The countless possibilities of how we can go about losing weight are often right in front of us. There are multiple options and sometimes it gets so frustrating that we give up looking. Until recently, it has been less common to look to our guts for help. No, not gut instincts, but rather our gut health. Good gut health not only aids in digestion, combats diseases, and wrestles with allergies, it also plays a part in weight gain and loss. When we have healthy guts, we’re more likely to lose weight; therefore, we want to improve the ratio of good to bad bacteria in our guts. When we experience too much bad bacteria in our guts, we end up craving foods that are not good for us and trigger inflammation.
You’re at an advantage here! Just feeding the microbes in our guts the right foods can get us on track to losing excess fat. Here are some tips:
Prebiotics and Probiotics — get them.
We need good bacteria in our guts and probiotics are just that. When we ingest these goodies, it helps us balance our gut microbiota through changing and repopulating gut bacteria and improves digestion. We can find prebiotics in foods such as garlic, onion and chicory root, among others. They are plant-fiber compounds that pass through our upper G.I. tract, encouraging good bacteria growth. Probiotics combined with prebiotics are very important for gastrointestinal health.
Ingest live active cultures.
Try to add more fermented foods to your diet. This will directly impact your gut in a positive way. Be on the lookout for food items that say “live active cultures” on the label. Greek yogurt, kefir, kombucha and sauerkraut are some examples of foods that can help your gut and aid in weight loss. Make sure you’re limiting your sugar intake when you choose probiotic foods, as too much sugar will feed bad bacteria.
Eat more fiber.
This is fairly common knowledge, but still important to remember. Not only does fiber give us a full feeling that is important to prevent overeating, it encourages good bacteria growth.
Have variety in your diet.
Intestines with a variety of bacteria types are better suited for attaining a lean body. It’s quite simple…just don’t eat the same thing for dinner every night. Well, that’s a good start at least. A study has shown that people with a healthy BMI, weight, blood sugar level, and waist size were more likely to have diverse bacteria which included Bifidobacteria, Firmicutes, and Clostridium leptum.
Eliminate poor food choices.
Cut back or eliminate foods filled with sugar and bad fat. Stay away from processed snacks such as potato chips and go for fresh fruits and vegetables instead. Diets high in animal protein feed bad bacteria that have been linked to inflammation. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing, even limiting meat consumption to once a week and eating less dairy can help.