Excess Acids linked to Weight GainWeight Loss by acid balance« click for printable PDF version

In this article, we want to give some simple pointers to help weight loss, even without changing your calorie intake. If that sounds good, then please take the time to read on and find out more...

Our body works to metabolize the calories in everything we eat and drink into other forms of energy the body can use. Of course, we already know that when we ingest too many calories, our bodies store the excess energy as fat. This is not what we want, but it happens anyway whenever we eat more than we need.

But it's not just as simple as that. Beyond the calorie balance, the ability of our bodies to perform well depends on many other factors, including the acid-alkaline balance within our body. When we have too much acid in our bodies, our metabolism is affected and we end up storing even more fat than we should. This leads to extra weight gain, even if the calorie intake remains constant.

Let's look at a simple explanation of why this happens...

The acid-alkaline balance in our body is measured on the pH scale, which runs from 0 - 14.

Acidic substances (like battery acid) measure close to zero on the pH scale, neutral substances have a pH of 7 (like pure water), and very alkalinic materials (like bleach) measure close to 14. Of course, we don't eat either battery acid or bleach, but many of the foods that we do eat have effects pushing our pH up or down.

Good health dictates that the pH of our blood is maintained at 7.4, while other fluids in our body should fall between 6.3-7.2, ideally right around 7.0.

Our modern diet of rich in meats and processed foods tends to push down the pH of our bodies. Common symptoms of a low pH are feelings of sluggishness and fatigue. What's actually happening inside the body is that excess acid wastes may be slowing the functions of our thyroid, which then slows our metabolism (hence the sluggish feeling) and leads to extra weight gain.

So what to do about it?

Obviously, if we changed our food intake to eat more of those foods which will bring our body's pH up, then we can offset this imbalance, keeping our thyroid happy and the excess weight off - even without changing overall calorie intake!

Unfortunately, there is no magic ratio or single formula for the best acid-alkaline balance. Each person is different, but there are some general guidelines to help balance pH within your body. A short list of some common foods and their effect on body pH is provided below.

Obviously, a diet high in coffee, beer and beef will significantly upset the acid-alkaline balance and drop our pH below our ideal of 7.0, with the unintended possibility of excess weight gain.

For those of you wondering what to do next, start with a simple pH test to see where your body is at today. Remember, everyone is different and will have a different pH result, even though your diets may be similar. Once you establish your pH (or think about any symptoms of sluggishness or fatigue), you will want to consider changing your food intake to help balance pH, restore energy and help manage your weight.

Note: pH test strips are available at any pool supply store, and most pharmacies

If you are already on the WeightWorks program, then make sure that your Phase IV foods are "in balance" to help keep the weight loss strides you've made permanent.

If you are not yet on the WeightWorks program and want to learn more about how we can help, please complete our online get-acquainted questionnaire. Enter the coupon code "ARTICLE50" and we will take 50% off the cost of an initial doctor consultation to review your situation, make suggestions and answer any questions you may have.

Click here to go to the questionnaire.

It's the best first step you'll ever take.

   - - Yours in health,   The Doctors of WeightWorks

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The Relative pH Effect of Some Common Foods

Below is a list of some common foods and their relative effect on body pH. Optimal body pH should lie close to neutral (i.e., we should be right around 7.0 on the pH scale of 0 - 14).

The relative pH effect of various foods depends on the ash residue that remains after the food has been metabolized by our body. This ash can be acidic, alkalinic or neutral depending largely upon the mineral content of the food.

The foods that are either alkalizing or acidifying are very easy to categorize. The common sense BAD FOODS (sugar, refined foods, fizzy drinks, chips, chocolate, alcohol etc) all leave an acid ash. Conversely, the common sense GOOD FOODS (salads, vegetables etc) are alkalizing.

The confusing food is fruit. Because of the high sugar content, most fruits have an acidifying effect. This is unfortunate since they contain so many nutrients. The best fruits to minimize excess acid waste in the body include the avocado, limes, lemons, watermelon and tomatoes. Other fruits should be considered in moderation is the body's pH is out of balance (too low).

How do the foods you eat stack up?

ALKALIZING FOODS                                   ACIDIFYING FOODS
High Relative pH Effect                                   Low Relative pH Effect
Summer Radish+39                                   Watermelon-1
Soy Lecithin (pure)+38                                   Rye Bread-3
Wheatgrass+33                                   Cream-4
Cucumber+31                                   Butter-4
Cucumber+31                                   Wholemeal Bread-7
Soy Sprouts+29                                   Corn Oil-7
Alfalfa Sprouts+29                                   Margarine-8
Sprouted Radish Seeds+28                                   Honey-8
Barley Grass+28                                   Fruit Juice (Natural)-9
Kamut Grass+27                                   Cashews-10
Avocado+15                                   Fructose-10
Cabbage+14                                   White Bread-10
Tomato+13                                   Ketchup-13
Celery+13                                   Mayonnaise-13
Garlic+13                                   Peanuts-13
Spinach+13                                   Wine-17
Soy Beans (soaked)+12                                   Pistachios-17
Fresh Soy Beans+12                                   Quark-18
Lemons+9                                   White Sugar-18
Carrot+9                                   Chicken-18
Limes+8                                   Eggs-18
Turnip+8                                   Hard Cheese-19
Watercress+7                                   Mustard-20
Leeks+7                                   Chocolate-25
Red Cabbage+6                                   Coffee-26
Courgette+5                                   Soy Sauce-27
Almonds+3                                   Artificial Sweeteners-27
Flax Seed Oil+3                                   Beer-27
Tofu+3                                   Tea (Black)-28
Onion+3                                   Fruit Juice (Processed)-34
Asparagus+1                                   Beef-35
Olive Oil+1                                   Veal-35
                                   Pork-38
                                   Liquor-39
                                   Vinegar-40