Both weight loss and math can seem mysterious at times. After discussing it all with my Chinese tutor, who grew up in Taiwan, I have to think that the subjects of weight loss and math are cross-cultural in many important ways. In today’s post, I attempt to combine the themes in a way that helps me practice math vocabulary, while being humorously philosophical about weight loss.
First, some vocabulary:
減肥 ㄐㄧㄢˇ ㄈㄟˊ (jiǎn féi) to lose fat (weight)
瘦身 ㄕㄡˋ ㄕㄣ (shòu shēn) to slim down
數學 ㄕㄨˋ ㄒㄩㄝˊ (shù xué) mathematics
情形 ㄑㄧㄥˊ ㄒㄧㄥˊ (qíng xíng) circumstances, conditions
減重 ㄐㄧㄢˇ ㄓㄨㄥˋ (jiǎn zhòng) to lose weight
原始山洞人 ㄩㄢˊ ㄕˇ ㄕㄢ ㄉㄨㄥˋ ㄖㄣˊ (yuán shǐ shān dòng rén) original cave people
蔬菜 ㄕㄨ ㄘㄞˋ (shū cài) vegetables
飲食 ㄧㄣˇ ㄕˊ (yǐn shí) food and drink, diet
脂肪 ㄓ ㄈㄤˊ (zhī fáng) fat in body, plant, or food
醣類 ㄊㄤˊ ㄌㄟˋ (táng lèi) sugar (chemistry), carbohydrate
倍增 ㄅㄟˋ ㄗㄥ (bèi zēng) to increase many times over
諫言 ㄐㄧㄢˋ ㄧㄢˊ (jiàn yán) advice, to advise
中庸之道 ㄓㄨㄥ ㄩㄥ ㄓ ㄉㄠˋ (zhōng yōng zhī dào) the middle way, way of moderation
實行 ㄕˊ ㄒㄧㄥˊ (shí xíng) to implement, to put into practice
解決 ㄐㄧㄝˇ ㄐㄩㄝˊ (jiě jué) to settle, to resolve
方法 ㄈㄤ ㄈㄚˇ (fāng fǎ) method, way
能量 ㄋㄥˊ ㄌㄧㄤˋ (néng liàng) energy, capabilities
自然而然 ㄗˋ ㄖㄢˊ ㄦˊ ㄖㄢˊ (zì rán ér rán) automatically, naturally
加多 ㄐㄧㄚ ㄉㄨㄛ (jiā duō) to add more
運動量 ㄩㄣˋ ㄉㄨㄥˋ ㄌㄧㄤˋ (yùn dòng liàng) amount of exercise
減少 ㄐㄧㄢˇ ㄕㄠˇ (jiǎn shǎo) to lessen, to decrease
卡路里 ㄎㄚˇ ㄌㄨˋ ㄌㄧˇ (kǎ lù lǐ) calorie
垃圾食物 ㄌㄜˋ ㄙㄜˋ ㄕˊ ㄨˋ (lè sè shí wù) junk food
乘以 ㄔㄥˊ ㄧˇ (chéng yǐ) multiplied with
新陳代謝率 ㄒㄧㄣ ㄔㄣˊ ㄉㄞˋ ㄒㄧㄝˋ ㄌㄩˋ (xīn chén dài xiè lü`) metabolic rate
除去 ㄔㄨˊ ㄑㄩˋ (chú qù) to remove
煩惱 ㄈㄢˊ ㄋㄠˇ (fán nǎo) to be worried
壓力 ㄧㄚ ㄌㄧˋ (yā lì) pressure, stress
等於 ㄉㄥˇ ㄩˊ (děng yú) to equal
苗條 ㄇㄧㄠˊ ㄊㄧㄠˊ (miáo tiáo) (said of a woman) slim, slender, graceful
結論 ㄐㄧㄝˊ ㄌㄨㄣˋ (jié lùn) conclusion, to conclude
A little discussion about how to lose weight
(ㄧㄡˇ ㄒㄧㄝ)(ㄑㄧㄥˊ ㄒㄧㄥˊ)(ㄐㄧㄢˇ ㄓㄨㄥˋ)(ㄏㄣˇ)(ㄖㄨㄥˊ ㄧˋ)
(yǒu xiē)(qíng xíng)(jiǎn zhòng)(hěn)(róng yì)
(some, somewhat)(conditions, circumstances)(to reduce weight)(very)(easy)
In some ways, the conditions for losing weight are easy.
(ㄋㄧˇ)(ㄓˇ)(ㄧㄠˋ)(ㄔ)(ㄅㄧˇ ㄐㄧㄠˋ)(ㄕㄠˇ)(ㄕˊ ㄨˋ)(ㄐㄧㄡˋ)(ㄎㄜˇ ㄧˇ)
(nǐ)(zhǐ)(yào)(chī)(bǐ jiào)(shǎo)(shí wù)(jiù)(kě yǐ)
(you)(only)(to need)(to eat)(comparatively)(less, few)(food)(just)(pretty good, possible, can)
You only need to eat comparatively less food and that will do it.
(ㄅㄨˊ ㄍㄨㄛˋ), (ㄧㄡˇ ㄒㄧㄝ)(ㄖㄣˊ)(ㄏㄨㄟˋ)(ㄍㄠˋ ㄙㄨˋ)(ㄋㄧˇ)(ㄧㄥ ㄍㄞ)
(bú guò), (yǒu xiē)(rén)(huì)(gào sù)(nǐ)(yīng gāi)
(however), (some)(people)(will)(to tell)(you)(should)
……(ㄐㄧㄡˋ)(ㄓˇ)(ㄔ)(ㄖㄡˋ)(ㄒㄧㄤˋ)(ㄩㄢˇ ㄕˊ)(ㄕㄢ ㄉㄨㄥˋ)(ㄖㄣˊ)
……(jiù)(zhǐ)(chī)(ròu)(xiàng)(yuán shǐ)(shān dòng)(rén)
……(adds emphasis, only, just)(only)(to eat)(meat)(to be like, to resemble, such as)(first, original, primitive)(mountain cave)(person, people)
However, some people will tell you you should only eat meat, just like cavemen.
(ㄦˊ)(ㄧㄝˇ)(ㄧㄡˇ ㄒㄧㄝ)(ㄖㄣˊ)(ㄏㄨㄟˋ)(ㄍㄠˋ ㄙㄨˋ)(ㄋㄧˇ)(ㄗㄨㄟˋ ㄏㄠˇ)(ㄓˇ)(ㄔ)(ㄕㄨ ㄘㄞˋ)
(ér)(yě)(yǒu xiē)(rén)(huì)(gào sù)(nǐ)(zuì hǎo)(zhǐ)(chī)(shū cài)
(as well, yet, and)(also)(some)(people)(will)(to tell)(you)(best)(only)(to eat)(vegetables)
As well, some people will tell you it is best to eat only vegetables!
(ㄏㄣˇ)(ㄉㄨㄛ)(ㄖㄣˊ)(ㄕㄨㄛ)(ㄋㄧˇ)(ㄧㄣˇ ㄕˊ)(ㄌㄧˇ)(ㄧㄠˋ)(ㄐㄧㄚ)(ㄉㄨㄛ)(ㄧˋ ㄒㄧㄝ)(ㄓ ㄈㄤˊ)
(hěn)(duō)(rén)(shuō)(nǐ)(yǐn shí)(lǐ)(yào)(jiā)(duō)(yì xiē)(zhī fáng)
(very)(many)(people)(to say)(you)(diet, food and drink)(in)(to want, must, important)(to add)(more)(some)(fat)
Many people say it is important to add more fat in your diet.
(ㄒㄩˇ ㄉㄨㄛ)(ㄕㄨ)(ㄌㄧˇ)(ㄕㄨㄛ)(ㄋㄧˇ)(ㄉㄟˇ)(ㄐㄧㄢˇ ㄕㄠˇ)(ㄋㄧˇ)(ㄔ)(ㄉㄜ˙)(ㄊㄤˊ ㄌㄟˋ)(ㄕˊ ㄨˋ)
(xǔ duō)(shū)(lǐ)(shuō)(nǐ)(děi)(jiǎn shǎo)(nǐ)(chī)(de.)(táng lèi)(shí wù)
(many, a lot of)(book)(in)(to say)(you)(must, ought to)(to decrease)(you)(to eat)(adjective marker)(carbohydrate)(food)
In many books it says you should decrease the amount of carbohydrates you eat.
(every)(MW for people)(person, people)(all)(to say)(if)
……(you)(to eat)(correct)(adjective marker)(food)
…………(ㄋㄧˇ)(ㄉㄜ˙)(ㄏㄨㄛˊ ㄌㄧˋ)(ㄐㄧㄡˋ)(ㄏㄨㄟˋ)(ㄅㄟˋ ㄗㄥ)(ㄡ)
…………(nǐ)(de.)(huó lì)(jiù)(huì)(bèi zēng)(ō)
…………(you)(adjective/possessive marker)(energy, vitality)(adds emphasis)(will)(to increase many times over)(conversational sound)
Everyone says that if you eat correctly your energy will be greatly increased!
(ㄖㄨˊ ㄍㄨㄛˇ)(ㄋㄧˇ)(ㄉㄜ˙)(ㄧㄣˇ ㄕˊ)(ㄐㄧㄚ ㄕㄤˋ)(ㄙㄨㄛˇ ㄧㄡˇ)(ㄉㄜ˙)(ㄐㄧㄢˋ ㄧㄢˊ),
(rú guǒ)(nǐ)(de.)(yǐn shí)(jiā shàng)(suǒ yǒu)(de.)(jiàn yín),
(if)(you)(adjective/possessive marker)(diet)(to add on)(all)(adjective marker)(advice),
……(ㄧˇ)(ㄓㄨㄥ ㄩㄥ ㄓ ㄉㄠˋ)(ㄌㄞˊ)(ㄕˊ ㄒㄧㄥˊ)
……(yǐ)(zhōng yōng zhī dào)(lái)(shí xing)
……(to use, by means of)(the middle way, way of moderation)(to implement, to put into practice)
…………(ㄋㄧˇ)(ㄏㄨㄛˋ ㄒㄩˇ)(ㄎㄜˇ ㄧˇ)(ㄓㄠˇ ㄉㄠˋ)(ㄐㄧㄝˇ ㄐㄩㄝˊ)(ㄉㄜ˙)(ㄈㄤ ㄈㄚˇ)
…………(nǐ)(huò xǔ)(kě yǐ)(zhǎo dào)(jiě jué)(de.)(fāng fǎ)
…………(you)(perhaps, maybe)(can)(to find)(to settle, to resolve)(adjective marker)(method, way)
If you add together all the advice about your diet, then use moderation, you may perhaps come to find a way that resolves it all.
(ㄋㄧˇ)(ㄎㄜˇ ㄧˇ)(ㄔ)(ㄖㄣˋ ㄏㄜˊ)(ㄕˊ ㄨˋ)(ㄖㄤˋ)(ㄋㄧˇ ㄉㄜ˙)(ㄕㄣ ㄊㄧˇ)(ㄐㄩㄝˊ ㄉㄜ˙)(ㄏㄣˇ)(ㄏㄠˇ)
(nǐ)(kě yǐ)(chī)(rèn hé)(shí wù)(ràng)(nǐ de.)(shēn tǐ)(jué de.)(hěn hǎo)
(you)(can)(to eat)(any, whatever)(food)(to make, to let)(your)(body)(to feel)(very)(good)
You can eat whatever food makes your body feel good.
(ㄋㄧˇ)(ㄔ)(ㄉㄜ˙)(ㄕˊ ㄨˋ)(ㄉㄥˇ ㄩˊ)
(nǐ)(chī)(de.)(shí wù)(děng yú)
(you)(to eat)(adjective marker)(food)(to equal)
……(you)(able)(to use)(adjective marker)(energy)
…………(ㄖㄨˊ ㄍㄨㄛˇ)(ㄋㄧˇ ㄉㄜ˙)(ㄕㄣ ㄊㄧˇ)(ㄐㄩㄝˊ ㄉㄜ˙)(ㄏㄠˇ),
…………(rú guǒ)(nǐ de.)(shēn tǐ)(jué de.)(hǎo),
………………(ㄗˋ ㄖㄢˊ ㄦˊ ㄖㄢˊ)(ㄋㄧˇ)(ㄐㄧㄡˋ)(ㄏㄨㄟˋ)(ㄐㄧㄢˋ ㄎㄤˋ)
………………(zì rán ér rán)(nǐ)(jiù)(huì)(jiàn kāng)
………………(naturally, automatically)(you)(adds emphasis)(will)(healthy, health)
If the food you eat equals the energy you use, if your body feels good, naturally you will be healthy.
Here is some very simple weight loss ‘math’
Add more exercise
(ㄐㄧㄢˇ ㄕㄠˇ)(ㄎㄚˇ ㄌㄨˋ ㄌㄧˋ)(ㄏㄢˋ)(ㄌㄜˋ ㄙㄜˋ)(ㄕˊ ㄨˋ)
(jiǎn shǎo)(kǎ lù lì)(hàn)(lè sè)(shí wù)
Reduce calories and junk food
(ㄔㄥˊ ㄧˇ)(ㄒㄧㄣ ㄔㄣˊ ㄉㄞˋ ㄒㄧㄝˋ)(ㄌㄩˋ)
(chéng yǐ)(xīn chén dài xiè)(lü`)
Multiply your metabolism rate
(ㄔㄨˊ ㄑㄩˋ)(ㄈㄢˊ ㄋㄠˇ)(ㄏㄢˋ)(ㄧㄚ ㄌㄧˋ)
(chú qù)(fàn nǎo)(hàn)(yā lì)
(to eliminate)(to be worried, worries)(and)(pressure, stress)
Eliminate worry and stress
(ㄉㄥˇ ㄩˊ)(ㄇㄧㄠˊ ㄊㄧㄠˊ)(ㄐㄧㄢˋ ㄎㄤ)
(děng yú)(miáo tiáo)(jiàn kāng)
(to equal)(slim, slender)(healthy)
Equals slim and healthy
To wrap it all up:
(ㄓㄜˋ)(ㄍㄜ˙)(ㄐㄧㄝˊ ㄌㄨㄣˋ)(ㄐㄧㄡˋ)(ㄕˋ)(ㄕㄡˋ ㄕㄣ ㄐㄧㄢˇ ㄓㄨㄥˋ)(ㄧㄣˇ ㄕˊ)(ㄈㄚˇ)(ㄉㄜ˙)(ㄕㄨˋ ㄒㄩㄝˊ)
(zhè)(ge.)(jié lùn)(jiù)(shì)(shòu shēn jiǎn zhòng)(yǐn shí)(fǎ)(de.)(shù xué)
(this)(MW)(conclusion, verdict)(exactly)(to be, is)(weight loss)(diet)(method)(adjective marker)(math)
This is weight loss math!
❶ Just like in English, sometimes it is considered more polite or comfortable to talk about losing weight 重 ㄓㄨㄥˋ (zhòng) instead of losing fat 肥 ㄈㄟˊ (féi).
❷ This sentence would still be understood without adding this word, but we wanted to be very descriptive.
❸ 對 is one of the most common responses in Chinese conversation, like in English we when we respond positively with yes. The literal translation of 對 is most often correct or towards.
❹ 以 is used here instead of 用 ㄩㄥˋ(yòng) to avoid repetitive sounds in the sentence.
❺ This is an idiom based on the Confucian concept called the golden mean.
中庸 is the specific characters for golden mean. You will recognize the 中 when referring to Chinese language, food, or countries. It means middle or center. The 庸 can mean common or ordinary.
之 is another adjective marker, letting us know that 中庸 is describing something that will follow.
道 means road or path, here in a metaphorical sense. Thus, the whole idiom can be translated as the middle way or the way of moderation.
❻ My tutor says this is a very common phrase. It is used for referring to actions that were the obvious or almost reflexive choice.
❼ This can also be an idiom that means the new replaces the old. Here is how the literal meaning breaks down:
新 new, fresh
謝 to decline or to thank
If you think of metabolism as the creation of new fresh energy to replace declining energy, it might help you remember this extra long word!