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If you are like most readers, you have been thinking about losing weight. 

People try all sorts of ways to lose weight.  A lady came in to see me about acupuncture for weight loss last week. She had heard that acupuncture can help people lose weight, even when they have been unsuccessful in previous attempts. She was hopeful, but hesitant to jump into anything.  

I explained that by itself, acupuncture is not likely to create weight loss. However, combining acupuncture with a sensible weight loss plan has been very successful for some patients that have had difficulty losing weight.  

Multiple studies have found that people using various weight-loss plans lost up to twice as much weight if they had acupuncture treatments at the same time. Not only did the participants feel less stress and reduce stress eating, they had fewer cravings.

Acupuncture is often a good idea and can be helpful for a wide range of health issues. Using acupuncture for digestion issues can be very successful. It is important to realize that modifying your habits is important to success along with the acupuncture.

Like acupuncture, the tips in this article are not specifically intended to help you lose weight. They are intended to help you become healthier and feel better by improving your digestion. Weight loss can be a great side-effect, though.

Many readers already know many of the following facts:

  • Fast weight loss is not lasting weight loss.  
  • Most conservative weight loss plans can be effective, but you must be able to sustain the plan long enough to accomplish the desired goals.  
  • Slow weight loss is healthy weight loss.  
  • Goofy diets that consist of eating certain foods exclusively are often not healthy or effective in the long run.  
  • The cost of a weight loss service is not directly related to the outcome (your body has no idea how much money you spend for someone to weigh you each week).  
  • You don’t need to buy amazing new fat blocking pills made from some exotic ingredient from South America (or Asia, Antarctica or even Australia) … they don’t work either.
  • “Fat burning” energy drinks are often just a combination of high doses of caffeine with a bunch of other nonessential ingredients.

Most people know all those things already, but we may not always want to believe them. That is why millions of us spend a fortune on new tricks and trends promising unrealistic weight loss results each year. We are spending more on these empty promises than ever before in history.

You may want to try some of the following tips to improve your digestive health instead of the next fad diet.  

1. Eat less food — routinely.  Many people with digestive problems have developed a tendency to eat too much at each meal.  Begin to change your mental picture of what a “meal” looks like. Get accustomed to smaller portions.

2. Eat more often.  Sounds contradictory, but it works. Eating smaller portions more frequently helps you enjoy better digestive health and accomplish the long-term goal of losing fat.

3. Start a new habit of walking. The important part is creating the habit itself. You can modify it later if you need to. Walking improves digestion and increases metabolism.

4. Drink less with your meals. When you eat, ideally you should chew your food long enough and thoroughly enough that you don’t need a drink. Excess liquid with meals dilutes stomach acids and digestive enzymes and prevents proper food processing. The result is indigestion, acid reflux, gas and other problems.

5. Slow down. This may be the most important tip. Start slowly and pause between bites, especially if you are eating alone. You will soon find that you are more relaxed, digest your food better, have less indigestion symptoms and eat less food.

6. Skip the appetizers and desserts. (Sorry restaurants, I know this is a huge profit area, along with charging $2.50 for a glass of soda or tea.) Appetizers and desserts are often much more likely to cause digestive problems than the entrée.  

7. Eat your vegetables first. If you are going to eat less, eat the important healthy stuff first. Although the benefits of raw vegetables such as salads are often touted, cooked vegetables are often easier to digest, especially steamed vegetables.

We often see patients with questions about digestion and other aspects of their health that we may be able to help. That is why we always offer free consultations so patients can meet us in person to find answers. Health is important, don’t let it slip away.

Dr. Mark Kestner is a licensed chiropractic physician in Murfreesboro. His office is at 1435 NW Broad St. Contact him at mkestner@DrKestner.com

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