Are you ready? AYURVEDA! Dr. Samina Ahmad explains this ancient medicine and WAIT!...Weight loss plateaus that you CAN overcome!
Today, we are speaking with Dr. Samina Ahmad . Dr. Ahmad is an MD, an Ayurvedic Practitioner and Ayurvedic Food and Nutrition Consultant, and is the Founder and Director of the Salman and Samina Global Wellness Initiative. She is also a Scientific Advisory Board member for LifePharm, Incorporated. Dr. Ahmad is an expert in understanding and breaking through the “Weight Loss Plateau.”
Together, we'll build Healthy Cells, and a Healthy You!
Janet Walker 00:03
Summer is just around the corner. And that means fun and sun and cookouts and worrying about how we look in shorts in a bathing suit. Most of us want to lose that winter weight for summer, so why is it so difficult? Today, Dr. Samina Ahmed is going to shed light on why it's so hard to shed pounds. What causes weight loss plateaus that make those pounds so stubborn. But first, she tells us all about the fascinating Eastern medical discipline she learned from alternative medicine guru, Deepak Chopra called Ayurveda, a 5000 year old life knowledge medical system. And by the way, why shouldn't you drink water after eating watermelon? Stay tuned until the end of the episode to find out the answer.
Janet Walker 00:58
Welcome to healthy cells healthy you. I'm your host, Janet Walker. I've been working in the health care community for 30 years. And for 16 of those years, I've been a writer and producer for the award winning national PBS Health Information Programs, American Health Journal, and innovations in medicine. We've interviewed 1000s of doctors, scientists and researchers on every topic related to health, medicine and medical technology. You can watch current episodes of innovations in medicine on your local PBS channel. Or you can stream our programs on the American Health Journal channel, the better health channel and TV healthy kids. This podcast is sponsored by the good folks at LifePharm Incorporated, a company whose innovative cellular repair products are backed by extensive science, research and clinical studies.
Today we're speaking with Dr. Samina Ahmad. Dr. Ahmad is an MD, an Ayurvedic practitioner, and our Vedic food and nutrition consultant and is the founder and director of the salmon and Samina global wellness initiative. She is also a Scientific Advisory Board Member for LifePharm Incorporated. Dr. Ahmed is an expert in understanding and breaking through the weight loss plateau. Thanks for joining us, Dr. Ahmed.
Samina Ahmad 02:19
Boy, it's a pleasure, Janet, I'm so glad to be on your podcast.
Janet Walker 02:23
I'm glad you're here too. Can I call you Dr. Samina
Samina Ahmad 02:26
you can call me whatever you want.
Janet Walker 02:29
Thanks, Dr. Samina. So you are an Ayurveda medicine practitioner and an Ayurvedic Food and Nutrition Consultant. And I'm not sure if I'm pronouncing that right. So you can help me out there. I'm sure that most people have never even heard of this fascinating Eastern diet and health specialty. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
Samina Ahmad 02:50
Sure. So Ayurveda. And this is a 5000 year old science, which talks about how you can balance your life mind body spirit. And it gives you a totally different kind of perspective on what we learned as medical doctors, you know, I basically went through a medical school and was trained, you know, in different subjects. Now, the subjects also are there in Ayurveda, because either weather basically is a science, like I said, a lot of people think it's just some gibberish it isn't. It's the science of knowledge. It's the basically it's like a, like a handbook of life, giving you knowledge or Vader knowledge Vader comes from that and is life. So imagine having a handbook on how you should live emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually. So it's a complete science and I was introduced to it in 2004 when I attended Dr. Deepak Chopra's seminars and you know, I remember going to him and telling Dr. Deepak, “Hey, I would like to learn this by going to India” because the origin of the science is from the subcontinent, which now is India and Pakistan. So Dr. Deepak I remember looked at me and said, “Hey, you don't have to go to India now. You can easily you know, learn this from the US” and at that time, he had Chopra University, which I joined and I was introduced to this wonderful, you know, modality, which is alternative medicine as well. Now, interestingly, Janet, I come from a region where Ayurveda came from. Right. So the origins my father was from India, my mother to my mom was born in Shimla dad in Jalandhar. And a lot of times, my mother would tell us stuff like, “Samina, don't drink water after eating a watermelon” and we would look at her, you know with curiosity and she was really telling us something wise and which I needed understood. So you know, I change the word Ayurveda to Momveda for myself. And if I ever write a book, Janet, it's going to be called Momveda wisdom.
Janet Walker 05:23
I love that. So, our do you combine this Eastern practice with your Western, you know, allopathic education?
Samina Ahmad 05:34
Yes, so the conventional medicine that I learned, you know, I tried to actually combine them together. And nowadays we call it integrative medicine, because you're literally integrating the two sciences together for the benefit of the patient. You see, there are so many healing modalities Janet, you know, you've got the Chinese traditional, you've got your noni and Ayurveda and all, but the Genesis or the mother's science is I read a in Sanskrit that is that that's the language that comes in, and all the other sciences come from it, because this one is 5000 years old, I tried to combine them. And I really feel it gives me an edge. It's like getting a 360 degree, you know, a view or of what we are all about.
Janet Walker 06:28
treating the whole person, mind, body, spirit, everything makes I love that I wish I could come to New York and be your patient.
Samina Ahmad 06:37
Or just learn about it, right? Why be a patient, I don't want you to be a patient at all, I want you to just absorb all these teachings and try to incorporate them in your life. But it's interesting, all my teachers would tell me, I will rather is not for everyone. And I would be curious as to why and then I found out Janet that the reason they say that is that there is so much work that the patient has to do, that the client or someone who your healing has to do, it's not a one way traffic that I write a prescription for you and you go home and you toss those medications in your mouth, and it's all done. It isn't it's a practice. And it starts with literally connecting yourself to the seasons in the you know, that we have in our life, having a daily routine, meditation, yoga, energy healing, and also knowing what to eat, where to eat, when to eat, you know, and finding out about your mind body constitution, because according to Ayurveda, they are three Mind Body constitutions, we came with these when we came into the world, Vata, Pitta and Kapha. And they are based on elements, the five elements, and those five elements, air space, earth, fire and water are in you and me, and also in anything else that exists in the universe. So we literally have to know which elements are more predominant in our body to understand what kind of stuff we should do. But you know, modern medicine, not to be derogatory or anything, I appreciate all my learnings from, you know, what I learned in medicine. And I, like I said, all the modalities are important. But somehow it's a cookie cutter solution over there, because it's a headache, and it's Tylenol for everyone. But I have other fields that Janet's headache and Samina’s headache is not the same. It's based on the experiences and on their own little pad. So we cannot do that it is custom designed. And the whole concept is not to have a BandAid approach, but to find out why a disease is there, and how to get rid of it from the roots, right from literally the cell.
Janet Walker 09:02
That's really fascinating. I mean, we could do a whole episode just on that. I love talking to you about that. But now let's switch gears a little bit because I want to hear about the weight loss plateau. I know you've done a lot of research and study and you do webinars about weight loss plateaus and how to fix those. So now let's talk a little bit about weight loss and the weight loss plateau. Can you explain the weight loss plateau to us?
Samina Ahmad 09:30
So before I ventured to explain the weight loss plateau, let's focus on the word weight. Okay, so Janet, interestingly 74% of the US population is overweight. And 42% adult population of the United States became overweight during the COVID times only COVID-19 pandemic caused that. And interestingly, I guess it's bad news for the ladies, but 29 pounds gained by women alone, that's the average that each woman actually gained during the COVID timr. So one out of every three individuals, if you and I stood anywhere outside of cinema hall in the mall, every third person in the US is obese. Wow. Now, that is really sort of mind boggling as a statistic, and you know, all the disease, all the diseases attached to obesity, whether it's heart disease, diabetes, cancers, autoimmune disorders, and most of the inflammatory diseases as well. So we are dealing with literally an obesity, I would wouldn't want to call it pandemic right now. I'm a bit cautious. I don't want to, but it's definitely an obesity epidemic. Right. And we better we better become aware of how serious this situation is, because it's spreading all over the world.
Janet Walker 11:08
And you're right about how COVID contributed to that. I know that, you know, I was just at home. So I dragged out all the recipes from my mother that are, you know, decades old and tried all these recipes. And I was baking for the first time pretty much ever. And yeah, and that's what everyone was doing. I think also everyone was so concerned about running out and getting as much food as they could and stocking their pantry and stocking their freezer in case that there was some major shortage. So yeah, it's interesting to hear the numbers though. That's, that's a lot.
Samina Ahmad 11:44
So during the COVID crisis, according to research, people were snacking more. They were, of course, eating more than they normally did. They watched a lot of television. And of course, the stress was there, which we can't deny. They weren't sleeping enough. Now, all these things also contribute to us gaining weight, right. And then remember, we were not really going out to exercise it was a sedentary lifestyle. So everybody put on more weight than they should have. There were some intelligent people who actually resorted to learning exercises and doing stuff at home, and maybe get themselves goals like, hey, I want to have a six pack. By the time the COVID is over. So they fared well. Those guys are doing pretty well.
Janet Walker 12:33
Now,I imagined that depression that that came along with COVID. And everyone being home and people losing jobs and loved ones getting ill probably also contributed to people eating more and snacking. So I'm sure depression played a part in that as well.
Samina Ahmad 12:51
Yes, it did. And you know, another thing I want to tell you is that the weight loss industry, it's like billions of dollars are spent, you know, like it's like a, there's a number I wanted to quote $66 billion industry, the weight loss industry. And that'll tell you how many people get sucked into the diet programs. And hey, let me do the Atkins let me do the Keto or the South Beach and whatever, you know, there are bazillion sort of diet plans, which are out there. And interestingly, one statistic that I'm going to tell you, which is pretty much an eye opener 80% of the people who followed any diet plan will regain that weight and more in two years. Wow.
Janet Walker 13:43
Well, well, you know, I've done so many different diets throughout my life, fad diets, HCG. You name it, and yeah, you're right, it all comes back.
Samina Ahmad 13:53
So we do talk about the fact that many people spend money on books or on diets, but they don't and this statistic was given to me by LifePharm that 80% of the people who follow a diet, we're not talking supplements, diet will regain that weight plus more in two years. So why is there this concept of you know, gaining weight all the time, before we come to discussing or talking about a plateau? What happens is the weight gain factors are important to understand. You gain weight when you take on too much stress. You gain weight when you are older. Like as we are aging, we tend to gain more weight and our metabolism slows down. That is another thing that happens when we gain you know when we are getting older. We are not exercising we sit in a in a chair, sedentary, watching television, eating popcorn. So if there's no exercise in your life, and another interesting thing we get more hungry as we age, that is a fact. So with all these things there, the weight gain will be there. Now, people will try different exercise methods, different kinds of weight loss techniques, which include many diets. But they will see that a stage comes when they are not losing any more weight. And that's frustrating for them, because they're doing everything. And now nothing is happening. The weighing scale is not moving. And I'm sure Janet we've experienced that, right?.
Samina Ahmad 15:30
It's like I've hit the wall, what is it, and you're not even eating anything, but my ring scale is not showing anything. And because of that frustration, many people just lose it and they start binging and eating, it's like “I will never be able to lose weight”. So I want you to focus on four things when we talk about the weight loss plateau. Plateau is an English word for when there is just an even turf there, you're not going up or you're going down, you are right here, just stationary, not moving, there are four things I want you to know, which will make this plateau happen. And then you know, I will tell you these four problems, these are the issues, then I'm going to give you solutions to the four. So then you will go back with a lot of knowledge on how you can break this plateau. Because remember, it's all about smashing this plateau with a big sledgehammer. So the first thing is our body actually starts working against us. And how does that happen? There are certain hormones like leptin, and ghrelin, and these are appetite hormones, they are you know, the ghrelin is there. And it starts off, you know, working when you're empty, when your stomach has no food in it, ghrelin is secreted to say, I am hungry, give me food. And so you start eating. Now you're eating and eating and eating, and ghrelin, this was God's way of, you know, telling you that you have to eat when you are hungry, the hormone tells you that put some food in your body, now you fill yourself up with tons of food, and you reached a certain threshold, which we call your satiety level. And that's where leptin comes in. And leptin is going to put a stop to this excessive eating and say, Stop, you're okay, now, you don't need any more food. Right? So that's your hormone, which tells you to stop eating, and you stop eating. Now, what happens is, during weight loss time, when you're trying to lose weight, your leptin levels go down, and they are basically low, there is not much food in the body, but the level of the leptin goes down, and you're not eating too much. So ghrelin is going high. Now the body gets confused, because guess what, what is happening, you're not when you're getting hungry, you're not eating. Because you're on a diet. These hormones are supposed to tell you to do certain things. Now, the there's a hunger hormone, we're just saying start eating. It's gone to the hypothalamus to the brain, to say this person needs food, but this person is on a diet. So you cause major confusion between a certain way that these particular hormones are supposed to help you, you are going against them against nature, by doing what you do. So guess what happens? All of a sudden, the body goes into Mayday, “Mayday! person has started starving, stop or slow down the metabolism, don't burn all the sugar don't destroy the fat cells do not get energy out there”. Because we have we have to conserve, we cannot allow these fat stirs cells to burn right now. So that is your first issue. Then let's go to the second issue. The second issue is that people the weight loss plateau happens in people who all of a sudden lose heart in a diet. They just give up. It's like no, it's not working. Because you know, this diet told me that on Sunday, I have a cheat day. So yeah, I'm going to cheat now I'm good. And the rest of the time this diet tells me I cannot eat my sweets or my desserts or the sugary stuff I love so there are so many, so many conditions put on you in diets, that the person loses heart and after a while it gives up that is the second reason. And the third reason is that there are toxins which accumulate in the body and why do these toxins accumulate because guess what? Toxins are always stored in fat cells. Now the fat cells in my body are storing these toxins but I decide to lose weight. So what happens? My fat cells are going to leave my body Because I, they're going to start, you know, like, I'm going to start losing them because I'm losing weight, my fat is going out the body, then what happens is the toxins do not have a way of getting detoxified liver is supposed to detoxify those toxins. But now they can't be carried to the liver, there's no fat to carry them. Fat cells are supposed to transport them to the liver. So what happens, body starts building new fat cells to make sure that these toxins have a little carrier, because they have lost their carry. So the more the toxins, the more the fat cells, you are literally building more fat cells in your body when you're dieting. So that will cause the plateau then comes your fourth important point. And the fourth point is your gut health. And I keep stressing on it, you know, as an allopathic practitioner, as an Ayurvedic practitioner, as somebody who studied modern medicine, and also Ayurveda, let me tell you one system that you and I have to really take care of is the gut is the is the gut health is not good, we cannot be healthy, we must support our gut health. So why do I bring that in? Where here, I really feel very proud because LifePharm’s two products. Laminine, and Digestive really worked very well together, because they did these studies in which you took two tablets of Laminine, two of Digestive. And you did that for about four weeks. And at the end of the four weeks, the body had produced 24%, short, fatty acids. Why do we need these short chain fatty acids? Because they repair the gut wall, we need to repair the gut wall because people are suffering from leaky gut syndrome. So and how will we repair it? We will repair it by Digestive and Laminine. Because digestive has your probiotics, prebiotics, and all those goodies, the digestive enzymes. And Laminine, of course, is the you know product that we always feel helps the stem cells and repairing. So these are the four points I want you to always remember when you talk about the weight loss plateau.
Janet Walker 22:20
That's great. And you know, you mentioned Laminine It seems like every expert that I've interviewed mentions Laminine that I actually know something about it. Because you know we met when I interviewed you for PBS, because they discovered the research that was going on with the supplement and had quite an interest in it. I would love to have you back to do an in depth discussion about Laminine. Because like I said, every expert has been mentioning it. And we haven't done that yet. So I really want our listeners to learn about Laminine What it is, the research around it. So hopefully, you'll be willing to come back and talk to us a little bit about a little bit more about Laminine. So we could learn more about that at a deeper level.
Samina Ahmad 23:11
Definitely Janet, I'm all yours.
Janet Walker 23:17
Next time we'll be talking more about weight management, including LifePharm’s newest product in their family of cellular repair formulations, called Extrim Shape, a weight management supplement that you'll want to know more about. We'll also hear about the wonderful work that Dr. Samina is doing through her foundation, the Salmon and Samina Global Wellness Initiative.
Now, you're probably wondering, “Why shouldn't you drink water after eating watermelon”? Ayurveda doctors suggest not to drink water after having watermelon because it can affect your gastrointestinal tract. Microbes or bacteria need water and sugar to develop and expand. So when you drink water after eating watermelon, it increases the chances of microbes spreading across your GI tract causing heaviness and upset to your gastrointestinal tract. And as Dr. Samina advised, gut health is not only the key to weight loss, but to good health overall. So thank you to Dr. Samina and to her very wise mother for that bit of key advice. Thanks so much for listening to Healthy Cells, Healthy You, with me, your host Janet Walker. You can find us on Apple podcasts, I Heart Radio, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts,. Subscribe and tell your friends. Together we'll build healthy cells and a healthy you!