Q: Dear Dr. Mao,
I think I have damaged my metabolism by overeating and under eating, which has caused rapid weight loss, in addition to rapid weight gain. I am finally living a stable and healthy lifestyle, complete with exercise and a healthy diet. I just can’t seem to get the weight off in the way that I was once able to. Do you have any suggestions to get my metabolism rejuvenated and working healthily and properly?
A: Our metabolism is a function of intricate hormonal, emotional and physical components. First and foremost, it is directly related to the thyroid function, so I would suggest you have your physician conduct proper tests to rule out a hypothyroid condition. Secondly, your emotional condition has a direct effect on the corticosteroids released in your body, which, in response to stress, deposit nutrients in adipose (fat) tissue. Thirdly, your physical activity level determines the amount of energy that will be stored compared to what will be used.
Our bodies are very resilient, but as we age, their ability to recover slows down. My suggestion is to continue the proper diet and lifestyle you have already begun. Also, check with your physician to rule out any hormonal imbalances. Reduce stress, as well.
Food should be consumed in a peaceful setting with happy and content thoughts. Reduce dairy products, fried foods, and high starch content foods. Increase complex carbohydrates in the form of dark greens. Some good herbs that can help strengthen your metabolism include Rz Atractylodes, Fructus Lycii, Radix Astragali, Rx Notoginseng, Fructus, and Schisandra. Contact an acupuncturist/herbalist to obtain a specific prescription.