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Weight Loss – Eastern versus Western Philosophy
Philosophy of Health & Wellness
Weight loss can be achieved through many mechanisms. As I research various items related to health, fitness, nutrition, aging, etc, I find major differences between Eastern and Western philosophies.
Weight Loss Philosophy of Breakfast
Conventional wisdom in Western medicine tells you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You have slept for many hours and your body needs replenishment. Eastern medicine teaches you that breakfast is unimportant – eat it if you want, but it’s OK if you don’t eat at all. Eastern wisdom tells you to eat only when you are hungry. Western nutritional gurus tell you to eat as many as six small meals a day – eat something every couple of hours. Current nutritional research indicates that constantly elevated glucose levels from eating meals every two or three hours are more harmful than originally thought.
Weight Loss Philosophy of Dinner
Most Westerners usually have their biggest meal of the day in the late afternoon or early evening. Eastern thought tells you to eat your biggest meal of the day at noon. By eating your largest meal at mid-day, you have the rest of the day to digest and absorb the nutrients from that meal. Eastern thought believes that eating a large meal within a few hours of sleeping will interfere with your digestive processes and impact the quality of your sleep which can impact your ability to control your weight.
Weight Loss Philosophy – Who is Right?
Who is right? The millions of people who adhere to Eastern wisdom can’t be wrong – just as the millions of people who follow Western conventional thought. I believe there are good practices in both worlds. Research and study what is being preached around the world, and decide what might work best for you. You might even try a few options of each.
I’ve never been a big breakfast eater. There was a time when I would make an effort to eat something after waking up because that was the conventional wisdom I was listening to at the time. Today, I drink a minimum of one large glass of water (20 oz minimum) after awakening and usually drink a second glass (water or iced tea) shortly thereafter. During your sleep, you expel a lot of moisture from your breath and your body becomes dehydrated. Your bladder has been collecting waste products during your sleep that has to be expelled upon awakening – or during the night, depending on your level of bladder control. Water replenishes the fluids your body has lost. Coffee, sodas, fruit juices and teas do not. The chemicals in those drinks (caffeine, sucrose, etc.) interact with your internal processes and you lose the full benefit of pure water. I then eat only when I am hungry – that usually occurs within two to six hours of awakening. However, I continue to hydrate throughout the day until I am ready to eat.
By Red O’Laughlin aka The Prosperity Professor