The long winter months can help add a few extra pounds of fluff, especially in the midsection of our body. So, we could all use a recharge and reboot to start shedding some belly fat in time for summer fun. One of the major factors which ties in with springtime is eliminating toxins. Toxins can easily build up in the body and hold on to those dreaded fat cells which typically accumulate around the belly region. Symptoms of toxin buildup also include more inflammation and joint pain, brain fog, also tends to accompany a higher risk of disease. These diseases often include cancer, cardiopulmonary, and diabetes. By getting in shape for summer, we also reduce the risk of many diseases and major inflammatory factors which create long-term havoc in our bodies.
Gut health is vital for overall health and well-being. There will be enhanced nutrient absorption, naturally less inflammation throughout the body, and much-improved metabolism and brain function. Remember back in 1998 when the scientific discovery was first published where the nerve cells located in the gut have major influence on the body as a whole. This links both cognitive and emotional centers of the brain with peripheral intestinal functions. Therefore, gut health affects both behavior and emotion and helps regulate brain activity. However, for summer-ready purposes, we want to rev up the metabolism and lose belly fat, right?
First, we look at eliminating toxins which are often environmental in nature. They can also be from food additives and preservatives, antibiotic therapy, poor water quality, cigarette smoke, increased alcohol consumption, and even chemical products we add on our skin on a daily basis. In the office, based on goals and individual assessment, food therapy and protocol is often utilized. Liver acupuncture points are used to expedite the process of revamping a sluggish liver and boosting metabolism and toxin clearing. Food therapy is also implemented to further improve the gut microbiome. Hydration is a major key as well as good fatty acids, proteins, and even carbohydrates to help the body release toxins more easily.
To achieve the reduction in belly fat goal, it is helpful to limit sugar, refined food and eat only true, real foods. It is good to avoid empty starches, especially in the beginning like white rice, potatoes, and breads. It is better to focus on nutrient dense foods with high enzyme activity. These include pickles, cabbage, ginger, leeks, beets, leafy greens, beans, olives, asparagus and sauerkraut with no extra sugar added! Other high-enzyme foods include fresh herbs like basil, dill, cilantro, and parsley.
For a long-term healthy gut, it is highly recommended to add about 2 to 3 tablespoons a day of fermented foods again with NO added extra sugars. These type of foods actually trigger both fat burning hormones and fat burning bacteria ensuring an optimal gut biome. Some of the best fermented choices include kimchi, pickles (again, no added sugar), sauerkraut. These choices help optimize your digestion and nutrient absorption. The fermented foods will act as a probiotic and greatly benefit the overall good bacteria of the gut. Taking these foods early in the day especially morning helps implement the digestion and metabolism to be at its best.
It is helpful to add more wild-caught fish and cleaner foods in general as well as plenty of veggies. Leafy green vegetables are the best foods for the gut bacteria. Cruciferous veggies like kale, mustard, collards, and Swiss chard act as a prebiotic to the gut. These provide the fiber and actually enable the good bacteria to thrive. So between the leafy greens and fermented foods (of course without the added sugars) you have an amazing prebiotic and probiotic combination!
It is important to combine both restorative yin exercises along with more active yang movement to ensure overall health and balance. This will not only include some cardio exercise, muscle resistant exercises with bands and body weight and dumb bells but also target both balance and flexibility which are equally important to ensure good health. Exercises like low impact tai chi which entails deep slow breaths with guided movements and include both yin and yang exercise. Also, fast walking, low impact weights, resistant bands with stretching and repetition, yoga lunges, and full body planks are all wonderful ideas to keep the body toned and strong and restore atrophied muscles from a long static winter (unless you did a lot of snow shoveling like me!)
For low metabolism in general, Eastern Medicine treats a common pattern of what is known as both spleen deficiency and dampness accumulation. This results often in obesity and excess belly fat. Certain acupoints are used on the spleen meridian to help both strengthen the digestive system and transform dampness which aids in better metabolism and nutrient absorption. Call today to begin your long-awaited journey to optimal health! 772-353-1397