Introducing B Inspired with PurelyB — your guide to living healthy in Asia! To kickstart our bi-monthly talk show, PurelyB Health and Wellness Director, Marissa Parry sat down with Dr. Carolyn Goh to address an issue a lot of us have probably experienced at some point in our lives — trouble with weight loss.
As an Integrated Health Consultant, Dr. Carolyn strongly believes that there is no one-size-fits-all solution and is passionate about empowering others to take charge of their health to heal themselves.
Are you eating healthy?
Do you exercise regularly?
But, you’re STILL not losing any weight?
With her expertise as a specialist in mitochondrial therapy, nutrition and beyond, Dr. Carolyn Goh takes us through why this may be happening to YOU.
What Does Weightloss Mean To You?
For a small percentage of women, it’s as simple as making adjustments to their diet and hitting the gym. But the reality for so many women in Asia is that, we eat expensive superfoods and exercise regularly, but the weight refuses to come off.
To begin examining this issue, we first need to scale back and ask ourselves:
“What does weightloss mean to me?”
According to Dr. Goh, we need to maintain a more holistic approach to weightloss, and go beyond just looking good in a bikini. Are you eating to regenerate and nourish your body? Or just eating to keep the calories out? Because the reality is, the latter might actually be doing you more harm than good.
Are You Killing Your Source Of Energy?
Because our bodies are amazing biological machines, it adapts to what we eat. If you are feeding your body processed food all the time, you are provoking damage and degeneration and killing off your mitochondria — the source of energy in your body.
This brings you down a metabolic pathway which can lead to insulin resistance, diabetes, atherosclerosis and accelerated ageing.
99% of our DNA is actually bacterial, with only 1% being what we call human DNA. As our mitochondria is made up of bacterial DNA, our bodies are basically a host for all these microorganisms.
A diet of additive filled, processed food will create a toxic environment and in turn leave YOU feeling toxic. So when it comes to losing weight, it’s not just as simple as cutting out calories and getting into the gym. First, we have to heal the body.
Here’s The Secret: Go Back To Basics
When it comes to consistent weight loss, think back to the foods our forefathers ate. Without the toxins we now have in the soil, water and air, everything was naturally organic! We’ve gone from eating what Malaysians call ‘ulams’ — nourishing, medicinal, fresh green herbs, and vegetables — to a diet of western foods many of us are not capable of digesting.
Yes, you may read on blogs that granola, porridge and blueberries are healthy (and they are!), but we need to look back at how our bodies in Asia have developed over generations. We need understand how our digestive systems have built themselves.
The reality is you may be putting it through more work, by having to process all the foods it is unused to digesting.
Instead, we should come back to our roots and take advantage of the nourishing Asian diet, full of good fats and an amazing array of healing foods. And since it’s much more affordable, it’s easier for us to sustain long-term healthy eating habits!
Try These Mitochondria Regenerating Asian Foods
Every Asian culture has their own form of fermented foods. Whether it’s kimchi in Korea, natto in Japan or tempeh in Indonesia, in Asia we are blessed to have a diet rich in these gut healing foods. Great for regenerating our mitochondria!
Herbs And Spices
Think of all the amazing spices you see when walking through the local market -— galangal, turmeric, lemongrass, ginger, bunga kantan, and more. Not to mention medicinal herbs such as thai basil and coriander.
These should be on your shopping list! A big bowl of tomyam soup or pho with all these herbs and spices is very nourishing and will help prevent the effects of degeneration and ageing.
Pak choi, kailan, choi san, spinach, bayam — the list goes on. Why look elsewhere when we’ve got it all here? Full of antioxidants, leafy greens are perfect for increasing the efficiency of our mitochondria.
Dr. Carolyn’s Tips For Weight Loss
Be Friends With Healthy Fats
Replace some of your carbs with healthy fats. This will help you prolong your glucose tolerance throughout the day, so you don’t get spikes that make you crave food. We’re not talking a diet of big juicy steaks and fried eggs all day. Think nuts, beans and fish.
But… Don’t Cut Carbs Out Completely
Carbs are one of the necessary precursors to making serotonin, also known as the happy hormone! To cut out carbs at an unsustainable rate will only create an unhealthy relationship with food as your body craves the carbs you are restricting to make you happy.
Rice and noodles are a staple in the Asian diet and with sensible portions, there is nothing wrong with them.
Being Healthy Shouldn’t Be Expensive!
If you’re trying to adopt a diet that doesn’t exist in the region that you’re in, it should come as no surprise that it’s going to get expensive.
Take advantage of the abundance of amazing foods and ingredients we are blessed with in Asia. This way, eating healthy becomes a lot more sustainable in the long term rather than through short bursts of fad dieting.
Listen To Your Body
Use your senses to understand what your body needs, rather than just eating because you see a plate of food in front of you. We’re conditioned into thinking of eating as three standard meals a day with snacks in between.
While that may work for some, for others, six to seven smaller meals may work better. It’s all about listening to your body and finding what works for you.
Stop Calorie Counting
Our obsession with counting calories for weight loss is misleading and misrepresents the food we eat. 100 calories from bread versus 100 calories from a coconut work in completely different metabolic pathways in your body! Instead, look at your food as a whole when you consider its nutritional values.
What It Boils Down To
So with weight loss, it all comes down to building a more sustainable relationship with food.
Sure, diet crazes like cutting out carbs and calorie counting may seem to work over a short period of 3 months, but if it’s not something you can do on a daily basis you won’t see the long term results.
Understand your body — a western diet despite being healthy, might not be as beneficial as an Asian diet.
And finally food is NOT your enemy - it is the source of nourishment for the body. When you regenerate and heal your body, you enable it to go down an efficient path to burn your fat and lose weight sustainably.
Have you struggled with weight loss despite leading a healthy lifestyle? What are some tips that have worked for you? Leave your comments down below!
Interested to learn more about Dr. Carolyn and her work? Head to her website to find out more.