For many people weight loss is difficult. You may be focused on things like eating healthier, getting more exercise or possibly more holistic methods like getting better sleep or reducing stress. But did you know that the health of your gut microbiome can influence your ability to lose weight?
What Is Gut Health?
Your gastrointestinal system is known as your gut and the health of this system is known as gut health. Your gut contains trillions of microbes that make up your gut microbiome. This microbiome helps you to digest food, absorb nutrients and even create some nutrients.
Research in this area is still in its infancy but we are learning that gut health can have an impact on many areas of overall health, including your ability to lose weight and keep it off.
Overall having a more diverse (many types of bacteria) seems to be better but it’s also recently been found that certain types of bacteria have unwanted effects.
Gut Health Affects How Your Body Uses Carbohydrates And Fats
Studies have been done to determine how gut health contributes to obesity. These studies found that the types and diversity of gut bacteria affected how fat and carbohydrates were metabolized.
There are some bacteria that are good at metabolizing carbohydrates. If you have more of these bacteria, then you are more likely to gain weight. Having more of other types of gut bacteria can make it easier to lose weight. Having more gut bacteria that are good at digesting fiber can encourage weight loss.
Other types of gut bacteria increase fat absorption and storage, which can make weight loss more difficult.
Gut Health Affects The Hormones That Control Your Hunger
The hormones leptin and ghrelin control your appetite and feeling of fullness. Gut health can contribute to leptin resistance which causes you to not have feelings of fullness. Some gut bacteria can also affect the hormone ghrelin which controls your hunger.
Gut Issues Can Lead To Anxiety
You may have experienced how anxiety can lead to digestive issues and poor gut health. But it can also happen the other way around. Studies have shown that modifying the gut microbiome may improve anxiety.
Anxiety can lead to high cortisol, craving, overeating and inactivity. These all contribute to weight gain.
Poor Gut Health May Limit Things That You Do
Poor gut health can cause upset stomachs, poor sleep and food intolerances. This means that you will be less likely to want to exercise or even move very much.
What Can You Do?
There are several modifications you can make to your diet that can improve the health of your gut microbiome. However, these changes are best made with the help of a professional as some might not be appropriate to your unique situation:
Increase the amount of fiber in your diet
Eat a good variety of healthy foods
Limit foods which are heavily processed
Add fermented foods to your diet (however if you are suffering from IBS or SIBO this can make things worse
Add foods that are high in polyphenols like flaxseeds and legumes
Other changes you can make:
Getting exercise can also help to improve digestion and increase the diversity of your gut microbiome. Exercise needs to be managed carefully if you suffer from issues like IBS or GERD.
Reducing stress and improving sleep habits can help to improve your gut health as well as provide other weight loss and health benefits.
Probiotic supplements may seem like an easy choice but these haven’t proven to be effective in all cases. A professional can help you determine if these are right for you and what type of probiotic is best.
How can I help
If you are trying to lose weight and wonder if your gut health is preventing progress, I can help. I provide personalized programs that tackle the root cause so you can get the results you are looking for. I look to cleanse and heal the gut for a clean slate and work to find the specific foods that are causing your unique body issues. Everyone is different so this personalized approach is paramount. Book a free call to find out how I can help to finally balance your gut, lose body fat, and love your body.
Vicki Witt | Clinical Nutritionist | Holistic Coach | Reiki Master | Certified LEAP allergy therapist Over 25 years of successfully helping you achieve optimal health and weight loss 🍏| www.vickiwittweightloss.com
Vicki Witt is a Clinical Nutritionist, Holistic Health Coach, and Reiki Master. She has been practicing over 25 years and specializes in holistically customizing diet and lifestyle plans to each individual for weight loss and hormonal control. Her clientele often report they feel the best they have ever felt and wish they had started sooner. One of the USA and Australia's top Nutritionists, she has won multiple awards for her services in the industry.