Frequently, we come across many people who suffer from obesity and struggle hard to lose weight. But there is a section of people who put a great effort to gain weight or increase their body weight. Although being lean can often be healthy, but being underweight can be a concern if it is the result of poor nutrition or a person has other health concerns. So, if a person is underweight, there is a need of medical guidance for an evaluation. Being underweight is also an indicator of low immunity and it can lead to various diseases. There is an ideal weight for everybody for a particular height. If one is too below the mark, then a person is called as an underweight. Underweight, just like the problem of overweight is commonly prevalent in the society. So, underweight persons must not take their health lightly.
Weight gain according to Ayurveda
Weight gain according to Ayurveda is associated with bulkiness, heaviness etc. which are the qualities of Kapha Prakrati and is opposite to Vata and Pitta qualities. has other health concerns. Hence, Ayurvedic treatment is intended to increase Kapha dosha and decrease Vata and Pitta. The treatment includes the prescription of coolant substances like – milk, grapes etc. because hotness is associated with lightness and coldness is associated with heaviness. In addition to coolant substances, smooth and sticky substances are associated with heaviness. After adopting lifestyle as well as nutrition as prescribed by Ayurvedic physicians for weight gain, a person will feel energetic, improvement in muscle bulk and body size and disappearance of emaciation.
Remedies for weight gain in Ayurveda is recommended after different types of diagnosis. According to Ayurveda, people with Vata Prakrati have a high rate of metabolism which doesn’t let them gain weight. Ayurveda mainly focusses on the body type and kind of food a person is eating. Weight gain also depends upon the digestive fire of an individual. If a person is taking so much of nutritious food in his/her diet but his/her digestion fire is not strong, then there will be no gain in weight and there will be no use of taking such nutritious diet. So, Ayurvedic remedies for weight gain firstly focus on increasing the digestion strength of an individual before prescribing anything for weight gain.
Ayurveda also prescribes right eating habits in order to maintain health and weight. The right quantity of food depends upon the quality of food. If the food is heavy, only half third or half of the stomach capacity is to be filled up, even in the case of light food products, excessive intake is not conducive for the maintenance of the power of digestion and metabolism. If taken in appropriate quantity, food certainly helps an individual in bringing out strength, complexion, happiness, and longevity without disturbing the equilibrium of body tissues (dhatus) of the body. Thus, after taking food, one should never eat heavy food items.
28th chapter of Charak Samhita (Indian textbook on Medicine) explains how different types of foods undergo digestion and how they nourish different body tissues and how wholesome diet and regimen causes health and unwholesomeness causes diseases and so on. It is a very detailed chapter in Ayurveda. Antaragni (internal fire) empowers digestive fire to digest various types of foods. Then the food is taken to Dhatu level where the food is subjected to Dhatu agni. There are 7 dhatus so 7 dhatu agnis convert respective part of food into the body tissue. The digested food thus causes body nourishment, skin tone and complexion, strength and immunity, good mental health and also improves life expectancy. Thus all the body tissues get well-nourished and it is necessary to eat wisely as all diseases originate from the stomach only
What are the causes of weight loss/thin body?
- Debilitated having muscle wasting
- Blood loss due to injury
- Seen in elderly patients
- Often seen in emaciated patients
- Who walk excessively on the daily basis
- Due to muscle wasting as in case of tuberculosis/chronic disorders
- Malabsorption disorder/IBS which makes the gut difficult to absorb nutrients leading to weight loss in the patient.
- Metabolic disorders like – thyroid
Complications of the thin body for a long period of time
- Depletion of digestion power
- Depletion of immunity
- Depletion of muscle mass, skin complexion
- The person becomes prone to repeated infections
- Joint related disorders due to an increase in “Vata” dosha.
Diseases caused by severe weight loss
- Reduction in the power of digestion
- Reduction in strength
- Reduction in immunity
- Reduction in muscle tissue
- Pain in chest
- Pain in the cardiac region
- Obstruction in the passage of stool, urine
- Pain in the thigh, calf and lumbar regions
- Cracking pain in fingers, bones, and joints.
Top 5 Recipes for Weight Gain
- A smash fruit mixture prepared with dry grapes, dates, Indian gooseberry (Amla) and pomegranate and a little sugar can be added to improve the taste. This mixture can be taken 2 times a day.
- Regular intake of milk, ghee, curd and dairy products can help in gaining weight.
- Use soybean in the diet.
- Take fruit or fruit juice a minimum of 4 times a week.
- Mango shakes if taken once a day helps in gaining weight.
Freshly harvested rice, sugarcane, black gram helps to gain weight. In addition to this, regular use of little quantities of spices such as – cinnamon, garlic, ginger, clove, black pepper and cardamom in the diet as these herbs help to improve appetite.
Remember, there is no shortcut for weight gain. If one has lost weight very rapidly in recent times, then putting on weight can be achieved in a short period of time but if someone has lost weight over a long period of time, then putting on weight will also take time. So in general, putting on weight should be ideally a gradual process.
But, firstly the cause of weight loss must be rectified in order to weight gain. If a person is lean by birth, then weight gain in such cases is not possible because being lean is the body type of an individual. The results are not seen in such cases.