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Losing Weight PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 04 March 2007 22:05

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.

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Comments (9)Add Comment
Reply to Ronny
written by laurel, Jan 08 2014
The WAPF is not saying that carbs are bad. This is an article about weight loss, and the fact of the matter is that low-carb diets have repeatedly been shown to be superior to low-fat and Mediterranean type diets for weight loss. I believe that some studies have also shown more favorable changes in heart disease markers with low-carb diets as well. The WAPF consistently has recommended many high carb foods as part of a healthy diet, including sourdough breads, fermented porridges, starchy tubers, and sweeteners like raw honey and maple syrup. It's just that when someone is trying to lose weight, limiting carbs can be helpful.
Digestive enzyme - Lipase
written by Andie, Jul 15 2012
Hi I am confused with the reference to Lipase to burn fat. When Thomas says take a high potency enzyme supplement does he mean just lipase or a combination that includes other digestive enzymes as well?
Combine 1 & 2
written by AfroTapp, Feb 09 2012
A great way to lose weight would be to combine 1 & 2.

a)Reduce your daily carbohydrate in take to about 72 grams a day, making sure you are getting a variety of foods

b)do some moderate exercise 2 to 3 times a week(preferably some that will increase your GH (Recumbent bike, Squats, etc.).

c)watch how late at night you are eating so you actually have to break your fast in the morning.

"Life without Bread" is a good resource. It just reduces the amount to 72 grams of carbohydrates. I presume however, that soaking the grains alters the amount of sugar spike in the blood so you maybe able to go higher and maintain your ideal weight.

Lastly, I good way to know what size is to look at your Bodyfat%. You can get little tool cheap either a scale you stand on without socks or a tool you hold in your hand. It differs for gender & age so look at the directions. smilies/wink.gif
written by kim terry, Apr 04 2011
I am reading Eat Fat Lose Fat and want to get a better handle on how much fat can one have per day in grams? since being on the diet i have seen weight gain, but in honesty i have not been over diligent in holding to a strick following, so i am hopeful to see how it works.

Another question about taking coconut oil 3 days per day prior to each meal. Is the main reason for taking the oil to reduce the desire to eat more during meals, and if i forget can i take the oil during the meal or after the meal have the same effect.
written by Ronny, Apr 03 2011
I am not sure I can trust everything on this site. I agree that saturated fat is good for us, but you seem to demonize carbs just like people once demonized fats. This all sounds like what Michael Pollan calls nutritionism. Is their solid evidence that excess carbs, and not necessarily excess calories, cause weight gain?
Response to Stancel
written by Jill, Aug 18 2010
I think Cowan does mean carbohydrates here, not calories. Gary Taubes in "Good Calories, Bad Calories," showed that "calories in/calories out" doesn't work, it isn't that simple. Test subjects eating high fat diet didn't get fat. You CAN'T slather food in gallons of butter; there's a point each of us has where we'd get nauseated and be unwilling or unable to eat any more.

No such mechanism exists for carbs; in fact, the more refined carbs you eat the more you want to eat, even if uncomfortably full, because the brain is still getting the signal from the guts "we still don't have the nutrients we need", since those calories are empty.

Meanwhile, insulin response to all that sugar is forcing everything from the blood stream into the fat cells.

I believe Cowan is saying that you need to eat a diet higher in fat and protein and lower in carbs, but the higher your activity level, the more carbs you can get away with eating. If the body is demanding fuel for heavy exercise, carbs may be able to provide that quick fuel.

However, for the highly active who are really insulin resistant, they still might have to curb carbs to see any weight loss, despite their high activity level.
Um....what?, Low-rated comment [Show]
Healthy weight
written by Nadia Mason, Mar 11 2010

A 'healthy weight' is a Body Mass Index somewhere between 18.5 and 24.9 - you can find a number of BMI calculators online.

It's not quite so clear cut though. BMI has its limitations though, especially for athletes. The cheapest and simplest alternative is to find a reliable body composition scale and measure body fat g;e, muscle mass etc.
Healthy Weight?
written by Cory Bickford, Jan 05 2010
"which, by the way, is not a weight that leaves you model-thin"

Can you talk about what is a healthy weight then? Specifically for women, athletic and non?

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 June 2009 19:35