Many people struggle with losing weight. With misinformation, conflicting advice, and fad diets that are ineffective or do more harm than good, people seeking to lose weight often find themselves plateauing and going back to square one.
Does this sound like your experience? Find out what suits your body’s needs and target the issues impeding your weight loss with A-B-C. Read on to learn more about how you can A-B-C your way to a healthier weight! 😉
A - Automate your Food Portions
The magic is in the fractions that make up your plate or bowl of food at each meal.
Remember: QUARTER, QUARTER, HALF makes up 1 meal.
- QUARTER plate of wholegrains – Wholegrains are unprocessed; filled with vitamins B and E, iron, zinc, magnesium, phytochemicals and dietary fibre. Most people usually skip carbohydrates because they think that having rice counts as extra calories, but wholegrains can help you with weight management as they provide bulk to the diet and keep you full for longer, so you do not eat more than you require.
- QUARTER plate of protein – Protein includes poultry, red meat, eggs, seafood, fish, dairy (milk, yoghurt and cheese), and plant-based (soy milk, tofu, tempeh, mushrooms, nuts, beans and legumes). Go for fresh meat, lean cuts, and low-fat or non-fat dairy products. Protein is essential for keeping your muscles, bones, organs, skin, and nails healthy with nutrients like iron, Vitamin B and zinc. However, the choice of protein you choose can be higher in calories, so keep it to just 1 serving per meal.
- HALF plate of fruit & vegetables – Vegetables are naturally low in calories and fat. Adding 1 serving of fruit helps to provide more colours (rich in antioxidants), textures and flavours to your meal! The high water and fibre content in your fruit and vegetables help to add volume and bulk to your meals (alongside wholegrains) to fill you up and reduce over-consumption of other foods! You can also read more on the benefits of fibre here.
Satiety is very important in weight management.
When your body is filled with the nutrients it needs for optimal function and fulfills hunger, it does not crave sugar, fat, or salt-laden foods. Automating the above portions will help you to remember to give your body the nutrients it needs so that it can focus on losing the excess weight.
However, when you intentionally reduce your portions to less than the QUARTER, QUARTER, HALF recommended, this may result in overeating when you give in to hunger, and you may not achieve your goals as intended.
Find it difficult to put QUARTER, QUARTER, HALF into practice? Here are some suggestions— if you find it difficult to adhere to it every meal (especially if you eat out daily), try implementing these suggestions at least twice a day!
B - Boost your Body Constitution
Did you know that there are 9 body constitutions (体质), each reflecting a unique physical, physiological, and psychological state of health? In TCM, each individual has their own unique body constitution(s)– and an individual can have more than one!
Our body constitution is influenced by our diet, lifestyle habits, environment, physical traits, emotional health and psychological character.
We also inherit genes or traits that cannot be easily changed. This places emphasis on avoiding or limiting influencing factors that could cause your body constitution to be imbalanced.
When your body constitution is imbalanced, this may lead to unpleasant symptoms, illnesses may arise, and your body may find it difficult to lose excess weight.
Do you know what is your body constitution, and what are the diet, lifestyle, and environmental triggers that influence imbalance for you?
TCM treatments and herbal medication will vary depending on your body condition and constitution at the time of consultation. Knowing your body constitution type(s) and understanding the various triggers will aid in achieving balance and optimal function in your body to lose weight safely while minimising the risk of adverse effects. Coupled with relevant diet and lifestyle changes that are truly tailored to your body and lifestyle habits, you are more likely to achieve weight loss that is effective, sustainable, and safe.
C- Choose your Favourite Foods
One reason for weight loss failure is picking a diet that is unsustainable for one’s lifestyle. This is especially so in Singapore, where many regard food as one of their greatest pleasures in life. This gives rise to the misconception that when you are on a diet, you have to give up on your favourite foods entirely, and switch to bland food in order to lose weight.
Our favourite foods may be high in fat, salt, and sugar; but these are foods that comfort us and remind us of our heritage and roots. These foods can give us something to look forward to after a long and tiring day, or motivate us to keep on going through the ups and downs of life. Food should be enjoyed as it is, with all the fond memories and emotions associated with it.
But if we do not choose the right foods to keep us in good health, how do we continue to live a life that we enjoy?
Cutting these foods out entirely often lead to burnout and may be unsustainable. The key here is consuming these foods in moderation!
So, while you can choose your favourite foods to include, do also remember to:
- Choose to share the calories (and the joy!) with someone.
- Choose mini sizes, e.g. a mini chocolate bar or one mini packet of chips.
- Choose to swap something in the meal out for a healthier option, e.g. instead of fries, go for baked vegetables or a cup of corn; instead of a glass of fruit juice, go for a whole fruit or a fruit cup.
- Choose to have it as a treat; e.g. after 3 days of healthy eating, have your favourite Hokkien Mee for lunch!
Of course, a weight loss journey is not without its bumps. If you have hit a plateau in your weight loss journey, or would like to learn more about what healthier food substitutes would work for your body (especially if you have pre-existing medical conditions), we are here to help!
Why Choose TCM with Medical Nutrition Therapy?
Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) is an evidence-based medical approach to treat certain medical conditions, through the use of an individually-tailored nutrition plan and can only be conducted by a certified dietitian.
At PULSE, we have English and Mandarin speaking practitioners (registered with the TCM Practitioners Board in Singapore) and dietitians with years of experience in weight management. Our team integrates Eastern practices and Western science to provide the best care plan for you.
Our TCM practitioners employ unique diagnostic methods such as categorising symptoms, observing your tongue and feeling the pulse at the radial artery. This ensures an accurate diagnosis, after which dietitians work closely with them to co-manage your weight.
Dietitians can identify the right dietary balance for you to maximise and sustain well-being. This means less restrictive/rigid diets and vague advice like ‘eat more of’ or ‘avoid these foods’, and more tailored advice that also factors in your existing illnesses, body condition, medications, and even your food preferences.
We offer you the benefits of TCM and dietetic practices that are established, safely administered and managed according to modern quality standards. This ensures a more efficient and effective result that is sustainable for you, and also gives you the knowledge to make well-informed decisions for your diet and your health for the future.