Why is gut health important for weight loss
All food is broken down in the gut to enter the bloodstream as nutrients. For this to happen properly, we need a healthy digestive system. A healthy gut contains healthy bacteria. A healthy gut also communicates with the brain through our nerves and hormones. This helps maintain general health and well-being. How exactly does gut health affect weight loss? Let’s talk about it.
Can Gut Health effect Weight Loss?
How does gut health effect weight loss:
Absolutely, gut health can effect your weight loss! The bacteria in our gut help to regulate metabolism, nutrient absorption, and can even have effects on our weight management.
We need a diverse gut biome for good health. That’s because all of the different types of bacteria do a variety of jobs in our gut.
Having poor gut health can negatively impact your overall health and can even be why you put on weight more easily than other people. But like your weight, gut microbial health is also influenced by your lifestyle. It’s not one quick fix, food and exercise are also important for the diversity of your gut bacteria.
There are links between gut bacteria and weight. The gut of individuals who are overweight have less microbial diversity compared to healthy individuals. Yes that’s right, gut issues can actually prevent weight loss.
How to improve gut health for weight loss
Foods to eat for good gut health – how to improve gut health naturally.
Two gut bacteria are associated with lean body weight – Akkermansia muciniphila and Christensenella minuta. These two bacteria are linked with preventing weight gain and are often found in slimmer people.
For Akkermansia Incorporate:
- Concord grapes
- Black tea
- Fish oil
- Bamboo shoots
- Rhubarb extract
Unfortunately Christensenella is associated with your genetics so there is not too much we can do about this one!
What to take for gut health and weight loss?
The best diet for gut health (improve gut health naturally):
Honestly, your diet and what you eat plays a big role in your gut health. The good bacteria like plant-based foods (fruit and veggies) and healthy fats in exchange for their health-promoting properties!
Eating a variety of colourful fruit and vegetables – both raw and cooked, can help your gut biome which has so many impacts to our overall health.
I always advise my members to eat the rainbow! This is just another reason why.
Fibre for gut health
Getting enough fibre is also crucial for gut health. It is recommended to get 30g of fibre every day.
A study by the American Gut Project, showed that people who ate 30 plant foods of different colours per week had the greatest microbiota diversity!
Supplements for gut health and weight loss – why is a healthy gut important for weight loss
If you want to add in some supplements for your overall gut heath, why not incorporate a probiotic. This is a capsule full of good bacteria which will travel to the gut.
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How to improve gut bacteria for weight loss – other things to do
Exercise for our gut health
Now you know what to eat. But what else? This is the one people don’t want to hear – physical activity. People with a sedentary lifestyle tend to have a microbiome lacking diversity. Especially compared to people who regularly exercise.
5 Signs of an unhealthy gut
1. Upset stomach and food intolerances
Stomach disturbances like gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and heartburn can all be signs of an unhealthy gut. Likewise, Food intolerances are the result of difficulty digesting certain foods. It’s thought that food intolerances may be caused by poor quality of bacteria in the gut.
2. A high-sugar diet
A diet high in processed foods and added sugars can decrease the amount of good bacteria in your gut.
3. Unintentional weight changes
Gaining or losing weight without making changes to your diet or exercise habits may be a sign of an unhealthy gut.
4. Sleep disturbances or constant fatigue
An unhealthy gut may contribute to sleep disturbances such as insomnia or poor sleep, and therefore lead to chronic fatigue.
5. Skin irritation
Skin conditions like eczema may be related to a damaged gut.
5 Things you can do for your gut health
1. Lower your stress levels
High levels of stress are hard on your whole body, including your gut. My members know that reducing stress is crucial for our overall health and weight loss. We do a yoga/meditation coure a few times a week but you can try other things such as journaling and exercise too.
2. Get enough sleep
Not getting enough sleep can have serious impacts on your gut health, which can in turn contribute to more sleep issues.
3. Stay hydrated
Drinking plenty of water has been shown to have a beneficial effect on the balance of good bacteria in the gut. It’s also great for overall weight loss.
4. Take a prebiotic or probiotic
Adding a prebiotic or probiotic supplement to your diet may be a great way to improve your gut health. Prebiotics provide “food” meant to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, while probiotics are live good bacteria.
5. Change your diet and check for food intolerances
Reducing the amount of processed, high-sugar, and high-fat foods that you eat can contribute to better gut health. Additionally, eating plenty of plant-based foods and lean protein can positively impact your gut. A diet high in fiber has been shown to contribute tremendously to a healthy gut microbiome. If you have symptoms such as cramping, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, rashes, nausea, fatigue, and acid reflux, you may be suffering from a food intolerance. You can try eliminating common trigger foods to see if your symptoms improve. If you are able to identify a food or foods that are contributing to your symptoms, you may see a positive change in your digestive health by changing your eating habits.
What do you think? Could your gut do with a bit of work? I hope these tips help you!
The WeightMatters programme is not just about losing weight, it’s about living a healthier and happier life. This includes improving our gut health. As part of my programme, there is information to help with your weight loss, but to also improve gut health too.