Q: Dear Dr. Mao,
I experience extreme seasonal weight fluctuations. I lose weight rapidly in the fall, up to 10 whole pounds. In the spring, I quickly re-gain the weight. I am careful to adhere to my diet in the spring. In the fall I eat more and continue to lose weight. Can you tell me what might be causing this? What should I be eating?
A: Uncontrolled and rapid weight gain or loss may be symptoms of a more serious pathology. First and foremost, I suggest you seek advice from an endocrinologist to conduct the appropriate tests.
In traditional Chinese medicine, late fall and winter season is considered the season of the kidneys, your root source of energy and metabolism; depending on your diet (raw foods or too many cold foods, salads, and so on), you may be injuring your ability to absorb the appropriate nutrition. So, even though you are eating more, the nutrition is not being properly absorbed and distributed.
During spring, the liver is more active; perhaps spring brings more stressors in your life that are impacting your metabolism in such a way that you pack more foods. Anxiety and stress activate the body’s sympathetic nervous system, which tends to prepare the body for hardship and hence, stores more of the energy reserves.
Always eat slightly cooked foods (water stir fries, steamed or lightly boiled); that way you are not injuring your digestive and absorptive systems.
Additionally, you may try improving your metabolism and losing weight with the Traditions of Tao “Abundant Energy” and “B-Slim” herbal formulas. Of course, discuss with your physician before beginning any new health regime.