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Heather Hanks
Written by Heather Hanks

Reviewed by Dr Jessica Gunawan

What’s The Best Way To Lose Belly Fat Without Extreme Dieting?

Have you tried everything but still cannot seem to lose that stubborn fat in the middle of your body? Learn more about the best way to lose belly fat here.

Belly fat min scaled

Most American adults struggle to find the best way to lose belly fat as they age. As frustrating as this process can be, it’s not impossible.

If you struggle with weight loss, especially around the middle part of your body, then Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can help.

Read on to learn how to lose belly fat using natural therapies that are proven to be just as effective as weight loss medications.

How Does Belly Fat Accumulate?

A young woman standing in her kitchen drinking water
Drinking more water and eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables can help reduce belly fat.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) believes that fat tissue is caused by phlegm and dampness. The spleen is the root of all phlegm production, and it is where phlegm transforms into body fluids.

Consuming too many sweet foods or getting too little exercise may damage the spleen, causing metabolic waste to gather and transform into dampness.

Restoring balancing is the only way to metabolize and process food properly, and thus shed excess weight.

According to Physician Tjai Kang Jie from Eu Yan Sang, which has been providing TCM products and services in Asia for more than a century, qi and blood circulation is hampered when there is a blockage within specific meridians or a deficiency of qi, blood, yin, and yang.

He stated that this leads to accumulation of heat-dampness, qi-blood stasis, or phlegm-dampness, which is an underlying cause of fat deposits within specific locations.

Treatment that uses acupuncture and herbal remedies can be prescribed once your body constitution has been assessed and the cause of your obesity is determined.

Best Way To Lose Belly Fat, According To TCM

If you’ve tried everything to lose belly fat, then you know that it’s no easy task. Fat accumulation around the middle section increases as we get older due to hormone fluctuations and a slowing metabolism.

However, taking a natural approach to weight loss may be the most sustainable and well-tolerated by all body types.

A Hong Kong Hospital Authority-commissioned study shows that traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is as effective and can even alleviate the side-effects of mainstream weight-loss medications.

A study in 2012 conducted by the Chinese University of Hong Kong used herbal treatments and acupressure to mitigate the prevalence of type-2 diabetes, frequently associated with obesity. The researchers found that TCM is as effective and can even alleviate the side-effects of mainstream weight-loss medications

After four months, subjects using herbs and acupressure lost 5.8 kg and 4.1k g, respectively.

Targeting Fat Accumulation With TCM

Close-up image of acupuncture being performed on a woman's stomach
You can lose belly fat by working with a TCM practitioner who can stimulate certain acupoints in the body.

Most men have fats deposited mainly at the belly and the waist. Women often store them at the abdomen, pelvis and thighs, likely for gestation and lactation purposes.

However, TCM treats the body as a whole. Physician Tjai noted that TCM adopts syndrome differentiation in disease diagnosis, meaning that treatment rendered for each person is unique and customized.

Acupressure Therapy

Physician Tjai stated that different herbal prescriptions and acupoints are applied to suit each individual’s body constitution. TCM believes that each part of the body is closely related. By regulating the body as a whole, patients can achieve weight reduction at localized areas.

As certain acupoints correspond to certain parts of the body, it is possible for a physician to take a more targeted approach.

According to Physician Tjai, large thighs are linked to gallbladder meridian blockage, and flabby arms are attributed to dysfunction of the small intestine meridians. Meanwhile, blockage of the bladder meridian is linked to hip and back fat.

To reduce fat from localized areas in the body, stimulate these acupoints:

  • Belly fat: Stimulate the acupoints Tian Shu (ST 25), Da Heng (SP 15), Xia Wan (CV 10), etc.
  • Hip fat: Stimulate the acupoints Zhi Bian (BL 54), Huan Tiao (GB 30), Cheng Fu (BL 36), etc.
  • Arm fat: stimulate the acupoints Nao Hui (SJ 13), Xiao Luo (SJ 12), Jian Zhen (SI 9), etc.

Administering acupuncture on acupoints in the ears associated with the spleen and stomach have also given good results.


Another TCM method that can target problematic areas such as the abdomen and thighs is cupping therapy. Many Olympic athletes use this method.

Cupping works by placing cups on the skin and creating a vacuum to stimulate the flow of blood and qi.

Herbal Remedies

The following herbs can be used to reduce the symptoms and causes of obesity:

  • Dampness accumulation: Astragalus Root, Black Atractylodes Rhizome, and Poria
  • Heat dampness: Job’s Tears Seed, Water Plantain Rhizome, and Folium Nelumbinis
  • Qi-blood stagnation: Nut Grass Rhizome, Tangerine Peel, and Hawthorn Fruit
  • Yang deficiency: Cinnamon Twig, Fresh Ginger Rhizome, and Dodder Seed

Best Way To Lose Belly Fat: Quick Tips

Here are some quick tips for the best way to lose belly fat that you can practice daily:

  • Drink some water before a meal to reduce hunger pangs and calorie intake
  • Go dutch — share a meal with a dining partner, especially that sweet dessert
  • Use a smaller plate to trick your mind into thinking you’re eating as much as before
  • Occupy yourself with activities that don’t revolve around food
  • Find an exercise program you enjoy that allows you to move more each time
  • Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables and reduce refined sugars and processed foods

Coupled with a healthy diet and regular exercise, the TCM approaches mentioned in this article can complement conventional treatments.

They may even reduce reliance on anti-obesity drugs, which can induce high blood pressure, gastrointestinal issues or emotional problems.

Always be sure to check with your doctor before you stop taking any medication or combine it with herbal supplements.


  1. National Library of Medicine. 2012. A systematic review on use of Chinese medicine and acupuncture for treatment of obesity. [Accessed on 27 January 2022]
  2. DovePress. 2020. The Mechanism of Traditional Chinese Medicine for the Treatment of Obesity. [Accessed on 27 January 2022]

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