If you are overweight, you are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol or diabetes. You may also be more prone to osteoarthritis, varicose veins, hiatus hernia and gynaecological problems.
Dieting alone will not achieve significant or lasting weight loss. It is just as important to undertake regular strenuous exercise in order to speed up the metabolic rate, thereby burning up more calories. It is easier to stick to an exercise plan if you choose an activity that you enjoy, e.g. swimming, salsa dancing or keep fit classes. Exercise until you are a little breathless!
Donít try to lose too much weight too quickly. Your body needs time to adjust, so aim to lose no more than two pounds per week. Eat sensibly, using a broad range of fresh, natural ingredients. Processed foods often contain too much salt, encouraging fluid retention. Cut down on sugary and fatty foods and concentrate on fresh fruit and vegetables, wholegrains and fish. Have regular small meals and cut out snacks.
Faddy diets can cause malnutrition and may result in lasting health problems. You are unlikely to persevere with a boring diet. Starvation diets prompt the body to conserve fat by lowering the metabolic rate and burning up lean mass instead. You end up having to eat less and less in order to achieve minimal weight loss, and you feel dreadful. You may also damage your health irreparably. Organisations such as Weight Watchers and Slimming World offer sensible eating plans as well as lots of moral support. Once you have reached your ideal weight you should continue to follow a sensible diet and exercise regime.
Herbs have a supportive role in helping you to achieve weight loss. The only way to keep weight off permanently is to eat less, move more, and maintain a good metabolic rate. This, as we have seen, can be achieved by a sensible diet and regular strenuous exercise.Kelp can also help raise the metabolic rate by stimulating the thyroid gland; it may also improve a sluggish digestion, improving food utilisation.
Blue flagstimulates the gallbladder to release bile which in turn breaks down fats in the digestive system and helps cleanse the circulatory and lymphatic systems of toxins released into the body when fat is burned up. Boldo also helps stimulate the flow of bile, ensuring efficient fat processing; it has a diuretic action too. Where fluid retention is a problem, particularly at certain times of the month, Dandelion leaf may be of benefit. Co-enzyme Q10 is essential for cell energy production and is believed to metabolize food more quickly.
You are unlikely to suffer from constipation if your diet is high in fibre, but herbs such asPsyllium husk or Dandelion root will help ensure a regular bowel movement. You should try to drink at least two litres of water every day.
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NB. I am prohibited from giving specific medical advice to individuals over the internet or telephone so please do not waste your time or mine by emailing or calling me with detailed information about your health problems - I can only undertake face-to-face consultations for what should be obvious reasons. Diagnoses cannot be made remotely, and I am unable to offer any advice or treatment until I am completely satisfied that I know what I'm dealing with! The herb profiles and treatment suggestions on this website will help enable you to choose which herbs might be appropriate for minor ailments. For more serious or chronic conditions you should seek professional advice. This is particularly important if you are taking medication from your doctor or pharmacist, as some herbs can interact adversely with other drugs. If you would like to have a consultation with a medical herbalist then you should click here then scroll to 'Professional Organisations' at the bottom of the page to find a qualified practitioner in your area.
Christine Haughton, MA MNIMH MCPP FRSPH
Wold Farm, West Heslerton, Malton, North Yorkshire YO17 8RY, UK
Last updated 3rd March 2013 ©Purple Sage Botanicals