Are you one of those people that tries ad tries to lose weight but it just never seems to come off?
Does it feel like if you have one mouthful of something fatty or sugary that you will immediately put on 3kg?
You are definitely not alone. Years ago if you wanted to loose weight all you would have to do was move a little more and keep off the sweets and fatty foods for a month. Then you would be right as rain!
Unfortunately many of the patients I see have a complex mix of factors that affect why they can't loose weight. Key ones being:
These are just a couple of the factors that play into problems loosing weight. But surprisingly more and more I have noticed that there is a primary contributing factor that can underpin many if not all of the factors listed above.
Gut flora or probiotics as it is commonly called.
Now you may or may not have heard of your microbiome or gut flora. It is kind of all the rage lately. More and more research is being done to identify just how much of an impact gut flora has on all the functions of the body. And we are finding out, it's actually a lot (Naturopaths have been saying this for a while so it's nice that everyone is finally coming to the party :D).
So basically in your gut/large intestine (that is the large tuby thing in your tummy) is home to lots and lots of bacteria (try not to think about it if you are squirmish about bugs). Now ideally your large intestine would be home to lots of "beneficial flora". This is the technical term for happy bugs that help to keep you healthy.
Research has found that certain strains actually help to regulate your digestion, your mood, how well you fight colds and flus, how healthy your skin is and how well your metabolism is functioning!
It's actually pretty exciting because it means that if you have plenty of happy healthy gut flora then all these functions should be happy and healthy to!
These beneficial flora not only help to break down food so that nutrients can be absorbed to help support these functions, they also produce certain gut chemicals that help to regulate everything as well. The best studied of these gut chemicals are Short Chain Fatty Acids. These little chemicals do a surprising amount of work and they also affect the habitat of the large intestine as well.
See it is very important that the habitat in the gut is just right for your beneficial flora. Otherwise they are no longer able to thrive and that means that bad flora can come in and take over.
When this happens that's when we can start to see problems with skin, mood, digestion and how well we can lose weight.
That is why it is super important to make sure you are looking after your gut health. You can do this by:
If you are struggling to loose weight and suspect that you may have something going on in your gut; the best course of action is to get a gut test to see whether your have any naughty bugs that may be affecting your health.
Jaz is a Naturopath, Pathology Testing Adviser and educator. She practice as a Naturopath in Melbourne, Australia and via skype worldwide. She teaches fellow practitioners on pathology testing and educates pracs and the public on the bridge between Naturopathic care Biomedicine.