Ask The Doctor: Losing Weight

Question: I find myself gaining weight, in spite of following the principles of nourishing traditional diets. Do you have any suggestions?

Answer: In my book The Fourfold Path to Healing, I explain that one of the keys to effective weight control is controlling the levels of the hormone insulin in your tissues and blood. Insulin is secreted when the sugar level in the blood and tissues is higher than needed for immediate energy use. The usual reason this occurs is that you are eating more carbohydrates in your diet than you need for your activity level. Or, as I sometimes tell patients, you may be eating like a marathon runner but exerting the activity of a couch potato.

Lowering your carbohydrate intake to 75 or fewer grams per day will result in a gradual weight loss for about 70-80 percent of the patients I see, until they achieve something like an ideal weight (which, by the way, is not a weight that leaves you model-thin). But experience has shown me that by no means is this strategy succesful with everyone.

So, what are the options if this amount of carbohydrate reduction is unsuccessful? The first option is to decrease the carbohydrate level to about 40 grams per day for two weeks every 2-3 months. This will usually work, although it is a Spartan diet that many people find unpleasant or even impossible.

A second option is to get on a rigorous exercise program and keep the carbohydrate level the same. However, many report that this also doesn’t work or at least not very quickly.

Another option is to supplement with the fat-burning enzyme known as lipase. Taking a high potency enzyme supplement between meals three times per day as far away from food as possible will often help mobilize the fat stores. If you experience a slight feeling of nausea when using these enzymes, taking some bitters two to three times per day will often help clear out the fat breakdown products produced by the enzyme digestion. There are many brands of these enzymes commercially available.

If these simple procedures don’t seem to work, a cleansing program might help clear out the liver and jump start the weight loss. Standard Process makes a very good purification program which can be used every six months to initiate the weight loss. It can be obtained through many health care providers.

This article appeared in  Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Winter 2006.