DR. MAO SHING NI
SPECIAL TO THE MIRROR
When the winter winds blow, some of us would rather hibernate than work out. Making healthier choices will help you avoid dieting after the holidays. Start with these five natural, healthy tips.
1. Eat Frequently to Up Your Metabolism
After age 20, your metabolism slows down by about 10 percent per decade, which could be a reason why you gain weight when you eat the same amount of food you did when you were younger. This sort of metabolic decline can be reversed by adopting a pattern of eating five small meals a day instead of three larger ones. It is never a good idea to eat big meals because your body can only use a certain amount of food, depending on your activities, and will store the rest as fat.
It is also never a good idea to eat only one meal a day or none at all; eating very little food confuses your body into thinking it is in starvation mode and slows down your metabolism, resulting in weight gain in the long run.
2. Lose Weight Without Losing
Focus on nutrition, not on dieting. To many of us, the word “diet” may conjure up images of giving up tasty foods and eating only bland foods, or no food at all-a very dangerous scenario that is ultimately counterproductive. Depriving the body of food or going to extremes with a few recommended foods goes against our metabolism. Even if your diet has you losing weight, the results generally don’t last and you are missing out on valuable nutrients, which will have a negative impact on your body in the long run.
What should you eat to stay healthy and keep from gaining weight? Emphasize fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, lean animal protein like fish, fowl, and eggs. Also, cut back on rich, fatty foods, dairy, and refined carbohydrates, including sugar, white flour, pasta, white rice, and alcohol. While you may initially miss the taste of rich foods, within two or three weeks, your taste palette will adjust and become more refined, allowing you to enjoy food just as nature intended – and reach the weight nature intended.
3. More Liquids, Less Weight
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. By increasing fluids, you are flushing out toxins and teaching your body that it no longer needs to store water. Drink hot water with lemon slices throughout your day, especially before eating, to help reduce fluid retention. Be sure the water is filtered and free from chemicals.
4. A Slimming Morning Ritual
Every morning, on an empty stomach, drink 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with 1 teaspoon of maple syrup mixed in 12 ounces of warm water. This promotes good digestion and increases your metabolism. My herbal formula called Internal Cleanse will support the healthy function of the liver to cleanse the body of internal and environmental pollutants and toxins. It contains dandelion, chrysanthemum, peppermint, and other herbs that help balance the nervous system and relax the mind.
While we are on the subject of morning, never skip breakfast! The morning is when your body needs energy the most, and then your body has the rest of the day to burn the calories off.
5. Get Physical
Everyone knows that exercise is an important component in weight loss. Physical activity speeds up your metabolism and burns excess calories. If your goal is to slim down, be as physically active as possible. Always choose the stairs over the elevator, and use your legs instead of a vehicle whenever you can. Join the gym, ride a bike, take a dance class, join a hiking club – whatever motivates you to get moving. Make it fun for yourself. Once exercising seems like a chore, your weight loss results go right out the window.
From my clinical experience and research, I have seen that success comes from exercising four times or more per week, for 30 minutes each time. If you feel too out of shape, begin your exercise program gently and gradually. Start by exercising only five minutes a day, but do it every day. Incrementally increase the time on a weekly basis – say, five additional minutes per week. By the end of the sixth week, you’ll be up to 30 minutes. Be prepared to not only lose weight, but feel stronger, happier and more energized.
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 practices acupuncture, nutrition and Chinese medicine with his associates at the Tao of Wellness in Santa Monica, a Wellness Medicine group that won the “L.A.’s Best” Award. Dr. Mao and his brother, Dr. Daoshing Ni founded Tao of Wellness in Santa Monica over 25 years ago. In addition, he is the cofounder and Chancellor of Yo San University in Venice/Marina del Rey. To subscribe to a free newsletter please visit www.taoofwellness.com To make an appointment for evaluation and treatment please call 310-917-2200 or you can email Dr. Mao at firstname.lastname@example.org