Being overweight is probably the easiest way to destroy one’s self-esteem, health and well being. What makes it worse is that society has made it such that overweight people are shamed and accused of being greedy, gluttonous, lazy and irresponsible. However, this is far from true in most cases. Being overweight can actually be a sign of an underlying problem. The most common conditions that can cause weight gain are:
Apart from these common causes, weight gain can also be the result of other less common conditions such as:
- Diabetes Treatment
- Cushing’s Syndrome
Sometimes, you may just be more prone to gaining weight due to your genetics. Patients who are chronically stressed may also experience weight gain as the main stress hormone known as Cortisol, can result in increased belly fat. Depression can also lead to “comfort eating” which can result in weight gain.
General Remedies (Evidence-Based)
Triphala is an Ayurvedic herbal formula that has been used in various clinical trials for treating disorders such as obesity, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, oral cancer, gingivitis and more (see study). It has a long history of use going back over 5000 years in classical Ayurvedic medicine. Triphala, when taken before meals, helps to prevent the absorption of starches – resulting in reduced blood sugar and less fat storage. In a clinical trial, patients who took Triphala for 12 weeks experienced an average weight loss of 11 pounds (see study).
2. Salacia & Vitamin D
The Salacia herbs (Salacia Oblonga, Salacia Reticulata, etc) are used in Ayurvedic medicine for naturally treating Diabetes and accomplishing rapid weight loss. Vitamin D plays a significant role in metabolic health, immune function and mineral absorption. In a clinical trial, patients given a combination of Salacia Reticulata and Vitamin D for 4 weeks experienced an average weight loss of 11.6 pounds (see study). Keep in mind that Salacia can have adverse effects if used incorrectly – always use it under the proper supervision of an Ayurvedic doctor holding the BAMS degree.
3. Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is known for its benefits for reducing weight, improving growth hormone levels, inducing cellular detoxification, reducing inflammation and improving insulin sensitivity. In Ayurveda, we use fasting as a means for boosting metabolic function to support weight loss. In clinical trials, intermittent fasting has resulted in significant weight loss (see study) with less muscle loss than standard reduced-calorie diets (see study).
4. Ketogenic Diet
Many people associate the word “Ketosis” with diabetic ketosis, however, there is a good side to inducing ketosis via diet which can result in significant weight loss. Of course, diabetic patients should only do this under proper medical supervision. Keep in mind that this diet is not for everyone. It can be difficult to sustain, dangerous in certain conditions and many of the so-called “gurus” online often recommend eating some of the most unhealthy foods, simply because they’re low carb. Do this under proper medical supervision and with proper guidance from someone who is “pro-health” rather than just “pro-weight loss” as it can be dangerous if incorrectly done or if used in a condition that can be worsened by ketosis.
The ketogenic diet has become very popular in recent times for the dramatic weight loss results it has produced. The ketogenic diet is basically a diet in which a person eats foods that are primarily made up of fat and a little bit of protein while almost completely omitting carbohydrates. I went into great detail explaining the ketogenic diet in my book “Healing Diabetes Naturally” along with all the specifics about what foods to eat and which carbohydrates are allowed. In a clinical trial, patients following a ketogenic diet experienced significant weight loss along with a reduction in triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and blood sugar (see study).
5. Plant-Based Diet (Reduced-Calorie)
Many doctors are recommending the use of a plant-based diet for weight loss due to the many health benefits associated with it. In clinical research, plant-based diets have been linked to improvements in risk factors associated with diabetes, heart disease, gastrointestinal cancer, and cognitive decline. There is also the added benefit of avoiding harm to animals. There are many myths associated with plant-based diets such as the inability to get an adequate amount of protein and vitamin B12 – this is false. Several vegetarian options are available for getting both of these nutrients.
In my experience, I have found that combining a reduced-calorie plant-based diet together with intermittent fasting can result in weight reduction. In clinical trials, plant-based reduced-calorie diets (specifically vegan) have been associated with greater weight loss than patients following a non-vegetarian diet (see study). However, clinically I have seen that people following a ketogenic diet tend to lose much more weight – this is not to say that a plant-based diet is useless, but rather less effective (in my clinical experience).
(Always use medicinal herbs under the supervision of a doctor)
To schedule a consultation with me, Click Here.
by Dr. Nishal R.