Healthy gut: Healthy Weight.

Being blessed with a healthy gut and a so-called balanced microbiome you are very lucky! In our modern world full of unhealthy food, stress and toxins this turns out to be a major health issue. What’s going on down there is more important for our overall health then we think. And research also shows that it is an important factor when we talk about weight loss. One of the first things I ask my private clients is: “How is your stool/poop? What does it look like?” My beloved mom who was passionate about gut health since she suffered from IBS always told me that way back in time a medical doctor almost always checked poop and pee and tongue first as this was an old-fashioned, but very effective way of assessing health. In this chart you can see what (un-)healthy poop looks like. (Source: Medical News Today)

Weight loss and the gut system.

Weight loss is not simply a matter of calories in and calories out. I keep on saying this to my clients. Of course it is important to be calorie-conscious as I call it but diets that are founded on counting calories are not the solution for permanent weight loss. The reason is that the bacteria in our gut can influence the process where calories are being processed into energy and extra fat cells. Usually diets work on balancing your blood sugar levels BUT it appears to be that when you eat a low GI/low sugar diet that is not always the sole solution for losing those extra pounds. The reason is that people respond differently to the same foods because of their personal mix of gut bacteria and the rise in blood sugar levels is different for everyone as is the relationship with weight gain or loss. You have to also fix your gut to process food without adding those extra pounds.

In order to have a healthy gut one of the ways to achieve that is to eat more fibre, of which we eat way too little these days. BUT not just any fibre as if you want to heal and balance your gut too much of the “wrong” fibre can make things worse making you feel bloated and give your gas. And that is not what we want. So many clients of mine are really afraid of the fibre-gas effect because in the past they have done it all wrong. So how can you do it right?

Prebiotics versus probiotics

There are several ways to grow more healthy gut bacteria. You can add prebiotics and probiotics to your meal plan.
Prebiotics are fibres your body cannot digest BUT when they are in the intestines they encourage the growth of good bacteria as those feed themselves with the prebiotics. One of those prebiotics is inulin. You do not have to go to the health food shop or vitamin store to get this amazing stuff. It can be found in:
  • onions, leek and garlic
  • chickory
  • asparagus
  • bananas

All easy to find foods I also promote in my Natural Weight Freedom-program.

On top of the inulin rich fibres you can also add oats (rich in beta-glucan), preferably soaked overnight instead of muesli and granola, and flaxseeds. (ground and stored in the refrigerator).

Warning: if you are not used to eating a lot of fibre then I suggest to gradually build up in order to let your system get used to it.

And then there are probiotics: live bacteria that support your gut. These can be found in natural yoghurt, milk kefir and also in water kefir which makes a deliciously refreshing drink to enjoy throughout the day or with meals. I will share the recipe for this drink soon.

A great book for all of you who want to expand their knowledge on the gut system is the one from Michael Mosley: “The clever guts diet”. An easy to read but yet very accurate book on this subject.