Q: How can I can I control my appetite so that I don’t gain weight?
A: People often respond to situational stress by eating comfort foods, which can quickly become a chronic pattern. Natural Chinese medicine uses magnolia to break the pattern: magnolia bark encourages weight loss, improves digestion, and regulates appetite. Studies show that magnolia contains a phytochemical called honokiol with anti-stress properties that are useful in appetite control and weight management. You can take a magnolia supplement by itself or in formulations with other herbs, or as a tea. Look in health food stores, online, and from acupuncturists and Chinese herbalists.
Another natural appetite suppressant is water, which also flushes out toxins and keeps body functioning optimally. Drink at least 60 ounces of water (about 8 glasses) a day.
Another thing to keep in mind: it has been found that consuming large amounts of coffee and caffeine can lead to food cravings, increase one's appetite, and induce stress-related eating. Green tea is a wonderful alternative to coffee in that it does provide a little caffeine but also contains beneficial antioxidants. When paired with lemon, it has been found to aid in weight loss.
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Q: Can you advise me on meal plans that will help me lose weight and keep it off?
A: We are natural beings that need a balance of nutrition from all sources. To reach your ideal weight and stay there, your diet should consist of a balance of organic sources of lean protein, complex carbohydrates, whole grains, legumes, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. Follow this formula:
• 25 percent of your diet should be animal protein (unless you are vegetarian): seafood, egg, chicken, turkey, and lamb. Eat three 4-ounce portions, about the size of a deck of cards, per day.
• 50 percent of your diet should be made up of fruits and vegetables, for their beneficial antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber.