It’s staggering to think 65% of Australians are overweight or obese. Weight loss is on everyone’s lips and it’s often heard with the words deprivation, diets and discipline driven by willpower. But now the focus is on your gut and the good bacteria that reside there, long considered to be your second brain. The 100 trillion bacteria, mould viruses and fungi—your microbiome—are way ahead of the game when it comes to losing weight.
The microbiome is one of the most researched areas of medicine and as a result we are learning that gut bacteria, as well as helping to digest your food and producing B vitamins, can also train the immune system, reduce inflammation and affect weight.
Really? Do you think gut bacteria have anything to do with losing weight? Along with other experts and researchers, Dr Michael Mosley with his new book just released this month, The Clever Guts Diet, think so. Mosley, most famous for intermittent fasting has jumped on the bacterial bandwagon showing how people can harness the power of their good gut bugs for weight loss.
Did you know there are chubby bacteria and skinny bacteria? Chubby bacteria have a huge appetite and extract more calories from the food you eat and excrete less calories. Yes, bacteria poo too! According to Guilia Enders, author of the bestseller, Gut: The Inside Story of Our Bodies Most Underrated Organ, slim people poo out more of their calories than overweight people.
The latest research, published in the International Journal of Obesity, shows that people who have stable weight over nine years or lose weight, have a larger number of different types of microbes in their guts, eat more fibre and have a higher abundance of certain types of gut microbes. Bacterial diversity might explain why some diets work for some people and not others.
Isn’t it comforting to know that weight loss is not about willpower. Many factors are driving our metabolism, utilisation and storage of calories as fat but good gut bugs may turn out to be the most important drivers.
Good bacteria are happiest when they are well fed, just like us. They get off on eating fibre especially something called resistant starch. Just as it sounds, resistant starch, resists digestion, and is passed onto bacteria to feast upon, essentially acting as a prebiotic. You can find resistant starch in lentils and beans, cooked and cooled rice and potatoes and green bananas before they turn yellow. You can also find resistant starch and prebiotics in our range of Probiotic Foods.
Thank you for saving my life! I have more energy than I’ve had in 20 years, can move about pain free and for the first time my body is no longer craving sugar.
Bridgette, 47, Inverell, NSW
When you eat more fibre from vegetables, pulses, small amounts of grains and fruits you are feeding your good bacteria and from this food they produce short chain fatty acids (SCFA) called butyrate that in turn feed the cells of the gut wall. Now everyone is happy. Happy bacteria multiply and push out angry, disease causing, inflammatory bacteria.
Here’s how you do it:
- Make 75% of your plate vegetables and plant based foods and therefore rich in fibre to feed good bacteria. Then there isn’t any room for processed refined carbs and sugar that feed candida and imbalance the gut flora.
- Add fermented foods. Experiment with Sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, miso, kefir and kombucha. Learn how to make your own wild ferments so your healthy gut bugs can be fruitful and multiply.
- Check in with your cravings. Do you have a sticky relationship with sugar, alcohol, bread, cheese, gluten and dairy? Cravings indicate gut bacteria imbalance in your second brain. Fix your gut bacteria and you fix your cravings and most likely your weight.
- Eat healthy fats. Avocado, tahini, hemp nuts and seeds are healthy fats that improve healthy gut flora and reduce inflammation.
- Supplement wisely. Probiotic Foods contains a blend of certified organic wholefoods broken down by a super culture of multi strain bacteria. No laboratory here, just food.
We’d love to hear your story if you have lost weight on Probiotic Foods—and be in the running to win a copy of Don Chisholm’s best-selling book, Have You Got The Guts To Be Really Healthy. Contact us on Facebook or email.