WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
A healthy weight is a result of a good metabolism, proper fat storage and accurately sensing your feeling of hunger or fullness. However, all these essential tasks are assigned to the population of hundreds of different bacteria residing in your gut which are collectively termed gut microbiomes. For instance, gut bacteria produce certain hormones like ghrelin that make you feel hungry or full.
Lower gut microbiome diversity is observed in people suffering from obesity, meaning there are fewer types of good gut bacteria present. Hence, it’s important to be mindful of your diet plan and lifestyle habits because they have a big impact on gut bacteria. For example, foods containing high fiber promote the release of a number of chemicals further accelerating weight loss.
On the contrary, an unhealthy diet consisting of too many fats, sugars, or calories can elevate inflammatory chemicals in the bloodstream and fat tissue resulting in weight gain and insulin resistance.
INFLUENCE OF GUT MICROBIOME ON WEIGHT LOSS
The different types of bacteria in your body perform a variety of jobs when they reach your colon. Maintaining a healthy body weight by accelerating your metabolism is one important function. Another is gut bacteria linked with a lean body Akkermansia muciniphila and Christensenella minuta and are thus found in slim individuals.
Akkermansia promotes the strengthening of your intestinal barrier that prevents harmful metabolites from entering your blood. Therefore, the onset of inflammation can be prevented. They also produce short-chain fatty acid, acetate which regulates body fat stores and appetite. Prebiotics are foods to these bacterial species and are present in cranberries, fish oil, black tea, bamboo shoots, and flax seeds.
Christensenella is again associated with weight control although some genetic factors are also responsible for its presence in your gut. This means the lab test will reveal their presence in your family members and relatives also.
But, you don’t need to be disheartened if the above two species are not present. There are some other beneficial and probiotic bacteria that also regulate your metabolism. Thus, including different types of food groups in your meal plan is necessary.
HOW TO ENHANCE YOUR METABOLISM FOR WEIGHT LOSS
More than 80% of Americans have some degree of leaky gut or dysbiosis, which means their bad gut bacteria have surpassed the number of good gut bacteria. Apart from the food we eat, the stressors of your life along with medications, like antibiotics, all contribute to toxicity in your gut.
Toxins feed on fat cells and sugars. Therefore, if you have them in excess they will make you crave unhealthy foods even more. This will ultimately cause a gain in fats but a loss in muscles making it hard to exercise and lose weight. This will also result in a spike in blood sugar and the release of insulin. Hence, you should pay attention to your microbiome if you want to lose stubborn fat.
- Take 12 ounces of lemon water in the morning.
Lemon water contains citric acid that stimulates the secretion of gastric acid, a strong digestive fluid. Hence, drinking lemon water on an empty stomach will boost your body’s metabolism. This habit will also support your weight loss strategy by making you eat less food as you are preloaded with water. It can also be an easy alternative to sugary drinks including juice, soda, sports drinks, energy drinks, and so on. Thus, it is a tasty and healthy option to enhance your gut microbiome and boost weight loss.
- Protect your gut lining with probiotics of diverse strains.
Various studies have proved the positive effects of probiotics on intestinal microbiome and weight control. Different probiotic strains have different roles to play in body functions. For instance, some probiotics inhibit the absorption of dietary fats, letting more amount of fats be secreted with feces. Hence, you will harvest fewer calories from the foods consumed.
Other probiotics stimulate the release of appetite-reducing hormones and increase the levels of fat-regulating proteins. Also by reducing systemic inflammation, probiotics protect against obesity and other diseases.
Probiotics are present in supplements as well as fermented foods such as yogurt with no added sugars; kefir; sauerkraut; kimchi and kombucha.
- Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits for gut healing and detoxification.
Prebiotics either taken alone or in combination with probiotics, forms an important part of your weight loss strategy. Prebiotics promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Since they are fibrous foods they can fill your belly fast and will thereafter decrease the calorie intake. Prebiotic-rich foods also reduce the metabolizable energy i.e. it reduces the amount of fat your body absorbs from the consumed food.
The carbohydrates of your foods are also not absorbed fully which means, out of 4 calories assigned to each gram, only 2.5 calories are provided. If you are not aware, the prebiotics ferments in your large intestine producing short-chain fatty acids that can:
- suppress appetite
- correct the imbalance caused in the gut
Prebiotics are present in dandelion greens, chicory root, bananas, whole oats, apples, garlic, onions, and artichokes.
- Opt for whole-grain foods
Whole grains retain their dietary fiber, iron, and B vitamins and so are considered superior to refined grains. They can speed up your metabolic process and reduce the calorie count retained during digestion. Hence, whole grain foods are helpful for glycemic control and insulin sensitivity along with assisting weight loss. Whole grain foods include brown rice, oats, wheat, and barley.
- Avoid processed foods and items overloaded with sugars and fats
When you are focused on a healthy gut and healthy weight, apart from what to eat you must also know what not to eat. The worst foods to eat are those that are high in calories but low in nutrients. Such food items are often processed or packaged. Other than sugars or sweeteners, sodium coming from salt and saturated fats are all considered bad foods. Such food items are packaged juices, energy drinks, processed meats such as sausages, animal-based foods like butter, cheese, whole milk, fatty meat cuts, and plant-based items like coconut oil and palm oil.
- Drink plenty of water
Water is an easy way to cut back on calories and sugar as it can replace your sugary beverages when thirsty. It increases your metabolic rate and suppresses your appetite if taken at least 1 hour before meals. So, you need to encourage children to drink more water at school to reduce the risk of being overweight or becoming obese in adulthood. Other than plain water, many foods and beverages can also fulfill your water needs such as coffee, tea, meat, fish, milk, fruits, and vegetables.
- Make exercise a part of your routine
Staying physically active is important for any weight loss program. When you combine daily exercise with reduced calorie intake, it helps you achieve your goal even faster. In addition to this, you utilize more energy when you are active and deplete the extra fats stored in your body tissues. As per Dietary Guidelines for Americans, to lose 0.7 kilograms a week, you need to cut down to 500-700 calories daily.
If you are struggling with being overweight or obese, pay attention to the way you are treating your gut. The gut microbiome influences your appetite, how your food is digested and absorbed, and the storage of dietary fats. Therefore, if your gut is in good shape, you will maintain a healthy weight.
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