Sep 29, 2020
The Role Your Gut Biome Plays in Determining Your Weight
Understanding Your Microbiome
Before you can optimize your microbiome function, you need to understand how it works and how it can become unbalanced. Your microbiome helps control digestion and has a major influence on your metabolism and body weight. It also performs other functions, including supporting the immune system and helping fight off illnesses.
As long as your gut flora is properly balanced, you experience optimal benefits in various areas of your health. Those who have a well-balanced microbiome tend to have an easier time maintaining a healthy weight. Let’s dive into how an unhealthy gut flora can cause weight gain, and what you can do about it.
Consequences of an Unhealthy Gut Biome
An imbalance in your gut flora can occur due to a number of things, including:
- Overuse of antibiotics
- Consuming too much sugar, protein or food additives
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Accidental chemical consumption, including pesticides
When your gut flora becomes imbalanced, you may experience an overgrowth of yeast and harmful bacteria. When your gut flora doesn’t work properly, it no longer digests your food efficiently. A study conducted on twins with disproportionate weights found that the obese twin had different bacteria than their thin twin. One of the primary discoveries of the study was that obesity is associated with lower diversity in gut bacteria.
Additionally, an overgrowth of certain “bad” gut bacteria can produce an increase in lipopolysaccharide, which causes inflammation that can contribute to insulin resistance and weight gain. Other, more desirable species of intestinal bacteria show promise in reducing inflammation and thus supporting a healthy weight.
Signs of an Unhealthy Gut Biome
Now that you know how important healthy gut flora is to your overall health and weight, how can you tell if yours is healthy or not? Here are some of the most common signs of an unhealthy gut.
- A diet high in sugar and processed foods
- Sleep disturbances and/or constant fatigue
- Frequent upset stomach, including diarrhea, bloating, gas, heartburn and/or constipation
- Unintentional weight gain or loss without notable dietary or lifestyle changes
- Skin irritation, including acne and eczema
- Food intolerances
- Autoimmune conditions
By themselves, these symptoms can indicate other health issues. But if you experience two or more together, you may be living with the consequences of an unbalanced gut biome.
What You Can Do to Improve Gut Health
Even if your gut health isn’t currently ideal, the good news is that you can take steps to improve it. Here are a few things you can do to restore balance to your gut biome for improved weight control and health.
- Eat a rainbow of healthy foods, including vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, and whole grains
- Take probiotics and other gut biome-boosting supplements (such as Bio Harmony) to restore healthy gut bacteria, especially after a course of antibiotics or after an illness
- Add fermented foods to your diet, including sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir and kombucha
- Exercise regularly to maintain health throughout all your body systems
- Avoid sugary foods and artificial sweeteners
- Limit your intake of saturated fats and focus on consuming healthy fats containing omega-3s
As you can see from the list, what you choose to put into your body affects your gut biome. To improve the balance of healthy bacteria in your gut and make it easier to lose weight, follow the helpful lifestyle tips above.
Category: Reducing Inflammation