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Why do so many people struggle with weight gain?
Written by Dr. Spence Pentland   

There is no mystery these days as to why people gain unwanted weight. It is widely known that excessive food consumption combined with inactivity will cause an increase in fat and a decrease in muscle mass and health.

So then, why is weight gain still something so many people struggle with? In spite of our knowledge, why do so many of us have poor eating habits and only break a sweat on occasion?

Perhaps there is some confusion due to the abyss of rhetoric about dieting and food. To keep it simple, colour-code it. Eat lots of colourful food, and less brown, grey and white food. In general, colourless food is low in essential nutrients, which results in frequent hunger as your body yearns for the nutrition not being provided. If you give your body what it needs, its cravings will be for more of the same rather than processed empty calories that make you sluggish and promote further poor choices.

With regard to unhealthy weight and all other physical ailments, the philosophy of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is to treat the root of the problem rather than the symptoms. The cause of all disease will fall into one of the following categories: improper eating habits, overwork, lack of physical activity or too much of it, external evils (virus, bacteria, toxins, etc), or excesses of emotion, climate, or trauma.  In order to address the root of your overeating or laziness, you need to identify its cause and address it. If your emotions are the root cause, which they often are, counting calories will get you nowhere. Instead, try counseling, coaching, or hypnosis to help you manage. And if emotions are not the root cause, with time they often become a contributing one, so having someone to talk to can be very useful. If your job is stressful, or your relationship is an unhappy one, these things will be reflected in your physicality as well and taking steps to improve them will have a positive impact.

In conjunction with addressing emotional issues, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) emphasizes the importance of cultivating willpower to overcome conditions such as overeating and laziness. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine supplement the systems necessary for being proactive in one’s life and making healthy choices for mind and body.

With time, discipline and simple small commitments, the trajectory of your entire life can change. A healthy life is a fulfilling life and everyone deserves that.

Dr. Spence Pentland -

Dr. Spence Pentland is a board licensed Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and certified Fellow of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine. Since 2004 he has focused exclusively on the treatment of reproductive disorders in both men and women. To book an appointment call 604.742.8383. For more info visit


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