Digestive enzymes gut health weight loss

Trust Your Gut: 7 Ways Digestive Enzymes Help You Lose Weight

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Digestive Enzymes Help Weight Loss by Increasing Your Body’s Ability to Break Down Foods

The best brands quickly and efficiently improve your power to digest meals and can make a huge impact on your health and weight loss journey

This post contains affiliate links, which means I’ll earn a small commission if you purchase through my link at no extra cost to you. Please see the full disclosure here.

Keep reading for the 3 most effective brands and how digestive enzymes help you lose weight and fix digestive issues.

This brand is especially powerful and cost-effective. See how you feel and look after using it for a while. 

Digestive Enzymes weight loss

As you age your ability to break down food slows down.

This occurs naturally but also after years of stomach abuse.

Bloated, gassy, and uncomfortable. “That meal sat like a rock.”

These feelings mean your digestion is compromised and your weight loss could be stalled.

Too many processed foods. Too much food at one meal. Eating while on the go. These all add up to poor digestion.

Nearly one in three women have some sort of digestive issue. Some are related to diseases of the pancreas, but most fall under the category of diet and lifestyle.

Digestive Enzymes Lose Weight

Diet And Lifestyle Choices That Cause Sluggish Digestion:

  • Lack of exercise
  • Overeating
  • Additives and preservatives
  • Chemicals in our environment
  • Plastics from our food and drinks
  • Genetically modified foods
  • Highly processed foods
  • Unhealthy foods
  • Dehydration
  • Medications
  • Lack of fiber
  • Refined sugar
  • Stress
  • Food sensitivities or allergies

All of these lead to poor digestion and weight gain.

What Are Digestive Enzymes And Why Do You Need Them?

Digestive enzymes are proteins produced in the body all along your digestive tract that break up food molecules into smaller particles for easy absorption into the bloodstream where they nourish your whole body.

You are what you absorb, not what you eat.

weight loss digestive enzymes

Good Digestion Is Closely Linked With Weight Loss

The first time digestive enzymes were on my radar was after reading a magazine article about a woman who had lost 20 lbs by doing nothing more than adding two digestive enzyme pills before her meals.

Digestive enzymes in capsule form are a great stop gap when your digestion is feeling sluggish. They are also perfect for those times throughout the year when you eat a bigger meal or a meal just doesn’t sit well.

While there are ways to increase your own digestive enzymes no matter your age and improve digestion by eating enzyme-rich foods, supplements can get you results quickly.

Your Main Digestive Enzymes:

  • Lipases to break down fats
  • Proteases to break down proteins
  • Invertases to break down simple sugars
  • Amylases to break down large carbohydrate chains

When supplementing digestive enzymes, it is best to go with a full spectrum enzyme that can help digest all your macronutrients.

How Digestive Enzymes Help You Lose Weight:

Digestive enzymes lose weight

1. Digestive Enzymes Help You Lose Weight With Better Nutrient Absorption

It would seem the more nutrition you absorb the more weight you gain.

But absorbing nutrients is a good thing for weight loss too.  If you have weight to lose, extra nutrients help you lose it in many ways.

If you aren’t digesting nutrients in food, it takes more food for you to feel balanced.

When your body has all the nutrients needed to function properly you lose nutritional hunger. Until the specific nutrients needed are fulfilled, your body continues to send you hunger signals.

Digestive Enzymes Weight Loss

Another example, all grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes have a certain amount of digestion inhibitors. A full spectrum digestive enzyme will counteract these enzyme inhibitors allowing you to absorb more of the nutrients from these foods.

If you’re malnourished because of a lack of nutrient absorption, digestive enzymes help bring your weight to a healthy level.

So even if you eat highly nutritious food, if you aren’t absorbing all of their nutrients, your body will continue to send you signals to keep eating until it receives what it needs.

2. Digestive Enzymes Help You Lose Weight By Boosting Energy

Digestive Enzymes increase energy

Have you ever noticed you make better decisions around your health and are more likely to be active when you are energetic?

A lack of energy is often the first symptom of poor digestion. Increasing nutrient absorption increases your energy levels and allows your body to work more efficiently

According to Yuri Elkaim author of Eating for Energy, in most cases, up to 80% of our body’s vital energy is spent on digestion. By aiding the breakdown and absorption of foods, you can free up enormous amounts of energy, increasing physical vitality and enhancing energy levels.  

3. Digestive Enzymes Help You Lose Weight By Moving Waste Out

Digestive enzymes speed up transit time for your food. The faster food moves through the digestive tract the less backed-up you become.  

Waste = Weight

Impacted waste in the intestines that isn’t moving through the body can weigh up to 10 lbs plus give you a bloated belly.

Best Digestive Enzyme Listed at the End of the Post.

4. Digestive Enzymes Help You Lose Weight By Detoxing

The body wants to extract nutrients and rid itself quickly of waste products. Undigested food, waste, and toxins that sit around in your digestive tract lead to a build-up of toxic intermediate products that are even more harmful to your body than the original toxins.

If these toxins are not moved out of the body they are reabsorbed and cause toxicity and inflammation.

Proper digestion and elimination can drastically reduce your body’s toxin load.

digestive enzymes increase muscles

5. Digestive Enzymes Help Weight Loss By Increasing Fat Burning And Muscle Building

When digestive enzymes are taken with a protein meal after a workout the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) in the protein are absorbed better. BCAAs are special protein building blocks that have incredible fat burning and muscle building effects.

6. Digestive Enzymes Help You Lose Weight By Supporting Your Good Bacteria

70-80% of your immune system is housed in our digestive tract.

If your colon is full of undigested protein, your good gut bacteria are diminished and bad bacteria take hold. Craving refined sugar and processed junk food can be a sign that you have an overgrowth of bad bacteria in your gut

Your good gut bacteria push out bad bacteria and colonize the intestine when your food is properly digested and is moving efficiently. As well, good gut bacteria make digestive enzymes.

Think of digestive enzymes as sprinters and the bacteria as long-distance runners. The enzymes quickly prepare the food for use by the bacteria which in the long run support a healthy gut and helps break down food as well.

This powerful enzyme brand combines digestive enzymes and probiotics.

7. Digestive Enzymes Help You Lose Weight By Decreasing Inflammation

Inflammation affects your metabolism. Undigested food can cause food sensitivities in the digestive tract leading to inflammation.

If the body sees undigested food as a foreign invader instead of nourishment it creates an inflammatory response which can decrease sensitivity to insulin and leptin. These two hormones control, blood sugar levels, energy, fat storage, and appetite.

Inflammation in the body can seriously impair your metabolism and ability to lose weight efficiently.

Read below for the most effective digestive enzymes.

Symptoms of Sluggish Digestion:

  • Bloating
  • Belching and gas
  • Upset stomach after meals
  • Feeling stuffed during and after meals
  • Stomach pain or hardness
  • Heartburn
  • Tiredness after eating
  • Constipation
  • Water retention
  • Diarrhea
  • Cramping

When you aren’t digesting well, you know it.

There are many solutions to improving slow digestion. Periodically increasing digestive enzymes is a quick and powerful step you can take to digest with ease.

Potential Side Effects of Taking Digestive Enzymes

Most people tolerate digestive enzymes well. You can run into trouble by exceeding the recommended dosage or if you have an allergic reaction to ingredients in the supplement. Here are some negative effects to be on the lookout for:

  • Upset stomach
  • Cramps
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Changes in blood sugar

If you have a chronic health issue or are taking medications, you’ll want to consult your health care provider to make sure enzyme therapy is safe.

When Is The Best Time To Take A Digestive Enzyme?

Ideally, you want to take digestive enzymes 5-30 min before meals. To maximize their effectiveness, take them as close to the beginning of your meal as possible so they are in contact with your food longer.

While that is the ideal time to take them, sometimes it isn’t until you are halfway or even at the end of a meal that you realize your food doesn’t feel so good in your stomach.

I often take digestive enzymes in the middle of a meal, when I am still hungry, but start to feel a bit of discomfort. Usually, the feeling that the meal is a little too heavy or not properly combined for me is when digestive enzymes first cross my mind.

If you’ve already eaten, it’s not too late to take digestive enzymes since the stomach isn’t empty after a full meal for 4-5 hours.

Everyone’s system is different and you’ll want to experiment a little to see what works best for you.

How Often Should You Take Digestive Enzymes?

Even if you are the cleanest of eaters, there are days, weeks, months where you go off track. That special meal that you are going to have despite your pristine diet. Or stressful life events where your body needs a little help.

Sometimes you don’t realize how far off track you are with your diet until you start having continual and uncomfortable digestive problems. That’s when digestive enzymes can come in to help out while you work on cleaning up your diet.

When your digestive system is out of whack, it could take upward of 6 months before it is completely healed.  

You will know when you don’t need to take digestive enzymes every day.  Listen to your body, it will tell you when to start using them on an occasional basis. Until then they can be the crutch that helps your digestive tract start running smoothly again.  

Digestive Enzymes lose weight

How Many Digestive Enzymes Should You Take With A Meal?

Most digestive enzymes serving size labels recommend taking 1 or 2 capsules before a meal, but as with any supplement you want to ease into using them.  

Once you’re comfortable with digestive enzymes, there are times you might consider increasing the dosage. For example, before large meals.

It is usually a good idea to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and consult your family practitioner if you have questions.

Bonus Tip: Keep a small container in your purse of digestive enzymes for meals away from home.

Do Digestive Enzymes Make You Poop?

Yep! Most people experience more frequent and larger bowel movements when taking digestive enzymes. These are signs of a healthy digestive system.

Can You Take Probiotics And Digestive Enzymes Together?

Absolutely! Even though they work differently, they complement each other. Digestive enzymes break down food and probiotics support the good bacteria in your system that works to break down food.

Which Are The Best Digestive Enzymes Supplements?

These are all my favorite full-spectrum digestive enzymes. Even though they are strong, they’re not too strong.

NOW Plant Enzymes were the first enzymes I tried after reading about a woman who’s only diet change was taking these enzymes and losing 20 lbs. They were also recommended by my local health food store as an employee favorite. These break down proteins, fats, starches, dairy, and fiber. As an added bonus they come with natural papaya and pineapple enzymes. They are vegan and kosher.These have been a long time favorite.

NOW Super Enzymes. I accidentally picked these up a few years ago instead of the Plant Enzymes listed above since the packaging is very similar and noticed I needed fewer capsules for the same effect. These enzymes are stronger because they also contain Betaine HCL and purified ox bile salts. Betaine HCL is excellent for older adults who have less stomach acid. The perfect choice for the mature woman.

Enzymedica Digest Gold with ATPro is a new addition I had to try after a friend of mine attributed these enzymes to help her lose 27 lbs of stubborn weight. I like these enzymes as much as the Now Super Enzymes and these are vegan and kosher. A well rounded full spectrum enzyme that is fantastic at speeding up digestion.

A Digestive Enzyme with Superpowers…..

A few months ago I chose to enjoy an abundantly full season of celebrations combined with intermittent fasting to keep from doing too much damage. My plan was to get back on track immediately after my indulgences.

Unfortunately, I noticed that even after a few weeks of being back on track with my diet, my stomach would hurt as soon as I ate. Taking the above-mentioned enzymes during my feasting phase had helped, but I didn’t want to continue to take them when I wasn’t overindulging.

Out of balance. I wanted a digestive enzyme combination to help with the immediate discomfort of my meals and probiotics to help repopulate my abused digestive tract.

After a lot of research, I went with Enzymedica’s Digest Gold + Probiotics because it combined the strength and variety of the exclusive Thera-blend enzymes of Digest Gold with a diverse range of probiotics. Within 3 days, I was eating meals without them and experiencing no discomfort. Although these are pricier than regular digestive enzymes, for the few times a year I might need them, they are worth the cost.

Finally, digestive health affects the whole body. Using supplements to keep your digestion strong when it needs a little help is a small habit that can add up to big health and weight loss results.

Digestive Enzymes food freedom

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16 thoughts on “Trust Your Gut: 7 Ways Digestive Enzymes Help You Lose Weight”

    1. All the recommendations in this article are very good for those who are looking for a practical and effective solution, thank you for sharing these tips. It is difficult to get such accurate information. Since other places I have visited in the past do not offer useful information like this website.

  1. Elizabeth J Brown

    Thank you for your information. I purchase this because you answer all the questions I had in my mind. Took back the ones I had bought. I couldn’t find the plant but I am 66 so I will give the super enzymes a try

    1. My pleasure; I’m glad all your questions were answered. 🙂 I really like the super enzymes and hope you see positive results with them. Thank you for commenting!

  2. I like this article and topic it has a lot of importance, thanks for sharing about digestive enzymes and weight loss.

  3. Hellloo this is Zoey, I’ve posted a comment on this article but it seems it got erased! Could you tell me if you can read my earlier comment?

    1. Hi Zoey, It will be up soon. 🙂 Sometimes it takes a few hours before it shows up. Thank you for reaching out! My response will pop up under at the same time. 💖

  4. Hi April! As I was searching for the relationship between enzyme and losing weight, I came across your post which was really helpful and beneficial! By the way, I’m now living in South Korea and the enzyme product I was planning to buy says that one pack (3.8g) contains 532,000 unit of alpha-amylase and 5,700 unit of proteases, if you know what those units mean? I’m now contemplating whether I should buy the NowFood Plant Enzymes that you’ve recommended or the product I just mentioned. If you could, and please, would you let me know which may be better in losing weight? Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Zoey!

      Thank you for the kind words and I’m glad you found it helpful. The units on the Now Food Plant Enzymes are USP units. It’s an English term for United States Pharmacopeia (U.S.P). In many cases, the USP unit is equal to the international unit (IU) which might be the unit on the enzyme package you’re comparing.

      It’s difficult to say if the other brand would be as effective without seeing the full ingredient list.

      Because I’m not a doctor it also wouldn’t be safe for me to recommend a specific product for a specific person. I can only tell you what works best for me. Since writing the post, I continue to use both the Super Enzymes and the Digest Gold. Because the Now Enzymes are less expensive and extremely effective, they’re my go-to, but whenever I feel I need the added boost of probiotics to get my digestion back on track, I switch to the Digest Gold with probiotics.

      My best advice would be to click on the links above and look at the photo that shows the back of the label with the supplement facts. This will allow you to more easily compare the two brands.

      Remember amylases break down carbohydrates, proteases break down proteins, and lipases break down fats. Most meals contain proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, so an effective enzyme will have at least these three enzymes.

      I hope this helps. Many thanks again for your comment and questions.

  5. Thanks for the informative article, April! I’ve been using Super Enzymes for over a year and they definitely help, but I thought you were supposed to take them AFTER a meal. I’m going to try switching to before to see how that feels. Can you elaborate more on the importance of timing with enzymes?

    1. Hi Jean!

      You are very welcome and thank you for your comment.:)

      I thought the same thing and I still do take them in the middle or at the end of a meal if I don’t remember until them. Ultimately, the best time to take them is right before or right after you start eating. This increases the amount of time the enzymes are in contact with your food, thus allowing them more time to work and break your food down. Here is a fun video of digestive enzymes breaking down a bowl of oatmeal Oatmeal Test You can see the longer they are in the bowl, the soupier the oatmeal becomes.

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