Category: Weight Loss by Design

Weight Loss by Design Ayurveda for Health

karenshirodharaDH000092 goaanhcDH000028Following on from my last blog I thought I’d post a few photos of the Ayurvedic Natural Health Centre in Goa where I studied Ayurveda. The people there were wonderful and my tutors very patient!

It was very hot in the practice rooms and it took me a little while to get the rhythm right when doing shirodhara. That hanging pot is made of neem wood which is filled with warm oil and poured in a steady stream onto the forehead with a sideways movement. It is a seriously relaxing massage and I defy anyone to be able to string a sentence together for at least half an hour afterwards. Bliss.

anhcdroniDH000041This is a typical massage bed or droni which is more comfortable than it looks and is more practical when using a lot of oils.

Obviously, for those who know me, I spent quite a bit of time shopping! I love Mapsa and the local market there where they sell wonderful herbs and spices. The smell is absolutely divine as they are so fresh and there is such a large choice, a little different from my locla supermarket!
and of course the range of cottons and silks in a rainbow of colours at silly prices is always very tempting. I hope you enjoyed some of my photos and next time I will give you some wonderful recipes using herbs and spices which will taste delicious and contribute towards a more healthy and energised life.

ps I am new to adding photos and not all arranged as artistically as I would like so I hope you will forgive me on this occasion. If anybody out there knows of an easy way to place photos and text I would be eternally grateful!

Warmest wishes to all, Karen


Weight Loss by Design – Ayurvedic Therapy

Hi, Karen here. As an holistic therapist and weight loss consultant with Weight Loss by Design I am always interested in different approaches which bring harmony and balance into our lives and so I want to share my experience of the Ayurvedic Holistic Health Care System.

Why Ayurveda?
My journey into the fabulous world of Ayurveda began several years ago with my first visit to Goa, situated in the South of India next to the Indian Ocean. It really is paradise, filled with an abundance of jewel like colours, herbs, spices, exotic plants, beautiful beaches and smiley people.

In search of deep relaxation I experienced the most indulgent massage with oils infused with healing herbs which was so effective, that after a course of five massages my friends commented that I looked ten years younger! Since then I have visited Goa regularly, enticed by the warmth of the people and the lure of further Ayurvedic treatments.

I have such faith in the healing and rejuvenating properties of this healing system that in 2011 I decided to attend a two month residential training course in Goa at the Ayurvedic Natural Health Centre where I received 1-1 training so that I could share the benefits with you. During my training I was taught the theory and backgrground of Ayurveda and it’s application through massage and herbal oil therapies (snehan), following a daily routine as advocated by the school including diet, yoga, massage and mindfulness. Through eating an Ayurvedic diet of freshly cooked food incorporating the six tastes (rasas) I even lost over half a stone in weight without noticing until I got on the scales when I returned home!

What is Ayurveda?
Ayur (Life) Veda (Knowledge) It is the science and knowledge of life and originated approximately five thousand years ago in India. This holistic science is the knowledge of complete balance of body, mind and spirit on all levels. It includes longevity, rejuvenation and self realisation therapies through herbs, diet, exercise, yoga, massage, mantras and meditation.

According to Ayurvedic tradition all things on earth are formed by Panchamahabhutas, the five elements of Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Ether (space). Illness is caused by an excess or deficiency of any particular element causing imbalance. Doshas, Vata (Air), Pitta (Fire) and Kapha (Earth) regulate the human body and originate from the Panchamahabhutas.

The aims of Ayurvedic therapy are to maintain the health of a healthy person (shaman chikitsa) or to eliminate toxins (ama) in the body which cause disease (shodan chikitsa). Toxins are eliminated through the process of Panchakarma or five therapies, one of which is snehan, the application of oil which can be taken internally or externally through massage. This breaks down the ama which can then be eliminated through natural channels in the body, sweat and skin.

Ayurvedic Oil Massage – Abhyanga

Ayurvedic tradition states that the secret of youth and beauty is the proper circulation of vital life fluids and the discharge of waste material. A good massage is the best tool for mental and physical relaxation and rejuvenation. It tones, relaxes and increases the flow of Oxygen to the muscles tissues, flushes out waste products and increases stamina and body awareness.

I hope that you have enjoyed reading a little about me and this introduction to Ayurveda. In the coming weekks I will share further information on types of massage and benefits, food types and recipes for particualr body characteristics and how to bring the body and mind into balance to promote health and assist in weight loss.

Wishing you all abundant good health. If you have any questions or comments I would love to hear from you. Karen

Weight Loss by Design

What is preventing you from losing weight?


We are all aware that there are many celebrities endorsing various diets on tv and radio.  However, remember that what suits one person may not necessarily suit another!


Think about what you have tried in the past? Why did it fail?

Did you lose motivation?

Were your food choices too restrictive which left you feeling hungry all the time? Try to eat small meals more often throughout the day.


Did you give yourself adequate time to shop for the right foods and prepare nourishing dishes?  Quick hint; invest in a slow cooker.  Cook more than you need and freeze the rest in meal size portions.


Did you have any support?  Support is one of the most important factors in successful weight loss.  Do not be frightened to ask for help.  Most dieters are what we call ‘expert dieters’.  By that we mean that they know what they should be doing.  The difference is, that with support they are assisted to apply their knowledge in a way that brings the most benefits to them.


Did you set yourself unrealistic goals and timescales?  Set short-term goals as well as long term goals. Small achievable steps will help you on the way to success and help to keep you motivated.


Did you incorporate any exercise into your routine?  Did you know that sitting for more than 2.5 hours per day can actually cause you to gain weight.  Bad news for office workers.  The good news is if you get into the routine of getting up for 10 minutes every hour you start to burn calories and boost your metabolic rate.


How aware were you of what you were drinking?  Although Smoothies are a healthy option, it is easy to over indulge.  Check your ingredients.  I guess we all know that alcohol is high in calories and then there are the additional temptations to snack on other high calorie foods.  How many of us do not like to admit to ourselves the calories we have consumed via ‘our little glass’!!


Here’s wishing you a great week-end.

 WEIGHT LOSS by DESIGN Mindful Eating The practise of Mindfulness


Mindful Eating

The practise of Mindfulness seems to be a buzz word in the health industry currently.  Great interest is being shown on the positive effects on health of practising Mindfulness Meditation.  Studies show that a regular practise reduces episodes of depression, anxiety and helps with pain relief.  Mindfulness is also a great tool to use in losing weight.

Mindless eating is now the ‘norm’ for many people.  People eating ‘on the run’ and eating whilst watching tv.  Passengers on the train grazing away whilst reading the newspaper.  Mindfulness is about engaging with what we are doing whilst we are doing it.  Mindless eating results in larger quantities being consumed, therefore more calories and also takes us away from knowing if we are ‘full’, as we are not paying attention.

Many of our weight-loss clients eat in a mindless way, either snacking, pinching the children’s left-overs or eating on the run.  Often they believe that they have no will-power and will not be able to resist snacking.  Our approach of one step at a time is to say to them that they are not required yet to reduce the snacking. What we would like to suggest to them is that anytime they do have a snack, they must sit down and only eat.  No multi-tasking, no mindless eating.  They must eat slowly and eat mindfully.

We want them to get in touch with learning to recognise if they are hungry or satisfied and to learn to be aware of exactly what they are putting in their mouths.

Do give this a trial if you would like to make some changes in your eating habits and we would love to hear your experiences on our comments box.