Getting that beach body is totally within your reach. But it’s more than just eat right and exercise. To lose weight, you need to heal your gut bacteria!
Many people, when trying to lose weight, simply cut calories and start or increase physical activity. While we won’t get into strategy right now, one thing people often neglect in their desire to lose weight is the healthy functioning of their gut microbiome. A healthy gut is one of the main areas that should be addressed when considering not only health but weight (fat) loss. This is because the gut microbiome controls and influences so much of what goes on in our bodies! Even if a person is consuming very low calories, if these calories aren’t healing or promoting good gut health, then true fat loss will be greatly hindered.
You’ve likely heard the term “you are what you eat.” However, this is only sort of true; it’s more about what you can digest and assimilate that builds the body. The gut is responsible for this digestive process, and if it’s not functioning optimally, your health and weight can greatly suffer.
A great portion of your body’s microbiome (aka healthy bacteria or probiotics) are found in the gut. These healthy bacteria influence every cell, organ, and system of the body. They control digestion, assimilation of nutrients, inflammation, hormone production and balance, and much more. If these healthy bacteria are stressed, outnumbered, and not able to efficiently do their job, the result can be a number of problems such as weight gain, fatigue, poor digestion, inflammation, hormone imbalance, and much more.
The bottom line is if you need to lose weight, it’s vital your friendly gut bacteria are able to function well. A gut that is inflamed, overburdened with bad bacteria, and that’s toxic is going to create a situation that prevents you from being able to lose much weight, especially from fat.
Below are some dos and don’ts of how to heal your gut and make sure it’s happy and healthy!
Avoid Things that Damage or Stress the Gut:
- Soda pop and sugary beverages
- Energy drinks
- White, processed & added sugars
- White, processed, refined grains, and carbohydrates
- Trans fat (aka hydrogenated oils)
- Vegetable oils (canola oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil)
- Highly processed dairy products
- Chronic stress
- Eat a serving of healthy, anti-inflammatory fats with each meal and snack (coconut oil, avocado)
- Eat only whole, unrefined, traditional foods
- Prepare foods in a healthy, easily digestible manner (steaming, roasting, or cooking at low temperatures)
- Eat 8–12 servings of vegetables daily
- Include a minimum of 1–2 daily servings of traditionally fermented foods (sauerkraut, unsweetened kombucha, fermented pickles)
- Decrease all forms of stress and frequently engage in stress-reducing activities such as meditation
- Eat slowly, chew completely, and don’t eat when stressed
- Drink plenty of water (approximately 1 cup of water an hour)
- Get adequate sleep (7–8 hours nightly)
If you're looking for a good source of probiotics for superior gut health, illumin8 is the place to go! But whatever you do, if you're losing weight, get your gut healthy!