School of Ayurvedic Diet & Digestion

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Stop Sugar Cravings & Overeating With This 7 Step Plan

Written by John Immel, Asheville, NC
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Ayurveda's Secret to Weight Loss

Weight loss can seem like a constant fight against your own body. You can't trust your instincts, and may even feel like your own body betrayed you, leading you to weight problems. Fighting your unruly cravings sometimes makes them stronger. Ayurveda offers something better than a battle between your will and your weight. Ayurveda improves your relationship with food and with your body. It teaches you how to listen to your body, and eliminate or diminish food cravings to manageable levels without a struggle. These seven steps are a gentle approach to stop overeating.
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1. Take a short walk or stretch.

Sometimes, even though your body has plenty of stored energy available, your body is unwilling to metabolize it, leaving you tired and fatigued. Poor circulation, low oxygen and insulin resistance (the inability to absorb sugar from the blood), for example, can make the energy stored in your fat cells inaccessible. Your body craves sugar instead. Walking raises the heart rate, oxygen levels, and replenishes blood flow everywhere in the body. Stretching flushes your lymphatic system. Together, these exercises help to release your stored energy from within. This refreshing burst of energy also helps to relieve sugar cravings and hunger pangs.

2. Drink a glass of warm water

Ayurvedically, all pathological cravings come from low metabolism, high toxicity or congested blood. Low metabolism translates to low energy slump and depression. High toxicity translates to confusing your body and mind. Congested blood means residue buildup and blood stagnation clogging your circulation. The simplest way to keep your mind and body clear and refreshed is to maintain good circulation. Good circulation carries energy and strength wherever it is needed. Heat improves circulation by dilating blood vessels, stimulating the heart, and flushing glands. Any heat, including a hot bath, will encourage circulation.

3. Eat a pinch of black pepper or a slice of ginger

Pungent spices, like warm water, stimulate your heart and circulation.

4. Enjoy Digestive Bitters

Sometimes, bad breath, and a foul taste in your mouth makes you want to eat sweets. Bitter taste cleans your mouth while aromatic herbs like mint refresh your palate, so you'll crave healthier options. Digestive Bitters Tea is a refreshing, strong formula with aromatic and bitter herbs to help you manage food cravings.

Many people hate the taste of bitters because they aren't used to them. But bitter taste gets stronger the more you resist it and refuse to eat vegetables. Once your taste buds have returned to normal, bitters will taste better. It can take up to one month or more to reset taste buds. Sometimes food cravings disappear altogether simply from daily use of bitters.

5. Eat Mindfully

Eating quickly in the car, or unconsciously in front of the TV is the number one cause of overeating. If the above steps fail to abate your cravings, sit down and take a deep breath. Look at the food, smelling and savoring it deeply up to 10 times. Take a small bite, relishing the food, keeping it in your mouth as long as possible. Enjoy its taste without guilt, completely experiencing it. Fifteen minutes later ask your body how it feels. Inspire and educate your taste buds by reconnect the feeling with the taste. Eating mindfully not only makes food more enjoyable, it will help you build a relationship with the food.

6. Honor Your Body

Remember that indulgence weakens organs. Give yourself time to recover. Honor your body by eating lightly the next meal. Do not eat again until you are truly hungry. Drink small sips of warm water throughout the day to stimulate circulation and easy digestion. Light rice and vegetable soups with spices are generally the best way to rebuild your strength after indulgence.

7. The Joy of Giving

Food offers the real promise of joy and comfort. Sometimes, it seems like the only option for satisfaction. If life without your favorite foods seems distressing and empty, remember you are not alone. All of humanity shares your deep hunger for the gifts and joy of life. When you feel controlled by your desire, don't fight those feelings. Instead, redirect them. Through acts of charity, you can transform desire into holiness, and hunger into compassion.
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About John Joseph Immel

About the Author

John Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda biocharacteristics. His approach to Ayurveda is clinical, yet exudes an ease which many find enjoyable and insightful. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda, offering professional clinical training in Ayurveda for over 15 years.

John's interest in Ayurveda and specialization in digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, as well as 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. Outside of work, John enjoys spending time with his wife and 7 kids, and pursuing his love of theology, philosophy, and language.

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