LOHAS DIGEST 45 – Seven common missteps in weight management


We have just concluded our recent batch of Ultimate Slimming Program Intensive (USPi).

Salad PlateOne of the participants related his past experience that he used to follow a stringent ‘healthy’ salad diet to cut down his weight. The diet plan required him to have salad as everyday meal. He was only allowed to have one cheat meal every Wednesday or one cheat day every week.  During the cheat meal, he was allowed to have normal food or the food that he liked.  I am really amazed by his determination.  He literally followed the diet plan for many months.


KFC chicken

I recalled my earlier day of trying to slim down using fruit and vegetable diets that I gave up eventually.   I started to see “KFC fried chicken” flying in front of me on the 14th day and I told myself I need to reward myself with those ‘sinful food’ after enduring for so long.

(Ha, ha, I also have my fair share of non-successful experience too).

His ‘healthy diet’ plan really showed result and he lost some weight.  However, as the months passed by, the ‘healthy’ diet started to show its ‘ugly’ side. He started to feel that something is not right about his body. He felt like his back was stiff and his body was easily having aches and pains.

Upon consultation with his TCM doctor, he was diagnosed with body being ‘too cold’ due to his ‘extremely healthy’ diet. (My eldest brother had similar experience way back in 2011 which I mentioned in LOHAS DIGEST 39).

Tired Running

There was another occasion that his fitness trainer advised him that “in order to lose weight, you have to run extremely hard beyond your limit. You have to feel pain than you will lose weight” and he did run hard and having knee pain eventually. Of course, it showed result but he stopped running due to knee pain. (After one year of resting, his knee still suffers the pain during running).

I really felt for our participants when they were taught by the ‘extremist’. No doubt that it works, but most people body can’t sustain that extreme method and as the result, their weight lost program loses steam or they could suffered ‘side effect’ of their extreme methods. Many a times, those methods are not sustainable eventually. Most of them put back whatever “kg” they lost and with an interest of extra “kg” too.

Here are the 7 common missteps that one could avoid and they are related to our thinking pattern too.

1) “In order to lose weight, I just need to eat salad and drink fruit juice or the shake. Anyway, these supposed to be healthy food, right?”
Human body needs different type of macro and micro nutrient. By only eating on a small range of food, we could have potentially created a deficiency that we can’t even notice until a distance future. However, TCM concept focuses very much on balanced food, as in balancing our body 5 elements.

2) “My metabolism is low, I should skip one meal”

The last thing we should ever consider is to skip meal. In fact, in our Ultimate Slimming Program Intensive, we could not emphasis more the importance of NOT skipping. We should eat when we are hungry, listen to our body is a wiser choice.
Skipping meal not only affects our physical body but also drain ourselves emotionally.  It also affects our Spleen and Stomach Meridian.  As a results, skipping meal could eventually increase our weight in the long run.

3) “My family/ethnic group have fat gene, I am fated to be overweight”
I often asked our participants do you really have fat gene or do you have fat culture/habit?

No doubt there is a small group of people that has medical condition, e.g. hypothyroidism or hormone imbalance.  However, most of the time, we have many participants who are overweight were once smaller in size.  Many a time, it could be traced to a certain change in lifestyle (culture/habit) that created their ‘upsize’ result. And yes, ‘upsize’ meal contributes too.

4) “I just need to pay a few thousand dollars to the slimming experts, they will do the job for me”
If you are relying on others to be slim, then it is not empowering for yourself.

High chance that once the ‘few thousand dollars’ factor is gone, the weight is coming back slowly to you again. You could have donated the ‘few thousand dollars’ to charity and achieve the same effect too.

We have many participants related their past experiences to us that they spent thousands of dollars (some even spent up to 5 figure sum) to achieve non-sustainable results or very minimal results.  How we wish that we met them much earlier that could have saved them thousands of dollars.

5) “My friend told me that this supplement works and it is branded (expensive), so it should work for me too”
This is one of the myths most people like to believe .  I call it the ‘brand conscious’ mentality.

We need to understand that supplement only plays the role of ‘supplement’. If the main thing does not work, the ‘supplement’ has very little effect.  If a driver has poor driving skills or poor sense of direction, having a Ferrari does not get him faster to destination.

In our classes, we have shown people many non-expensive, non-supplement way of being healthy. We work on the fundamental that gives result, the effect is better, sustainable and save lots of money too.

Hui Zheng heal her kneesA recent case in our class is a 70 years old auntie, Hui Zheng, boosting her knee, avoid knee pain and she can walk faster than her friends now.  She saved lots of money because she no longer needs to go for acupuncture treatment nor buying supplement that does not work.

I always joke with our participants that we are not ‘extremist’ but we are ‘fundamentalist’, we work on the fundamentals that help our body. 🙂


6) “I am already eating very healthy and I am still overweight, so it is not within my control”
This is one common misconception we encountered.  Many a times, it is not what we eat but how we eat it. Eating consciously is the key.

Recently, I happened to have my lunch at a school canteen with my friends. I was so happy to see the school ‘health initiatives’ until I tasted the food.  At each stall, they pasted a notice of the healthy initiatives and regulation. I remember vaguely it says something like this, “no soya source should be given automatically”, “if students request, only maximum of two spoons of source will be given” and etc.

I ordered a soup noodle happily. However, upon eating a few mouths of noodle, I have to take out tissue paper to wipe my ‘well oiled’ lips. Of course, I didn’t drink the soup as a result.  If I was not eating consciously and finished up the soup, I would have eating lots of ‘unconscious calorie’.  In the long run, I would say what many people say, “I already eat healthy food, I am overweight”

7) “I should avoid carbs as much as possible”.
Human needs carbohydrate to have energy for daily activities. Carbohydrate also create ‘happy mood’ for many.

So, if we try to cut down carbs to very little, we could have cut down ‘feel good factor’, thus we could subconsciously munch on other things (extra calories too) to fill in the ‘void’.

If there is clarity to be made, we could understand good carbs and bad carbs.  Good carbs not only give us energy but also provide dietary fibre, minerals and vitamin for our dietary need.  So, instead of white rice & refined ‘white’ grains and sugar, we could have whole grain food or potato and tapioca as replacement.

Many people have mistaken that potato is bad. The truth is, potato is a good source of fiber, potassium and vitamin C, especially if you eat the skin. However, the way we prepare it could make it bad, e.g. fries, wedges, chips.  In TCM, potato is considered one of the ‘longevity’ food too for it’s nutrient and enhancement of our body strength.

Above are the common misconception that at we heard almost every USPi class. By not stepping into the 7 missteps is a good beginning, the next is to make a conscious decision to live, eat & sleep healthily.

As I am writing this, we received good news from our participants who followed our techniques and principles that they are getting breakthrough results.  We are happy for them.


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