Weight management is an important part of staying healthy. Being overweight can increase the likelihood of stroke, heart disease, hypertension and diabetes, as well as lead to a host of complications like back pain, infertility, digestive disorders and many more. This is why so many people strive to lose weight, which is usually achieved through a healthy diet and exercise.
However, losing weight is not as easy as it seems. A lot of people have tried many different weight loss methods, but are yet to achieve their ideal weight. Some people can get discouraged because it is such a struggle, they might hit a plateau (where they lose a certain amount but then can’t lose any more) or their weight fluctuates all the time.
First we must understand why we become overweight and why some individuals even become obese. Contrary to popular belief, food is not just meant for our enjoyment. It is meant to be fuel for our body, to give us energy for our daily activities, for our organs to function and to repair any cellular damage. Weight gain happens when our food intake is higher than the amount of energy we burn off each day. When this happens, the body stores the excess calories as fat.
Popular natural weight loss methods along with pros and cons
- Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss – This method includes regular and short term fast. The main objective is to boost metabolism and restrict your calories. However, intermittent fasting is known to have some unhealthy consequences, especially for those who have a history of eating disorders.
- Regular exercise – Exercise can help you live longer and healthier and it can reduce the risk of various health conditions. However, regular exercise requires discipline, time and effort which is hard to maintain for some. Overdoing it may also lead to injuries (which dry needling can help to treat – learn more here).
- Low carb diet – Low carb diets come in various forms and methods and many people feel that they are able to lose weight quickly. However, it’s proven in many studies that people consume more saturated fats and cholesterol when they are on low carb diets, which can be detrimental to their health. Also, upon the reintroduction of carbs, people often put the weight back on.
Popular medical weight loss methods with pros and cons
- Taking weight loss drugs – There are several weight loss drugs available in the market like Xenical and Meridia, which can decrease the amount of fat on your intestine and suppresses your appetite, which can help shed unwanted weight rapidly. However, these weight loss drugs have side effects which include headache, insomnia, and rapid heartbeat.
- Surgery – When it comes to weight loss surgeries, there are several popular methods available like metabolic surgery, laparoscopic gastric banding and gastric bypass. The main objective is to speed up your metabolism or help your burn more fats, however surgery is not a one-time cure. In fact, many people regain weight over time because they didn’t exercise or follow a diet regimen.
Can acupuncture help?
Weight gain, or the struggle to lose weight, can sometimes be due to a weakened digestive system. If the digestive system is not breaking down food efficiently, it can linger in the body for longer than it should, transforming into dampness which leads to bloating, a heavy sensation, swelling and weight gain. An acupuncture treatment will involve the insertion of sterile needles at specific points on the body to stimulate the metabolism and strengthen the digestive system.
Another cause of weight gain can be overeating due to stress, anxiety or depression. Acupuncture stimulates the release of endorphins, which are the body’s natural feel-good hormones. This in turn can counteract the need for excessive eating.
Acupuncture can help in alleviating these negative symptoms and make you more mindful of your diet. Just make sure you find a qualified and experienced acupuncturist like Belinda Tran who can safely conduct this treatment.
Overall, acupuncture is a safe and effective natural treatment which can help with weight loss.