If you want to lose or maintain a healthy weight, looking after your gut health is a good place to start.
Your gut microbiota aid and regulate your metabolism. So the state of your gut affects how you digest food and how the subsequent energy is distributed or balanced by your body. This affects the amount of fat found your body will store.
Evidence indicates that Type 2 diabetes is strongly linked with gut microbiome health. Two specific elements of the gut microbiota (l-carnitine and choline) known collectively as TMAO are thought to play a role in regulating obesity.
You are what you eat
If consuming fast foods and overindulge feature in your life, you’re putting pressure on your gut and it’s going to be harder to lose weight or maintain good health.
Try to introduce healthy food habits. Tip the scales in favour of fruits, vegetables and fermented foods. Eating more of these foods will go a long way to developing good gut health and supporting weight management.
Support your gut with rich and nourishing foods like yogurt, sauerkraut or sourdough bread. These fermented foods contain good bacteria that can reduce the inflammation of your gut. So they can help you to reduce bloating, gas or excessive water retention.
Balance the deficit
If you consume more food than you burn off through exercise and daily activities then the excess calories have nowhere to go but to be stored by your body as fat. This leads to weight gain.
Be aware of what you eat and how active you are. A ‘calorie deficit’ will make it much easier to reduce your body fat and retain a healthy weight. The formula for calorie deficits differ according to your BMI. There are plenty of online resources available so you to calculate yours. The answers will suggest a suitable amount of calories for you to consume in order to accomplish fat loss.
Whenever you modify your diet, it’s important to take care to make sure you give your body the nutrient balance it needs to thrive. Be sure to include the recommended daily amounts of protein, healthy fats and carbohydrates to benefit the bacteria in your gut.
Reduce lifestyle stress
Life in a stressful environment can slow down your weight loss. Stress increases the hormone cortisol, which is produced in the adrenal glands. Cortisol levels affect your food cravings, appetite and mood. So it’s an important factor in how you will manage your dietary habits.
High levels of cortisol have also been linked to health issues such as being overweight or obese, high blood pressure or high blood sugar. If you can better manage your stress you’ll aid your mental and physical health while contributing to weight loss. Look out for meditation apps or classes.
Get a good night’s sleep
Poor sleep has also been linked to weight gain. This is because sleep deprivation alters your glucose metabolism and the hormones that regulate your metabolism.
Sleep deprivation leads to increased hunger and when we’re rundown we tend to reach for high calorie comfort foods. If you can get 6-8 hours of sleep per night you’ll give your body time to rest and digest, which will improve your gut health and chances of weight loss success.
Make the moves
Get up and get active! Moving your body regularly will aid digestion, reduce stress and help you to sleep better. With a bit of patience and regularity you’ll notice that all these things start to positively reinforce themselves.
Exercise can help to reduce cortisol production so it’s a great go to when you are feeling stressed. Being active will also encourage your metabolism to kick into digestion mode, and make you feel less hungry.
Research has revealed that exercise can strengthen your digestive tract. Aim for 30 minutes a day of moderate activity. Walk, garden or check out local gyms or weight loss programs for support.
You gut and body will thank you, not just because you are losing weight but because you are becoming healthier by reducing your risk of Type 2 diabetes, obesity and heart disease.