Tag: weight loss

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.

Weight Loss by Design The dreaded ‘E’ word.

Weight Loss by Design

The dreaded ‘E’ word.

Hello, Margaret here.  Many of our clients who are starting out on our weight-loss programme are either reluctant to exercise or it may be that their mobility or size prohibits them from going to the gym or that they have no motivation to get their bodies moving. Of course they all know that exercise is a necessary component in burning fat off and losing weight.

If you feel that way, take things one step at a time.  Pedometers can be great tools for building up the number of steps taken in a day.  One client of ours was advised by his doctor that the gym was out of the question.  He was embarrassed by his size and didn’t wish to go swimming. Using a pedometer, he logged daily how many steps he was taking.  He went from just over 3 thousand per day at the start to over ten thousand in the matter of a few weeks.  He reported an elevated mood, a boost of motivation to really lose weight and keep it off this time and higher levels of self-confidence.

Every action that you take is another step, however small or insignificant it may appear to you.  At Weight Loss by Design, we encourage clients to be creative and find ways that they ‘can do’.  A plane going from London to New York does not go in a straight line it goes away and then back on track.

Building muscle via exercise is a great tool in weight loss as it will boost your metabolic rate.

An idea – take some time to brainstorm how you could start moving your body daily.  Would it be taking more trips up the stairs, sitting in the chair using a resistance band, getting a friend to go for a walk?

Do please share your successes with us and you may well spur others on too.

Best wishes from

Margaret @ Weight Loss by Desire

Weight Loss by Design

Welcome to our new blog page.  We are really excited to be able to share some tips with you on this page that we use in our ‘ Weight Loss by Design’  Programme.

The ‘Weight Loss by Design’ Programme began in response to the amount of clients we were seeing who were struggling to lose weight and wanted to feel better about themselves.  Many were yo-yo dieters who had lost confidence that they would ever successfully achieve their target weight and more importantly keep that excess weight off.

The consultants at ‘Weight Loss by Design’ are qualified in hypnotherapy, NLP, counselling and weight loss management with many years experience in helping clients achieve their desired goals.

Our programmes have been designed to adapt to individual needs and goals. The programme can be accessed by attending group meetings, individual one-to-one consultations and/or via telephone and Skype.

Did you know that in order to lose 1lb per week, you need to eat 500 calories less daily? So, how many calories are there in that last chocolate biscuit or packet of crisps that you ate?

There are many myths that exercise is difficult to gain access too or costs money or your valuable time.

For example did you know that to burn fat fast you need to increase your heart rate? How do you do this? Take the stairs instead of the lift, buy a skipping rope and use it or park your car as far as possible away from the supermarket.

We hope that this has started you thinking of ways that you too can achieve your weight loss goals.

We will be posting further hints, tips and ideas in the days to come.

Best wishes from the team.