Could your gut bugs be the secret to weight loss?


If you have trouble maintaining a healthy weight and the number on the scales keeps creeping up, you’re not alone. In fact, almost two-thirds of Australians are overweight or obese.

While obesity can affect how you feel about yourself, it is also associated with a wide range of physical conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, blood sugar imbalances and diabetes.

The good news is your Naturopath can help you take steps towards a healthier weight for life.

The magic of your microbiome
Recently, there has been enormous interest in the microbiome — the billions of microbes that live on and in the body. Researchers continue to discover how the microbiome influences numerous aspects of our existence, including the risk of becoming obese and developing metabolic imbalances.

Of the many microbes resident in the gut, some are able to extract more energy from food than others. However, if you have too many of these bacteria (known as Firmicutes), then the body tends to store away this extra energy as fat, contributing to weight gain.

On the other hand, if you have more of a different type of bacteria (called Bacteriodetes) then less energy is extracted from food, less fat is stored, and you are likely to be leaner. The key to maintaining a healthy weight is restoring balance in the microbiome.

Probiotics to the rescue
Probiotics (specific strains of beneficial bacteria) can positively influence your gut microbiome and overall health. Two strains, in particular, have been found useful in helping to control weight gain:

  • Bifidobacterium animalis ssp lactis (B-420™) — as well as reducing fat mass (particularly belly fat and waist circumference), this probiotic strain has also been shown to support healthy blood sugar levels and to reduce the ‘yo-yo’ weight regain often experienced after weight loss.
     

  • Bifidobacterium animalis ssp lactis (HN019™) — this probiotic strain can reduce fat storage, body mass index (BMI), and lower levels of unhealthy cholesterol. It’s particularly beneficial for those with metabolic conditions.

These are just two of the many probiotic strains that are available. Your Naturopath will be able to determine which is best to suit your individual needs.

Step your way to a healthy weight

What you do everyday matters! While probiotics can help repair your gut on the inside, it’s extremely important to support your gut by taking steps to improve your health in other ways — including healthy eating and exercise.

Here are a few ways you can incorporate healthy habits into your life to support healthy weight:

  • Choose wholefoods and protein (e.g. meat, fish, tofu) with main meals, while minimising sweet, fatty, fried and fast foods.

  • Move more. Go for a walk at lunchtime, take the stairs, spring clean the house, get into gardening, or walk the dog. There are millions of ways to move – whatever the way, just do it!

  • Ensure you get a good night’s sleep, ideally 7 to 8 hours. Being well rested will ensure you are not looking for extra energy from food.

  • Set yourself up for success by setting specific, measurable and achievable goals and meet them!

This January we will be running some exciting new free talks on not only how to lose body fat but just as importantly how to maintain a healthy body weight for the rest of your life.

Check out our events page or Facebook for dates, times and how to register.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Peter Mullen


Struggling to drop those extra kilos?

Click here to download our free guide on weight loss to discover our top tips on losing weight and keeping it off naturally.

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