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Fat, Fat, Go Away...And Stay Away!

by Rene Ng, AP, L.Ac.


Time flies. Summer is here. And that means outdoor activities, sunshine, boating, travels and, of course, the beach. Basically, life becomes a beach, and just about everyone is aiming to lose those extra pounds to prepare for wearing their bathing suits.

Some people attempt everything from increased exercise, diets, sauna rooms, steam rooms, salt baths, intensive workouts, supplements and more. But the problem is they often find that no matter the approach, they still cannot shed those extra pounds. All their efforts seem like just a waste of time and money. Does this issue sound familiar?


Understanding Weight Gain

Before you can attempt to lose weight, you first need to understand what the excess weight is from. If you don’t know the problem, how can you find a solution? The excess weight could be from a poor diet, but this is not the only possible source. In fact, many people have issues with their weight despite maintaining healthy diet and exercising regularly.

In some cases, weight gain is directly tied to an imbalance in the body, an underlying health issue, and other factors such as weakened functions caused by aging. If you can identify the area that need to be addressed, then you can manage the excess weight.


Excess Fat versus Excess Water                                                  

Let’s assume, for example, that a poor diet—such as drinking too many sodas or eating too much chocolate—is not your issue. Nor is exercise, assuming that you workout on a regular basis. So what is causing the excess weight? You need to determine whether it’s resulting from excess water, excess fat or a combination of both. Then a treatment approach can be prescribed.


Excess Fat

This happens when the body’s function of managing fat—including production, storage and use of fat—is not functioning optimally. In Chinese Medicine terms, this is associated with the liver and gall bladder organ systems.

When this impairment occurs, the body is unable to process fat, and it gets retained. High cholesterol and triglycerides, fibroids, cysts, lipomas, UTI, vaginitis, endometriosis and diverticulitis are common symptoms associated with the same underlying condition, as are rashes, psoriasis, and hives.   

Factors that could trigger excess fat include emotions, such as anger or depression, and nutrition (alcohol, spicy foods, sour foods, processed sugar, and dairy). Medications can also be a cause, especially strong ones like those used in chemotherapy and radiation. Treatment protocols will be focused on the liver and Gall bladder functions, restoring them to optimal function which helps manage the excess fat.


Excess Water

When you feel “bloated” or experience a sensation of “heaviness,” this is a sign that your body is retaining water. In these circumstances, when you move your belly around, you will notice that it “ripples” just like it was filled with water. Excessive water retention comes from either the body not converting water into the fluids it needs, the body not excreting the water through urination or perspiration, or the individual is absorbing or drinking too much water.

The transformation of water into bodily fluids is part of the digestive function, and is tied directly to the spleen and stomach organ systems. When these systems are healthy and functional, water that is consumed is readily absorbed and transformed into fluids. Factors that can overtax the spleen and stomach include raw vegetables, ice cold drinks, dairy and spicy foods.

The next cause for water retention is due to the body’s inability of to excrete the water. This function is related to the kidney and urinary bladder systems. If these are healthy, the filtration system of the body is working, the toxins are filtered out through urine or sweat. But if not, the water is retained, and toxins build up in the body. Factors that can overtax the kidneys and bladder, and include sitting or standing too long. Certain foods, especially bone broth, can help to strengthen the kidneys.



There are many factors that contribute to weight gain, which is essentially comprised of excess water or excess fat. Poor nutrition and inadequate exercise are among the causes, but many other factors also result in weight gain. The real solution to managing your weight lies in knowing what is behind the weight gain, and then finding the right treatment plan.

Chinese Medicine is extremely effective for weight management, and your acupuncture physician can certainly help. Remember, the weight problem is just a symptom of a larger, underlying health issue that needs to be addressed. Once this happens, more often than not, the weight issue will improve—or even disappear. 


Rene Ng, AP, L.Ac., is a board-certified, licensed Acupuncture Physician and Chinese Herbalist in Sarasota. He is a four-time winner of Sarasota’s “Favorite Acupuncture Physician” and “Favorite Anti- Aging Practitioner” awards. Cancer care, MS, addictions, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, weight management, asthma, injuries and pain management are among his specialties. Ng has been able to help patients suffering from these and other health issues with Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs, Cupping, Gua Sha and Moxibustion. For more information, call 941-773-5156, email or visit



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