Every day, we come across at least one article that suggests various ways of losing weight. “6 easiest ways to lose weight” or “5 food that will aid in weight loss”, and so on. One of the highly overlooked game changers in losing weight is the health of your gut. Most people who are looking to lose body fat, focus mainly on cutting calories and exercising, which is fine. But it is not the only picture in the scrapbook. If you’re not also increasing the good bacteria in your gut, then your hard work and hunt to get a flat stomach will go in vain.
The bacteria in our guts, the microbiomes, alter the way we respond to our hunger, the way our body stores fat, and how we balance our blood glucose levels. Here are a few of the easiest ways to improve the health of your gut microbiome to make it easier for you to lose weight!
How are Weight Loss and Gut Health Related?
This might be a question wandering in your mind. So basically, our bodies are literally covered with bacteria. But worry not! This is a good thing! More than the population of humans on earth, there are bacteria and microorganisms living on our skin and in our bodies. Out of which, the majority live in our large intestines. While, of course, a few bacteria in our intestines do carry disease, most of these bacteria aim at keeping us healthy. The more diverse the bacteria in the gut, the better for health. The less diversity and balance of good and bad bacteria in your guts can set you up for obesity and diabetes. Gut bacteria affect how your food is digested, may play an important role in inflammation, and plays a crucial role in your appetite. All of these play a major role in body fat.
How to Improve Gut Health?
- Hold Back on Artificial Sweeteners
Remember that bread and jam you had this very morning? You might want to put a hold on that jam after reading this.
Researchers have found that artificial sweeteners affect gut bacteria negatively. They raise blood sugar levels and stimulate body fat production. Artificial sweeteners are added to so many products and you may not even be aware that you’re consuming them. They’re added to soft drinks, powdered drink mixes and other beverages, baked goods, candy, jams, and dairy products.
- Fermented foods are a Key
Good bacteria, also known as probiotics, grow rapidly during the fermentation process. These good bacteria help in outnumbering the harmful bacteria that naturally exist in your digestive tract. Probiotics boost immunity and promote healthy digestion and a healthy weight.
Fermented foods also help to reduce inflammation in the body. Thinking about how inflammation is related to weight loss? Well, inflammation makes losing weight more difficult. And researches suggest that obese individuals have higher levels of inflammation than their normal-weight counterparts.
- Eat more prebiotic-rich foods.
Prebiotics are types of fiber that feed the friendly bacteria in the digestive system and help them to thrive; they’re a power player when it comes to keeping the count of “good” bacteria more than the “bad” bacteria. Prebiotics are known for boosting immunity, improving digestion, preventing constipation and bloating, and stopping bad bacteria from growing. In short, they keep your digestive tract healthy, making it easier to lose weight. Prebiotics also can reduce insulin, triglycerides (fat in the blood), and cholesterol (metabolic syndrome) in obese.
It’s important to note that while all prebiotics is fiber, not all types of fibers are prebiotics. This means that even if your diet consists of rich fiber, you may not be getting enough prebiotic fiber.
Good sources of prebiotic fiber include:
- Green Bananas
- Include Fruits and Veggies in your Diet
Remember when our mothers used to run after us to finish our veggies? Oh, the good old days.
Well, risking sounding like a mother, please include them in your daily diet. Fruits and vegetables are your best sources of fiber. Fiber is responsible to stimulate the growth of bacteria in the gut. The more variety of plant fibers you can get, the better. Chewing these fibers well is also very much important. Proper breaking of food enhances digestion so the gut can make the most out of these fibers.