Weight loss is a vital topic throughout the year. Knowing how to lose weight by making use of the season of autumn is important. Dr. Yu Ya-wen, a TCM practitioner and Head of Taiwan Shangxi Clinic of Traditional Chinese Medicine, shares some tips on how to lose weight by optimizing efficiency with limited effort, in line with the solar conditions of autumn.
Six White Foods Should be Consumed to Get Lungs Nourished in Autumn
Autumn optimizes the nourishment of the lungs and their collateral channels. White foods are beneficial to the lungs, so they should be frequently consumed in autumn, such as taro, lotus root, water caltrop, Chinese pear, lily bulb, and snow fungus. They are good ingredients to nourish the body. Among them, Dr. Yu especially recommends lotus root, water chestnuts, and taro. She said, “Not only are they nourishing to the lungs, but also high in fiber and low in calories. Taro can especially replace rice. It has a better effect in losing weight than the sweet potato.”
Endocrine Plays a Key Role in Controlling Fat Cells
Many people try to control their diet and calories in order to lose weight. However, researchers have discovered in the past 10 years that despite all these efforts, people still cannot control their weight.
Dr. Yu said, “The key is endocrine, and endocrine (a complex messenger system for glands and organs) is the important factor that controls whether fat cells are stored or released.”
Three Major Endocrines Impact on the Success or Failure of Weight Loss
The impact of the endocrine on the effectiveness of weight loss can be categorized into three ways.
Insulin: Insulin can help convert ingested food into glucose, but if insulin is excessively secreted for a long time, the body’s sensitivity to insulin gradually decreases, that is, insulin resistance occurs, the blood sugar concentration in the blood rises, and excess calories become fat storage causes obesity.
Cortisol: Stress causes the adrenal glands to secrete glucocorticoids, which affect metabolism, mood, appetite, and perception of pain. Normal secretion can help the human body cope with changes in external pressure, but staying up late, eating and resting abnormally, and overworking will cause excessive cortisol secretion, resulting in the accumulation of excess sugar to form fat.
Estrogen: Estrogen is one of the female hormones and has many important roles, one of which is to promote fat burning. During menopause, if the secretion of estrogen is insufficient and the basal metabolic rate is reduced, it will lead to the accumulation of fat, and it is easy to form obesity.
Dr. Yu said that life stress would turn on our alarm for potential dangers, causing a surge of adrenalin. Body cells then grasp and preserve more fat, leading to weight gain.
She also highlighted that a great amount of sugar is found hidden in foods, such as condiments. One would easily get excessive sugar without full awareness.
Dr. Yu assert that sugar hidden in food additives, such as sauces, is the reason why the body takes too much sugar. “So, the first thing is to change the way of life. The second is diet, medication, and the choice of ingredients that can regulate hormones.” Dr. Yu also suggested an orderly diet, which can help sugar slowly enter the body. “Eating vegetables first, meat second, and starches last to increase satiety can slow the blood sugar spike.”
Diet, Routine, and Appropriate Food Can Balance Various Endocrine Reactions
Exercise is indispensable for weight loss. The purpose of the exercise is to raise the sensitivity of receptors on cells. Elevated sensitivity of cells would initiate hormonal mechanisms which promote fat metabolism (fat burning) and, thus, weight loss.
Dr. Yu Suggests Different Approaches for Two Different Physiques.
1. The puffy type: they appear puffy but are not obese; they just do not have enough muscle.
Dr. Yu suggested they don’t try to lose weight but do the weight lifting first. As well as consuming good protein like chicken breast, egg, and milk that are low in calories. Muscles would then be built up.
2. The Muscular type: They have a high ratio of muscles but are obese.
Dr. Yu said that they need to change their diet first, then do aerobic exercise to burn fat. A repetitive four-week eating regimen is recommended.
A Four Week Eating Cycle is Recommended
The purpose of this method is to eliminate toxic waste first and then increase muscle content. In the first week, the free radicals and substances that cause inflammation in the body are metabolized, then you can lose weight more quickly.
Ms. Yu suggested the consumption of vegetables in the first week, then vegetables with meats in the second week, then the addition of starchy food in the third week, the consumption of any kind of food in the fourth week, and then repeating the food cycle a second time. Eight to ten percent of weight can be lost in a three-month period.
This weight loss cycle should be followed by aerobic exercises to burn fat.
Avoid Dry Heat Food in Autumn, Sleep Early and Get up Early
As the traditional saying goes, “Eat radish in winter and ginger in summer.” Dr. Yu reminds people to avoid hot and dry food in autumn, which interrupts the hormone mechanisms. Autumn begins the stage of internal storage. We need to sleep early and get up early.
Qigong Is the Best Exercise in Autumn. Avoid Vigorous Perspiration.
Avoid exercises that make you perspire profusely in autumn. Lungs get nourished in autumn, so Qi should be preserved in the lungs. Exercises such as rigorous workouts dissipate most of the Qi from the lungs, which makes people feel weak afterward.
Dr. Yu recommends oriental workouts, like yoga and qigong, as the most suitable workouts for autumn and winter. She said, “Qi is the main source of energy for all our physiological activities and fat metabolism. Through gentle exercises, we can maintain Qi and achieve our goal of wellness and weight loss. “