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T'ai Chi and Weight Loss

by Bill Douglas, Founder of World Tai Chi & Qigong Day

Copyright 2005

Most people don't connect "burning calories" with T'ai Chi because T'ai Chi is so slow and effortless -- most of those who practice T'ai Chi don't even break a sweat -- but T'ai Chi can be a great adjunct to a healthy diet program for a number of reasons.

* Despite it's slow and gentle pace, T'ai Chi burns about 280 calories per hour, nearly as many as downhill skiing (350 calories per hour). Moreover, T'ai Chi is very safe, low-impact, takes no equipment, and can be performed in the conference room at work during break time or even in the bathroom when you sneak off for an unofficial stress break.

* T'ai Chi helps cleanse the body of stress. If you've ever had a tough day and decided to drown your sorrow in a pizza or hot fudge sundae, you know that stress is a major cause of "nervous snacking." T'ai Chi and Qigong's deep stress-reduction qualities can help "process" stress so that you don't have to cover it up with empty calorie snack food.

* Some of us also use food to alleviate depression. Research shows that T'ai Chi can reduce depression and anxiety. If you perform T'ai Chi when you get home from work, you can dump your stress load. Then a nice apple or mango might sound much better than a bag of chips. When you aren't stressed, you can enjoy subtle, healthful flavors.

* T'ai Chi may help you acquire the figure or weight you want. T'ai Chi takes the emphasis off external appearances. When you do T'ai Chi the goal is to enjoy the feeling of motion and breath from the "inside." T'ai Chi is done to specifically lose weight; it's done because it feels good. Effortlessly you can enjoy the process of exercise and subtly begin to teach yourself that you are a worthy and vibrant being from the inside out, rather than judging and criticizing how you look in the mirror.

* Most people find that when they practice T'ai Chi regularly their metabolism becomes more effective. Studies show that T'ai Chi promotes homeostasis in all levels of our physical health. It improves breathing capacity, circulation and micro-circulation; provides cardiovascular benefit; and improves immune system responses. It isn't surprising that our digestive and metabolic processes would function more healthfully as well by practicing T'ai Chi.

There are many good healthy diet programs, and T'ai Chi does not compete with them; it works with them. Studies show that change is stressful even "good change." As you begin a new life with a healthful diet program, T'ai Chi may be the perfect addition to help you ease through the life changes a new diet requires.

T'ai Chi also gives you a powerful stress management, calorie-burning activity to get you through the rough spots of any diet. T'ai Chi can be done at any time and anywhere without special clothing. Rather than denying yourself foods you want, T'ai Chi can replace the old food cravings with something new, fresh, wholesome and soothing.


Bill Douglas is the Tai Chi Expert at, Founder of World T'ai Chi & Qigong Day (held in 60 nations each year), and has authored and co-authored several books including a #1 best selling Tai Chi book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to T’ai Chi & Qigong. Bill’s been a Tai Chi source for The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, etc. Bill is the author of the ebook, How to be a Successful Tai Chi Teacher (Namasta University Publishing). You can learn more about Tai Chi & Qigong, search a worldwide teachers directory, and also contact Bill Douglas at