Losing Weight Should be like a Pleasant Journey

September 1, 2010 Trisha Han HighlightsOriental Herbal MedicineWellness & Prevention

Many people have unusually low self-esteem and low spirit just because they don’t have slim figures. Some feel that it’s merely their figures that cost them their lifetime of happiness—from marriage, family, friendship and career to affecting fate entirely.  Often times being overweight or obese takes away their joy, success and even opportunities.  This is truly a concerning matter. Here, I will help people who are overweight use a completely new method and view a completely new idea to get rid of this invisible lock on their freedom and find back their self-esteem, beauty, and find back everything which would originally belong to us.

Why do people become overweight? There are many reasons, such as genetics, eating habits, body constitution and exercise habits. However, all overweight people have one thing in common: their spleen is week in absorbing and digesting the food that they eat.  This seems confusing, because one would think that this would cause a person to be underweight, not overweight.  Most people have the misguided notion that obesity is because the body’s ability to digest and absorb is too great.  Because of this false concept, often times our weight-loss goals are impossible to reach.

Some people think, “My appetite is great; I can eat anything, and I’d never be full.  This can’t mean my spleen is weak, right?” In Chinese medicine there is a saying: “When the stomach is strong, the spleen is weak.”  The meaning of this is easy to see, that is, even if you can eat, it can’t be digested. The stomach is an organ that receives the food and breaks it down, while the spleen is responsible for digesting and distributing nutrients to the body. Although at times we eat a lot, the spleen’s ability to convert food to nutrients is weak. In this scenario, it’s like a factory that bought a lot of material but can’t use it because the machines aren’t functioning properly.  The resulting products also cannot be used.  Excess fat on the body, likewise, isn’t stored nutrients from eating too much.  They are a pile of waste that can’t be gotten rid of, just like the products of a factory with broken machines.  This excess fat won’t convert into energy when you need it; rather, it will prevent you from producing energy.  Therefore, the true goal of weight loss is to rid the body of this storage of waste in the form of excess fat on the body.  This way, new energy can be produced—and not only will you be slimmer, you will have better energy and overall health.

In the past, weight loss methods revolved around watching energy intake in the form of calories, because it was thought that reducing calorie intake and burning calories already “stored” would result in the decrease of fat.  At first glance, this method seems to make sense.  However, when looking closer, one important point is forgotten—the excess fat on the body isn’t stored calories from food, but rather waste that the body is incapable of getting rid of.  This fat can’t easily be burned, because it takes a large amount of effort on the body’s part to dispose of through the bloodstream. This is comparable to a factory’s disposal of waste products or unusable products; these unusable products must be sorted, then thrown away or recycled accordingly.  If a lot of energy isn’t available, there is no way that the body can get rid of these waste materials.

So where does the body get this energy from?  It can only be produced from food calories.  People trying to lose weight often only eat enough to get them through the day—if this is happening, then the body will never have energy sufficient to deliver the waste products outside of the body.  True, if you starve yourself for a few days, you will definitely see weight loss as a result.  However, you will find that your skin loses its elasticity and your fat and muscle hangs limp from your body. Additionally, you won’t have enough energy as before. This is because your body has broken down what little energy your body had left in the muscles, in order to maintain the vital organs’ functions.  In fact, you may feel thinner but in actuality the waste within your body still has not been expelled. And if this continues to happen, you will not be able to maintain the slim figure, but rather put on even more weight than before.

Is muscle really that important? Of course; muscles are responsible for the storage and distribution of the body’s energy.  If one continues to starve the body in order to lose weight, this storage will be depleted to replenish the vital organs, and there won’t be enough energy left to maintain the other functions, especially the immune system.   Therefore, if you want to build and maintain a strong, slim and healthy figure, it is important to also maintain the source of your energy—the muscles.

There is another even more serious case, and that is the result of taking medicines for weight loss, causing the body to lose weight and burn fat at an abnormal rate.  In our factory analogy, this is no different than selling the entire factory in order to get rid of the unwanted products. These medicines, likewise, result in thyroid malfunction and considerable damage to the cardiac muscle, sometimes even leading to eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa.  Once you realize that only increasing food/energy intake can result in weight loss, then these disorders won’t occur.

Now that we are aware of the factors that cause fat buildup on the body, how should we put our weight loss plan into action? There is something I want to tell everyone in advance: Once you know everything above, this is a very easy process.

First off, we need to choose to eat foods that will not cause waste buildup (fat) on our body, and will also increase energy and circulation.  In other words, it is necessary to eat a nutritious diet. Special foods such as Job’s tears (a type of grain), Chinese Yam and Gorgon fruit can improve function of the spleen. A herbal formula called “Gui Pi Wan” can also help to strengthen the spleen . If you are a person who loves to eat meat, avoid eating at least fatty meats—just take one or two hawthorn tablets or pills after eating meat, which will help you digest it.  Often your body craves food because it lacks iron or is deficient in blood; once you have enough blood in your body, this unusual craving will gradually disappear. Don’t limit the amount of vegetables, fruits, legumes or nuts that you eat.  Remember that radish helps to relieve internal gases and to digest in general, winter melon helps empty fluids, and jujube promotes the production of red blood cells.  These three foods are extremely beneficial in the weight loss process. Avoid eating too much white rice and grain products, as well as fatty meats such as pork and poultry.  Also to be avoided are foods like freshwater seafood, candies, pastries, etc.  When on a diet, it is also important that you do not fast. Some people have specific foods that cause reactions such as bloating or indigestion—avoid these foods if you know what they are.

When feeling hungry or energy deprived, don’t turn to sweets for the answer.  This is because what the body needs is not sugar, but blood and energy.  Our bodies don’t need as much sugar or starch as we think, because these products are often hidden into the everyday foods that we consume.  Again, consume foods such as longan, jujubes, fruits, beef and nuts to replenish the body’s blood supply.

At this point, you may ask: “Any special exercise you recommend?” Jugging, walking are good one as we all know. But some overweight people have knee or ankle problems and cannot jug or walk much and some people don’t like jugging or walking, then try the exercises “walking on your knee” and “standing-on-one leg”. See our previous blogs and videos on these two exercises. As mentioned before, “walking on your knee” can help you reduce the fat around the hip and thigh area. “Standing on one leg” can help you strengthen your spleen that helps our body digest the excessive fat naturally. Try these two exercises, they are very simple to practice and yet very helpful!

By following the above method in losing weight, you’ll find that the process is easy, and you don’t have a great limitation on the foods you can or cannot eat; meanwhile, you will gain energy while losing weight, and your immune system will benefit from it as well.  This is how real, healthy weight loss should be.  One strange thing will happen—you will find that, as you become slimmer, you won’t be necessarily losing weight, but may actually put on a bit.  This is very normal, so do not be alarmed or despaired.  The increase in weight is due to the muscles being replenished and the body’s blood production increasing.  Because muscle is more dense than fat, it weighs more per area, so there may be a slight increase in weight.  Don’t be too preoccupied with the numbers you see on the scale—what’s more important is, people will notice your slimmer figure, and not only that, but also your healthy complexion and overall improvement in energy and health. Now that this has happened, it’s time to congratulate yourself for a job well done.

Now it’s time to let nature do its work.  Recall all that we discussed regarding waste on our body taking the form of excess fat. When the body is healthy enough, and can produce enough energy, then this energy will be used to get rid of all of this waste.  Once your body eliminates this fat, it means you are not only slim, but also healthy!  It is important, however, to maintain good eating habits.  As long as you do this, you will stay a slim and healthy person.

 


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