Acupuncture for weight loss – new evidence shows a hearty breakfast can be crucial
Acupuncture for weight loss: diet has always been an important part of acupuncture treatment. What we eat, the quality of the food we eat, how we prepare it and when we eat it have always been see as being fundamental to our physical and emotional health. A healthy eating regime is obviously a critical part of acupuncture for weight loss treatment. In modern times we are aware of the health risks posed by being overweight. We are also frequently under pressure to conform to various ideas of body image. No acupuncturist should carry out acupuncture for weight loss if the patient is purely after ‘cosmetic’ effect. The weight loss needs to be in the context of improving the patient’s over-all health and well-being.
Acheiving sustainable weight control
However acheiving these goals can be difficult especially in a long term, sustainable manner. Many of us are familiar with dieting, losing weight and then putting it back on again as we succumb to some of the foods we feel we have been depriving ourselves of! We are often bombarded by different ‘diets’ which are difficult to maintain over time.
Eat breakfast like a King, lunch like a Prince and supper like a pauper!
In Chinese medicine there has for thousands of years been the saying ‘Eat breakfast like a King, lunch like a Prince and supper like a pauper’. In the context of acupuncture for weight loss, acupuncture theory understands that the stomach’s qi (the metabolic energy of the stomach) peaks between 7am and 9 am in the morniung and that this is the best time to eat well. The body has not had any calorific intake over-night and is ready for refuelling.
These ideas are now backed up by research from Tel Aviv University The researchers had two groups, one of which had more of their daily calorific intake at breakfast time. The group which had the higher calorie intake at breakfast managed to keep their weight off more consistently than the other group. The food which they ate was not restricted in any way – so if they fancied something sweet like chocolate cake then that was fine! The researchers believe that if we deprive ourselves of these foods we have psychological withdrawl symptoms which makes it harder to maintain a healthy eating regime. Whilst over-consuming foods with refined sugars and carbohydrates is not advisable, if we eat some in moderation in the morning the body has a chance to burn off these calories. Eating a moderate amount of something we fancy is psychologically more of a balanced way of approaching a healthy eating regime than depriving ourselves and then binging on it when we feel we have failed!
Acupuncture for weight loss
Acupuncture can be used to help encourage a sustainable healthy eating regime. In Chinese medical theory the craving of certain foodstuffs and flavours is seen as a sign of imbalance in the body. Certain foods are also understood to slow down the body’s ability to metabolise food. Foods such as some dairy products, wheat products as well as foods containing processed sugars and sweeteners are classified as ‘damp’ foods. These foods can leave certain people feeling sluggish and can cause bloating. As part of the acupuncture treatment for weight management, I will recommend certain foods that will suit that person’s condition and metabolism, as well as which foods to avoid. And of course to eat breakfast like a King!