Author: Puja Patel, ALC

According to Ayurvedic theory, each individual is born with varying combinations of the doshas (refer to intro to doshas), so every individual’s body size/type is different. Based on predominating doshas, some people are thin-framed and leaner, while others are thicker-boned and larger. Neither body type is right or wrong and in fact, Ayurveda proposes health at every size. Thus, there is no set routine to help you lose or gain weight. Instead, Ayurvedic medicine equips you with guidelines surrounding the types of foods and movements to incorporate according to your dosha. Following lifestyle prescriptions tailored to your body type will help you better approach your ideal weight – whether that’s through shedding some excess fat or adding some additional muscle. Once you know your dosha, check out our tips below to take one step closer balancing your body type.


Vata individuals are generally slim and may have difficulty gaining weight. In order to balance vata, it is recommended to have meals that are grounding, heavy, and warm. To balance your vata body type, follow the guidelines below


  • Consume 3-4 small meals daily spaced 2-3 hours apart 

  • Emphasize warm cooked meals like soups and lentils

  • Cook your vegetables before eating them and try to avoid legumes

  • Prioritize sweet, juicy fruits

  • Add a variety of nuts and seeds into your diet

  • Avoid sugar, frozen/cold foods, dry foods, fermented foods, and carbonated drinks


Focus on slow, centered exercises like walking, pilates, barre, or restorative yoga


Those with pitta dosha generally have a medium build with good muscle tone. They can usually maintain their weight by incorporating foods that are stable, cool, and dry. To keep your pitta body on track, utilize the following suggestions 


  • Consume three regular meals throughout the day, with the largest meal at lunch

  • Drink only room temperature water 

  • Add in cooling raw vegetables like kale, lettuce, sprouts, spinach, celery, beets 

  • Stress legumes and lentils like mung beans, tofu, adzuki beans

  • Don’t shy away from dairy products

  • Avoid coffee, hot spices, and acidic foods


Engage in grounding, centering and non-competitive activities like water sports, yin yoga, pilates, or meditation


Kapha individuals tend to have a slower metabolism and are actually meant to have a heavier build in comparison to vata and pitta types. However, too much kapha can interfere with circulation and lead to fat accumulation in the body. Kapha individuals should focus on foods that are light, dry, mobile, and warm to stay in shape. To maintain a healthy kapha body, incorporate the following guidelines


  • Limit the quantity of food per meal/focus on portion control

  • Limit protein, nuts, and seeds

  • Focus on high fiber foods like vegetables and whole grains

  • Stress astringent foods in your diet like chickpeas, cranberries, and apples

  • Eat plenty of raw vegetables 

  • Drink warm and/or room temperature liquids

  • Avoid dairy, overly fatty foods, and sweets


Focus on stimulating exercises like aerobics/cardio, running, biking, yoga, or weight training. 

General Tips

Along with following the right exercise and diet for your body type, Ayurveda also stresses the importance of mindfulness when consuming a meal. Eating mindfully consists of checking in with yourself while you are eating and planning your meals around your body’s circadian rhythm. Here are our top three tips to begin eating mindfully:

  1. Try to avoid stress eating. Stress eating triggers a hormone called cortisol which is associated with weight gain. The next time you go for a snack/meal, check in with yourself to determine if you are actually hungry and try having a glass of water instead.

  1. Eat slowly and quietly, chewing your food fully. Slow, undistracted eating allows you to better listen to your body’s signal of fullness, preventing overeating.

  2. Plan to have your large meals during the day, avoiding big meals at night. Because your digestive fire is the strongest between 11-2pm, it is recommended to eat a larger lunch during this time and to have a lighter dinner at around 5-6pm. Additionally, try to avoid eating anything three hours before bed.