Many of us find that even eating a healthy wholefood diet, getting plenty of exercise, staying hydrated, and having techniques to cope with stress still isn’t enough when it comes to weight loss. We get to a certain point and can’t seem to get those stubborn few extra pounds gone. Especially if you are one of the 93.3 million people according to the Center for Disease Control 2015-2016 statistics that fall into the obese category, finding ways to get to an appropriate weight for your body type and height is very important. One area research is finding that can affect your weight is the condition of your gut microbiome.
There are trillions of beneficial bacteria and more than a thousand species of these bacteria that live in your gut to keep it healthy and in fact act as part of the immune system for overall health. These bacteria not only deal with digestion issues and act as part of the immune system, but also are involved in mineral and vitamin absorption, hormone regulation, and aiding the body in toxin and waste disposal. When the microbiome in your gut is out of balance, your health in general and weight loss in particular can both be affected. An out of balance microbiome means not only a lack of beneficial bacteria present but also a lack of diversity of bacteria. Once you get your gut microbiome balanced, often getting that last bit of stubborn weight off becomes possible.
Why Balance the Gut Microbiome?
Balancing your microbiome gives you better function which can lead to weight loss by reducing cravings for fatty foods, give you better absorption of nutrients and waste disposal and improve how your body uses food for fuel. The health of your microbiome also affects calories you consume. Food goes into the stomach which breaks it down and then sends it to the small intestine where enzymes break it down more into particles small enough to be absorbed and used as fuel. Most of us don’t make enough enzymes however to break down all the food we eat and what can’t be processed is sent on to the large intestine where the microbes take over in breaking down the foods and releasing molecules the body can use. This process affects how the calories are used and based on how healthy your microbiome is more calories can be added to weight rather than burned off as usable calories by the body. Since we mostly concentrate on reducing the amount of calories we consume when trying to lose weight, you can see how your body processes those calories can make a big difference in losing or gaining weight. Making changes to your gut microbiome will help your body change how it processes food and metabolizes energy.
Balancing Your Gut Microbiome
The most important thing you can do to get your gut microbiome back in balance is to get rid of the bad bacteria caused by eating processed foods, fast foods, and junk foods and concentrate on eating healthy wholefoods instead. Aim for a diet that contains vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins. Adding fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha tea, unpasteurized miso, fermented pickles, kimchi, tempeh, pickled ginger, cured Greek olives, buttermilk, raw apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, and any kind of vegetables, grains or beans that have been fermented and that have live micro-organisms, to your diet can help increase a variety of beneficial bacteria in your gut. These bacteria also thrive when fed prebiotics and certain types of tea that have polyphenols can help feed your probiotics. Prebiotics basically are indigestible carbohydrate fibers called oligosaccharides which you cannot digest but your beneficial bacteria can. They are found mostly in fruits, legumes, and whole grains such as soybeans, oats, whole wheat and barley. Inulin is also a source of these fibers and found in such foods as Jerusalem artichokes, jicama, and chicory root. Adding probiotic supplements and enzymes is also an option in restoring beneficial bacteria. Exercise not only is good for weight loss in general, but it also helps your beneficial bacteria perform at its best. Not enough sleep and too much stress can also affect the health of your microbiome so finding ways to deal with stress such as meditation or yoga and getting a good night’s sleep will contribute to creating a healthy gut microbiome.
Give these tips a try and get to work balancing your microbiome. You’ve got nothing to lose except maybe those last stubborn pounds you’ve been trying to shed. And if you need more natural tips for weight loss, I recommend the free ebook, Lose Weight Naturally. You can get your free copy HERE. Also check out the 30-Day Gut Reboot Facebook group.