Is Gut Bacteria the Key to Weight Loss?
If you have found yourself trying to lose weight over and over again with no luck, you could be overlooking one key factor: gut bacteria.
The basics of weight loss, of course, are calories in vs. calories out. But, your microbiome may have a bigger impact on your weight loss journey than you realize.
Gut bacteria are designed to harvest energy from the food you eat in order to keep the good bacteria and bad bacteria balanced within your body. Your microbiome is also responsible for manufacturing certain vitamins, as well as metabolic functions - or, what can help you to lose weight.
But, how is gut health really linked to weight loss? Are there things you can do to improve your gut health and make losing weight easier?
The Right Bacteria to Lose Weight
The more scientists learn about the bacteria in your gut, the more fascinating discoveries they are making. When it comes to weight loss, one particular bacteria called Christensenellaceae is linked with weight. The more of it you have in your gut, the more likely you are to be slim. The less you have, the more likely you are to be overweight. That is simply a part of your genetics.
Having a diverse environment of gut bacteria has also been linked to weight loss. In Western cultures, a diverse microbiome is less common. That could be one reason for such a high obesity rate in the United States.
Thankfully, genetics aside, there are ways you can alter the state of your gut bacteria in order to encourage weight loss. The best thing you can do is to keep it healthy.
How to Improve Your Gut Health
The bacteria in your gut can have an impact on your metabolism. They can tell you that you’re hungry. They can help the process of burning fat so your body doesn’t store it. So, make sure you’re giving back to those “good bacteria” by eating the right things.
One of the best ways to keep your gut bacteria happy is by eating more fiber. Fiber is often a main component in weight loss, because it is digested slowly and keeps you fuller longer. When it comes to your gut health, fiber nourishes the microbes within your gut, helping to create a diversified environment that can encourage weight loss.
You should also avoid sugar as much as possible. Unfortunately, it’s everywhere - even in places you may not expect! Start reading labels of your favorite snacks and ingredients to determine the sugar content. When you replace the things your body needs with empty calories from sugar, you are essentially “starving” your gut bacteria, so they can’t function properly. That can lead to weight gain.
Finally, pick foods that contain probiotics. This includes fermented foods like sauerkraut, yogurt, and kimchi. One study by the New England Journal of Medicine found that yogurt is the top food linked with weight loss. It is filled with probiotics. Additionally, when you choose something like greek yogurt, you’re getting the added benefit of protein.
The science of losing weight doesn’t have to be complicated. While researchers still don’t know everything about the correlation between gut health and weight loss, there is enough evidence available to suggest that we all need to be paying more attention to our microbiomes.
If you have made all of the dietary changes and are still not feeling like your gut is functioning properly, you can try incorporating our GoodGut Program into your routine. The program is based on the functional medicine approach to gut health and it is designed to rebuild and restore gut health long term. We offer a roadmap to relieving digestive symptoms and strengthening the gut against future invaders.