I stepped onto the weighing scale, trying my best not to get too caught up with the numbers that would soon flash on the digital screen. It was my eighth time stepping on this very same scale and while a month ago, I was incredibly worried to see my “results”, I was feeling a little more confident and hopeful of my lifestyle changes paying off. I saw myself shedding a significant amount weight I had gained so easily over the past few months of holidaying and binge eating over the past four weeks. Still at the back of my mind, I kept worrying that it would bounce back eventually and I hoped with bated breath that today wouldn’t be the day.
The digits stabilised and flashed, signalling the final weight and fat percentage that my therapist immediately noted. I was utterly bewildered. How could it be possible? I wasn’t even exercising!
58.8kg (down from 63.8kg)
and couple of seconds later a new number came on…
32.2% (down from 34.8%)
I stood in stunned silence as Irene, the boss of Absolute Slimming, chattered excitedly with me about how well I I had progressed with the 8 session package. I noticed how her eyes lit up and gleamed with genuine delight at seeing my great results from her programme, one that is based on TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) principles which she designed using methods like ba guan (or cupping) and gua sha.
I really didn’t expect it. I didn’t see big changes in my physique or at least I didn’t quite notice it. I also kept getting comments from my colleagues on how whatever I was doing to lose weight was working. It was only when I took the photos for comparison sake that I jumped a little at how 5kg off my body looked like.
The measurements Irene had taken for me painted a similar surprising picture. I had lost a total of 28cm around key areas of my body.
Most slimming companies boast incredible inches off results even on the first treatment and it is completely debatable if the consultants actually manipulate the measuring tape and have it tightened to show a reduction. However, I can vouch for Absolute Slimming that they do no such thing. In fact, they even made sure I knew and could see exactly which part of my body was measured and explained to me how they would measure the exact same spot again.
Anyhow, if the numbers weren’t to be trusted, my body spoke for itself. While it was expected that I would not see huge reduction at my arm and shoulder (back) area, it being one of the most stubborn parts of my body when it came to weight loss and toning, my waist, thighs tummy and rear were losing centimetres fast!
Benefits of TCM Slimming
The cupping therapy, that Irene first discovered in 2002 while pursuing her interest in acupoint-pressing, effectively helps with weight loss and toning. (In fact, she boasts a 99% success rate.) Spot reduction, she claimed, was a possibility as well with the treatment. With both the gua sha and cupping, the acupoints on my back, upper arms, abdomen, thighs and calves would be stimulated.
Irene chirpily shared that it would help raise my metabolic rate by energising and regulating my circulatory system and improve my digestion. Toxins and excess water causing bloatedness and weight problems would be more efficiently removed from my body as a result. Can’t do a thing about the stubborn fat no matter how hard I worked out? This could be my answer. I took this in, half of me in cynical disbelief and the half in hope. Since I already decided to give it a shot, I would commit to following the programme as it should be experienced.
The skeptic in me took up the challenge of this month-long programme just as an experiment. I thought it was all too convenient that the programme included a “diet” element. (“Of course I would lose weight!” I guffawed.) I was expecting some weight loss over a month of diet and portion control. Maybe 2 – 3 kilos lighter that would yo-yo every week before plateauing. After all, I had been on a strict clean diet similar to this one before and I had seen a small 2+ kg weight loss which I soon gained back in a month or two. If this cupping therapy were to convince me that it works, it had to show a greater difference.
I said hello to a meal plan that looked pretty much like this:
- A choice of two pieces of wholemeal bread for breakfast or two eggs (which I loved having hard-boiled)
- One choice of white meat (fish or chicken) and two servings of vegetables for lunch and dinner, red meat (salmon, beef, duck and pork) is allowed once or twice a week
- Snacking between meals was welcome but not on crackers and biscuits, only fruits was encouraged
- No dinner after 8pm and only sips of water when thirsty (no large gulps and water parades before sleeping)
- Allowed a coffee/tea and a glass of non or low fat milk per day
The part I was most resistant to was when I was told to stop eating processed food which had become quite the staple in my life. I mean just imagine my agony when I realised this meant that I could not have hotdogs, pastas, soba noodles, chirashi-don, chicken nuggets or a sweetened beverage like bandung. No nuts because they were very high in calories (oh my dear cashew nut and almonds), avoid soup because those are high in sodium and likely MSG, and definitely no instant meals (dammit, I love Mama noodles or those microwavable 7-11 meals). I just had to steer clear of them for the duration of my treatment at Absolute Slimming. By and large, the meal plan however was very common sense and not a crash diet in a sense that I could still meet my required fat, protein and carb intake if I took a bit more notice of the food I ate.
The staff at Absolute Slimming assured me that the hour-long treatment twice a week for the first four weeks would help me curb my cravings and keep me satiated. Trust me, I am a person who can’t live without my noodles and rice and have rejected low-carb diets for as long as I can remember, preferring to do ridiculous amounts of exercise – my record is five times a week – than to cut that even partially out. The cleaner meals I was having also meant that I would eventually enjoy the taste of “plainer” food more and stay away from the salt-laden flavoursome dishes I was so accustomed to and wouldn’t crave it as much as before.
Within the first week I had dropped from 63.8kg to 62.1kg, losing a cool 1.7kg. In the past 5 years, this is the most I have lost within a week of embarking on a diet programme and previously I also involved exercise. Even though the drop was by far the largest, my knee-jerk reaction was to attribute it to a change in diet. I was, after all, following a specified meal guideline that included several “Do’s and Don’ts” like eating plenty of cherry tomatoes, fresh fruit like dragon fruit and kiwi (but no high sugar fruits like pineapples, avocados and bananas for instance), vegetables like broccoli and leafy greens.
I was going strong on week one. I had adjusted well to my meal plans and the most miraculous thing was I hardly felt hungry or craved anything I shouldn’t be having. I was content to just have a small meal, and I could stop myself after becoming 70% full. Of course, I still wasn’t convinced. Perhaps it was just week one? It was too early to tell. But every week never got harder. I only faced slight difficulty in ensuring I managed my time well enough to have my meals in a timely manner. As I was hardly hungry, it was also important for me to remain mindful of eating my meals regularly.
When I ate my breakfast, lunch and dinner, even though it was so strict, I felt well and able. I could go about my daily tasks without a hitch. The only problem was when I didn’t. For example, when I skipped a meal because I was busy, I immediately felt it. I would go hungry and crave food I hadn’t since I started the Absolute Slimming programme or worse, suffer dizzy spells. Thankfully, I often had the gua sha and cupping sessions to help me get back on track and all would work out once I adhered to the meal plans properly and on time.
By the third session on the second week, I had lost 3.7kg and was at 60.1kg. It was unbelievable!
- Session 1 (25 Jun): 63.8kg
- Session 2 (30 Jun): 62.1kg (-1.7kg)
- Session 3 (2 Jul): 60.9kg (-1.2kg)
- Session 4 (6 Jul): 60.1kg (-0.8kg)
- Session 5 (9 Jul): 60.5kg (+0.4kg)
- Session 6 (13 Jul): 59.3kg (-1.2kg)
- Session 7 (16 Jul): 58.9kg (- 0.4kg)
- Session 8 (20 Jul): 58.8kg (-0.1kg)
That brings my total weight loss up till 20 July on my last session to 5kg. I now weigh 58.5kg which is roughly how much I weighed back in January of this year. Since January, I have tried unsuccessfully to lose weight but always ended up gaining it. It was a perpetual yo-yo and then it all backfired after several holidays of careless eating and there I was 63.8kg, the fattest in my entire life.
What’s really worthy of note is that I lost weight almost every single time I went back for my sessions. While a lot of friends noted that I was hella disciplined during that one-month, I have to say, the loss of my usually horrendous gigantic appetite made it so much easier than expected. Those who know me, know that I am not someone who can resist a good meal and in particular, anything noodle related. I could say no to snacks, soft drinks and my usual pasta dishes on the menu without much struggle. The occasional craving also didn’t last. Once I had food, I felt so full I couldn’t think about having any of my curry puffs or bowls of sticky pearl Japanese rice. I do admit to eating some noodle or rice and “banned stuff” on a few occasions but mostly I still observed weight loss.
Personal Thoughts Regarding My Recent Weight Loss
All my initial doubts have been put to rest and I now can share with absolute conviction that the TCM method with Absolute Slimming works – but to each his own of course.
Weight loss is always something that takes into account many factors and everyone has a different physique and body. It’s all about finding something that works and I think what made this attempt so successful was how everything worked in totality for me while aided by the treatments at Absolute Slimming:
- Sleep: The twice weekly treatments had me tired enough that I would rest earlier and not spend too many late nights up. I also felt better rested.
- Diet: Most nutritional professionals do advocate the 80-20 rule which is weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise showing how important every meal is in the bigger scheme of things. The TCM methodology helped curb my appetite and the consistent choice of wholesome fresh food over processed food and flavours translated into continued reduction in my cravings.
- Regular Meals: Following the programme means I ate “on time” mostly before 8pm.
If you’re wondering why I’m really a convert, you can also read about my weight loss experiences throughout the years since 2010 detailed here. I was able to retrieve all my Fitness Pal weight logs and each set of consecutive logs show a period of diet or exercise regime change. This should show you why I believe that no matter how determined I was at each regime, this was by far the most effective for me.
Back in the first week of June 2015 before treatment
Absolute Slimming offers packages ranging from $800 onwards. You can find out more about the pricing of the treatment packages and make an appointment at the Absolute Slimming website.
So that folks, is how I honestly lost 5kg within a month without exercise.
211 Holland Avenue, #03-14, Holland Road Shopping Centre, Singapore 278967
Open from Monday to Friday from 11:00am to 9:00pm (Last appointment at 7:30pm)
Open on Saturday from 11:00am to 6:00pm (Last appointment at 5:00pm)
Disclaimer: I was not paid to endorse and promote Absolute Slimming, however I was sponsored 8 sessions under their Premium Package to review the programme. My review is written honestly and based entirely on my own experiences. I was given the option of NOT writing my review should the treatment not work for me by Absolute Slimming and at no point was it a requirement that a review be written in return for the sponsored treatments.