new routine will be greatly increased.
For Kapha types, being thin or slender is not usually a healthy or realistic goal. It goes against the nature of Kapha dosha to ever be skinny, no matter how much exercise you do or what foods you eat or avoid. The goal for Kapha types, rather, is to be the healthiest version of your true self. It is essential for a Kapha individual to have realistic goals and understand their true nature, as this prevents disenchantment with a lifestyle that can bring them health and restore balance.
Kaphas will also benefit from hot oil massages. A couple tablespoons of healthy oil, like olive oil, should be rubbed over the entire body before each shower. This allows the body to unclog any blocked channels, increase the metabolic rate, and restore balance between Vata and Kapha doshas.
Kapha types must also ensure they are getting adequate sleep to prevent lethargy and fatigue. Kapha individuals do not necessarily need a lot of sleep, but the sleep they do get should be deep and restorative. They also tend to love sleep and hate waking up in the mornings. Maharishi Ayurveda recommends a Kapha individual keeps a consistent morning and bedtime routine. Bedtime should be at the same time every night, preferably before 10pm, and you should awaken at dawn, between 6 and 8am.
Finally, there are many herbal products that can help Kapha individuals with natural weight loss. Maharishi Ayurveda herbal remedies like Be Trim 1 or Be Trim 2 can support a balanced appetite while increasing fat metabolism. Be Trim Tea helps curb cravings and enhances the body's process of metabolizing carbohydrates and sugars.
Kapha types are personable, friendly and gentle people, and may need a supportive hand to restore the balance they need in their life. Maharishi Ayurveda provides the wisdom, knowledge and support all dosha types need for natural weight loss and to restore and maintain balance of each dosha.
- The Doshas: Vata, Pitta & Kapha (vedahealth.wordpress.com)
- Herbal Remedies for Kids: Know Your Child's Dosha, Know Your Child (getbalance.co.nz)
- Improve Your Health with Ayurvedic Foods (getbalance.co.nz)