Products that claim to bring about rapid weight loss within days have hit the headlines again.

In desperation, people will try anything to lose weight quickly. Being obese can make people feel embarrassed about their looks and can prevent them from enjoying a number of activities in life.

Being overweight increases your risk of developing high blood pressure and heart disease. It can lead to blockage of the coronary arteries, strokes and diabetes. It can also affect the spine and other joints and aggravate arthritis.

Losing weight rapidly can be harmful.

Scientific studies have proved that it is best to lose weight slowly and to maintain an optimum weight by eating sensibly and by taking regular exercise.

Exercise burns fat and mobilises it from unwanted areas so that you get a better body shape. It stimulates your liver, tones your muscles and strengthens your heart.

A well-balanced diet with lots of steamed vegetables and fruit, which are high in fibre, low in fat and low in protein, helps the body to function efficiently and does not overburden the digestive system. Fad diets do more harm than good. If you starve, the body thinks a famine is coming, so it will conserve your fat and calories instead of burning them.

The food we eat determines the quality of our body's tissues. As we are made up of body, mind and spirit, the state of our mind and emotions affects not only what we eat and how much we eat but can also affect the metabolism. Our metabolism can tell the body to conserve fat in order to give us energy to cope with our mental and emotional stress.

Regular meditation, yoga, t'ai chi or any spiritual practice to calm the mind and to control and re-balance the body-mind-spirit system is essential.

Regular deep-breathing exercises, particularly yogic breathing helps to control the mind and to stimulate fat metabolism in the body. Specific yoga postures such as the sun salute and sarvangasana stimulate the body's fat burning system. Studies have shown a good 20-minute run every day or using a skipping rope for ten to 20 minutes a day is the best exercise for losing weight.

A well-proven, safe and effective herbal formulation that can help, in addition to diet and exercise, is Trifala guggul. This is an ayurvedic medicine made from the gum resin of the camiphora mukul tree. It has been shown to have specific anti-lipid and anti-obesity effects and can also ease joint pains.

I also advise pure curcumin extract to detox and strengthen the liver and to help control fat; Garcinia, extracted from the herb kokum, and pure Ispaghulla seed and husk.

It is important to detox your system, and use digestive fat busting herbs like ginger, mustard, basil, marjoram, asafoetida, cumin and coriander seeds in your cooking.

Dr Milind Jani works as a conventional and
holistic GP and Dr Asmita Jani as Ayurvedic Consultant from 3 Eaton Gardens, Hove.

Call them on: 01273 777448 or email: