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Dr. Mao, Santa Monica

Don't Diet, Eat!

Simple Tips For Losing Weight

Posted May. 19, 2013, 9:19 am

Dr. Mao Shing Ni / Mirror Columnist

Diet. The very word strikes rumblings of hunger and deprivation in the stomachs of those seeking weight loss. But losing weight does not have to be – and should not be – about deprivation and starvation. Reaching an ideal weight should be about restoring nutrition to your body and a love of healthy food.

The problem with dieting is it deprives the body of food or is extreme in a few recommended foods. This is the opposite of how our metabolism functions, and that is why so often the results do not last. Diets that focus on just one type of food quickly become boring, and far worse, they fail to provide the range of nutrients that your body needs to function well. An unhealthy body often leads to an inefficient metabolism and slows down weight loss. When you are hungry, it may be your body telling you that it requires nutrients. With that in mind, I always recommend eating a balanced and colorful array of wholesome foods.

Lose weight by drinking water

If you haven’t been drinking enough water, your body may have developed a pattern of storing water. This water retention equals extra unwanted weight, and it can also hide your real weight loss results. By increasing fluids, you are flushing out toxins and teaching your body that it no longer needs to store water. One remedy to promote weight loss is to drink hot water with lemon slices throughout your day, especially before eating, to help reduce fluid retention and drain out dampness. To be sure your water is free from chemicals and other unhealthy substances, I always suggest filtering water.

One way meat helps with weight loss

To begin with, weight loss requires a well-rounded diet. Fifty percent of your diet should be fruits and veggies, 25 percent should be nuts, seeds, whole grains, beans, and legumes; the remaining 25 percent should be animal protein (unless you are vegetarian, in which case, you should take care that you are getting these essential nutrients from other sources.) Twenty-five percent means eating three four-ounce portions of animal protein – the size of a deck of cards – per day.

What does meat have to do with weight loss? Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a natural fatty acid found in beef and lamb, especially the grass-fed kind, and also in eggs. This powerful antioxidant has many health benefits, but is best known for its ability to improve the ratio of fat to lean body mass. So you can reduce body fat without giving up your red meat, but try to eat only free-range, grass-fed, and hormone- and antibiotic-free lean meat. Another tip: to get the full benefits of CLA from your protein intake, you should exercise every day.

Make losing weight easy on yourself

One of the tricks to maintain new healthier eating habits is to be prepared. Once a week, spend an hour or two preparing some of your meals (such as watercress soup) ahead of time, and then freeze in single-serving portions. Divide your healthier snacks (such as trailmix) into baggies to bring with you on the go. Then later, instead of reaching for the easily accessible cookies or picking up a cellulite-producing, trans-fats-laden meal from a fast food restaurant, you will be ready with a healthier option.

You are only as prepared as what is in your pantry, so start shopping for weight loss. Stock up on nutritious goodies, including the foods in this article. Keep plenty of fruits, nuts, and seeds around to stave off hunger between meals. Apples, peaches, cherries, and bananas are good choices. Chlorophyll-rich green foods such as broccoli, kale, spinach, and asparagus are good for weight loss and great for health.

The biggest benefit of this preparation is that you will be on the path to achieving your weight goals and that you will be giving your body the essential nutrition it craves. As a side benefit, you will save yourself some money by avoiding eating out and purchasing ready-made foods, and you may be surprised to find how much you enjoy cooking. To support your weight loss goals, you may benefit from the herbal formulation B-Slim, a nutrient-rich dietary supplement designed to be part of a sensible overall weight management program.

May you live long, live strong, and live happy!

Dr. Mao Shing Ni, best known as Dr. Mao is a bestselling author, doctor of Oriental Medicine and board certified anti-aging expert. He has recently appeared on “The Ricki Lake Show,” “Dr. Oz,” and contributes to Yahoo Health and The Huffington Post.  Dr. Mao practices acupuncture, nutrition, and Chinese medicine with his associates at the Tao of Wellness in Santa Monica, Newport Beach, and Pasadena. Dr. Mao and his brother, Dr. Daoshing Ni, founded the Tao of Wellness more than 25 years ago in addition to founding Yo San University in Marina del Rey.  To make an appointment for evaluation and treatment please call 310.917.2200 or you can email Dr. Mao at To subscribe to his tip-filled newsletter please visit

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