YES! Gut health is one of the reasons we can maintain a healthy weight. When we try to lose weight and think we are doing everything we are supposed to but the weight doesn't come off, the gut can be blamed. Since all systems in the body are connected and the body strives to be in balance, there are other systems and organs involved in weight loss. But this blog post will focus on the gut.
How exactly does the gut impact our ability to lose weight? The bacteria found in our gut is partially to blame. Bacteria in your gut help you digest food and tell the brain when you are full. If the bacteria are not able to do their job because they are not given the fuel to have energy and be healthy, weight gain happens.
What type of food does bacteria need? Fiber. Where do you get fiber? Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans. By digesting fiber, these gut bacteria produce a number of chemicals that benefit gut health and possibly promote weight loss. For example, a number of studies have shown that people with high fiber intake have a lower weight, which may be due to the role that gut bacteria play in digesting fiber.
A recent study found that the ratio of two types of bacteria in your intestines may determine how much weight you lose when given a particular diet. These two bacteria are Prevotella, which digests fiber and carbohydrates, and Bacteroidetes, which people who eat more animal protein and fat have more of.
In this study, 62 people were given a high-fiber, whole grain diet for 26 weeks. Those who had more Prevotella in their intestines lost 5.1 pounds (2.3 kg) more body fat than those with more Bacteroidetes in their intestines (Source: Healthline).
The sad news is that most Americans do not get enough fiber. Only 5% of Americans get the recommended daily intake of fiber. (Source: U.S. News) Instead of eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans, adults are obsessed with protein! While we need protein to maintain a healthy diet, we do not need to be eating 60-100 grams of protein everyday.
Some diets promote eating large amounts of protein because they want the body to burn off excess fat and sugar. While I am all for reducing fat, eating only protein is a bad way to do it. In the beginning you will lose weight. Why? Because like any new routine, you are paying attention to what you are eating and what you are not eating.
Excess protein in the body eventually gets stored as fat. So while you were trying to get rid of fat and sugar by not feeding the body specific foods, eventually, the lifestyle will stop working and the weight gain will occur again.
Adults only need about 30 grams of protein a day. That is it! What is protein for? Growth! Adults have stopped growing. All adults need is to maintain a healthy body which means we need adequate protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats. By eating protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats, we help the body work towards homeostasis.
What is homeostasis? When a body is in balance, it is in homeostasis. It is when a body It needs the three building blocks (protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats) to be in balance. Eating a wide variety of foods, which means you can eat meat, helps achieve homeostasis. The key is to make meat less of a focus at every meal. You can do this by reducing portion sizes, reducing the number of times you eat meat in a day or even try a meatless day.
How do you know if your gut is part of your weight loss problem?
Does any of this sound like you?
👉Diarrhea and/or constipation
👉Bloating and gas
👉Congestion, coughing, wheezing
👉Brain fog, difficulty recalling words, short term memory issues
👉Headaches and migraines
👉Acne and itchy skin
👉Tired all the time
👉Sensitivity to fragrances and chemicals
If you said yes to just one of the above, your body is telling you something is not right. Discovering the root cause and how to get healthy can be confusing and hard! I am here to help.
I am a Certified Holistic Nutritionist obsessed with teaching people just like you how to heal their gut so you can stop suffering and get back to living!
I offer a FREE 30 minute strategy session where we will talk about your specific symptoms and how the Simply Great Health program can help.
How would eliminating your symptoms improve your life? You could:
✅Be more present with your children
✅Focus at work
✅Have more energy
✅Stop running to the bathroom
✅Workout without fear of an accident or farting
✅Restore your confidence
✅Be able to cook healthy meals for you and your family
✅Take an active vacation
✅Reclaim your life!
Simply Great Health is a customized 5 Step plan that heals your body and fits your busy lifestyle.
It’s very simple. No jumping through hoops and NO PRESSURE.
If we determine it’s not a fit, we’ll go our separate ways for now.
If it is a fit, we can take the next step and get you started on the path to healing.
Here are tips on how to start getting your gut back into shape so you can lose weight.
#1 DRINK WATER
A lot more water! The inability to lose weight means your body is dehydrated. Water is need to keep our bodies functioning and eliminating toxins. You may be thinking: How many ounces of water should a person drink a day? We need to drink half our body weight in ounces every single day. If you weight 100 pounds, you need to drink 50 ounces of water.
Why is water so important for weight loss? Because it helps your metabolism to work effectively. “Your metabolism is basically a series of chemical reactions that take place in your body,” says Trent Nessler, PT, DPT, MPT, managing director of Baptist Sports Medicine in Nashville. “Staying hydrated keeps those chemical reactions moving smoothly.” Being even 1% dehydrated can cause a significant drop in metabolism. (Source: WebMD)
If you have a hard time drinking plain water, put fruit in it. Lemons and limes are particularly good for stimulating your digestive system which will help you lose weight. You can also drink herbal tea.
#2 TAKE PROBIOTICS
What are probiotics good for? Probiotics help restore and support good bacteria in your gut. As I mentioned earlier, the good bacteria in our gut has a lot to do with weight loss by supporting digestion. While it is better to get food for the good bacteria by eating lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans, a probiotic can help as well.
Probiotics are critical to maintaining a healthy metabolism. They work by increasing the amount of short chain fatty acids in our body. These fatty acids are responsible for the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats from our diet. As well as they are the main source of energy for the colon.
Studies have shown that short-chain fatty acids also regulate fat metabolism by increasing fat burning and decreasing fat storage. When this occurs, the quantity of free fatty acids in the blood is reduced, and it may also help protect against weight gain.
Several animal studies have examined this effect. After a 5-week treatment with butyrate, obese mice lost 10.2% of their original body weight, and body fat was reduced by 10%. In rats, acetate supplements reduced fat storage (Source: Healthline).
Which probiotics should you take to help with weight loss? One studied showed L. rhamnosus GG had a positive effect in weight loss in humans. Ultimately, look for products that have the Lactobacillus species at a bare minimum. The most common bacteria in our gut is Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. If you select a product with those two species, it will help.
Also, if you want to start taking a probiotic to support your weight loss efforts, the studies show you need to take them for at least 12 weeks. I always recommend taking probiotics at night before going to sleep. Our bodies are actively working to repair itself at night. Taking probiotics to support this repair will help with weight loss.
#3 MOVE YOUR BODY
You probably knew this was coming but if you want to lose weight, your body wants to move. It doesn't mean you have to go to a gym and take extreme workout classes (unless you want to). There are many ways to move your body easily. For example, taking a walk.
Taking a walk is a great way to move your body. It doesn't have to be power walking. An easy stroll that gets your body moving is a great way to support weight loss. Our bodies were never meant to sit for long periods of time. They were meant to move.
Making sure to get up and walk away from the desk. Or get a standing desk to alternate standing and sitting is another great way to get the body moving. If moving seems hard to do at first, don't try to do 30 minutes all at once. Take 10 minutes to walk. The simple act of moving is enough.
If you want more, search YouTube for a variety of exercises that can be easily done at home. Beginner yoga, Tai Chi, chair yoga or easy walking workouts are free! The key point is to do something physical at least 5 days a week. That should be your goal. It may not happen right away and that is OK. Even one day a week is beneficial. Of course, if you have a health condition, check with your doctor before starting an exercise routine.
I hope you enjoyed this article about how the gut affects weight loss. Eating more fiber, drinking more water, taking probiotics and moving your body are just a few ways to start getting your gut in shape, resulting in weight loss. If you aren't sure where to start, working with a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, such as myself can help! Book your free 30 minute strategy session by clicking here.
Are you struggling with weight loss? Let me know by leaving a comment below.