45 million Americans diet every year.
We spend $33 billion annually on weight loss products. With numbers like these, you’d think we’d make some massive progress – but many of us still struggle with obesity, or we yo-yo back and forth between weights.
It’s time to look even deeper than just surface level habits, likes, and dislikes. It’s time to examine the effect a healthy gut has on your weight and ask the question: could prebiotics and probiotics help you drop pounds?
Let’s start with the basics. Studies have already proven that those prone to obesity have different gut “flora” than those at a normal weight. Our gut flora is largely influenced by the foods we consume every day. If we regularly consume big portions and overly fatty or greasy foods, unfortunately, not only are we likely to see an increase in weight, but we’re also likely to see changes in our gut (and not for the better). Here’s the result, discovered in a recent study:
“The bacteria identified as instrumental in increasing fat absorption are called Firmicutes, which, incidentally, have previously been linked to obesity, as they’re found in greater numbers in the guts of obese subjects. The researchers also found that the abundance of Firmicutes was influenced by diet.”
Diet plays a huge role in the way our stomach functions, so obviously healthy eating is key to losing weight – but when your gut flora is already damaged and less diverse, and the “fat absorbers” of bacteria are in abundance – you’re already at a disadvantage.
One way to boost your gut flora, and potentially kick start your weight loss journey, is by taking a good probiotic to increase the good bacteria. While you’re increasing the good bacteria in your stomach, it’s important to nurture those and the preexisting good strains of bacteria to encourage diversity by taking a great prebiotic. This will ensure that your good bacteria is getting fed – and will also change the ratio of bacteria in favor of the good stuff. If it sounds like a fish tank or wildlife habitat, that’s because your gut biome nearly is, and the more researchers study the microbiome of our gut, the more complex and interconnected our gut flora becomes to our overall health.
Probiotics and prebiotics alone probably won’t automatically create weight loss. After all, they’re not a set of magic diet pills! But combined with a healthy diet and exercise, there’s a high likelihood that they could be the spark you need to get your health back on track.