Building Agni- The Digestive fire

image1   Blog by: Jyoti Hassanandani

Are you a victim of sluggish metabolism? How can anyone know that when it’s a biological process happening inside the body? Yes but you can know by knowing how your body behaves. If you have a tendency to gain weight quickly but have a tough time losing weight then your metabolic rate is too slow and sluggish.

It is in your body type or it is your dosha and you cannot change it but you can counteract it or balance it. How? There are many ways and i have listed them below. But the whole reason i am writing this to share a great tip i found to rev up the digestive fire. Do this – every time you are having your food make sure you have a piece of ginger with a few drops of lemon before meal. Easy, quick and doable. Ginger is an age old herb known for its therapeutic properties one of them being improving digestive abilities of your body. Also make sure you peel and store ginger in your refrigerator. Working on such small thing every time you sit to eat will feel like a humongous task otherwise and you will end up breaking your discipline.

Further, the spices we add to food like cayenne pepper, turmeric, cinnamon,cloves, cardamom etc and even garlic aid to improve metabolic rate. Use them generously to prepare your food. Limit salt/sodium.


Things you should do to improve metabolism


1 – HEALTHY BREAKFASTEat your breakfast first thing in the morning. Don’t delay that by having tea or caffeine shots. Cuppa masks the hunger and delays your feeding process. While a healthy breakfast jump starts metabolism and makes your body feel assured that it will be well fed. Body is extremely intelligent.

2 – COMMITTED FITNESS REGIMEWorkout regularly and if possible all 7 days a week. Workout revs up your metabolism. Indulging into workouts that tend to increase your heart rate will work wonders on your metabolic rate. Also I think walking is not an appropriate workout option. A physical activity done for an hour must reap multiple benefits. Walking is not so effective to gain muscle, build stamina and flexibility. Do weight training or yoga. Have adequate protein to build muscle and repair general wear and tear that happen in the body during the day. Protein is the building block of your body. Your body burns more calories to maintain muscle mass. So grow your lean muscle mass. Also have a discipline to immediately have whey protein and high carbs post workout. Render your workout useless without this.

3 – EAT MORE FREQUENTLYEat at regular intervals of 2-3 hours and have more number of meals than the stereotypical 3 meals a day. Eat less at a time and eat more number of times.

4 – EARLY DINNER – Make sure you have last meal 2 hours before you go to bed and eat light. Body’s digestion power is minimal at this time for everyone. Also that way you will tend to feel hungry next morning.

5 – A high protein diet improves metabolic rate because of thermic effect of protein. Understand thermogenesis. It is process of heat production in an organism. In simpler words, calories used by body to digest food or to burn the macro nutrients. This is called diet-induced thermogenesis. The thermogenic effect of protein is much much higher than the thermogenic effect of Carbs or Fats. Which simply means that if you eat high protein the body will have to use more calories to synthesize protein while to synthesize the same amount of carbs the body will require almost half of what it needed for protein. For fats the calories required to metabolize it is even lesser than carbs.

Thermic effect of different macro nutrients:

Protein: 20-35% of calories burned through processing Carbohydrates: 5-15% of calories burned through processing

Fats: 0-5% of calories burned through processing

Having high protein diet means to have optimum intake of protein your body requires in a day. Too much protein can have adverse impact on body which is further aggravated if you have very less carbs and fats. So remember balance your macro nutrient intake.

And a really intelligent and smart tip – Everyone tends to feel hungry between 4 pm – 6 pm. Weight watchers usually don’t eat at this time to cut calories and resort to tea or coffee to suppress hunger. Then what? At 9 pm you become ravenous and forget everything and eat all you can lay your hands on. So best thing is to keep yourself satiated. Eat something healthy and filling in evening then have tea/coffee if you have to. And then for dinner opt for something light and high in protein.

About author – Jyoti Hassanandani is Berkley University certified expert in writing, a full time IT consultant, an avid traveler and an aspiring model . She is into fitness for 14 years now and regularly practices strength training, yoga, cardiovascular exercises and aerobics. She has acquired in depth knowledge of nutrition science and fitness activities by indulging into them. Fitness is her passion and her great inquisitiveness about nutrition science and years of practical knowledge has helped her build profound understanding on the subject.



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2 thoughts on “Building Agni- The Digestive fire”

  1. Vagbhat, one of the Trinity of Ayurvedic knowledge has stated that you should eat only 3 meals-heaviest in the morning before 9 am(breakfast), a little less for lunch and dinner before sunset which should be the lightest.This concept of having frequent meals in a western one and is not generally followed in India.Eat only when the fire of hunger is at its peak.

    Some doctors and physiotherapists suggest that one day rest after a week long exercise is good for the body to get back into the exercise mode. If not given rest ,the body could develop fatigue which is difficult to overcome. One day, just one day after six days of exercise.

    1. Reply from Jyoti Hassanandani

      The significance of 3 main meals have not been denied even by proponents of more than 3 meals a day theory. I would suggest to look at it in a more practical manner-

      3 meals a day means each meal is after an interval of 6 hours. So 9 am break fast and 2 or 3 pm lunch and 8 or 9 pm dinner. 

      –6 hours gap between meals is sustainable? 

      — If last meal we eat at 9 pm and next day we eat at 9 am. Is it right to keep the body in fasting state for 12 hours. 

      — To feel full for a long time we will have to eat more than adequately at one time. The aftermath of eating after we feel full – heaviness and lethargy. And how fantastic we feel when we just eat enough to satisfy  our hunger. 

      — Also we can’t load stomach with everything at one time. For example i can’t have a high protein breakfast and then eat a fruit and a glass of milk with it to fulfill the nutrition requirement. 

      So what we mean by eating every 2-3 hours.  –Eat breakfast lunch and dinner. Eat enough as they are main meals. But don’t overfill yourself. 

      –In between meals plan to snack on fruits, dry fruits, dairy products, light sandwiches etc

      The 4-6 pm ‘Shaam ka nashta’ or snacks is a common thing in India also every where. Because lunch is at 1 pm and dinner by 8 or 9. Long gap is not sustainable. 


      ‘If POSSIBLE  workout all 7 days a week’ . What I mean: 

      It’s my experience that one day necessarily rest in a week usually results in many days break. So if you have soar muscle or tiredness then take that break. So rest day should be the day when u really need to take that off.  If you need to rest more due to soar muscle you can take it even more than once a week. 

      Also it’s not necessary that you will workout at same intensity everyday. If you are feeling good then u should still goto gym do some light warmup exercises and stretching. Usually we are not stretching adequately because most of the time is invested in workout. So it’s good to take this time to stretch. Also to keep yourself regular to your workout routine. Take break not because you should but because you need it.

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