Heal your weight

Have you struggled with your weight for years? Awakenings asked experts what they’ve concluded about the secrets to permanent and healthy weight- loss. Based on treating hundreds of clients with weight issues, what factors are causing body fat issues that aren’t recognised by mainstream knowledge?  Words by Tamara Pitelen.

Overeating is a symptom of how you’re feeling about yourself, says Theta Healer Vanya Silverten. “The number one issue is that people have forgotten how to celebrate life. All the women I see who have weight issues are also suffering low energy and low self-esteem. They’re sad in their jobs or they’re sad in their relationships and they’ve forgotten how to enjoy life. They’ve forgotten how to connect to the dance, to the song, to the energy of celebrating all of life, flowers, trees and gratitude and so on.

“When you start to celebrate life, you begin to fall in love with life. When you love life, you start to fall in love with yourself and when you love yourself, you start to honour, cherish and celebrate who you are. When you celebrate who you are, you start to do things like exercise, dance, create, and find your joy – what you don’t do is sit on the sofa every night filling your mouth with KFC and packets of biscuits.”

Mark Carroll, the co-founder of Kcal Extra, a bespoke meal delivery plan, also believes self-respect is an important factor in weight-loss.

“For me it’s respecting yourself and knowing what’s going into your body,” says Carroll. “You wouldn’t have a Lamborghini and put watered down petrol into the fuel tank so why do it to your body? Your body is a gift and it has to last a lifetime. It’s the same with drinking and smoking; why would you poison your body? At Kcal, we’re about a total lifestyle change.”


“People put a lot of emotions into food,” says Vanya Silverten. “We eat when we’re angry, when we’re happy, on special occasions, when we’re stressed or bored or procrastinating… as a result, people can have a dysfunctional relationship with food. It becomes their comforter and their friend, like a secret friend. It creates a lot of unhealthy emotional attachments to food and the key is getting rid of these attachments. One way to do that is with holistic healing. Opening up the heart chakra is important – when a person’s heart is clogged with negative emotions, they can’t feel love, celebrate life or themself. So the heart chakra is major and of course food is linked to emotions and the heart chakra is linked to emotions so if you have disturbances in your heart that’s going to be an issue.”

“At Kcal, we strongly believe in the saying ‘let food be thy medicine’, because it really changes lives,” says Mark Carroll. “For us there is a lot more to eating healthy than just losing weight, it goes much deeper. You can look great on the outside but what’s going on inside might not be so good. Our clients tell us that all parts of their life improve; their productivity levels, sleeping patterns, the relationship issues, all get better. It’s not rocket science, if you put quality, fresh, unprocessed food into your body, you will feel better and it’ll show in your eyes, skin, nails and hair as well as your body shape. You’re more alive and you have more energy because you’re a healthier person generally. The key is good food.

“When you go and see a doctor, he or she will ask your symptoms and probably give you some pills. The last thing they ask is, ‘what are you eating?’ but for us this is the most important factor. What’s going in to your body? Are you getting enough vitamins and minerals? How are your carbs and proteins? That’s why we base Kcal on super foods, there’s a lot of broccoli and green beans, fish and salmon – the best of the best. My Kcal business partner and me haven’t been sick in a decade. You can cure disease with food, it’s powerful stuff. Your diet and lifestyle that can bring on illness. People underestimate the power of food – both the incredible power of food to heal but also the massively harmful effects of eating the wrong foods.”


“Another reason I’ve found that people often don’t lose weight is because fat cells are holding onto toxins inside the body,” says Vanya Silverten. “We get poisoned everyday with radiation, bad food, chemicals, pollutants and so on, so we have toxins in the body but sometimes the body doesn’t know to do with these toxins in order to prevent them getting into your organs where they could really do some damage. So the body shoves these toxins into fat cells and the fat wraps around the toxins to protect your body from them. Many people are surprisingly toxic so even though they’re eating healthily, the weight won’t shift because the body is holding onto the fat to protect itself. For this reason, gentle detoxing and cleanses are important, food cleanses, bowel and liver cleanses, saunas, all that kind of thing will help with detoxing.”


It’s not the big efforts you make once in a while that counts, it’s the consistent efforts every day that make the difference, says Mark Carroll. “For us the fundamentals of weight-loss are consistency and willpower to avoid the many temptations of life in Dubai. Remove all temptation out of your house – don’t keep chocolate bars, bread, crisps, soft drinks and so on in your home. Shop for quality food and keep everything else out. Nothing else is needed but water.”

Planning and preparation is key, says Carroll. “Set monthly goals and weigh yourself weekly to keep track of things. Also, plan your food. Know exactly what you’re going to eat and when you’re going to eat it. This is a massive problem in Dubai, skipping meals and then turning to junk food because you’re starving and there’s nothing else easily available.”


“If we’re talking about weight loss its not just about the calories, it’s about the carbohydrates,” says Mark Carroll. “If you want to lose weight, you should take a maximum of 40 to 60 grams of carbs a day. Avoid bread; don’t even touch bread. And white rice. Not all calories are created equal so don’t focus only on counting calories – the quality of the food is paramount.

“We’ve grown up in a fast food world and convinced ourselves it’s normal. It’s not. Never in the thousands of years of human history have we fed ourselves with the processed, chemical-added junk that we have in the last 20 years even as all around us rates of lifestyle diseases like diabetes, obesity, heart attacks are skyrocketing. It doesn’t help that we’re bombarded with media images that suggest we’ll be more popular and have more fun if we eat this brand of fried chicken or whatever.”


“We think there’s nothing better than going back to our ancestors and following the paleo diet, also known as the caveman diet,” says Mark Carroll. “That is, eating the food we were eating centuries ago – vegetables, organic meat and fish, fruit and nuts. Eating what grows off the earth. If it’s come out of the ground or off a plant, it’s ok. No bread, processed foods, bad carbs and so on. This is our theory and for us it’s working very well. Keep it natural and stay away from the junk.”

“One of the best diets I’ve come across is eating fruit till noon, followed by a good lunch that’s divided into three, carbohydrates, vegetables and protein,” says Vanya Silverten. “Then in the evening have something similar and try to finish eating before 8pm. People shed fat quite easily this way and they don’t have sugar imbalances because they’re getting all the nutrients. Don’t starve yourself and include lots of different colours in your diet, reds, greens, yellows, oranges, and pinks.

“Traditional restrictive diets are punishing and miserable, they do not celebrate life but people don’t know another way because that’s what we’ve been told through countless media articles. The first thing I’d tell people who want to lose weight is to stop reading those magazines and books, stop buying so-called diet food, stop buying all those tricks that claim to lose weight. Let it go and start to celebrate who you are. Eat well, sleep well, nourish yourself, love yourself, care for yourself and celebrate – maybe dance, sing, or paint. When I see people who sink into depression, they’ve forgotten how to be creative, they’ve forgotten their creative energy – finding that energy will bring new life to you.”


Vanya Silverten is a London-based Theta Healer who regularly visits Dubai. Appointments can be booked through Illuminations Wellness Centre in JLT, call 04 4487043 or go to For an appointment with Vanya over Skype or in London, email or go to

Mark Carroll is the co-founder of Kcal, a bespoke meal delivery service focused on health and weight-loss. Call 04 339 5316 or go to 


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