Electroacupuncture (EA) has been reported to reduce body weight in overweight subjects in clinical practice, as well as in rats and mice with diet-induced obesity. In the present study, this effect of EA was tested in lean rats subjected to long-term food restriction (FR, food was offered only 1 h/day). Two hertz EA administered once every other day produced a further reduction in body weight in FR rats. Exploration of the mechanism involved revealed significant downregulation of the orexigenic peptides: ghrelin in the stomach, and neuropeptide Y (NPY) but not Agouti-related peptide (AgRP) in the hypothalamus, which was in line with the reduction in food intake in rats receiving EA stimulation as compared with those receiving restraint only. Uncoupling protein 3 (UCP3), involved in accelerating energy expenditure, was not significantly altered. These results suggest that the EA-induced body weight reduction was due mainly to a decrease in food intake rather than an increase in energy expenditure. A reduction in the orexigenic peptides ghrelin and NPY may be involved in the underlying mechanism.