Gut Biome and Metabolism
I have always been in awe of people with a thin frame that seem to be able to eat whatever they want and still be lean. You know those people who can scarf down whatever they want and maintain the perfect figure. SO annoying and unfair!
We blame obesity and being overweight on laziness and poor diet, but how on earth do you explain those people who never exercise, eat a horrible diet, and still look fabulous?
Recent studies have shown that your gut biome plays a huge role in determining your body type.
The type of bacteria you have in your gut can actually dictate how many calories you extract from the food you eat. Scientists injected some mice with obesogenic bacteria and left others alone. They fed the two groups of mice the exact same diet and the exact same amount of food. The group of mice with the obesogenic bacteria in their gut became obese while eating the same amount of calories as the other group of mice.
This a good study that shows calories-in vs. calories-out is not the golden ticket to weight loss.
It also shows that having the right bacteria in your gut can play a crucial role in your health. The right bacteria can help control your sensitivity to insulin, your ability to burn fat, the amount of inflammation in your body, and the amount of gas you produce.
Which bacteria are good?
The right bacteria are called Bacteroidetes. These lovely bugs are found in higher proportions in people who are lean. They love high fiber foods like vegetables and you can encourage growth of these good guys by eating more vegetables. Intermittent fasting can also encourage the growth of Bacteroidetes; so going 12 hours without food each day can have a positive effect on your gut biome.
The obesogenic bacteria are called Firmicutes. These bad boys love sugar and refined foods. Eat these foods and more Firmicutes grow, eventually leading to weight gain. These bacteria love sugar so much they can actually increase your sugar cravings.
This is how we think a healthy diet actually leads to weight loss. It is not really about the calories, but about which bacteria you are feeding. Eat a poor diet and you feed the obesogenic Firmicutes. Eat a healthy, high fiber diet and you feed the Bacteroidetes.
Probiotics Can Help
Probiotics are often thought to help keep people regular, which is, in fact, somewhat true. In reality, a good probiotic supplement can do much more than that. The right probiotic can help with weight loss by converting those healthy, high fiber foods into short chain fatty acids (SCFAs). Without the proper bacteria, high fiber foods cause gas and bloating. SCFAs, in contrast, control your metabolism by determining the amount of fat your body uses, burns, and stores.
SCFA production has a direct effect on fat loss because it actually reprograms your genetic expression to burn more fat, use insulin more efficiently, increase your satiety, and increase your calories burned.
A healthy, high fiber, low sugar diet, when combined with the right strains of probiotics, has a tremendous impact on your overall health and well-being. And when it comes to long-lasting weight loss, improving your gut biome along with your diet is the absolute key to changing your metabolism for good.