Dr.Kirti Malviya
Written by:Dr.Kirti Malviya
Specialized in Ayurveda Dermatalogy,Female Disorders,Lifestyle Disorders,Manasaroga (Neuropsychiatry)
3 years of experience
Posted: 2 years ago

Obesity: Causes, Symptoms And Ayurvedic Treatment

It is accumulation of excess fat in the body which may lead to negative effects on health, reduced life expectancy/ increased health problems.

According to present scenario -- global prevalence of obesity has much increase. Major proportion of Diabetes/Ischemia Heart Disease/ Hypertension/Ischemic Stroke/Osteoarthritis, Cancer, etc. Attributed to Overweight and Obesity.

In Ayurveda,

Obesity is termed as Atisthaulya which mainly develops due to excessive accumulation of

  •  Meda(fat/adipose tissue) and,
  •  Mamsa(flesh/muscle tissue) 

-Leading to flabbiness of hips, abdomen, and breast.

-Considered as one of Santarpanottha Vikaras (=disease due to consumption of excessive calories).

‘Ati’ means excessive and ‘Sthula’ means extraordinary bulky, excessive fat deposition. Increase in body fat and muscles maily occurs in hips/abdomen/ breast regions. Body metabolism and enthusiasm decreased, persons having all the above characters are termed as “Atisthoola” or obese.


  • Increased intake of energy-dense foods ( high fat, carbohydrates)
  • Overeating and irregular food habits.
  • Lack of physical activities due to sedentary lifestyle.
  • Genetics/endocrine disorders/medical reasons/psychiatric illness.
  • Daytime sleep/Excessive sleeping.
  • More intake of bakery products and milk products.
  • Family history of diabetes.


  • Gain in weight.
  • Abdomen enlargement.
  • Development skin-fold around the axilla, below the breast, peritoneal region.
  • Dyspnoea on exertion.
  • Lassitude.
  • Fatty liver.
  • Infertility.
  • Profuse sweating with foul body odor.
  • Excessive hunger.
  • Feeling of tiredness.
  • Excessive sleep.


When signs and symptoms of obesity appears and with that your BMI (Body Mass Index) is getting affected leads to increase value of overweight and obesity criteria values/ BMI increase with complications such as diabetes/high blood pressure/ sleep apnea, then according to mention chief complaints you should consult doctor immediately.


  • Unhealthy lifestyle habits and environments.
  • BMI value higher.
  • Continue more BMI.
  • Unhealthy fast foods.
  • Family history and genetics.
  • Diabetes/ high blood pressure/ sleep apnea/ cardiological diseases.


Unhealthy diets build up adipose tissues in the body which results in weight gain & obesity. Intake of healthy diet comprising of sufficient fibre, adopt active lifestyle, yoga to be practice daily, meditation for managing stress and fatigue are necessary measures to be taken for prevention.


 It mainly includes some tests and examinations which are -

  • Health history: include weight history, weight-loss efforts, physical activity and exercise habits, eating patterns and appetite control, medications, stress levels and other issues and Family health history.
  • General Physical Examination: Height measurement, vital signs checkup like heart rate, blood pressure and temperature, heart and lungs sound and abdomen examination.
  • BMI Calculation: Doctor will check Body Mass Index(BMI). A BMI of 30 /higher is considered obesity. It is health risky. It is recommended that BMI should be checked at least once in a year.
  • Waist circumference, blood tests and other health problems


  • Have a protein-rich diet to keep full for a long time and to boost metabolism. 
  • Eat eggs.
  • Avoid processed foods as they are high in added sugars, fats and calories.
  • Limit intake of added sugar as it may further increase chances of diabetes and heart diseases.
  • Drink water as it may lead to reduced calorie intake and good for digestion as well.
  • Caffeinated coffee boost metabolism by 3-11% and reduce risk of diabetes,black coffee preferable.
  • Reduce intake of refined carbs like white flour,white bread, white rice, sodas, pastries, snacks, sweets, pasta, breakfast cereals, and added sugar.
  • Fast intermittently, means an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating.
  • Drink Green tea, as it is loaded with antioxidants and increased fat burning and weight loss.
  • Start eating more fruits and vegetables.
  • Start counting calories.
  • Take probiotics.
  • Sleep properly.
  • Fiber rich diet as it may help to reduce weight.
  • Cardio exercises to be include in diet.
  • Change lifestyle, try to include diet that focuses on weight reduction.


  • Avoid food containing more carbohydrates.
  • More sugary/ sweet products/ more dairy products/ fried and oily foods/ excess salt.
  • Salty foods/ excessive salt in meals.
  • Avoid watching TV while having food.
  • Avoid excessive sleep and sedentary habits.
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking.


  • Take low-fat + low -calorie food items.
  • More proteins to be intake to stay longer without food.
  • Exercise - mild to moderate.
  • 30 mins morning walk.
  • Prefer steam/boil vegetables over fried one.
  • Drink skimmed milk instead of whole milk.
  • Healthy foods intake- oatmeal, walnuts, salads, bitter gourd, drumstick, barley, wheat, green gram, honey, amla, pomegranate, skimmed buttermilk, etc.
  • Use warm water for drinking.
  • Include lemon in diet and drinks.


Q.1.) What is Obesity?
Ans.- Obesity is generally defined as increase in BMI/ disturbed BMI. Generally, BMI of 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight, one with a BMI of 30/ higher is considered obese.

Q.2.) Does a low-calorie diet help in losing weight?
Ans.- Yes, weight reduction can be achieved by reducing food intake and by regular exercise, low calorie diet should constitute a low carbohydrate, high fiber, moderate protein and a low-fat diet.

Q.3.) Does obesity cause complications?
Ans.- Yes, patients with obesity are at a risk of developing Diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases and hypertension in the long term.

Q.4) Does meal frequency matter?
Ans.- Some patients find it helpful to eat small meals five or six times a day. And yes it matters to have small meals to avoid food cravings.

Q.5) Can obesity leads to cancer?
Ans.- Being overweight/obese doesn’t mean that cancer will develop in body.

Q.6) How cancer can cause from obesity and cancer?
Ans.- Extra fat in the body doesn’t just sit there. It’s active and sending out signals to rest of the body. By gaining excess weight, cancer of breast(in women), bowel, womb, oesophagus, kidney, liver, thyroid, myeloma, etc, can develop.

Q.7) How common is obesity?
Ans.- According to WHO (World Health Organization)- more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older were overweight acc. To estimated data of 2016 year. And presently most of the world’s population live in countries are overweight.

Q.8) What causes obesity and overweight?
Ans.- Energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended.
- Increase intake of energy-dense foods especially foods which are high in fat and sugars.
- Increase in physical activity due to sedentary lifestyle.

Q.9) What are common health consequences of overweight and obesity?
Ans.- Cardiovascular diseases(mainly heart disease and stroke), diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders ( osteoarthritis mainly), some cancers(breast/endometrial/ gallbladder/ kidney/ colon, etc.)

Q.10) How can overweight and obesity be reduced?
Ans.- -By limiting energy intake from total fats and sugars.
-  Increase consumption of fruit and vegetables ( legumes/whole grains/nuts)
- Engage in regular physical activity.

Q.11) What are the various treatment available in Ayurveda?
Ans.- Basic principles of treatment of Sthoulya in Ayurvedic classics are Nidanaparivarjana, Apatarpanachikitsa, Saman and Shodhana chikitsa and pathya and apathya ahara and vihara. Food includes in the management of obesity are aimed to pacify kapha dosha and medodhatu and vataanuloman , rich in dietary fiber and low gylcemic index.


1. Ashtanga sangraham, Vagbhata, sutrasthana adhyaya Ch-1, First Edition
2. Charak Samhita, Agnivesh, Brahmanand Tripathi , Sutrasthana Chapter 27, first edition
3. J. Alastair Innes, Davidson’s Essentials of Medicine, 2nd edition
4. Agras WS, Berkowitz RI, Arnow BA, Telch CF, Marnell M, Henderson J, et al. Maintenance following a very low calorie diet, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.
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Disclaimer: The aim of the article is just to convey information to you. Use any medicine, therapy, herb or fruit please do it under the guidance of a qualified Ayurveda doctor.
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