The main principles for eating to lose weight according to Chinese dietetics

[Article updated on 19/09/2023]

Chinese dietetics focuses on energy: that which food brings us and that which circulates in our body. Its goal is to prevent loss of vitality and blockages, which cause weight gain. Here are the main principles that will allow you to lose weight while being in tune with nature and according to your needs.

Before reading on

I’m not an expert in this field, but I am passionate about nutrition and health.

The articles you’ll find on my site are the result of in-depth research that I’d like to share with you. However, I would like to stress that I am not a health professional and that my advice should in no way replace that of a qualified physician. I’m here to guide you, but it’s important that you consult a professional for specific questions or medical concerns. Your well-being is important. So be sure to consult the appropriate experts and take the best possible care of yourself.

The goal of Chinese dietetics is above all preventive: to live as long as possible in good health. It also has a curative purpose which requires knowing the therapeutic virtues of foods. When they have health concerns, the Chinese have the habit of adding foods and plants to their plate.

Based on the fundamental concept of Chinese thought, yin and yang are two opposite and complementary principles (like shadow and light), always in motion. In Chinese dietetics we find this principle: the yin, it is the fresh, the cold, the bitter, the acid, the salty, the soft and the humidifying; the yang, it is lukewarm, hot, sweet, spicy, hard, drying.

People with a more yin constitution (cold, pale, calm, loose stools, tendency to be overweight) will benefit from eating foods of a yang nature and those more yang (sensation of heat, agitation, tendency to extroversion, mouth dry, constipation) to eat foods of a yin nature.

The meal should contain 1/4 liquid food, 1/2 solid food and 1/4 empty food. This helps prevent bloating and facilitates digestion.

The meal can be followed by a 100-step walk, a 100-round stomach massage, then a twenty-minute nap!

1- Have a good quality “digestive fire”

“The spleen/stomach couple is central in the approach of Chinese dietetics. The stomach is like a cauldron which receives the food which will be reduced to mush thanks to the yang of the spleen (it is the fire which heats it) The spleen brings nutrients up into the body, the stomach brings waste down into the intestine.

The two movements are linked and balance each other. If one is disrupted, the other will be as well. “The spleen prefers dryness and the stomach prefers humidity, which means that we must always keep the right balance in our diet and eat neither too dry, nor too hot, nor too humid, nor too cold.”

It is also important to ensure the quality and freshness of food because the fresher it is, the more local, seasonal and least processed possible.


2- Eat a “good and quality” breakfast

The right foods : a hot drink (coffee, tea, infusion) without sugar which promotes digestion, cereals with a low glycemic index (toasted sourdough bread, cereal flakes) which provide energy all morning, a salty note (egg , ham) to awaken the kidneys, organs of innate energy, which supply yang to the spleen and stomach.

Raw fruits, which tend to ferment with other foods, should preferably be taken away from meals, at the end of the morning for example, to avoid getting pumped up and arriving too hungry at lunch and avoid eating too quickly and/or too copious.

Beware of white bread, jam, orange juice which provides too much quick sugar, does not provide quality nutrients and leads to cravings for sweets in the morning.

Sugary products and dairy products cause pathogenic moisture production and low energy.

3- Have a filling lunch

Adopt the single plate!

Starters should be avoided, because they often consist of either cold meats (too fatty) or raw vegetables, which weaken the spleen’s energy from the start of the meal due to their cold nature and are less digestible than cooked foods. .

To be well balanced, the single plate must include 1/2 plate of cooked vegetables, 1/3 of cereals and/or legumes and 1/3 of proteins (meat, fish, egg)

It is important to take at least twenty minutes for lunch, in a seated position, in peace. This avoids fatigue and snacking in the afternoon, as well as poor digestion, even reflux and bloating. Also be careful with cold meals (sandwiches, salads, dairy products, etc.). If you are tired, this will require a lot of effort on the digestive fire and may ultimately lead to fatigue and weight problems.

4- A light dinner

In the evening, favor cooked vegetables: in soups, pies, sautéed vegetables, accompanied by a 1/3 of cereals and/or legumes.

Hot foods such as meat should be avoided in the evening.

Common mistakes: botching breakfast, grabbing lunch on the go and arriving hungry for dinner. This is a big mistake, because in the evening, the digestive fire is weak and our needs are limited, since we go to bed. Furthermore, a dinner that is too hearty risks destroying your appetite at breakfast and therefore throwing off balance the entire day the next day.

5- hydrate yourself but not too much!

No need to force yourself to drink 1.5 liters per day. Drink as much as you are thirsty and take the color of your urine as a guide, which should be clear during the day.

If this is the case, don’t push yourself any further, you will tire your kidneys unnecessarily!

6- Quality and regular sleep

An adult needs to sleep between 7 and 9 hours per night.

Try to go to bed as soon as you feel the first signs of fatigue so as not to miss your sleep routine (which only happens every 90 minutes!).

A 15-minute nap is also recommended.

The body needs guidelines: try to keep a fixed bedtime and wakeup time.

7- A little physical activity every day

Practicing 30 minutes of physical activity per day helps maintain your heart and other muscles. Walk, prefer the stairs to the elevators, the bike to the car to get bread… And if you want to take up a sporting activity, choose a discipline that you like. This is an opportunity to get some fresh air and, above all, do it while having fun!

It’s up to you, you have the cards in hand to achieve your healthy weight naturally!