There is nothing more frustrating than putting loads of effort into losing weight and your gut still hangs out of your pants. You may even start believing that there is no hope of reaching your body goals! Let us show you how the health of your gut microbiome may be the missing piece of the puzzle that needs addressing.
To help you catch up on the science, scientists have been researching for years the link between the gut microbiome in weight regulation by fattening mice using microbes taken from ‘obese’ humans [i],[ii]. Scientists then moved onto human trials using fecal microbial transplants (FMT) from healthy lean donors to correct obesity [iii]. Although these patients didn’t experience a miracle weight loss, they did notice an improvement in their microbial diversity which showed promise in all aspects of their health.
Did you know that the human gut contains a community of around 37 trillion microbes?
The microbes that live in your gut become your unique genetic fingerprint! We now know that there is a core set of bacterial species that are essential for influencing all areas of health, including body composition. Any imbalance of these species is called ‘dysbiosis’ and can negatively impact many areas of your health. Ongoing dysbiosis often leads to a defensive inflammatory response that triggers instability of the mucosal layer, this is referred to as ‘leaky gut’. In terms of fat loss, this low-grade inflammation and dysbiosis in the gut can impact blood glucose balance, your mood, healthy hormonal clearance, and much more. Throw stress into the mix and you got yourself a very resistant body fat composition!
Your gut microbiome is a dynamic ecosystem that communicates far beyond the bowels to influence body composition, appetite, and satiety.
an unhappy gut = an unhappy mind
Just like us humans, the bacterial species that inhabit your microbiome get vulnerable to stress. This includes stress put onto the gut through your diet. Regularly eating refined, processed and ‘hyper-palatable’ foods (i.e. that you often crave) are filled with excessive carbohydrates, fats, and salt that easily disrupts these sensitive guys. They have even found in studies that inflammation created from a dysbiotic gut can light a fire in the brain (this is called ‘neuroinflammation’) that is linked to multiple mood disorders [i]. Unfortunately, mood disorders are often experienced by up to 90% of patients that carry too much body fat, compared to 60% of patients who have a healthy body fat composition [ii].
Ever heard the hilarious saying “I eat because I’m unhappy, and I’m unhappy because I eat?” Well, it’s not far from the truth! A vicious cycle can occur when you regularly choose unhealthy diet and lifestyle choices, as they eventually lead to excessive fat gain and dysbiosis [iii]. This then leads to mood disorders like depression, anxiety, and a heightened sensitivity to stress [iv]. Emotional eating then triggers more dysbiosis and more inflammation; a situation that can alter hunger signals and increase cravings [v], and it continues to circle. This behavior, if it continues to go unresolved, pushes your metabolic body weight set point higher and higher, making it harder and harder to lose weight.
good news, gut microbiomes love lifestyle medicine
The great thing to know is that the microbiome responds positively when we eat more whole foods, get good quality sleep, and have regular physical activity. Eating a whole-food diet delivers a wide variety of prebiotic fibers that feeds healthy bacterial species, keeping them alive longer [v]. These fibers also have shown to be beneficial in weight management as they help promote healthy hunger levels, so you don’t overeat [vi].
Gut microbes also love rest and routine. Studies found that your eating schedule and sleep patterns can also influence the health of the microbiome. All the more reason to make sure you have regular sleep at night and eating patterns during the day to maintain a healthy waistline.
let your microbiome weigh in
Now that you know that your gut health can affect your weight, do you now wonder what the health of your microbiome is like? Well, make sure you ask about our microbiome testing in the clinic today!
If you are ready to get your health under control and need some personalized professional guidance make sure you book your FREE Discovery Chat in our online clinic today. Our wide selection of high-quality professional products are available as part of your free consultation and we express post products Australia-wide.
Not ready to ask your Naturopath yet? Check out our do-it-yourself educational and supportive health programs, like our Detox or our Gut Repair program/s, instead.