We all strive to maintain a healthy diet, especially when indulging in guilty pleasures such as binge-eating, gluttony, and stress-eating seems to be the norm. With the prevalence of unhealthy lifestyles and the allure of calorie-laden foods, finding ways to feel light after a heavy meal has become essential. Opting for light yet satisfying food choices can save us from falling into the trap of unhealthy eating habits and their long-term consequences.
Recently, Health Shots interviewed Ayurveda expert Vikas Chawla, who shared various methods to help us feel full but light after meals. Chawla emphasizes that Ayurveda has always advocated for restraint in food choices and encourages us to opt for healthy and nutritious options that strengthen our internal defense mechanisms and protect us from diseases. Despite the extreme and often disastrous diet regimes of our time, there are healthy and effective ways to keep your stomach full and still feel light after eating.
Include 6 Rasa
One of the key principles of the Ayurvedic diet is to include all six rasas or tastes in our meals. Chawla, the founder and director of Vedas Cure, explains that this approach promotes mindful eating without the need to give up on desirable foods. The six tastes include sweet, salty, sour, bitter, pungent, and astringent, which help manage the doshas (energetic forces) and regulate the body’s functioning.
Start the Day with Fruits
Instead of reaching for full-fat junk food and drinks, begin your day with sweet and nutrient-rich fruits. Apples, watermelon, litchis, cherries, and citrus fruits like oranges are excellent choices. Fruit juices, soups, and homemade detox drinks are lighter and healthier options that will leave you feeling satisfied. Quinoa, a flowering plant-based food packed with protein, iron, and fiber, is another nourishing dish to consider.
Make Friends with Moong
A balanced and healthier life involves making better dietary choices. Moong Dal, a type of lentil, plays a crucial role in the Ayurvedic diet as it improves weak digestion fire, known as Agnimandya. Along with its anti-diabetic, anti-bacterial, and anti-tumor properties, Moong Dal also balances Pitta and helps with hyperacidity.
Lassi, a yogurt-based drink, is not only delicious but also beneficial for heart health, immune function, weight loss, and digestion. After lunch, enjoy a glass of lassi or a bowl of yogurt to regulate digestion and keep your body feeling full. For added taste, you can enhance it with cumin, ginger, and salt. This will aid in breaking down the food and leave you feeling light after consuming a large meal.
Maintain a Gap Between Meals
Another important factor to consider is maintaining appropriate gaps between meals. Nuts, oats, and seeds are healthy and satisfying options during the day. Chawla suggests following Ayurvedic guidelines, which recommend having breakfast between 6-10 AM, lunch between 12-1 PM, and dinner between 6-7 PM. During these times, our digestive system operates at its full potential, and our Pitta dosha (one of the three doshas in Ayurveda) is at its peak.
Practice Mindful Eating
Mindful eating and moderation are the secrets to overall wellness. Physical and mental health are closely intertwined, and what we eat plays a significant role in maintaining our well-being. It is crucial to avoid excessive eating, as it can pose risks to our mental health and overall physical well-being. Acquiring the skill of eating in moderation is essential, and following the Ayurvedic diet can help us achieve this goal.
By incorporating these Ayurvedic principles into our daily lives, we can feel light and satisfied after meals, without compromising on taste or nutrition. Remember to embrace a balanced and mindful approach to eating, and let Ayurveda guide you on the path to a healthier lifestyle.