My programme for losing and maintaining weight is based on Ayurvedic Panchakarma detoxification of the body.

This includes Ayurvedic deep-tissue massage and herbal steam treatment followed by a herbal enema.

It also features Ayurvedic herbal formulations to burn fat and a well-balanced diet with foods according to your body type and tastes.

Start daily exercise at home with deep yogic breathing and meditation, two or three simple yogic stretching exercises, and gradually build up to more vigorous exercise to suit individual strength.

Maintainance of a happy, loving and contented feeling rounds off the programme.

The aim is to unclog the physical and subtle channels of the body, allowing blood and the life-force to flow properly throughout body and mind, supplying vital nutrients and oxygen.

Remember, the brain, blood and endocrine system control fat deposition and every tissue and cell in the body communicates with each other and with the brain through energy channels.

Cognitive therapy is essential to address any emotional issues. Celebrating your successes, re-affirming you are a wonderful person and rewarding yourself for your contributions and achievements go a long way in maintaining an even weight.

You can follow your own detox at home every week as explained in my previous article. Start with a gentle stretching schedule every day to release stiffness in the back and neck.

Learn some simple abdominal, waist and thigh exercises. Gradually increasing the intensity will help tone the muscles without putting too much strain on you.

Follow them with a self-administered, deep-tissue massage of your neck, back, waist and buttocks. Then have a warm bath or shower.

Warm herbs and spices such as black pepper, sage, ginger and garlic are definite fat-busters and should be included in your daily diet.

Ayurvedic herbal formulations that can help you control and lose weight include trifala guggul. Made from a special resin from the camiphora mukul tree found in Gujarat and Rajasthan, it has been shown in several modern clinical trials and studies to help control fat and glucose metabolism, lower cholesterol and help the pain and swelling of arthritis.

Garcinia (kokam), mainly cultivated in southern India, is the dried flower of a tree which is used in Indian cooking and can be combined with acacia powder and star anise extract, said to be astringent and weight-reducing herbs.

Pure ispagula husk with a lot of water is the best bulk-forming agent to fill up your stomach, along with fruits and steamed vegetables garnished with herbs and a little sesame seed oil.

Remember to eat foods with all six tastes to leave you feeling satisfied. Starvation diets can make the brain think there is going to be famine and instruct the body and liver to conserve fat.