Leaky gut, dysbiosis, SIBO, gut flora imbalance, call it what you like it seems that unhealthy gut bacteria has a lot to answer for. Not only is there inflammation, auto immune conditions, mental health issues, ADD / ADHD, Autism, recurrent illness, bloating, IBS and a myriad of other conditions… now we also know that it can affect out ability to lose weight.
As you can see from this diagram the diet (a western one in particular) can be the cause of dysbiosis of the gut bacteria. This is predominantly due to high refined sugars, the wrong fats and processed foods, along with stress, age, genetic factors and antibiotic use (not only ones you’ve taken orally but also those that have been used in the foods we eat).
The poor gut health leads to inflammation, poor gene expression and as a result the person ends up either overweight or with any other host of diseases.
When comparing someone of regular weight and those that are overweight, the overweight tend to (but not exclusively of course) have more bad bacteria and less good bacteria in their digestive systems.
This has been studied when the gut bacteria in obese mice was transplanted into lean mice without any gut bacteria. Two weeks later the previously lean mice had become 60% larger, however their food and intake had remained unchanged. Fat cells had increased in size, blood sugar levels were higher, they had developed insulin resistance and their cholesterol and ability to store fat had also increased.
So what does that mean to us as humans…
If you’re overweight and have tried every calorie restricted diet under the sun without success it could be as a result of dysbiosis. What you eat is just as important as how much you eat.. processed foods high in refined sugars, white flour and empty calories will cause inflammation in the body and poor gut health. Just by changing the diet and adding in healthy, anti-inflammatory probiotics / bacteria / fermented foods will help promote a better balance of gut bacteria.
Out of many things people battle, obesity is a really tough one to beat, especially due to the fact that it takes a strong will to walk past all of those addictive, processed foods in the supermarket isle. Additionally, weight loss programs such as those that promote meal replacements in particular often contain ingredients that actually FEED the bad bacteria so you might have success whilst limiting those calories, however, the bad gut bacteria has had a feeding frenzy and flourished which results in you ending up putting all that weight back on plus a little extra…
Don’t despair though, you CAN lose weight…..
Address your gut health first then start looking at your actual weight loss.. you might just find that one helps the other!!
Until next time, stay calm and stay healthy.