The Chinese medicine way of eating for weight loss is totally different from the Western approach. Instead of focusing on calories or nutrients, TCM looks deeper—at the energetic properties of food that can rebalance the body and boost its energy. In other words, one eats to “gain energy, lose weight.”
This perspective approaches healthy eating with an entirely different understanding of why people gain weight in the first place. Due to stress, hectic lifestyles, and informational overload, as well as poor dietary habits, people often expend more energy than their bodies can generate. Over time, these “energy drains” can affect the body’s balance and cause weight gain among other health issues.
A person with a healthy digestive system will convert most, if not all, of the food ingested into energy. However, low energy leads to compromised organ function and an imbalanced body, which leads to an inefficient conversion of food into Qi. The end result: weight gain.
Here are some tips on how to eat to gain energy and restore balance:
- Eat to stop energy drains! By getting rid of unhealthy dietary habits that stress your body’s digestive organs and cause “energy drains,” you’ll save Qi that can be used to repair and maintain your digestive system. Skipping breakfast, eating late at night after 7pm, eating way past full, and eating cold, raw foods are all energy-draining dietary habits.
- Eat foods that rebalance your body’s energy-producing organs. Eating foods that have specific energetic properties for healing the Stomach, Spleen, Liver, and Kidney will go a long way to counteract the effects of energy drains and stress. Once your major digestive organs, i.e. the Stomach, Spleen, and Liver, are in good form, you’ll naturally be able to transform your food into Qi much more efficiently. Because the Kidney is the powerhouse and “backup generator” of the body, acting as the reserve of energy for all your organs, eating foods for your Kidney boosts your overall energy foundation and help all the other organs work more efficiently.