Having trouble getting lean? Did you that those who struggle with obesity actually have different microflora (good bacteria/probiotics) in their G.I tracts than those who are comparatively lean? Several studies have demonstrated that probiotics can help you lose weight and belly fat!
Gut bacteria play a large role in extracting energy and nutrients from food. If your gut flora is compromised (use of antibiotics, BC pill, a diet high in refined carbs and processed food, a diet low in fiber, diet lacking in raw, fermented foods) you are not probably utilizing your food for fuel and can carry excess weight.
There are two main gut bacteria that have been studied in relation to weight and body fat differences between subjects, bacteroidetes and firmicutes. Body fat seems to be related to the balance of these bacteria in the gut. People with obesity seem to have more firmicutes bacteria and fewer bacteroidetes, compared to normal-weight people. There have also been animal studies showing that when gut bacteria from obese mice are transplanted into guts of lean mice, the lean mice get fat! All of these studies suggest that gut bacteria may play a powerful role in weight regulation.
What action do probiotics take in keeping you fat?
1. Probiotics, especially ones in the Lactobacillus family, may influence how much dietary fat is stored as fat in the body and how much fat is excreted in our feces! Storing less fat means storing fewer calories. This is quite significant considering fat is the most calorie dense macronutrient (containing 9 calories per gram), compared to carbs and protein (containing 4 calories per gram).
2. Probiotics may also regulate our hunger and improve feelings of satiety. This is achieved through probiotics releasing the GLP-1 hormone. Increased levels of this hormone may, therefore, help improve food consumption and weight management.
3. I am sure we have all heard how much excess inflammation is damaging to our health. Many studies show that probiotics reduce systemic inflammation by improving digestion and gut health, thereby reducing inflammatory conditions related to obesity such as diabetes.
So how can you improve your gut health and lose weight?
Probiotics should be implemented in either your diet from fermented foods or in supplement form.
1) Get on a high-quality probiotic supplement. If I could choose one supplement to take the rest of my life, I would definitely choose probiotics. Probiotics are the “good” bacteria that help keep our digestive systems healthy by controlling the growth of harmful bacteria. This eases digestive upsets like IBS, improves weight loss, excess bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation that is often caused by an overgrowth of bad bacteria and lack of beneficial bacteria (or probiotics). Fermented foods like kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut and coconut kefir are also a great way to get natural probiotics in your diet.
2) You MUST include adequate PREbiotics in your diet. Without Prebiotics, these beneficial bacteria can’t thrive!
So what’s the difference between pre and probiotics?
Prebiotics are food for our probiotics. They are plant fiber carbohydrates that cannot be digested by the human body, which feed our probiotics. Unfortunately, the standard American diet lacks foods rich in pre-biotics needed to keep our internal ecosystem (microbiome) happy. Food that we should be eating more often to support our gut health is natural Prebiotics such as, asparagus, apple skin, garlic, onions, artichokes, bananas, oatmeal, and legumes. We need to eat a VARIETY of these as we have multiple probiotic strains in the body that thrive on different prebiotic foods.
If you’re looking for a meal plan, supplement guide, and informational resource for improving gut health, I highly encourage you to check out my ebook program Bikini Bod beat The Bloat. Click here to learn more.