Diane May Nutrition Blog

Acupuncture and Weight Loss

July 4th, 2015

Sometimes people need added support when they are changing behaviors and trying to lose weight and get healthy.  There are a number of things that can be done to assist with this process.  Add an RD for nutrition counseling, Consider a therapist who specializes in CBT (cognitive behavior therapy) for emotional eating,  join a weight loss support group, and acupuncture are just a few suggestions.  I am going to focus on acupuncture today.

Although research is limited, there have been positive outcomes using auricular (points in the ear) acupuncture in regard to weight loss. In a very small  study published in BMJ Open Gastoenterology, there was a statistically significant difference in percentage change in body weight for the participants who received auricular acupuncture. This may be due to suppressed ghrelin production. Ghrelin, produced in the stomach and pancreas, is a fast acting “hunger” hormone that tells the body when to eat. In the International Journal of Obesity, a review was done on alternative treatments for obesity, and it is clear acupuncture research is in its infancy,  but it has been showing promise.

Having a nutritious, healthy meal plan and routine exercise have been shown the most effective way to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight.  But adding supports can be beneficial and rewarding. It is very important to note that nothing is a quick fix.  If you decide to try acupuncture, you should know that it is a commitment (just like your long term eating and exercise plan). One treatment alone will not assist in your journey.  You will need to give it time and patience. I highly recommend Sean Rachlin. By clicking the link, you will be sent to his home page and you can read more about his technique.

Grilled Portobellos with Chopped Salad

From EatingWell:  May/June 2013

Acupuncture and Weight Loss


Makes: 4 servings

Active Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes



  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 4 large portobello mushroom caps, gills removed
  • 1 15-ounce can small white beans, rinsed
  • 2 small bell peppers, quartered and seeded
  • 1 small red onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 cup shredded fontina cheese



  1. Preheat grill to medium-high.
  2. Combine lemon juice, oil, dill, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add mushroom caps and turn to coat. Remove the mushrooms from the bowl. Add white beans; stir to coat.
  3. Place the mushroom caps gill-side up on the grill with peppers, onion and zucchini. Grill the vegetables, turning once, until they start to char and soften: about 8 minutes for the mushrooms and 6 minutes for the rest. Turn the mushrooms gill-side up again. Fill each with 1/4 cup cheese and grill until the cheese is melted, about 1 minute more.
  4. Chop peppers, onion and zucchini and add to the bowl with the beans; toss to combine. Top each mushroom with about 1 cup of the grilled salad.


Per serving: 312 calories; 20 g fat (7 g sat, 10 g mono); 31 mg cholesterol; 25 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 15 g protein; 7 g fiber; 736 mg sodium; 850 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (107% daily value), Folate (34% dv), Vitamin A (31% dv), Potassium (24% dv), Calcium (22% dv), Zinc (20% dv)