According to Traditional Chinese Medicine a weight problem is best solved by:
- strengthening and increasing energy (qi)
- improving digestion
- dispelling inflammation and
- clearing toxins
Signs of weak energy (qi) are lethargy, fatigue, and depression; signs of poor digestion are cloudy thinking, sluggish digestion, drowsiness and morning fogginess; and toxins cause cellulite, skin rashes, headaches, eye problems, poor vision and irritability.
The Western weight loss programs of diets low in fat, or stressing raw foods, or demanding low or high carbohydrates, or even the ones that stress moderation in everything, do not take into consideration strengthening your digestion and increasing your energy. Proponents of exercise for weight loss say if you are fatigued, “just get out there and exercise!” This works for people if they have energy that they are not accessing but, your fatigue is worse if you have low energy.
Digestive qi differs from person to person, and varies from time to time in the same person. There is no universal weight-loss diet that works for everyone. The best diet for you strengthens your weak qi. In this way, Eastern medicine links digestion with other life processes, such as breathing, circulation, and immune strength, in a holistic perspective. Our eating habits are a bigger picture of our energy. Using cleansing and detoxifying herbs and foods daily helps the body work better. Starving ourselves with extreme measures only damages immunity against illness and depression and exacerbates emotions that are trapped in excess weight.
After I had my first baby I had gained so much weight that I also suffered from depression. I joined the food, exercise and health coaching program at HBC and after six months I was fifty-five pounds lighter! At conferences a year later, people who knew me well didn’t recognize me until they heard me speak, and then they were speechless!
Some important concepts for healthy eating involve satisfying the “Five Flavors” (Bitter, Sweet, Hot, Salty and Sour) while strengthening the kidney and adrenal energy (qi), reducing phlegm, and cooling inflammation or warming you up if you are always cold. Foods that produce phlegm and keeps your weight “stuck” to you, are sticky, sweet, heavy or moist. Things that weaken qi are stimulants such as coffee and sugar, and lifestyle choices such as overwork and limited sleep.
Our weight loss program is based on Chinese medicine, the energy supplied by specific foods and learning to eat from categories that include all 5-Flavors inherent in foods. It is a successful diet plan because it is geared to you as an individual, based on your body’s need for energy derived from proper digestion and strong energy (qi).