The best diet for your body type, according to Ayurveda


The best diet for your body type, according to Ayurveda

Are you working against your body?

By ELLE team  May 14th, 2018

We all have that one friend who tried that fad diet and it worked. But when you try exactly the same one, no results. While there are many reasons a diet could or could not work for you, one of them might be that it’s just not conducive to your dosha. Dr Chandan M C from the Ananda Spa in the Himalayas explains the best diet for your body type, according to your doshas (elements).

According to Ayurveda, the three doshas of Vata, Pitta and Kapha are all different in nature and therefore, have unique dietary needs. From the type of food to be consumed to the way we eat, there are multiple factors to bear in mind. So if intermittent fasting or that juice cleanse isn’t working for you, we’re here to help you find the best diet for your body type.

The best diet for your body type

Dosha type: Vata

Description: People of the Vata Dosha tend to be more active and creative. Their energy comes in bursts, followed by periods of fatigue which they should use to recharge.

Diet to follow: Eating every two hours in a plan that involves three meals and two snacks.

What is it?

Regular eating intervals have been proven to keep the body's metabolic rate up as well as prevent binge eating in the future. Small, light meals at regular intervals keep the body from getting tired and provide it with the necessary energy required. 

Why it works?

The Vata dosha burns a high amount of energy in their daily activities, hence extreme diets with long gaps between meals tend to fail. Vata needs constant nourishment to keep the body from deteriorating. A high metabolic rate means that Vata gets hungry often. Warm cooked meals eaten at regular intervals ensure they stay nourished and that their body doesn't burn up all its fuel. Raw foods tend to be difficult to digest for this dosha, as that requires a large amount of energy that the Vata body type usually expends on activities.


Dosha type: Pitta Dosha

Description: The Pitta dosha is fiery in nature, and people who fall into this category tend to be of a medium build and weight. Because Pitta tends to be acidic in nature, it needs an alkaline diet. "Anything acidic is not so good," says Dr Chandan.

Diet to follow: Juice cleanse or a raw food diet

What is it?

A juice cleanse involves drinking specific nutrient-packed juices at particular times to help detox the body while keeping it nourished. The juices tend to be raw and can also be consumed daily, paired with salads and fruits. This doesn't mean all your food needs to be raw, just that vegetables and fresh fruits are preferred. 

Why it works?

Since the Pitta body type tends to be more acidic, cooler foods leaning towards an alkaline diet work best. "Eat fruits and vegetables with a higher water content; soups are preferred," the doctor explains. Pitta needs to eat at regular timings — not as often as Vata — but also not waiting until they're absolutely hungry as that could cause irritation as well as headaches. Juice cleanses or raw diets tend to provide the nutrition the Pitta body type requires without creating an imbalance. Fruits and vegetables like watermelon and cucumber have a cooling effect on the body and keep Pitta well hydrated. 

 


Dosha type: Kapha

Description: Kapha tends to lean towards earthy, natural elements. The body type tends to be heavier in nature and stores fats and liquids more readily than the other two doshas. The typical tendency of Kapha is to overeat. 

Best diet: Intermittent fasting

What is it?

Intermittent fasting involves not eating for 12-14 hours, usually during night time. For example, your meals are contained within the hours of 9 am and 7 pm. 

Why it works?

Periodic fasting may not be for everyone, but according to Dr Chandan, the body type it works best for is Kapha. Vata and Pitta tend to have good metabolic types and so need to eat more often. In contrast, Kapha is already heavier in nature and needs a lighter diet by default. As Kapha has a higher tendency to gain weight, the smaller eating window may help in weight regulation. It also gives the Kapha body type time to cleanse the system to get ride of any water retention.