The obesity epidemic is a serious problem across the world. It has wreaked havoc on the health of millions upon millions of people. The visceral fat that we get around our middles is much more than an eye sore.
The health problems associated with extra weight around the middle are astronomically bad. Think things like life-threatening heart attacks, Type II Diabetes, and a host of other diseases. Well, I’m here to tell you that your gut flora may be playing a massive role in your body fat composition and weight fluctuations.
What in the heck?
Have you ever seen the individual that shovels ten plates of pasta in their mouths at dinner and doesn’t gain a pound? Then, you look at a milkshake and your butt grows by an inch. Then your try a healthy diet to lose weight but that “unhealthy metabolism” gets in the way.
Many of us wish and pray to kick start that fire of a metabolism. Hoping that one day, if you eat early enough and exercise hard enough it will magically turn on. Almost like an engine starts up in a car and begins to burn fuel.
Well according to a study accomplished in the UK this may be bunk science (1). Wouldn’t that be nice? To think that you’re either born with a bon fire in your gullet or food moves through you like molasses is quite disconcerting.
What the Kings College in London found by studying over 1000 identical twins was that a small portion of the genes a person is born with dictates long term weight gain. Meaning, that it’s not based on the metabolism that you’re “born with.”
You know what was more influential than genes? The microbiome and diversity of the microbiome in the subjects. Those that had a broader diversity of gut flora were leaner. Outstandingly, the major difference between the twins that were lean and twins that were fat was based on their microbiome.
My Gut Is Giving Me A Gut?
The short answer to this is, yes. Your poor gut flora is causing you to gain weight. The reason this is happening isn’t complicated.
Essentially, when you have a broad diversity of gut flora each “tribe,” so to speak, is smaller. There’s only so much room for the trillions of little bacteria you have living inside your large intestine.
When one “tribe” begins to take over the others die off. As this happens you begin to have an overabundance of one specific strain or a few specific strains. So, when this happens because of the normal Western diet or the SAD we get fat. Here’s why.
When the diversity of little critters dwindles the tribes that often take over are those that create the enzymes necessary to digest carbs. After all, we mostly eat carbohydrates in the West. So, when that happens we burn an excess amount of carbs.
I Look At Bread And Gain Five Pounds!
This saying for many is all too true. Well, it may be because of your poorly populated gut flora. You are essentially, burning and storing way more carbohydrates than you could ever possibly need.
Your gut flora sucks. So, you have nothing to keep the carb digesting bacteria at bay. If you don’t change this situation you’ll have to starve yourself to lose weight and then gain it back in half the time it took you to lose it.
This is a terrible cycle. Not only is it unhealthy but it’s wildly defeating. So, here are a few foods that you need to incorporate yesterday to start building up healthy gut flora.
- Kefir (fermented Goat Yogurt Drink)
- Fermented Vegetables
- Soil Based Probiotics
- Raw Organic Cheese
- Healthy Yogurts
These foods added to your diet will change the diversity of your gut flora. Sadly, these foods are all too often not consumed in the Western Diet. If they are they’re a novelty. Yogurt is had a couple mornings out of the week. Then, the yogurt is often loaded with sugar and because it’s a dairy product it is filled with carbs. This feeds the bad gut bacteria.
I would highly recommend that you add something that is not a milk product into your diet to be consumed regularly. This along with a healthy diet to lose weight. Making your own fermented vegetables or Kombucha is a good place to start.
I must warn your to start slow. Having a Tablespoon of highly fermented vegetables can cause major detox symptoms. Be careful and always pace yourself.
Hey! What did you learn in this post that you want to see us cover more in depth? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll make sure to cover it for you!