Ayurvedic Diet

Ayurvedic Diet & Digestion Made Easy

Symptoms | Weight Loss | Weight | Feel overweight
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Feel overweight Ayurvedic Perspectives

Feel overweight

(5.00 out of 5 stars) 1 review
Written by John Immel, Asheville, NC & Natalie Immel, Asheville, NC
Overweight is not a feeling. In Ayurveda, excess weight is considered a symptom, not a problem. You might feel physically heavy, puffy, or sluggish; perhaps there is a feeling of discomfort in overly tight clothing or a shame about the number on the scale that makes you believe you are overweight. External measures like the Body Mass Index (BMI) can cause us to doubt the healthfulness of our weight, yet the validity of these measures are questionable. Many athletes are diagnosed as "obese" because their muscle mass artificially contributes to a high BMI. In 1998 doctors lowered the BMI threshold for overweight a whole five points. Suddenly, people who felt healthy the year before started to believe they were overweight. Accordingly, Ayurveda rejects these external standards and instead asks us to dig deeper to discover a healthy weight.

Why weight?

You might be tempted to view weight loss as a kind of universal panacea for your problems. Weight gain is often the scapegoat when you feel anxiety over loss of control, hopelessness, and failure. For these reasons, it is important to get clear about why you want to lose weight. Is your diet program a way of healing and loving your overweight body, or punishing it? What would having a slimmer body symbolize for you...improved energy, better health, more fulfilling relationships? Clarifying these goals at the outset can help you also identify other imbalances contributing to weight gain.

"Big-boned" versus Overweight

There is no optimum weight in Ayurveda. Instead, Ayurveda considers factors beyond weight to determine the state of your health. A person with a hearty constitution (kapha) may carry around more weight than a delicate one (vata), but these are not necessarily indications of ill-health. Instead, Ayurveda recommends assessing your health by reflecting on how you feel: what is your energy level like? Do you wake up feeling light and energized, or groggy, puffy, and heavy? Is your lymphatic system congested? Are your emotions stable?

It is more important to feel good in your body than to see a low number on the scale. Poor energy, sluggish metabolism, low thyroid, and an inability to exercise are more relevant than weight when it comes to health in Ayurveda. You might also consider the size of your ancestors and parents: is your family naturally heavier and more "big-boned" than others? Taking the dosha quiz helps you clarify your body type and set more realistic, and healthy weight loss goals.


Ayurveda shows you why discipline is not the answer. Instead, Ayurveda's unique approach to weight loss helps you interpret and make sense of your food cravings, so that you can satisfy cravings and make good choices. Understanding your body is key to bridging the gap between unruly cravings and discipline.

Improve Your Circulation

Fat tissue blocks circulation. Blood that is rich in sugars, fats and proteins is thicker and also harder to circulate. As your circulation becomes more and more sluggish, so does your metabolism. Ayurveda often treats weight gain and food cravings as a complication of congestion in the circulatory system, a Kapha imbalance. Taking a brisk 15 to 30 minute walk in the morning is a good way to get your blood moving. Drinking warm, spiced drinks like ginger or the weight-reducing tea (link to lemon, cayenne, honey recipe) is also effective.

Develop a Strong Routine

A good eating and sleeping routine is an important step to taking control of your diet. It is impossible to make great food choices when you're late for work and starving, or exhausted from a long day with no food in the pantry. The more erratic your meal schedule, the more likely you likely you are to snack between meals and struggle with strong, unruly food cravings.

Build a Better Relationship with Food

To lose weight, you'll have to cultivate a great relationship with food. Start paying attention to how food makes you feel. How does it taste and what are its qualities? Notice the difference between how you feel after a light meal like kale salad as opposed to a heavy meal like pasta. Start noticing your hunger and food cravings. What do these say about the body? Are you reaching for food out of physical hunger in the stomach or an emotional hunger in the mind? Ayurveda teaches you how to understand your hunger and cravings by discovering a deeper relationship with your body. Through Ayurveda, you can learn to truly enjoy food and discover its unique effects on your body and your weight.

Find out more...

Attend this Weight Loss Cleanse & Diet Program for a step by step approach to help you start losing weight.

Disclaimer: Conditions such as 'Feel overweight' that cause tissue changes could be serious and should be checked by a medical doctor.

Aggravated Doshas & Qualities

Symptoms Tell A Story

The first step to healing is learning patterns from your symptoms. Symptoms are clues that reveal underlying imbalances, showing you where your body is weak. Specifically, they reveal the doshas & qualities that may have become aggravated. If you notice a quality or dosha appears next to many of your symptoms, it helps you establish a pattern that may be systemic.

One or more of the following doshas and qualities may be aggravated.If you have a systemic imbalance of one of these doshas or qualities, Ayurveda would generally recommend avoiding foods and lifestyle habits with that quality.

Kapha aggravatingDigestive Effects Help

Key: V = Vata, P = Pitta, K = Kapha. A slash through a dosha means it an aggravated dosha. To learn more about the symbols above, click on them.

Correct Imbalance

Food and lifestyle habite with the following effects may reduce imbalances associated with 'Feel overweight'.
About Pharmacological Effects
The list of actions below have not be approved by the FDA and should not be used to treat a medical condition.

Stage of Disease: 3 - Attacking Tissue

If you have symptoms in this category it means that your imbalances have weakened organs and tissues. At any moment, these imbalances could overwhelm weakened tissue and develop into degenerative disease.

Educational Resources

Browse these educational resources for 'feel overweight'.
My Joyful Belly Personal Ayurvedic Handbook
Say goodbye to confusion about food and health with your personal Ayurveda body book, individually and custom formulated for your body.

Explore Your Hunger
A book on exploring your hunger from food cravings to emotional eating for balanced weight and health. Written by Joyful Belly founder John Immel and Ayurvedic Practitioner Natalie Hine.

Remedies for Hypothyroid
Explains how diet and hypothyroid are related, as well as traditional home remedies for improving thyroid function.

Ayurveda Diet for Weight Loss from A to Z
Learn how Ayurveda approaches weight loss in this Audio Lecture. Discover how simple, healthy, and effective an Ayurvedic diet is to lose weight.

The Easy Way to Reduce Food Cravings
Battling with a sugar craving? In this presentation you'll learn an easy way to reduce food cravings fast.

Balance Your Kapha Diet in a Week - eCourse
$297.00 $267.30
Gain deeper wisdom and insight as you balance your Kapha diet in a week with this eCourse. Gracefully heal your body.

Ayurvedic Guide to Diet & Weight Loss: The Sattva...
Learn about Ayurveda! Dive into this book of recipes and complete guide to Ayurveda's approach to healing foods for weight loss and metabolism. By Scott Gerson.

Ayurvedic Psychology of Food Cravings
Discover unique and helpful perspectives on the relationship between food cravings and the psyche.

Mindful Eating
$18.95 $17.05
An practical resource for learning about mindful eating. Identify your eating habits and patterns and tune into the body's own wisdom. By Dr. Jan Chozen Bays.

Specialty Formulas by Joyful Belly

Please review these herbs & products below to determine which ones might be helpful for Feel overweight.
Liver & Lymph Cleanse Tea
Vata aggravatingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifying
A cleansing formula of bitters, blood movers & fat metabolizers to detoxify the liver and lymphatic system as well as flush the gall bladder.

Kitchari - Joyful Belly Complete Kit
Contains the recipe and everything you need for a healthy 7 day cleanse. Begin healing and rejuvenating your digestive system and deep organs. Begin fresh!

Digestive Bitters
Vata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifying
Digestive bitters are revered in Europe for digestion, rejuvenation, bloating relief, and mental sharpness. Caution! A little goes a long way.

Control Cravings Food Freedom Tea
Vata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifying
Control food cravings & portion size while addressing the root causes of emotional eating including poor circulation, lymphatic congestion, & toxic buildup.

Vital Step - Thyroid Tonic
Vata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifying
$17.95 $16.16
Give your thyroid the boost it needs. This formula of adaptogenic herbs strengthens your metabolism & relaxes your mind while stimulating an under active thyroid.

Mint Belly Bliss Tea: Energize & Awaken
Vata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifying
Feel clean, clear, fresh and light. Mint Belly Bliss re-awakens and brightens your mood and mind after a heavy meal.

Triphala Guggulu
Vata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifying
Famous Ayurvedic formula for weight loss & cholesterol reduction. Triphala, the classic detoxification and laxative combined with resinous guggulu scrapes excess fat from the system.

Lose Weight with Ayurveda - Starter Kit
Experience the light, energetic new you with this starter kit of herbs and education. Start feeling good today.

Ayurvedic Herbs & Natural Products for Feel overweight

Please review these herbs & products below to determine which ones might be helpful for Feel overweight.

Weight Away (9.6 oz.)
Vata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifying
Weight Away is a cleansing formula with herbs traditionally used for weight loss and encouraging proper fat and sugar metabolism.

Garcinia Cambogia Fruit
Vata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifying
A famous Ayurvedic appetite suppressant that supports weight loss, healthy blood sugar, and cholesterol levels.

Gymnema sylvestre
Vata aggravatingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifying
Reduces food cravings, especially for sugar. This Ayurvedic herb supports proper function of the pancreas to maintain healthy levels of blood sugar and insulin.

Bitter Ghee - Tikta Ghrta (9 fl oz)
Vata aggravatingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifying
A classic formula for Pitta Kapha disorders, irritability, liver congestion, and gall baldder stagnation.

Neem Leaf
Vata aggravatingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifying
Neem's pure bitter taste is famous as a blood purifier, for parasites, and to lower blood sugar levels.

Diet for Feel overweight

A diet rich in these foods & nutritional supplements may help re-balance the aggravated qualities and doshas in feel overweight.
Aloe Vera GelVata aggravatingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifyingArtichoke HeartsVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifying
ArugulaVata aggravatingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifyingBalsamic VinegarVata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifying
BarleyVata aggravatingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifyingBitter MelonVata aggravatingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifying
CardamomVata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifyingChickweedVata aggravatingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifying
CinnamonVata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifyingDandelion LeavesVata aggravatingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifying
DillVata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifyingEndiveVata aggravatingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifying
Garlic (raw)Vata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifyingGrapefruitVata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifying
HoneyVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifyingKaleVata aggravatingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifying
MintVata aggravatingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifyingOrange ZestVata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifying
Radish (raw)Vata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifyingRed Onion (raw)Vata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifying
TarragonVata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifyingTurmericVata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifying

Related Symptoms & Habits

The following symptoms & habits may be related to 'Feel overweight' See your quiz results for a computerized assessment of your body type. Please click on the symptoms below to learn more about them. Which types have the most check-marks? That could indicate the Ayurvedic imbalance causing your condition
Thick coating tongueHeaviness in heart area
Blood thick / Congested lymphCandida / Yeast Infection / Thrush
Bad breathFoul taste on tongue
Lumps on Surface of BellyTrying to lose weight
Mucus CongestionFeet or Ankles Swelling
Puffy / swollen skin


Dairy/milk/cheese/ice-creamDessert after meals
Refined floursFatty fried food
PizzaRefined sugar
CandySoda / corn syrup
Currently/recently on a dietIced/cold drinks
WheatLarge portions
Wheat IntoleranceSalty cravings
Sweet cravingsFrequent snacking
Strong hungerStrong food cravings
Fast food more than 2x/week


Gurgling NoisesSlow, heavy digestion
Tired after eatingBurping
Frequent NauseaIndigestion / Upset stomach
Foul odorous stoolBloating / distension
Currently/recently on a diet


Stress overeaterEmotional eating
Overwhelmed by responsibilitiesStress
Nervous stomach / butterfliesLonely / isolated
DepressedDisappointed by life
Low self esteemPast emotional trauma


HypothyroidLow energy


Eating after 8pmEating while driving/TV/hurrying
Irregular meal timesIrregular sleep schedule
Skip meals more than 2x/week

Weight Related Diseases

High CholesterolHigh Blood Pressure
High Blood SugarHigh Triglycerides
Lactose IntolerantCeliac Disease
Water RetentionFatty Liver

About the Author

John Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. His online course Balance Your Ayurvedic Diet in a Week provides tools for gracefully healing with Ayurveda to thousands. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.

John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.

John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.

Comments & Personal Experiences

How does 'feel overweight' affect your quality of life? What aggravates it? What has helped you? Is there something you'd like to know about 'feel overweight'?

(5.00 out of 5 stars) 1 review

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how can i find a way to eat better? i know a diet isn't easy to keep up. What can i learn to help myself? I need your help please...

- judith, Dominica, 05-17-12 (Reply)
I have been dieting for most of my life, as I have aged it has become increasingly difficult to lose those unwanted pounds. Where can I find out which Dosha I am and the appropriate foods to help me on my weight loss journey?
- Deb Power, Effingham, IL, 05-18-12 (Reply)
Start with these:
  • http://www.joyfulbelly.com/Ayurveda/products/7-Step-Plan-for-Food-Cravings/102
  • http://www.joyfulbelly.com/Ayurveda/products/Introduction-to-Kapha-Dosha/293

What is the ideal amount of weight loss to strive for?
- Carol, Willits, CA, 07-05-12 (Reply)
How do I find the discipline which is so easily found for my work and personal life, for food and cooking and taking care of myself?
- valerie hill, Vancouver, BC, 09-13-12 (Reply)
I was diagnosed with Dermatitis, & was put on aggressive cortisone drip for 5 days in January this year, since then I've been struggling with bad weight fluctuations & have picked up 7kgs. It has made me very depressive & feel asif I've lost the fight with my weight. As I had lost 23kgs, before the cortisone drip. My dermatitis is due to stress.
- Vanice, 10-13-13 (Reply)
Consider taking our Weight Loss Cleanse and Body Image workshop.
- Kimberly Kubicke, Wall, NJ, 08-29-16 (Reply)

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information and products on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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