5 Chinese Medicine Tips To Aid Weight Loss

Dr. Natazia zu Stolberg, L.Ac, DACM
April 2, 2024
3 minutes

When combined with Chinese Medicine principles, GLP1 medications can offer a comprehensive approach to weight management. While GLP1 medications target physiological factors contributing to weight gain, Chinese medicine addresses underlying imbalances which may have contributed to weight gain in the first place. By addressing both the physical and emotional aspects of weight loss, this integrated approach may lead to more sustainable and long-lasting results.

Top five Chinese Medicine tips to aid weight loss:

1. Eat According to the Seasons: In Chinese medicine, the concept of eating with the seasons is vital for maintaining balance within the body. During colder months, focus on warm, cooked foods such as soups, stews, and steamed vegetables. In warmer months, opt for lighter, cooling foods like salads, fruits, and herbal teas. Eating seasonally not only provides essential nutrients but also supports the body's natural processes, aiding in digestion and metabolism.

2. Balance the Five Flavors: Chinese medicine categorizes food into five flavors—sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and pungent. Each flavor corresponds to different organs and elements within the body. To promote balance and prevent cravings, include a variety of flavors in your meals. For example, incorporating bitter foods like dark leafy greens and pungent spices like ginger and garlic can help stimulate digestion and curb appetite.

3. Mindful Eating: Mindful eating is a cornerstone of Chinese medicine philosophy. Instead of rushing through meals or eating on-the-go, take the time to savor each bite and pay attention to hunger and fullness cues. Chew your food thoroughly, allowing the digestive enzymes in saliva to begin breaking down carbohydrates. Eating mindfully not only enhances digestion but also fosters a deeper connection to the nourishing qualities of food.

4. Support Digestive Health: According to Chinese medicine, the Spleen and Stomach are central to digestion and metabolism. To support digestive health, prioritize foods that are easy to digest, such as cooked vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Avoid overeating or consuming heavy, greasy foods, which can overwhelm the digestive system as well as cold drinks and smoothies which dampen your digestive fire. Consider incorporating digestive-supporting herbs and spices into your diet, such as ginger, fennel, and peppermint.

5. Stress Management: Emotional well-being plays a significant role in Chinese medicine's approach to weight loss. Chronic stress can disrupt the flow of Qi and lead to imbalances within the body, contributing to weight gain. The Spleen organ, which in Chinese Medicine plays a vital role in metabolism, is negatively affected by worry and rumination so it is especially important to incorporate stress reducing practices such as meditation and acupuncture into your daily routine to ensure the energy of the Spleen stays strong to support you in your weight loss goals. 

Photo credit: Danielle Adams

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