According to Ayurveda these 5 healthy habits can actually be harmful: Make Breakfast Your Biggest Meal, Drink Eight Glasses of Water Daily, Avoid Fat Intake, Make Up For Lost Sleep On Weekends, Exercise Vigorously Daily, No Matter What According to Ayurveda, breakfast should be lighter, water should be drank only when you are thirsty, you can eat fat derived from mustard, coconut oils, nuts and avocados, never sleep long in the weekends, and exercise should be done only at times when you are not having any aches and PMS as well.
As members of the modern, globalized society, we are continuously exposed to a variety of magazine articles, television and radio shows and other forms of online media that bombard and often confuse us with contradictory information.
One research report negates what another confirmed to be proven true, leaving us in quite a quandary as we seek to form and follow healthy habits.
I, too, was once lost in the quagmire of modern media when it came to health.
Having encountered, studied, practiced and then taught Ayurveda, however, I now feel certain about how we can not only obtain, but sustain, amazing health.
Ayurveda is a Time-Tested Science
Whereas our modern medical system is relatively new, and therefore, continuously in a state of change and flux, Ayurveda, India’s ancient medical system, has been around for 5,000 years, proving as effective today as it was thousands of years ago. The reason many of us may not have heard of it is because Ayurveda was banned for many years by the British colonists.
Because it delivers incredible results where other systems of medicine often fail, Ayurveda is seeing a great resurgence in our era. In my own life, I truly believe that only Ayurveda, with its four-dimensional approach to healing (addressing body, mind, soul and senses), could help me overcome anorexia nervosa: a problem that involves all four dimensions.
Ayurveda Gives Equal Emphasis To Health Promotion
While being a complete medical system (one of the original authors of the ancient Ayurvedic texts, Rishi Sushrut, is known in western medicine as the grandfather of modern surgery), one of the most inspiring aspects of Ayurveda is its active promotion and teaching about how to become—and remain—healthy at all levels.
These teachings together comprise an entire sub branch of Ayurveda called Svasthavritta. Svastha means health, and Svasthvritta literally means the actions, behaviors and habits that keep us healthy.
Ayurveda’s time-tested health-promoting wisdom sheds light on why the following habits touted by modern media as healthy can actually harm us.
Make Breakfast Your Biggest Meal
We learn as part of Ayurveda’s prescribed daily routine (called Dinacharya) the importance of eating lighter at breakfast and dinner, and eating the most quantity at lunchtime instead. The reason for this is that Ayurveda follows a natural circadian rhythm. We are solar powered creatures, and so we must follow the sun’s course in our daily lives to be abidingly health.
The state of your digestion is believed to be a reflection of one’s overall health in Ayurveda. We have our greatest digestive capacity at the time of day when the sun has fully risen, which happens between 12-1 p.m., the time Ayurveda recommends we eat a large lunch. Having grown up eating larger breakfasts and dinners, my health and digestion definitely thank me now for making lunch my heaviest meal.
Drink Eight Glasses of Water Daily
Ayurveda teaches us to only drink water (or any other liquid, for that matter) when we are thirsty—but not otherwise. Excess water intake (which occurs when we drink beyond our thirst level) is, in fact, a causative factor for obesity, skin problems, digestive, and many other health challenges.
If you’re actually thirsty enough to drink 8 glasses, do so. If not, don’t.
Avoid Fat Intake
As a society that has unprecedented rates of obesity, it is very easy to want to practice avoiding fat consumption altogether. Modern western and ancient Ayurvedic medicine both agree that we actually doneed some fat to be healthy, regardless of how fat we may be—it just must be the right kind of fat. The fat derived from ghee (clarified butter), mustard and coconut oils, nuts and avocados is considered healthy.
What Ayurveda additionally teaches, however, is that these fats can only increase your health to the extent that you can digest them. While an obese person will benefit from having some fat in his or her diet (ideally in the form of ghee), it must be a relatively small quantity to be able to help.
Having a relatively strong digestive capacity, overcoming the fear of fat and mindfully consuming it has given me a greater overall sense of satisfaction from eating. Anyone close to me, in fact, can attest to my now undying love of ghee!
Make Up For Lost Sleep On Weekends
There is this idea that we can accumulate sleep debt during the work week and repay it over the weekend by sleeping in. Having once heavily subscribed to this belief, I now strive to maintain a regular sleep pattern, as good sleep habits are considered one of the three pillars of health, according to Ayurveda. Try sleeping by 10:30 p.m. at the latest and awakening no later than 6 a.m. regularly and you, too, will feel the difference.
Exercise Vigorously Daily, No Matter What
I will proudly raise my hand to tell you I fell (hard) for this so-called healthy habit, too, and suffered from all sorts of aches, pains, and cracking joints as a result. There is no one-size-fits-all prescription for exercise in Ayurveda—how much, how long, what kind, when, as well as our own individual strength are all factors that play important roles in determining our ideal exercise habits. A woman should never exercise during her menstrual cycle and exercise is also contraindicated when we are ill, infirm, or already completely exhausted from excess travel, work, study, etc.
Ayurveda’s seasonal wisdom teaches us that we can exercise more vigorously in the winter and spring months, as we feel physically stronger during these times. The heat and dryness of summer and early fall cause very vigorous exercise to deplete and exhaust us; a gentler routine is recommended at this time.
Following Ayurveda’s health promoting wisdom has truly changed my life in countless, amazing ways. But don’t just take my word for it—try following even just one of these tips and you, too, will start to see and feel the difference for yourself.
How much water should we drink per day? I've read 64oz and I've also heard something related to our height/weight? THANKS!
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True. Me for instance I rarely wake up hungry so the idea of having to eat a lot of heavy food just because that is my first meal of the day simply makes no sense; stuff the digestive system with so much information at once when it is still literally awaking. Also, I never felt like drinking that much water each and every day just because that is the recommendation. Also, I used to workout too much and I was feeling and getting sick, exhausted and just getting skinny instead of strong and healthy at that point... :)
That is true about working out in the winter times. In my experience, I work out a lot more during the winter times and feel extremely lazy to workout during the summer.
The breakfast part is true for me as well. Because we haven't eaten since the last time we were awake ;) . In order for our digestive system to function well, we have to ease in to our food intake. Take time while eating, its much healthier. Then eat a lot during lunch time. Which in this case, our digestive system shouldn't receive that much of a shock. New thing for me to eat lighter during afternoon. Thanks Ananta.
Also I'd like to include is to eat smaller bites and eat slowly. Take time with our food and enjoy it. I particularly "sip" luke warm water when eating and that means not an entire bottle or glass full. About 1/4 of the container size. It also helps me relieve me of my gaseous reactions later in the digestive process. I've read in Ayurvedic articles that eating slower and no drinks is much better too!
I typically drink water in the morning right when I wake up which is about a glass full. I don't drink 8 glasses throughout the day cause that is not a "fit for all". Drink enough water. Agreed on that one with this article. Anything in excess or insufficient is harmful, but in moderation is better. The article doesn't condemn people who do drink 8 glasses as people have commented otherwise ;p
I'd like to credit the Ayurvedic community and the French community on this. Where I've applied the "how to eat portion" to my life.
This entire article is crap. First off for breakfast if none has ever broken down the word, it means breaking fast. As in you have to eat after your body lost nutrients throughout the night. Breakfast is an essential meal and if you wake up early to go to work early and done have a moderate breakfast, you will have fatigue by 11 and slow down your metabolism by not giving it food to digest for you. With water intake, your body( just like the earth) is made up of hydrogen and oxygen, therefore not giving your body water can cause your body to store unwanted toxins, dry skin, loss of appetite, and many ther symptoms on a daily basis. So drink water with every meal and in between, especially during workouts which ironically adds up to approximately 8 bottles. Fats are healthy. Indeed. But if anyone also recalls the food pyramid, fats are at the top to be the smallest intake. For example, an actual portion for avocado is only a quarter. Not a whole avocado.
The simplest way to know how much water we should drink is to drink when we are thirsty. Modern nutritionists say this is probably too late, as we are already overly dehydrated by this point. This is from a curejoy article that was posted in the last two days...
I started to cure my rheumatoid arthritis with the Ayurveda Consultant. She gave me a diet, herbal medicine and some of the recipes, and I have to say, I started to notice differences. I understood that not all of my healthy behaviours, were actually healthy! Sumply ♡ Ayurveda
I've made certain above mentioned changes in the recent past & experienced all the benefits...thanks for the informative article...
Not all true!!!. Drink 8 or more glasses of water a day.... thirst is a sign of mild dehydration....why wait til u thirst... a hoax....
I disagree with the last point. Just because we are woman and its that time of the month, we shiiodnt be restricted! Instead I have been playing soccer and working out on those days. I have no pains or aches or any such ill feelings. Am proud to say that bc am glad I never restricted myself, instead I made myself stronger. Like example: when ur sick, u shouldn't be indoors, rather outside. Bc the atmosphere of the house makes u sick. While the outdoors gives ur immune system a booste. I even advise girls and woman to do lite workout or yoga. And try this method instead of doing nothing.
Your site is nice and I quite follow it. But many a times you are driven by superstition than science. Nevertheless, as your intent is great, will still follow applying a filter based on my needs and thoughts.
My personal experience in observing myself and the ayurvedic way says theese are great tips and very true. Sometimes our thirst can be for more than 8 cups of water per day but preferably in small amounts each time and more frequent that just from cup to cup. Great post!