Lose weight simply: the Chinese Medicine way…

As Spring is just around the corner, you may be starting to feel more motivated and wanting to make some positive changes in your life.  If one of these is wanting to lose some weight – then check out this article:

“Lose weight simply – the Chinese Medicine way”

The most efficient and quickest way to lose weight through diet alone is to be kind to your digestive system.  The more easily your food is digested, the less energy is required to process your food and the more easily the nutrients are absorbed from your food.  If you use the least amount of energy required to digest your food, the more energy you will have in your physical body, which if you use this to increase your exercise, will also help with your weight loss efforts.  If you are absorbing the maximum amount of nutrients from your food, the more satisfied your body will feel and the less it will crave more food, especially the less nutritious foods.

The closer to a hot soup-like consistency your food is, the easier it will be for your body to digest and process your food.  Therefore, cooked food is easier to digest.  Avoid raw, refrigerated and icy foods and drinks.

Eat food that grows locally and in season. Nature provides what is best for you at each time of year.  So in the winter months, in the UK, there are root vegetables, spinach, cauliflowers, Brussel sprouts.  These should ideally be steamed, casseroled or roasted or made into soup. If you also add pungent and peppery foods to your soup, like garlic/ginger/cayenne pepper/black pepper etc, this will create a bit of heat which gives your digestive system a boost and enables effective digestion. Barley soup, celery soup and aduki bean soup are especially helpful at promoting weight loss.

In the winter in the UK there are no strawberries, blueberries, lettuce or tomatoes growing locally.  Even in the summer, in the UK there are no bananas, oranges or mangoes etc growing locally.

Eat little and often.  Eat when you are hungry.  Don’t eat when you aren’t physically hungry (eg stress or comfort eating).

Eat plenty of vegetables, ideally cooked as warm foods are easier to digest.  Avoid too much fruit (especially out of season).  Fruit is normally eaten raw, cold and is high in sugar.  If you are going to have fruit – have a maximum of one piece per day, and consider cooking it – eg stewed apples or pears.  Have locally grown seasonal fruit only.

Avoid too much wheat, it is challenging to the digestive system for most people.  When eating grains like rice, eat brown rice as there are more nutrients in these and will help your body feel more satiated and will reduce cravings.

Avoid processed and refined foods – they are generally low in nutrients, high in fat, sugar and salt.

Start the day with a pint of warm lemon water.  It helps purge the liver and detox the body.  Drink 2 litres of water per day, every day.

Don’t drink fruit juice – it is too high in sugar, cold and therefore doesn’t promote weight loss.  Drink hot drinks more than cold (in the winter).

Avoid drinking while you are eating as this dilutes the digest fluids and makes the digestive system work harder to break down your food.  Leave 30 minutes before eating to allow your drink to pass through your system.  Ideally have a glass of warm water 30 minutes before eating, this helps prepare your stomach to receive food.

Have good oils in your diet – avocados, olives, organic, cold-pressed olive oil (cold).  Cook with coconut oil.  Eat a small handful of raw mixed nuts and seeds per day.

Cut down or cut out – alcohol, caffeine, refined sugar, deep fried foods.

By Elaine Gibbons, Traditional Acupuncturist.

Disclaimer: If you have any underlying health conditions, or any allergies, please adapt the above information accordingly and under the guidance of your professional medical practitioner.  The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author.

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