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Sunday, July 5, 2020

A Weight Loss Secret From the Orient

Those who know me closely know I'm no stranger to Chinese cuisine. Yes, I'm a very frequent diner at Chinese restaurants, along with those of more Japanese and Thai specializations (though these are not nearly as numerous in my area). And when I'm traveling and enter a new area or city, when it's time to eat...yes, my eyes are peeled for a "new" Chinese restaurant to try.

While at these Oriental restaurants an uncountable number of times, I haven't helped but notice that I've seldom seen very many overweight Oriental women. I'm sure there's some degree of genetic predisposition involved (not to mention that I've seen these women to live very active lifestyles, and are seldom sedentary), but I've always figured there was more to the story than that. I once had a waitress at a Chinese restaurant whose waist was so tiny in circumference that I swore I could have wrapped my hands entirely around it (don't worry, I didn't try, in case you were wondering). I asked her how she stayed so diminutive while working around all that food. She replied that she just ate little bits of food at a time -- no actual meals to speak of, so that she easily burned up all the calories she consumed, which I doubt amounted to very much for starters.

Of course, it's true that there are no overweight Oriental ladies in the world, because obesity and weight gain are universal issues affecting all races and cultures, irrespective of skin and color. But is there a health secret coming from the Orient that makes a Chinese woman, for instance, generally slimmer and slenderer than other nationalities?

Indeed, recent discoveries in Japan showed that the type of Chinese tea called Wu Long tea -- more commonly known to most of us as oolong tea -- may indeed be an underestimated dietary factor in Oriental slimness. When combined with a healthy diet and exercise, the Japanese research revealed that people who regularly consumed this tea experienced over twice the calorie-burning results of those who drank the same amount of authentic Japanese green tea. Drinking this oolong tea 15 minutes before eating carbohydrates also helped blunt the rise in insulin that normally comes after eating food that contains a lot of carbohydrates. As carbohydrates causes weight gain by increasing insulin levels, drinking this tea helps to control weight gain.

Like other teas as well, Japan's Shiga University of Medical Science found that drinking oolong tea on a daily basis also dramatically clears up skin eczema within just one month. Furthermore, it helps in reducing free radicals and lowers the risk of infections such as the common cold.

Indeed, in the ancient Chinese pharmaceutical book Bencao Shiyi ("The Compendium of Materia Medica," written by Li Shizhen during the Ming Dynasty), it is said that tea "will make one live long and stay in good shape." Tea, particularly the oolong tea originating from China's Fujian Province, has been used by countless generations of ladies to help melt away body fat, boost energy and even clarify the skin, and these newer scientific discoveries in Japan seem to indicate that it's entirely possible to literally drink away significant amounts of unwanted body fat and (eventually) loose inches from the waistline, as fanciful as it may seem to us Westerners.
Teas are just a form of natural supplements to help in weight management and fat loss; it happens that teas do tend to deliver their beneficial active ingredients in a highly bioavailable manner. Taking a supplement to assist in weight loss, however, is but one prong in battling weight and fat, as it's necessary to have a healthy diet and to maintain a program of exercise at the same time if we are to continue to keep the extra weight and fat off our bodies. Yes, think "lifestyle change," and maintain that mode of thought for the best long-term results.

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