Many people make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight after the holidays. But the cold of winter is the least favorable time of the year for weight loss. According to principles of Chinese medicine, spring is the season for cleansing and weight loss. Now is not the time for a gym membership or work-out regime during cold and flu season when it’s dark at sunset. And this is the worst season for a cleanse. Instead, rest and stay warm.
Foods for weight loss are too light for winter. Winter is time for soups and hardier fare. Spring is the time to eat weight-reducing foods like salads and vegetables that are in season. Cleansing tonics, herbal teas, fruit, salads, lots of water — all ideal in springtime. And it’s easier to continue with exercise as the days lengthen. And no fasting in Chinese medicine. Eat lightly, perhaps shitake mushroom soup, but fasting is too shocking for the body.
Food can be categorized as yin or yang. During the yin cold of winter, eat yang warming foods such as meat or root vegetables. In the yang heat of summer, eat cooling foods such as fruit. The July 4th picnic food of grilled meats and booze is very yang. The New Year’s diet foods of salads and fruits are very yin. And this confusion leads to both illness and obesity.
So do not be discouraged if you’ve already broke your weight loss resolution. Instead, redo it this spring. Spring equinox is March 19 this year, a much better time to work out, eat less, and be inspired by new life and growth at springtime.