Spring Weight Loss with Chinese Medicine Spring is a time of transformation, change, and renewal. In Chinese Medicine, Spring is considered the best season for weight loss. During this time of year, the body naturally begins to detoxify and shed excess weight as it prepares for warmer weather. Weight loss for the spring season can be achieved through a combination of diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes that support the body’s natural detoxification process. Eating seasonal foods high in fiber and antioxidants can help boost metabolism and reduce cravings, while regular exercise helps burn calories and build muscle. Additionally, incorporating stress-reducing activities such as yoga or meditation can help balance hormones that regulate appetite and metabolism. With these simple tips, you can make the most of springtime to achieve your weight loss goals. Related: How to prepare for the spring season with Chinese Medicine
Chinese Medicine Perspective on Weight Loss The Chinese perspective on weight loss is very different than from here in the west. In the west, we believe that to lose weight, we need to eat fewer calories while increasing our physical activity to create a deficit. Once we have a deficit of calories, we need to get our energy from elsewhere, so we start burning through our body’s fat reserves, leading to weight loss. In Chinese medicine, weight loss is seen as a holistic process that involves balancing the body’s energy and improving organ function, rather than just restricting calories or exercising excessively. The organs play a vital role in maintaining a healthy weight. The Spleen and Stomach are responsible for digestion and transforming food into energy, while the Liver and Kidneys regulate metabolism and eliminate waste. If these organs are not functioning properly, it can lead to weight gain or difficulty losing weight. In TCM, weight gain and obesity are seen as signs of an underlying condition called Spleen Qi deficiency. This roughly translates as weak digestion, as the Spleen is one of the major digestive organs in TCM. The Spleen helps to extract nutrients from food and metabolizes water. When the Spleen is not functioning well, you are unable to process your food properly, leading to weight gain.
Chinese Medicine Tips for Spring Weight Loss Spring is the perfect time to focus on weight loss and health. One way to do this is through Chinese medicine, which advocates for a natural approach to health and wellness. So, in the spirit of spring, here are seven Chinese medicine tips for weight loss that you can start using today. 1. Eat Fresh Seasonal Foods In Chinese medicine, spring is considered a time of renewal and growth, and it’s believed that the foods you eat during this season can support the body’s natural cleansing and renewal processes. Chinese medicine encourages eating fresh and colourful foods as part of a healthy Spring diet. For example: Green Leafy Vegetables: Spring greens like spinach, kale, and chard are rich in chlorophyll, which can help support liver detoxification and improve digestion. Young Plants and Sprouts : In Chinese medicine, young plants like asparagus, bamboo shoots, and fiddleheads are considered particularly beneficial during the spring. These plants are believed to support liver function and help clear excess dampness from the body. Sprouts are a good source of enzymes and nutrients that support the body’s natural cleansing processes. Mung bean sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, and radish sprouts are all good choices. Light, Spicy Foods: In general, Chinese medicine recommends eating lighter, spicier foods during the spring to support the body’s natural “upward and outward” movement. Ginger, garlic, and scallions are all good choices. 2. Cook Lighter Meals The warm weather in spring makes it easier to cook lighter meals such as soups, salads, stir-fries, or grilled fish. These types of dishes are typically lower in fat and calories. By cooking lighter meals in the springtime, you’ll be able to enjoy delicious food while staying healthy and fit! 3. Chew Thoroughly When eating meals, it’s important to remember to chew thoroughly so that the stomach can adequately break down the food before it reaches the small intestine, where absorption takes place. Chewing thoroughly is especially important when eating raw foods since they require more digestion time than cooked foods. In Chinese medicine, good digestion is considered essential for overall health and well-being. By chewing thoroughly and taking the time to enjoy our food, we can support healthy digestion and nourish our bodies with the nutrients they need to function at their best. This is backed by a study in 2013, which showed how eating slowly contributes to a lower risk of obesity, probably because it could aid appetite control. 4. Eat Less More Often It can be difficult to stick with an eating plan if you only eat one or two large meals daily. However, eating small portions more often helps keep blood sugar levels stable throughout the day so there won’t be any sudden energy crashes that lead to cravings for sugary snacks or unhealthy fast food options. Instead, try adding healthy snacks such as fresh fruit or yogurt between meals if needed throughout the day. 5) Avoid Foods That Cause “Dampness” Another tip from traditional Chinese medicine is to avoid certain types of food that could cause “dampness” in the body, such as dairy products (like cheese), fried foods, sugar, junk food with additives or chemicals, and alcohol. Dampness can lead to weight gain over time because it affects digestion by slowing metabolism and making it difficult for your body to absorb nutrients properly. Certain foods are considered “damp” in TCM because they are believed to contribute to the accumulation of dampness in the body. These include: Dairy products: Dairy products are considered damp because they are high in fat and protein, which can be difficult to digest and may lead to the formation of phlegm. Sugar and sweets: Sugar and sweets are damp because they are thought to weaken the spleen and stomach, which are responsible for transforming and transporting fluids in the body. Fried and greasy foods: Fried and greasy foods are damp because they can be heavy and difficult to digest, leading to the accumulation of phlegm and dampness. Cold foods: Raw and cold foods are considered damp because they can impair digestion and weaken the spleen, which is responsible for transforming and transporting fluids in the body. Alcohol: Alcohol is damp because it impairs the liver’s ability to regulate the flow of fluids in the body, leading to the accumulation of dampness. Related: Chinese Medicine Diet For Dampness 6. Strengthen Your Spleen/Liver/Kidney Function with Acupuncture Acupuncture has been known in China since ancient times as an effective method of healing various ailments, such as pain relief, stress reduction, and even weight loss! Strengthening organ function isn’t just beneficial for weight loss but also helps balance hormones, which can significantly impact metabolism! Acupuncture is one of the oldest and most important treatment methods in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The use of Acupuncture dates back over 3,000 years. It works by stimulating special Acupressure points that are all part of an interconnected network that spans your entire body called the Meridian System. This stimulation helps restore the flow of energy (Qi) and blood through your body, and this helps your body absorb nutrients and remove toxins. Keeping your Meridian System clear helps you keep your body functioning properly, and a functioning body is a healthier body. By restoring your body’s natural flow and balance, your organs function more effectively allowing your spleen and kidneys to correctly flush out toxins, and your digestive system to properly break down foods so that you can absorb more nutrition from each meal, helping you eat less. Related: Acupuncture for Weight Loss 7. Don’t Eat Too Late Late-night snacking is a major reason why many people struggle with their weight loss goals. To enjoy restful sleep and avoid feeling overly full, try eating evening meals between 6 pm-8 pm instead. This will provide the body with enough time to properly digest before bedtime. This will help prevent late-night binging habits from forming too. Following the meridian clock, Chinese medicine practitioners typically advise refraining from eating for a minimum of two hours before going to bed. This enables the digestive system to start processing the food before sleep, providing a much-needed respite to the digestive organs overnight. The Gallbladder and Liver are most active between 11pm-1am and 1-3am respectively, and during this time, it is crucial for the body to be in a deep sleep state without the distraction of digestive activities. Otherwise, the Liver may not receive adequate nourishment from the blood and may not be able to perform its various functions.
Why Spring Is the Perfect Time To Start Your Weight Loss? Spring is the perfect time to start your weight loss journey! With warmer weather and longer days, getting motivated and staying on track is easier. Plus, there are many reasons why weight loss in spring is the best time of year to lose weight. From lighter and healthier food being more available to exercising in the heat and burning more calories, there are six key reasons why starting your weight loss journey in spring is ideal. 1. As days get hotter, your appetite decreases As days get hotter, the appetite tends to decrease due to the body’s natural process of thermoregulation. When it is hot outside, the body works hard to keep cool and does not need the extra heat from digesting a big meal. This can lead to a decrease in appetite and make eating a full meal difficult. In addition, studies at the National Institutes of Health have shown that high temperatures can suppress hunger and make us feel less inclined to eat. Therefore, staying hydrated and eating nutritious meals during hot weather is essential, so the body has the energy it needs. 2. More calories are burnt in warmer weather It is a common belief that more calories are burned in warmer weather, and this is indeed true. When the temperature rises, the body has to work harder to keep its temperature steady, resulting in an increased metabolic rate and therefore burning more calories. 3. You have a brighter mood The spring season is a great time to focus on weight loss. The longer, brighter days can help lift the mood and provides the motivation to get active and start losing those extra pounds. With the warmer weather, you’re less likely to feel hungry and more likely to burn more calories when exercising outdoors. Eating a healthy diet and monitoring one’s mood and energy levels are also crucial for successful weight loss in the springtime. 4. The power of the “Sunshine Vitamin” may help The “Sunshine Vitamin” is a nickname for Vitamin D, which is produced in the skin when exposed to sunlight. It has many potential health benefits, including aiding in weight loss. Recent studies have shown that a lack of vitamin D can lead to insulin resistance and obesity. Insulin resistance occurs when the body does not respond properly to insulin, increasing blood sugar levels. This can cause an increase in fat storage, resulting in weight gain. Therefore, getting enough vitamin D from sunshine or other sources may help reduce the risk of obesity and help with weight loss. 5. Eating healthy has never been easier and more enjoyable! Spring is the perfect time to focus on eating healthy! With the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables available, making healthy choices has never been easier or more enjoyable. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables can help with losing weight, maintaining a healthy weight, reducing the risk of chronic diseases, and providing essential vitamins and minerals. 6. Enjoy a Slimmer, Healthier You With Every Sip! Losing weight doesn’t have to be a struggle. There are many drinks that can help achieve weight loss, such as water, green tea, smoothies, herbal tea, green juice, coffee, apple cider vinegar drinks, and nut milk. Drinking water is one of the best ways to lose weight because it has zero calories and keeps you hydrated.
Conclusion When the right diet is combined with traditional Chinese medicine practices like acupuncture, people are able to positively affect their metabolism and break down food into energy much more quickly! With this combination of treatments, it’s possible to see results in a fraction of the time. With these seven tips from traditional Chinese medicine, practice and follow carefully, and you’ll find yourself much closer to achieving those desired goals! Good luck!