The macrobiotic diet, famed by superstars Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow, is a health-conscious way to get rid of unwanted fats in your body. It revolves around the Chinese philosophic concept of yin and yang. The idea is, what you eat must create a balance between these two forces. To achieve this, you must eat foods that are considered as yin and foods considered as yang. The term macrobiotic is taken from the Greek words macro, which means great, and bios, which means life. It was first found in the writings of Hippocrates, and is believed to be referring to living a balanced diet as a way to achieve a ripe old age.
Basic Principles of the Macrobiotic Diet
To succeed in the macrobiotic diet for fat loss, you must stick to these four factors: the food you eat, how they are prepared, how you eat them, and foods that are completely off-limits.
What You Eat
Based on modern macrobiotics, yin represents an outward centrifugal movement that leads to expansion, while yang represents inward movement that leads to contraction. According to the macrobiotic diet, foods are categorized into these two food groups based on how they taste and how they affect the body. For example, sweet food is yin, while salty food is yang. Whatever you eat, there must always be a harmony between these two forces. Some foods make it easier to achieve a balance because they are not too yin and not too yang, so they are the staples of the macrobiotic diet. Most of these recommended foods are organic and vegetarian.
Ideally, a typical macrobiotic meal should consist of:
- Whole grains – 50% to 60%
- Vegetables – 25% to 30%
- Soups – 5% to 10%
- Beans and sea vegetables – 5% to 10%
How You Prepare Food
The macrobiotic diet also gives much weight on how food is prepared. Advocates of the macrobiotic diet recommend consuming foods in their most natural state; thus, processed foods with a lot of empty, unnecessary calories should be avoided. Food preparation techniques also fall into the yin and yang categories. For example, eating food cold is said to be yin, while eating food hot is yang.
How You Eat
The macrobiotic diet also gives importance to the way you eat your food, saying that food should be chewed thoroughly before swallowing, and that food should be consumed slowly, allowing you to enjoy the very act of eating without having to worry about what it will do to your weight. This allows you to find eating pleasurable without the guilt that often comes with it.
What You Cannot Eat
Since some foods are too far from the center, making them either too yin and too yang, they are not recommended. In fact, these foods are totally forbidden in the macrobiotic diet, and if you really want to lose weight, if you eat any of these foods, you will only be cheating yourself. The foods that you need to give up include:
- Processed and refined foods
- Animal products
- Caffeinated products
A Balanced Diet, A Balanced Lifestyle
The macrobiotic diet banks on the belief that what you eat has a significant effect on your overall well-being and health. By keeping your body at its peak shape, it will be easier for you to optimize your weight and burn fat faster. By helping you choose the right, healthier foods such as fresh organic foods and vegetables, this diet will also keep you from piling up on fatty foods that will send you over the edge of the spectrum, resulting in either malnutrition or obesity.
But what’s most important about the macrobiotic diet is that this is more than just a diet plan; it is a lifestyle. It is the application of the yin and yang balance not only in your life choices, but also in your food selections. It is best achieved through transcendence and discipline.