rear view of a man with hands on waist on black background

It’s tempting and easy to state that simply eating less and exercising more will make you drop weight. When I was a teenager I ate like a horse. My nickname was lanky Finny, and that is exactly what I was – skinny. And I hated it! Now, in later years, I’m no more skinny and I consume a portion of what I did as a kid. Dad did not have a car then. He did afterwards but it certainly wasn’t used for dropping me off at college or college. I cycled. I cycled everywhere. I cycled around Scotland around 200km a day. And I wondered why I was skinny. I think when our metabolism lasted through life to work as quickly as it did when we were teenagers there wouldn’t be too much obesity around. If we walked or cycled to work, swam 20 laps of the pool, went to the gym. . .but that is not being very useful, is it?

Our body changes with age

Our metabolism slows down; our digestive system does not work so well. The gut clogs up, our kidneys and liver have a lot of toxins to do away with efficiently. Our vascular system is not as successful in getting blood supply to the critical organs and nothing works as well as it used to. All that results in putting on weight – and it ai not the muscle that skinny Finny desired. Muscle you need to work for, fat is simple.

Being overweight is often associated with elevated blood pressure, high blood glucose, and insulin resistance. Diabetes related illnesses affect 70 million people in the USA alone and is a frequent cause of premature death and disability.

So – what do we do about it?

There’s absolutely not any doubt we must get more exercise into our lives. We’re different people and we do this in various ways. Some people like the social interactions of the fitness center; the motivation of getting your peers or coach whipping you along. I go for walks with the dog, do my own routine of exercises, backyard. In addition, I park the car at the far end of the shopping car park, so I must walk farther; etc. I suppose it is a matter of working those things into your lifestyle. And the fantastic thing about it is that the more you exercise, the easier and more enjoyable it becomes. Then it will become self-motivating simply because you’re enjoying it, or, at least, you aren’t huffing and puffing at the very idea of exercise.

Motivation Key

But motivation isn’t so simple when it comes to eating less. It’s not much fun to need to cut back, and does not become easier with time. That’s why most “dieters” give up and return to their old ways pretty soon. The whole “going on a diet” thing makes me shudder. It’s like “going on a vacation” or “going on a picnic”. Things you “go on” generally have a finite life. It’s OK while it lasts but it never lasts forever.

And that says eating less is the best answer? Maybe it is more to do with eating the right things. Eating foods that will accelerate rather than slow down your metabolism. Two of the herbs I’m highlighting in this article (I thought I’d better get around to talking about herbs at some point) are the currently popular appetite suppressants, hoodia gordonii and garcinia cambogia. But they’re not to prevent you eating. They serve to assist you control and manage your consumption, so you can control the amount and sort of food you’re eating, and cut back on, possibly even eliminate, the snacks. You have not got a hope in Hades of winning the weight battle if you’re ravenous all the time. You will need to give yourself a chance by curbing that desire.


Also, as you get older, you will need to present your digestive/evacuation system all the help it can get. The longer your meals hangs around your system the more toxins you will find on your body to haul you down. You’re never going to feel a hundred per cent if your meals, including all the toxins and fats you eat, is moving through your system at a snail’s pace. Numerous herbs are especially effective in helping to achieve a smoothly working system, from mildly laxative herbs, such as dandelion ( taraxacum officinale ) to bulking herbs, to be consumed with lots and lots of water, such as psyllium (plantago psyllium ), which includes mucilage, which assembles bulk to push out the waste. Cascara sagrada is that the herb generally suggested for persistent and/or acute constipation. It’s often provided in nutritional supplements that combine it with other herbal ingredients that soothe the intestinal tract.

About Hoodia

But the large weight loss success story of the past two and a bit years in Western culture is the hoodia gordonii plant. African Sans Bushmen have used hoodia for centuries to suppress appetite while on their long hunting treks. In 2004 the West “found” it and much research has been completed to establish the procedures which allow it to work and to determine whether there are any negative side effects. It appears the hoodia plant is full of steroidal glycosides, which really fool the brain into thinking the stomach is complete, as though you’ve just eaten a large meal. And, apparently, it has no discernable harmful side effects. Certainly at this point in time the hoodia plant seems to be a boon, with no downsides, especially for those folks that are morbidly obese and whose uncontrollable overeating is very likely to contribute to diabetes and other ailments.

About Garcinia Cambogia

Another conventional weight loss plant being currently researched is garcinia cambogia. It’s being promoted for weight loss due to different possible beneficial effects it could have on the human body. It has an effect on an enzyme that’s used by the body to store fat, possibly leading to a greater part of fats have to be removed. Also it appears to cause the body to use up fat stored for energy during prolonged exercise whereas normally carbohydrates are consumed before fats during workout. Other sources indicate that the hydroxy citrate acid (HCA), which is inside the rind of the Indian fruit, seems to block the conversion of sugars and starches into fats. Additionally it is surmised that HCA may suppress appetite by increasing levels of certain brain chemicals like serotonin, a key stimulator of appetite. Although more research must be carried out with this fruit, notably it hasn’t shown any negative side effects up to now.

Other Herbs

Other ingredients in herbal weight loss products comprise elderberry because of its beneficial effect on the urinary tract and bladder; uncooked, they’re a laxative and diuretic. Cranberry, vaccinium oxycoccus, and bearberry, uva ursi, are also herbs which support urinary tract health. Bearberry, dandelion and gallium aperine, are also diuretic and bearberry and yarrow (milfoil), achillea millefolium, encourage kidney health. Anise, de impinella anisum, calendula, calendula officinalis, and ginger, gram lycyrrhiza glabra, are commonly included for digestion, stomach health and carminative properties. Senna ( cassia senna ) is a famous stimulant laxative and diuretic however, isn’t often used by itself. Yarrow is also famous for cardiovascular support and ginger used for constipation, and liver issues. Two culinary herbs sometimes included in weight loss products are parsley and mint, mentha piperita, because of their property of aiding digestion.


Needless to say, as with any medicinal regime, if it comprises a mix of herbal, pharmaceutical, vitamin or mineral elements, it’s absolutely vital that you’re conscious of potential harmful interactions. Additionally it is important that you don’t double up on an active ingredient which could be a part of more than one of those elements. I’m not a great fan of blending herbal and pharmaceutical medicines, though there are lots of other seasoned and knowledgeable herbalists that are delighted to use herbal products as complementary to pharmaceuticals. That is a problem for another day’s debate. If not sure, if you’re mixing and matching medicines, if you’re unwell, or pregnant (actually or maybe ), or a nursing mother, be certain that you get help from a professional with herbology training.

Reduce your food intake; look after your digestive tract. Ensure that your system is evacuating waste economically and consume foods that will accelerate your metabolic rate, not slow it down and workout. Herbs can help with all of this, except possibly the exercise – you’re on your own on this one.