For several thousands of years, people have been using Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to treat the mind, body and spirit. But did you know that it has also been used in particularly for weight loss? Here are some of the top 5 Chinese Medicine weight loss methods you can use, by following some time-honoured advice from the East.
Consume "Warming Foods"
Too much cold food or drink can damage your digestive function. Your stomach and spleen don’t react very well to the cold temperature - they love warm.
When your digestion isn’t functioning well (and you will know that it isn’t, if you’re get any of the bloating, reflux, nausea, gurgling or bowel symptoms and problems), it tends to produce an excessive amount of internal phlegm. ‘Internal phlegm’ would also be considered somewhat similar to what is considered as ‘inflammation’ in Western medical terms. When there is too much of this internal phlegm in the body, this makes is very easy to gain weight and at the same time, very difficult to lose it.
So, either eat mainly cooked food or add warming spices such as ginger, turmeric, cinnamon and cardamom to your meals. These spices are a gentle warm and help your digestion. Also, consider ditching the ice water and cold drinks in favour of room temperature or hot drinks.
Don’t Consume Too Late
The ‘Chinese Medicine Clock’ that Chinese Medicine practitioners refer to, demonstrates that the human digestive organs are at their strongest points during the day. The best or ‘ideal’ time to have a meal is between 7am and 11am – this is the period when your stomach and spleen are at their peak function. So, it is best to eat the ‘heaviest’ or largest meals of the day during this time. This also gives your body time during your active day to utilise more of the energy from those food, rather than storing it as body fat.
Then worst time (or least ideal time) to eat is after 6pm. Again, the Chinese Medicine Clock (and Circadian Rhythm) has shown that your body switches into a ‘self-repair’ mode at night, therefore the last thing it needs is more food being digested. If you consume your meal too late during the afternoon or evening, your body will simply retain more of the calories and energy from your food as body fat.
Avoid Sweet and Greasy Food
Eating too much sweet or greasy food can also cause your body to produce excessive internal phlegm/inflammation. Sweet foods cause significant spikes in blood sugar and since your body does cannot leave the body in a state of high blood-sugar, it immediately releases insulin to either use it (if it needs it) or store it as body fat for potential use afterwards.
If consuming sweet and sugar food is too challenging or difficult, you can also just try consuming a teaspoon full of honey as an alternative. It’s organic, sweet and will often satisfy your sweet cravings. Another alternative is to try 5 drops of apple cider vinegar in water. In Chinese medicine weight loss, vinegar is ‘the enemy of sugar’. It can help to clear phlegm and knock sugar cravings on the head.
Eat Less Often
The human body is simply not built to eat as often as we are currently. Your body is designed to store excess energy as body fat in an emergency source when required. While that is quite impressive, the problem is that this ‘emergency’ situation rarely or never comes (hopefully) which means that your body never gets the chance to utilize this stored energy source. In fact, your body just keeps on converting more of these excess energy sources to your fat reserves, just in case.
If you are due to have your meal (IE. breakfast, lunch or dinner) but your body is telling you that you’re not hungry, then don’t eat. Don’t eat out of habit and listen to what your body is telling you. By skipping an unnecessary meal, you will condition your body to utilise some of this excessive body fat for energy.
Strengthen Your Spleen, Liver and Kidney Function
These organs have a significant impact on your ability to lose weight AND keep it off. Your spleen function governs the amount of internal phlegm (‘inflammation’) that exists in the body. Your Liver is involved in the regulation of many of your fat-controlling hormones including cortisol, insulin and glucagon. Your Kidney (adrenals) also produce one of the strongest fat-burning hormones in the body – adrenaline. When these organs are functioning at their optimal state, it is much easier to lose weight and maintain it.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbs for weight loss help strengthen these organs and in addition, they also help to suppress your appetite and reduce food cravings.
About the Author
Dr Bruce Stafford (Chinese Medicine) is the owner and founder of Emperor’s Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine in Melbourne, Australia https://emperorsacupuncture.com.au/. Dr. Stafford has trained with some of the world’s best-know Masters in Australia, Taiwan and the USA. He has treated thousands of patients for Chinese Medicine weight loss using acupuncture and Chinese herbs to help improve organ function to re-balance the body’s natural fat-controlling hormones.