In the East the emphasis is on food and the types of food that builds Qi health. We put emphasis on awareness of the body and how food makes us feel. The concept of Qi has deep roots in the Chinese culture. I remember when I was little I loved to watch martial arts movies. What sticks with me is that the old masters emphasize how to build Qi because Qi means inner strength. They use herbs, food, Qi Gong, or Kung Fu to increase Qi. It is ingrained in me, it is part of my culture that food and Qi are the basis of our health. It is all about the “Qi”, the life force that drives us and keep our metabolism moving at all times by adapting a healthy lifestyle.
Quick fix = problems will come back eventually!
Long and steady = wins!
Here are some simple steps to weight loss in the TCM world:
2) Stick to a simple eating plan rather than going through the yo-yo dieting. Having a steady plan of what will work for you is the key. Your body has a natural rhythms so eating at the same time every day is best.
3) Eat fresh fruits, vegetables, and organic meat. Avoid packaged food, refined food, artificial colors. Avoid “diet” foods. They take out the fat so they can advertise “fat-free”, but since fat gives food flavor, they have to replace that flavor with more sugar and/or salt which may entice you to overeat. It is best to consume alkaline food to avoid inflammation in the body.
Some examples of alkaline food are garlic, beets, apples and figs [You can read more about alkaline foods in my blog specific to the topic, click here].
4) It is best to be done with dinner by 5pm so the food is fully digest before you go to bed. Unfortunately, most people can’t do that due to work, school, or a busy life. At least try to finish dinner no later than 7pm. If any later than that, eat something light that is easy to digest as you will see why in #9 below. Your liver detoxifies everyday whether you like it or not. If you load up your
5) Take essential fatty acid. Our body needs quality fat. Don’t be afraid to eat good fat. Coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, fish oil, and flax seed oil are all great oils to consume.
6) Engage in any kind of exercise that promotes the movement of Qi such as walking, Qi Gong, swimming, and yoga. Weigh bearing exercises are great for building bone density. It is especially beneficial for people with small bones, since people with small bones are prone to osteoporosis.
Here is a test to see if you have small bones:
- Wrap your middle finger and your thumb around your wrist
- If they overlap you are small boned.
- If they barely touch, you are medium boned
- If they don't touch, you are big boned.
7) Besides physical movement, the mind needs to be move as well. Clear your mind of clutter. It stagnates the Qi. It’s just as important for the mind to move as it is the body. For example, over thinking, constant worrying, anger, over working, and obsessive behaviors, etc. will stagnate and deplete the Qi.
8) Avoid eating too much cold food or beverages. It depletes the Spleen Qi energy and eventually slows down your digestion (metabolism), among other things. This includes raw food. Raw is considered cold because it makes the body use a lot of energy to transform cold food. Overtime it will weaken the Spleen and slow down digestion. You need the heat in order to metabolize food so you want your digestive fire to be working optimally.
9) Sleep by 10-10:30pm. The liver detoxifies the body and cleans the blood between 1 – 3am which is the “liver time”. Adequate rest is important for weight loss. Lack of sleep can contribute to weight gain.
10) Manage your stress. We don’t think about stress being one of the culprits of weight gain but it plays a big part in your diet plan. When stress rises, cortisol rises, and most likely you will gain the weight in your belly. The liver processes the stress energy and if you are stressed, Liver Qi is stagnated. Stagnation keeps the Qi from flowing properly and smoothly.
Did you know that acupuncture is great for stress and weight management among other things?!
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