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Weight Loss and Your Gut Health

By now most people are aware that lowering carbohydrate intake and increasing protein can help with weight loss. Other popular and useful tips include increasing exercise, increasing water intake, lowering calorie intake, being “mindful” during meals, etc.

As a nutritionist, I see many people eating a higher protein diet, cutting their carbs, but still struggling to lose the weight. It can be a frustrating experience. Why does it work for some people, but not others?

If you struggle with your weight despite eating relatively healthy and lower carb, the next thing to consider is your gut.

Chronic heartburn, indigestion, bloating and gas, constipation and/or diarrhea, etc. are all indicators that your gut is not in ideal health. Besides being annoying, these problems could be hindering your weight goals.

How so? The gut is a big player in setting a healthy metabolism. It secretes many important hormones, with confusing letters like GLP and CCK, which can play important roles in things like satiety and insulin sensitivity.

The gut also contains the majority of our “microbiome”, the healthy bacteria that live in us and interact with us from the time we are born. They send signals throughout our body and can even help set metabolism. Having an imbalanced microbiome, or dysbiosis, can therefore cause weight issues. I can think of many former clients that took an antibiotic for months for some sort of chronic infection, and afterwards their weight struggles really intensified.

Reestablishing a healthy microbiome may involve something as simple as taking some good probiotics, but in many cases it may not be so simple.

There are other factors that lead to a damaged metabolism and weight loss resistance such as inflammation, “leaky gut”, and excess toxic body burden. Check out my blog post on “leaky gut” in case you aren’t familiar with this condition that is becoming more and more common.

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