Is Your Gut Bacteria Keeping You from Reaching Your Weight Loss Goals?
Struggling to reach your weight loss goals because you’re constantly craving sugar or high-fat foods?
It may not be you – it may be your bacteria!
There are many bacteria (microbes) – both good and bad – living within your digestive system.
When the bacteria become unbalanced (too few good and/or too many bad bacteria), it can have negative effects on your digestion and health – And it may also be responsible for your food cravings.
Recent research has shown that gut microbes influence eating behavior and food choices – they can make you crave the types of nutrients that they prefer.
And as you may have guessed, it is the bad bacteria that prefer sugars, refined carbs and fried food. Regularly consuming these foods can lead to weight gain, obesity and failed weight loss plans.
But the good news is, you have the power to alter your gut bacteria, so that the good bacteria outnumber the bad. You can do this by eating foods that the good bacteria prefer; and reducing foods that the bad bacteria thrive on.
One way to give your good bacteria a real boost is by taking probiotics and prebiotics. Probiotics are healthy bacteria similar to the good bacteria that live in your digestive system, and prebiotics are “food” for the good bacteria (see my previous blog “Probiotics, Prebiotic and Gut Health” for more on probiotics and prebiotics).
You can further maintain a good balance of gut bacteria by consuming foods that support the good bacteria. These include:
- Foods that contain probiotics (e.g., yogurts with added probiotics).
- Foods that contain prebiotics (e.g., artichoke, asparagus, garlic, leeks, onion, tomatoes, banana, barley, rye, fermented dairy products such as yogurt, buttermilk and kefir).
- Nuts such as walnuts, pistachios, macadamias and almonds.
- Foods that contain fibre (e.g., fruits, vegetables, whole grains and seeds).
Once the good bacteria take over, your cravings for sugar, refined carbs and fried foods should decrease – allowing you to be more successful at reaching your weight loss goals.