I have tried so many diets.
I’m sure you have, too. Vegetarian diets, Paleo, Atkins, Weight Watchers…The list goes on. We live in a world where even those of us who work out regularly, who limit dessert to once a week, who eat ALL of our leafy green vegetables often feel…less than our best.
It’s not right. It’s not fair…but it’s how it is.
I could tell you that you’re beautiful, just the way you are.
I could write about how every healthy body looks different.
I could tell you to STOP dieting!
Eat what you want!
Screw the consequences!
…but that won’t help you feel better about your body and it definitely won’t help you make healthy changes.
Instead, I’ll tell you the truth: Your body is unique, and different.
You were right, all along: Running is bullshit, carbs aren’t bad, hot yoga sucks, and cheeseburgers are delicious.
Maybe you only agree with one of those statements or maybe you don’t agree with any of them. It doesn’t matter. You’re still right, because your body is different, special, and unique. So why do you expect a one-size-fits-all diet to work for you?
It won’t. It shouldn’t. Your body is always growing and changing, and through all that change, you remain unique. Of course, if you run 10 miles a day and only eat celery sticks you’ll lose weight regardless of your body type. But why would you do that? That’s not healthy, fun, or easy. Getting (and staying) in shape should be all three.
The easiest, most rewarding diet I’ve found is an Ayurvedic diet. Ayurveda is preventive medicine derived from Ancient Indian Scripture or The Vedas, if you want to be classy. According to the Vedas, diet is the most important medicine for all ailments, and everyone’s diet should be a little different.
The Vedas break this down into 3 Doshas (or body types) with characteristic strengths, weaknesses, needs, and traits. Eating for your Dosha can be the difference between easy weight loss, and ineffective, unhealthy dieting.
Every person is made up of a combination of all 3 Doshas, with one always remaining dominant.
Air or Vatta – Vatta people tend to be narrow and thin. They get cold easily, have trouble building muscle, and have dry skin and hair. Vatta people are very creative.
Fire or Pitta – Pitta bodies are usually medium build and muscular. They’re hard workers who prefer cooler climates. Pitta people can be moody and irritable.
Earth or Kapha – Kapha people are heavily built. They like to be warm and dry, and they have thick, healthy hair and nails. Kapha people are incredibly stable and easy-going.
To figure out your dominant dosha right away, take an online quiz like This One from Yogi Cameron. You can always see an N.D. who specializes in Ayurveda to get more specific information later.
Do the quiz now. It takes 2 seconds.
Yogi Cameron gave you a few pointers about what flavors and foods to steer clear of, but until you know more about Ayurveda and your body, here are some clear cut meal plans for each Dosha: Vatta, Pitta, and Kapha. If you want more in-depth info about your Dosha, find it here. Remember that all three Doshas exists simultaneously in you, and you might need to modify your meal plan, or retake the Dosha Quiz. At the end of the day, it’s your body, and you know best.
If you have dietary things that already work for you, keep doing them! You can always add the Dosha meal plans on top of existing diets, because they’re so flexible. A few plans like Paleo and the Whole 30 diet work especially well in combination with Dosha meal plans, to determine where you should be getting your fats and carbs from.
You can also supplement your diet with Ayurvedic herbal supplements like Rejuena from 5 Elements Products, or SBM Fat Free from Dr. Sreedevi. These products help balance your body, so you see results more quickly. While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all, or even a three-sizes-fit-all, Dosha meal plans are a great place to start learning what foods work best for your unique body. Try mixing and matching dosha plans, and keep tailoring your diet until you’re the healthiest person you can be.