I am a 27-year-old woman and have a daughter who is five. I am 1.52 metres and when I was pregnant my weight was 80 kilograms. After delivery I went on a diet and managed to lose 21 kilograms. Now I weigh 59 kilograms but I want to lose 5 kilograms more, so I am on a diet. For instance, I have reduced my intake of rice (I eat it just once a week). My diet also consists of fruit, cucumber and plenty of leafy vegetables. Could you suggest some fat-reducing ayurvedic medicines? My other problem is that when I was pregnant, I had pimples on my face and they left behind scars. How can I clear them? My hair is also falling out at an alarming rate. Please suggest some remedies for my problems. 

J Jose, Dubai

Calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI) using this formula: weight (in kilograms) divided by your height squared (in metres).

The BMI categories are as follows:

  • Underweight = below 18.5
  • Normal weight = 18.5-24.9
  • Overweight = 25-29.9
  • Obese = BMI of 30 or more

A weight reduction of 0.8 to 1 kilogram per week (4 kilograms in a month) is easily achievable with a consistent planned diet and exercise, unless you have hormonal or metabolic imbalances.

  • Plan a menu of 1,250-1,500 calories per day.
  • Exercise 30 minutes a day at least 5 days a week: swimming for 30 minutes or taking a 5km walk is ideal.
  • Increase your intake of low-calorie foods such as green leafy vegetables, salads and fruits (except bananas, dates and potatoes) in your diet. Favour green gram and other lentils, beans, carrots, cucumber and sprouts.
  • Try a fluid day each week.
  • Include peppermint and ginger in your food.
  • Drink plenty of warm water (aim for 1.5-2 litres per day).
  • Drink juices of carrot, cucumber, and spinach.
  • Have a heavy meal for lunch and keep your dinner light.
  • Limit all foods with a high fat content, such as butter, oils, red meat, fried foods, cream, mayonnaise, salad dressing, cheese, pastry, nuts, crisps, high-sugar foods.
  • Avoid sleeping during the day.
  • You may take 5-10 grams of triphala choornam* mixed with a cup of warm water at bedtime.
  • Triphala is a good skin and hair tonic.

*Available at shops selling herbal products