In the human body, there is something known as BMI – Body Mass Index, which can be obtained from the height and mass of a person. A little math of body height divided by the square of the body mass gives the results in units of kilogram from height in meters and mass in kilograms. This index generally determines a person as overweight, orderly weight, or underweight. Albeit, BMI is not the rule of thumb for body fat. It varies from person to person.
The primary thing to understand through BMI is that our bodies cannot take more than a certain number of weight (mass) on our bodies. The greater the mass in the body, the graver the risk to our joints. This increases the chances of injury and diseases.
The factors that are responsible for our BMI are our lifestyle, food habits, work, and sleep patterns. The human body functions according to the movement of the sun. In the morning when we wake up, the organs in our bodies are also waking up from a good night’s sleep. The digestion process is slow; therefore it is not recommended to put food that is heavy to digest as the body will use all the energy at an early hour during the day; resulting in the metabolism slowing down for the rest of the day.
Through scientific analysis, we have discovered that our digestion system is at its peak when the sun is up high; the reason behind this is the level of heat in the stomach which is responsible for digestion. Thus people recommend eating heavily digestible food during lunch hour as the HCL in the body will be able to break down the food effectively.
What is Fat?
Fats are called “lipids” or “fatty acids” in our bodies. They are made up of three molecules joined together. There is fat that we make in our bodies and then there are some fats that we acquire from food. These fats are known as essential fats as they are vital to our energies.
The body uses fat as a fuel source and is the prime source of energy in the body. There are three main types of fat:
- Saturated fats – are found in animal food like whole milk, yogurt, cream, eggs, chicken, coconut oil, palm oil, etc.
- Unsaturated fats — are found in plant-based food like olive oil, almonds, cashews, avocados, walnuts, hemp seeds, flax seeds, veggies, etc.
- Trans fats – found and prepared in processed foods like fried food, packed food, processed food, carbonated drinks, etc.
Fats in the body are crucial to functioning throughout the day. It is important to understand what type of fat you can consume. A mixture of Saturated-fats and Trans fats will result in an unhealthy gut and increased mass in the body. This fat is what we target when we decide to lose weight in our bodies.
Precautions while achieving targeted weight :
To live a healthy life it is very important to know the correct way to lose weight. Every human body is unique. Making a fitness regime for oneself is vital as not all bodies can perform every sort of physical practice. There are limitations to our bodies.
If you see your friend achieving his/her weight loss goals through Pilates, you would want to try it as a practice for yourself because your friend achieved it through that medium. Here, psychologically, we feel excited to try something because the goal in our mind is to lose weight and weight only. Here is where the restriction from our brain differs from the functioning of our body. Will you stop to think if your joints have enough mobility to practice Pilates? Or Will you dive in because ‘your friend’ practices Pilates?
You will most likely dive in because you are desperate to lose weight. Your mind will run fast at the idea of options to lose weight. Here again, is where a mindful practice comes into the picture. Making a mindful move forward with some understanding of your body type and style can make the process beneficial.
- Set a realistic fat-loss goal
- Know your body and its type
- Do not indulge in body-draining workouts without proper knowledge (cardio, for example)
- Make your physical practice a mindful movement
Setting these goals in your mind can help you not just lose weight but gain a healthy, mindful lifestyle which will be beneficial in the present moment with keeping the future in mind.
Importance of a healthy diet
Our digestion is responsible for turning the food consumed by the mouth into energy for the body. Any food item breaks down into glucose which is sugar, amino acids (which make up protein), and fatty acids that make fats. This fundamental form of food gets absorbed into our bloodstreams from the small intestine, and the nutrients in the body carry them to every cell in the body.
These cells get charged into energy that we consume to walk, talk, work, play, dance around, and more. Thereupon it is essential to consume food mindfully. Digestion takes the maximum amount of energy from the body and the frequency of our consumption of food matters. The more we eat, the more energy from within the body will get consumed, resulting in fatigue, slow metabolism, and other digestion problems.
In Ayurveda, it is recommended to consume food that is easy to digest, less processed, has fewer spices, and is filled with nutrients and minerals.
Recommended food to consume:
- Coconut water early in the morning instead of Tea or coffee.
- Probiotics like buttermilk to consume for better digestion
- Whole wheat, lentils, fresh vegetables
- Fresh cut fruit instead of fruits juices
- Light food for dinner instead of heavy grains.
(Food such as whole wheat, grains, processed flour, raw vegetables, and beans take longer to digest. Hence it is not recommended to eat them during dinner.)
Importance of a healthy gut
A healthy gut is equivalent to a long life. Multiple diseases take birth in our Gut. Food which we consume gets digested in the stomach through HCL, Bile from the Liver, and Pancreatic juice from the pancreas. These acids produce themselves in our bodies naturally. However, in today’s time, we are constantly consuming carbonated drinks, junk food, processed food, and oily and spicy food stresses the production of these acids in the body.
When the food is not digested properly in the stomach and travels to the smaller intestine, that processed food sticks itself to the walls of the intestine resulting in bacteria and infection. Hence it is recommended to eat food that is easier for the stomach to digest and nutrients that eliminates the fatigue from the body.
Mindful eating habits include :
- Warm water first thing in the morning
- Eating three meals (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner) at one time every day
- Not to sleep immediately after consuming food
- Avoid drinking water during the consumption of food
- Have dinner before sunset
These small habits and practices can help maintain a healthy gut. Numerous diseases flare up due to ingestion, lack of nutrition, sleeplessness, addictive substances, etc.
5 Best yoga asana to practice daily at home
If we branch out into the movements of the body, there are 5 basic asanas one can practice daily.
1. Marjariasana for a healthy spine (Cat and Cow)
With your knees on the mat and hands on the mat in a table-top position, open up your chest and look towards the ceiling in a cat position. Reverse it with a hunch on your back and look at the mat. Keep this movement in a flow to keep your spine healthy.
Three of the body postures are very important which are sitting, standing, and sleeping postures. If they are imbalanced, then they result in defects in our spine. The spine in the human body is known as the second brain. The spinal cord has a certain amount of spinal nerves that are responsible for the communication of actions and reactions in our body apart from the nerves in our brain.
Therefore it is significant to maintain a good posture for a healthy spine. Healthier the spine, the better the brain functions and bodily muscle functions.
2. Vajraasana for better digestion (Thunderbolt pose)
A healthy diet, healthy gut, and mindful movements are the three keys to a healthy and long lifestyle.
Sit on your knees with your feet together at the back. Keep your spine straight and hold yourself in the position for 5 minutes, to begin with, post-consumption of food every day. This will create enough space for your organs in the body to make the digestion process smoother by holding blood flow in the lower part of the body which in return increase the blood flow in the upper body. This will help your stomach digest food easily for a healthy gut.
3. Tadasana for better balance (Tree pose)
With strength and mobility, our mind and body need stability in daily activity for overall wellness. With complex thinking and corporate work patterns, our minds are in constant need of challenges. To also maintain certain sanity in these crazy patterns by practicing concentration and meditation.
Tadasana ground your one leg firmly onto the mat. Lift the other leg and place the heel to the perineum of your body. Extend your hands above your head and gaze in the front. Hold yourself as long as you can and change the foot. This posture helps you not only balance your body weight and muscles better but also it helps to increase your concentration.
4. Suryanamaskar for fully body mobility
Series of 12 asanas to be practiced in the morning or evening as per the convenience of time. But these particular asanas work on all the joints of the body and are the most heat-generating asanas in yoga if practiced in a flow with proper breathwork.
- Ashwa sanchalana (right side)
- Ashtang namaskara
- Ashwa Sanchalana (Right side)
When these postures are practiced in a series, these asanas generate enough heat to make the body and mind active. Suryanamaskar is generally practiced in the morning with the sunrise, as it is also giving gratitude to the sun, an invitation to another day in this world. These postures are practiced with a certain breath into each position which helps to activate your sympathetic nervous system, responsible for your work, day-to-day activity, and more.
They are practiced in sets of 2, which makes it one full round, and such rounds are practiced at least 12 in number to give your joints and muscle a proper awakening in the morning. One can practice Suryanamaskar daily with an understanding of it as cardio. If you increase the rounds, they are designed to target every muscle in the body. They not only make muscles flexible but increase strength and mobility in the body.
5. Balasana for muscle relaxation and relieving stress (Child pose)
With your feet together, sit on your knees, and bend forward. Rest your head on the mat and keep both of your arms on each side of the body.
This asana can be practiced in the end as a cool-down posture to decompress the spine, relax the muscles and release tension from the body. Apart from practicing it as a cooling asana, one can hold themselves into a child pose after a stressful day to decompress the muscles in the body.
Here is how yoga is beneficial in losing weight. It is not about practicing physical asanas every day; it is about being mindful of your eating habits, working habits, postures throughout the day, sufficient sleep, maintaining stress levels throughout the day, and more such wellness habits. The human body is a marvel created by the universe. It has the power to heal and power to destruct. It is only a matter of focus in comparison to how you wish to live your life.
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