Each person has a different digestive system and nutritional needs, so there can never be one diet for everyone. We need to stop listening to others and discover our individual dietary needs. This is why a diet may work for one person and not work for another. As the ancient Roman philosopher Lucretius stated “One man’s food is another man's poison”.
Our bodies have genetically based requirements for specific foods and a correct balance of nutrients in order to produce sufficient energy for optimal health. The ancient Ayurveda system from India, Ayurveda, encompasses a comprehensive individualized dietary system. Dietary and lifestyle guidelines are founded on a person’s body-mind type, called a Dosha. The primary three Doshas are Vata, Pitta and Kapha with various combinations such as Vata/Pitta, Pitta/ Kapha and even a Tri-dosha type which has no dominate constitution type.
The Vata is thin, either tall or short, with a low amount of muscle mass. The Vata is a result of a digestive system which is sensitive to many foods, and susceptible to gas and bloating. The Vata is usually cool in temperature and has a tendency toward dry skin and constipation. They best foods for the Vata body are wet, heavy and warm such as cooked root vegetables like yams and carrots. A relatively high amount of dietary fat and salt is required.
The Pitta is generally very muscular particularly in the upper body and tends to be fit with little body fat. The Pitta is also warm and susceptible to heartburn, fevers, high blood pressure and skin diseases. The recommended diet is cooling with more raw foods and leafy green vegetables with no hot spices or foods such as onions or garlic. In general, the Pitta has a strong digestive system and can handle most foods including dairy and meat. The Pitta does well with sweet fruits between meals and plenty of protein.
The Kapha has a slow metabolism and does not do well with dairy and meat and does well on a vegetarian diet. The Kapha is usually stocky and puts on weight easily. Light foods are generally recommended and the Kapha requires plenty of activity. The best foods are leafy green vegetables especially those from the cabbage family with beans as the main source of protein. To help stimulate a weak digestive system, spicy foods with plenty of garlic and ginger work well.
You need to know what foods work best for your body type. However, WHAT you eat is not as important as WHEN you eat and even HOW you eat. To lose weight your digestive system must operate properly. This can only be done by eating complete meals, generally three, throughout the day with no snacking. Dinner should be consumed by 7:00 pm with no additional snacking. Fruit should be eating separately between meals as per your body type.
For a proper nutritional balance, meals should also contain not just carbohydrates, but ample protein and good fat. You cannot just have rice and vegetables, a bowl of cereal with rice milk or spaghetti and a salad as a complete meal, since each of these meals contains insufficient amounts of protein and fat. If you consume a meal deficient in protein and/or fat you will be hungry before your next meal.
With rice, for example, a legume or meat serving is required as a source of protein. The Vata does best with lentils, which create less gas then beans. The Kapha does well with all beans. The Pitta has the strongest digestive system and does fine with animal protein or legumes. Each meal must have some form of dietary fat. The Kapha needs the least amount of fat in their diet. The Vata needs a substantial amount of oil in their diet with the Pitta requirements falling in-between.
In conclusion, to manage your weight without dieting, you must eat the right foods for your body type and have three nutritionally complete meals daily with no snacking. Each meal must be prepared with sufficient healthy fats and one serving of protein. Herbal formulas can be taken to help promote fat metabolism and control the appetite.
“Don’t just eat well, eat right for your body-type”
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“The cause of many diseases is unknown to the physicians of Hellas (Greece) because they are ignorant of the whole. For the part can never be well unless the whole is well. This…is the great error of our day in the treatment of the human body”
Plato, 356 B.C.E.
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