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Trying to get rid of extra pounds is a challenge, but one well worth taking. Aside from the aesthetic aspect, obesity causes numerous avoidable health problems. Dieting can create difficulties as well, and weight lost this way is often regained. A weight-loss program should seek to restore health and help the body avoid regaining the lost weight. There are approximately 58 million adult Americans that are considered overweight (i.e: men with more than 22 percent of body fat, and women with over 32 percent of body fat.) This problem needs to be addressed whenever possible, and only then followed by discussion of the possible therapeutic approaches. This review will focus on the currently understood causes, with solutions offered by Ayurveda and Tibetan medicine.

Most weight loss pharmaceutical aids are designed to decrease the amount of body fat, by either or all of the following mechanisms: decreasing appetite for food by increasing brain and systemic levels of neurohormones/ neurotransmitters serotonin and cholecystokinine, decreasing food absorption, slowing down the rate of fatty acid synthesis and increasing the rate of catabolism of fatty acids. By comparison, Ayurveda and related Tibetan medicine are not designed to provide treatment aimed at a single mechanism to regain proper weight and health. By preference, any pharmacologic approach is combined with a behavioural and nutritional modification that goes beyond the commonly known guidelines. The guidance for the behavioural and nutritional modification comes in Tibetan medicine by exercising the spiritual values of awareness, will power and compassion. The awareness represents knowledge, will power ability to implement that knowledge, and compassion the successful implementation of the knowledge. This is unusual by western standards approach, but supports the mind and body effectively in addition to the herbal treatments. This combined approach can take care of the psychosomatic causes of overeating and normalise a sluggish metabolism. In addition to balancing the body, the mind and the spirit several herbals derived from Indo-Tibetan materia medica have been used to help in controlling the body weight. The herbal substances used as helpful adjuncts in weight loss include Garcinia gambogia, Sida cordifolia, Commiphora mukul, Piper longum, Triphala and multicomponent herbal and mineral formula.



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