How to Lose Weight if You Are a Kapha Ayurveda Mind-Body Type

Kapha represents the earth and water elements in Ayurveda medicine of India. Ayurveda means science of life and provides detailed advice for diet, nutrition and how to treat disease. Kapha individuals tend to have large bones, thick hair, good physical stamina and a calm disposition. Kaphas also have an infamous sweet tooth, and if they overeat frequently, they tend to carry extra weight. If extreme, obesity can increase risk for chronic diseases, such as hypertension and diabetes.Panchakarma is a detoxification that can be done with an Ayurvedic practitioner. There is a simple version that can be done at home for 5 to 7 days. If you have any serious medical conditions or are more than 15 percent over your appropriate body weight, consult your physician or an Ayurvedic specialist.

Things You'll Need

  • Triphala
  • Ghee
  • Corn oil
  • Brown basmati rice
  • Red or yellow split lentils
  • ¼ tsp. coriander
  • ¼ tsp. cumin,
  • ¼ tsp. mustard seed

Instructions

    • 1

      Begin by keeping a food diary for a week to see what and when you are eating and how you feel afterwards. This is to determine if you are digesting everything completely or if you might have food allergies. Note if there are times when you are eating out of boredom or emotionally overeating.

    • 2

      Follow the advice of Dr. Vasant Lad, an Ayurvedic specialist. He advises Kaphas do a home panchakarma (detoxification) by taking 2 ounces of ghee (sold in Indian grocery or health food stores) daily with equal amounts of black pepper, ginger or Indian long pepper for 3 days.

    • 3

      Continue by doing a small oil massage daily: rub about 2 tbsp. of heated corn oil over the head, scalp and entire body before showering in the morning. Every morning before breakfast, consume a drink of hot water and fresh lemon juice squeezed into it to prompt peristalsis. Wait 20 to 30 minutes before eating fresh fruit and tea.

    • 4

      Prepare kitchari, a traditional Ayurvedic dish for detoxifying the body. It is comprised of basmati rice and red or yellow split lentils cooked together with turmeric. Eat this mixture for lunch and dinner with steamed seasonable vegetables for the first 4 days.

    • 5

      Take triphala, a mixture of three dried fruits before bed with water. Consume 1 to 3 tbsp. of flax seed oil to ensure daily bowel movements. Following Dr. Vasant Lad’s expertise once more, take a medicated enema each night to clear the colon. He recommends boiling 1 tbsp. of dahamoola tea in a pint of water (sold in stores specializing in Indian goods). Cool and strain this mixture and use as a nightly enema.

    • 6

      Continue this detox diet by eating only kitchari for days 5 to 7. Drink plenty of warm teas appropriate for Kapha (there are Ayurvedic teas labeled as Kapha in specialty stores).

    • 7

      Do gentle exercise daily. To lose weight permanently, exercise for 20 to 30 minutes daily. Walking before breakfast or for 10 minutes after each meal is a gentle way to reintroduce daily exercise. Bring bottled water and enjoy these walks as a way to boost mood and metabolism. Return to your normal eating by gradually adding steamed vegetables, fresh raw salads and easy to digest foods.

Tips & Warnings

  • To prepare kitchari for a day's meals rinse 1 cup of brown or white basmati rice with 1 cup of red or yellow split lentil. Place them in a medium pot, adding 5 to 6 cups filtered water. Add ¼ tsp. each of cumin, coriander and mustard seed. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to cook slightly uncovered for about 25 minutes.
  • Do not do this detox diet if you are pregnant or have just recovered from any illness, such as a cold or flu, unless under a doctor’s care.
  • Do not starve yourself or do very strenuous exercise while doing the panchakarma.
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