So, you gained a few pounds during the holidays…
Like clockwork, the diet season is once again upon us. We are bound to see many ‘new and improved’ schemes added to the already bloated list of useless regimens accumulated during the course of the past few years, like so much dead weight.
These schemes are indeed ‘fool-proof’, since every year millions of us prove that we are ready to try anything, no matter how improbable or extreme, to lose that extra weight. Anything —that is— except what truly works.
Although it is not ‘new’ and has not been ‘improved’ in the last two millennia, Ayurveda offers us a simple, effective, and healthy approach to weight control that is often neglected, even by its practitioners. While a sensible, plant-based diet, tailored to our constitution, is the best long-term approach, if you want faster results, consider Intermittent Fasting.
As with all other species on the planet, human physiology is highly susceptible to circadian rhythms. Our digestion is optimal at high noon (the time that the Buddha instructed the Sangha to partake of the daily meal). When we eat at any time other than high noon, digestion is less efficient, and we accumulate both weight and toxins.
It’s not necessary to restrict your eating to one meal per day. You can, however, make sure that your meals are consumed during daytime, and preferably within four hours on either side of high noon (not always 12 o’clock in jurisdictions that set time artificially). Thus, you have an 8-hour window in which to consume your meals.
Within these 8 hours, there are two other timing considerations:
- Consume the entirety of your meal within one hour, from start to finish. Lingering meals and grazing throughout the day unnecessarily stress digestion.
- Wait at least two hours between the end of your last meal and the beginning of the next.
While the quality and quantity of the food you consume are certainly important, a simple adjustment in the timing of your eating will make a substantial difference.
Tashi Nyima is a Buddhist monk and a practitioner of Indo-Tibetan Yoga and Ayurveda for more than thirty years. He is the director of the New Jonang Buddhist Community
in Dallas, Texas and a spokesperson for Dharma Voices for Animals.
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