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7 Chinese Dietary Secrets for Weight Loss

Updated on September 27, 2012
Chinese foods can be very healthy and can even facilitate weight loss.
Chinese foods can be very healthy and can even facilitate weight loss. | Source
Tea, which cleanses the body of toxins, is central to the Chinese diet.
Tea, which cleanses the body of toxins, is central to the Chinese diet. | Source

Chinese diet has been under attack in so many fronts for its allegedly oily foods, fatty meats, and carbohydrates-heavy rice servings.

Many say that the Chinese diet makes Chinese and non-Chinese lovers of Chinese foods very much prone to obesity and heart diseases.

Traditional Chinese diet, however, was designed to make the body robust, extend the lives of people, and thwart possible illnesses that might weaken the body.

Nutritionists also note that the increasing rates of obesity and heart diseases in China and among non-Chinese lovers of Chinese foods may be the common culprit – Western, sugary, fatty, and overly processed foods with little or zero nutritional value.

Below is a list of the seven Chinese dietary secrets that may be very good for weight loss.

1. Enjoy Good Foods in Abundance and Avoid Inappropriate Foods

Traditional Chinese food therapy specifies which foods must be had in abundance, in moderation, and in small amounts.

There are also foods that must be avoided.

Still, there are foods that are considered non-foods, like soda.

Based on the long-established Chinese food therapy, the following should be the allocation of foods in each meal:

  • Vegetables – 25%
  • Grains – 20%
  • Legumes – 15%
  • Nuts and Seeds – 10%
  • Animal Protein – 10%
  • Fruits – 5%
  • Dairy – 5%
  • Oils – 5%
  • Beverages – 3%
  • Sweets – 2%

Some of the foods that must be taken in abundance include:

  • almonds
  • avocado
  • broccoli
  • brown rice
  • buckwheat
  • cabbage
  • carrots
  • eggplant
  • flax seeds
  • miso
  • mung bean
  • oats
  • onion
  • pecans
  • pumpkin seeds
  • soybean
  • sweet potato
  • tofu
  • tomato
  • walnuts
  • whole-grain bread

Some of the foods that must be avoided include:

  • alcohol
  • all fruit juices
  • animal fats
  • artificial sweeteners
  • cake
  • canned meat
  • cream
  • hydrogenated oils
  • margarine
  • meat fats
  • processed cereals
  • processed peanut butter
  • refined oils
  • shortening
  • soda
  • white bread
  • white flour
  • white rice
  • white sugar

2. Fill up with Soups

Soups are central to the Chinese diet.

The soups are usually made up of nutritious leftovers prepared in flavorsome cooking.

The goal of the traditional Chinese diet here is to feed the body and fill it up in order to curb hunger.

An excellent soup that nourishes the body would have to be miso soup, which is loaded in probiotics and antioxidants that the body needs in many ways.

3. Drink Green Tea

Chinese people have been drinking green tea for thousands of years.

It is the belief of ancient Chinese that green tea cleanses the body, promotes good health, and even relieves cravings.

Their time-held belief has been proven to be true by modern-day science.

Study after study shows that green tea is full of antioxidants that fight free radicals in the body.

These free radicals wreak havoc to body organs, causing cancers, heart diseases, pre-mature aging, blindness, and other disorders.

4. Exercise to Restore Energy

Traditional Chinese gives premium on the positive energy that the body feels after exercise – peace, stability, and poise.

Certain forms of exercise can actually do the opposite and pack on stress to the already overworked body.

Thus, the Chinese practice underscores the importance of tai chi, a gentle, breathing-focused exercise that is supposed to make the body calm and energized, not stressed out.

5. Load up on Vegetables

Vegetables are not mere accompaniment in Chinese dishes but they are the main ingredients in most of the dishes.

Vegetables are said to possess healing powers to the body.

For instance, garlic combats toxins, chilly fights cold, and green tea makes us healthy overall.

Plus, all vegetables are free of bad fats and are low in calories, perfect for people who want to shed pounds or keep their weight in check.

Vegetables also facilitate fast metabolism, making the body process foods and absorb nutrients promptly.

6. Balance Each Meal

Chinese food therapy advocates the balance of yin and yang in each meal.

Thus, wet dishes must be accompanied by dry dishes and moist foods must be accompanied by crispy foods.

In the same principle, protein – seen as yang – must be balanced out by carbohydrates – seen as yin.

While some people would argue that such balance is for the culinary experience only, the ancient wisdom behind the practice is to give out good energy, balance blood sugar levels, and keep weight gain to a minimum.

7. Eat Breakfast and Three Square Meals – Rather than Snacks

Traditional Chinese diet honors three square meals and does not ever skip breakfast.

Many people in China think that having three square meals of healthy foods is a healing regiment that is better than snacking out all throughout the day because of unsatisfied hunger.

Also, the preparation of foods is as important as the foods themselves.

Chinese people tend to exert effort in preparing dishes, making sure that the nutrients are well-preserved in the final cooked dish.

Copyright © 2012 Kerlyn Bautista

All Rights Reserved

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    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 6 years ago

      I will definitely drink more green tea and I am not sure why to avoid all fruit juices and processed cereals could you explain?So much good advice.Rated up.

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 6 years ago from Minnesota

      Excellent information on the healthy Chinese diet. I absolutely LOVE Asian food. Thanks for writing this helpful hub.

    • smartandfit profile image

      smartandfit 6 years ago from Colorado

      Thanks for sharing this. I am very interested in the diets of other cultures, especially since the typical American diet tends to lead toward obesity and heart disease.

    • Injured lamb profile image

      Injured lamb 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this useful hub with us kerlynb, you have made it nice and clear...voted this up!

    • thougtforce profile image

      Christina Lornemark 6 years ago from Sweden

      This seems like a very good diet, with much vegetables, balance, exercise and regularly meals instead of snacks. I like Chinese food and now I know the 7 dietary secrets as well! Thanks for this inspiring and interesting hub, voted up, interesting


    • mackyi profile image

      I.W. McFarlane 6 years ago from Philadelphia

      great hub Kerlynb, just on time for the New year. I know a lot of people certainly could use this to fulfill their New Year's resolution(Losing weight).Voted up useful!