Answers to Your Top 8 Questions

Is it easier to lose weight in winter? Or gain weight by eating ice cream? What kind of daily habits will make you fat? Is it difficult to trim the belly? Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) doctors in Taiwan will clarify the above questions.

Is it difficult to reduce the large lower abdomen and shape the abdominal muscles? Fu Tang, a fitness trainer, also introduced some simple exercises to shape the abdominal muscles.

Question 1: Is it better to lose weight in winter?

The cold winter not only makes one exercise less, but it will increase the desire to eat more to get calories. In TCM, it is believed that winter is a good time to lose weight. Doctor Yu Yawen of the Royal Jade Traditional Chinese Medicine Clinic in Taiwan said that in winter, qi and blood are drawn in, which can activate the internal organs and increase the body’s own metabolic rate.

TCM believes that qi is the “vital energy” that forms life within the body, and generally refers to the substance that fills the body with nutrients as blood. Qi and blood are interdependent, both flowing through the entire body, nourishing the organs and tissues, and maintaining the vitality of the human body.

A study published in Diabetes in 2009 also found that in cold weather, the body increases its metabolic rate. If you follow the same eating habits, your metabolism will be higher in winter than in summer, and you should lose weight, but why do so many people gain weight in winter?

Yu said people eat more in the winter, and consuming sweeter, more calorie-dense foods leads to weight gain. They suggest that controlling food intake in winter is effective for weight loss.

Question 2: Where does the desire to snack come from?

To achieve weight loss, people must resist the temptation to snack between meals. Yu believes that there are usually two reasons for the desire to eat a snack after the main meal.

The first is not eating the right carbohydrates. Good starches can stabilize blood sugar, while foods with a high glycemic index will increase insulin and store fat. In addition, the order of eating is also a factor that causes an increase in blood sugar. Eating rice as a last meal can help keep your blood sugar levels stable, so you won’t get hungry as easily.

The second is not eating enough. Because of the fear of fat and trying to reduce the amount of intake, people eat between meals. Yu advises that if you still want to eat snacks, you can choose healthy snacks that contain less sugar, such as rice and dried fruits. But be careful choosing foods with preservatives and saccharin additives.

Question 3: Are sugar-free drinks or foods safe for weight loss?

Yu said, don’t think that sugar-free drinks or foods are safe and won’t make you fat. Although sugar is the key to weight gain, when cold food or drinks enter the body at a temperature of 37 degrees C (98.6 F) plus, it will affect the operation of internal organs, reduce metabolism, which is one of the factors that cause obesity.

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A study published in the Transactions of the American Clinical and Climatological Association found that higher temperatures are associated with increased metabolic rates. For every 1°C increase in body temperature, oxygen consumption increases by 10-13 percent, while a decrease in temperature decreases metabolism.

Question 4: Is salad always desirable for weight loss?

Salads made from lettuce are rich in fiber and low in calories and are a favorite choice of many dieters. However, Yu said, because uncooked lettuce is cold in nature, it is suitable for people with hot ingredients such as meat eaters. But for people with a cold constitution, it should not be eaten in large quantities as a staple food.

In TCM, it is believed that people have different types of constitution. The two common ones are cold and hot constitutions. People with a cold constitution are more sensitive to cold things and often show cold hands and feet, with the tongue usually white and swollen. On the other hand, people with a hot constitution are more prone to heatstroke, with symptoms of dry mouth, constipation, and a red tongue. People can find their body constitution according to the above symptoms or by consulting a TCM expert.

In this regard, TCM divides food into various attributes. Most vegetables and fruits tend to be cold in nature. Long-term and large consumption of raw food can cause cold qi to accumulate in the body. Finally, foods from land animals such as beef, lamb, and chicken are considered warm.

In addition, salad dressings are generally high in calories, such as mayonnaise 680 kcal/100g (0.22 oz), Thousand Island dressing 380 kcal/100g (0.22oz), and Caesar dressing 540 kcal/100g (0.22oz). All these should be consumed in appropriate amounts.

Question 5: Will I get fat if I don’t drink enough water?

Yu said that the body needs various enzymes for digestion and metabolism and it needs to eliminate wastes that have been detoxified by the liver. In that sense, not drinking enough water means slowing down the metabolic rate and will easily result in weight gain.

There are many formulas on the internet that suggest the optimal amount of drinking water you need per day. So, is drinking about 2 liters (4.2 liters) per day for everyone the norm? Yu said that the key to drinking water is that every sip of water is fully utilized by the body. So how can it be fully functional? “Just drink a little (in sips) when you start to feel thirsty,” he added.

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He emphasized that when drinking water, do not swallow large amounts, because the water easily turns into urine and is excreted by the body. In addition, taking too much water at one time will affect the concentration of ions in the body, and that will make people with a weak stomach feel uncomfortable.

Question 6: Does staying asleep always cause obesity?

Whether there is a close relationship between staying up late and obesity, Yu said that staying up late will make you fat because the human body will release an enzyme called leptin.

A study published in PLOS Medicine found that more frequent sleep, less leptin secretion, causes less effective appetite, causes a decrease in the metabolic rate of fat cells, causes hormone secretion and causes weight loss. .

Question 7: Can exercise increase the speed of weight loss?

Yu said that exercise is not the only way to lose weight. For example, jogging for one hour consumes the calories you get from a bowl of rice. They suggest that diet is more effective than exercise.

However, Yu encourages those who want to lose weight to exercise, because exercise will increase pleasure substances, such as serotonin, which will help people to be more resistant to stress during the weight loss process. In addition, exercise can improve blood circulation and help internal organs to function smoothly.

He recommends cutting fat before weight training. If the fat has not been reduced, then the muscles produced by weight training will make you look burlier instead.

Question 8: Does constipation make the lower abdomen look bigger?

Yu said that constipation is the reason why his stomach is difficult to lose. Sitting in the office for a long time without much exercise and genetic problems are all factors that affect the efficiency of reducing the belly and / or waist size.

Yu added, there are many ways in TCM to deal with waist and abdominal obesity. It includes Chinese herbal medicine to regulate the function of internal organs and is supplemented by targeting Acupoint Catgut Embedding (ACE) in the lower abdomen. ACE is an alternative treatment that continuously stimulates acupoints by implanting absorbable catgut sutures at the acupoints. These two techniques can strengthen the function of the relevant organs and improve the problem of lower abdominal obesity.

Eight Exercises to Build Abdominal Muscles

Fitness trainer Fu Tang said it is difficult to reduce the lower abdomen because the abdomen accumulates most of the body fat to protect the internal organs.

To shape the abdominal muscles, Fu shares the following eight exercise routines. He also cautioned against putting stress on the neck while doing the exercises. In addition, doing it slowly, and using appropriate force during each angle of movement is most effective in shaping the abdominal muscles.

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Exercise 1: Dead bugs

While lying flat on the ground, raise your arms, and bend your legs 90 degrees.

Pull your left hand and right leg together, tense your middle and lower abdomen, and keep your hips and stomach close to the ground.

Then switch to the right hand and left foot, repeat above.

Exercise 2: Abdominal roll

Lie on the ground with your hands under your hips and feet slightly off the ground.

Lift your legs, so that your buttocks are off the ground, keep them and feel the middle part in a strained state.

Extend both legs, straighten the legs without touching the ground, and lift again.

Exercise 3: Get up and roll your stomach

Lie flat on the ground with your arms outstretched.

While curling your stomach, lift your upper body as if in a sit-up position, keeping both feet off the ground as you curl up.

Exercise 4: Banana style

Lie on your right side, straighten your right hand on the ground at 90 degrees to your body, and raise your left hand to form a straight line with your body.

When rolling the stomach sideways, lift the legs, both legs remain straight without touching the ground, and the left arm to the leg.
Repeat the above action for the other side.

Exercises 1-4, shown in the video:

Exercise 5: Touch the ankle from the side

Lie on the ground, bend your knees, touch your heels with your hands, keep your head slightly off the ground and be careful not to stiffen your neck.
Feel your midsection under stress.

Exercise 6: Turn your body and rotate your stomach

Lie on the ground, knees bent, arms crossed in front of chest.

First turn and make one shoulder touch the ground. After lifting the upper body with strength, let the other shoulder touch the ground.

Exercise 7: Touch the knee point of the plank

Stand on the floor with your hands in a plank position, bend your hips back, and make a straight line with your hands and the back of your shoulders.

Let your right hand touch your left thumb, then return to the plank position. After the left hand touches the right thumb, return to the plank position again.

Exercise 8: Plank knee lift

Place your hands on the ground in a plank position, lift your left knee close to your left elbow, then lift your right knee close to your right elbow.

Exercises 5-8, shown in the video:

Amber Yang

Amber Yang worked as a marketing manager for natural skin care products for years and as a health and beauty reporter and editor for ten years. She is also the host and producer of the YouTube programs “Amber Running Green” and “Amber Health Interview.”

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