Do you feel like you’re doing everything but still not seeing the results you’d like when it comes to weight loss?
You may think the solution is to eat even less and exercise harder, but let me tell you, that is often NOT the solution. Surprising, right?
If you have gut issues and underlying inflammation, ignoring it could be sabotaging your weight loss goals. I want to preface this by saying I am not a weight loss dietitian. But in my personal and client experience, maintaining and losing weight comes with so much less resistance when gut health is prioritized. It’s often a nice side effect of taking a root cause approach.
Now, let’s dive deeper into the possible underlying issues and let me introduce you to a better approach to a happy gut and sustainable weight loss.
The main reason your gut could be playing a role with stubborn weight loss is because the gut plays a major role in regulating inflammation and supporting a healthy metabolism.
Why your gut health plays a role in your ability to lose weight:
When there’s an imbalance in your gut bacteria, also known as dysbiosis, it can cause a condition called leaky gut. This means that your gut lining becomes permeable, allowing certain substances to pass through, including LPS, which are structural components of harmful bacteria.
The presence of LPS in your bloodstream triggers inflammation, which in turn contributes to insulin resistance. And when you’re resistant to insulin, it’s harder for your body to lose weight and easier for it to store fat.
Your gut bacteria also play a role in how many calories you absorb from your food, your overall metabolic health, fat storage, and even the hormones that control your hunger and fullness.
So, the health of your gut bacteria and the presence of leaky gut are closely linked to obesity, inflammation, insulin resistance and increased fat storage (1). Yikes!
The bottom line is if any of these issues are present, cutting calories and/or overexercising won’t help with weight loss OR your gut issues (but can actually worsen gut health and slow your metabolism!) and could leave you spinning your wheels.
Why under eating and overexercising is not the answer:
Our bodies have specific energy needs that must be met for optimal function and a healthy metabolism. If you consistently eat too few calories and your intake falls below what your body requires, it goes into conservation mode. This means your body conserves energy and burns fewer calories at rest because it feels unsafe.
Restrictive diets often involve cutting out many types of foods. This lack of dietary diversity can disrupt your gut balance and hinder proper gut motility. So while you may be losing weight, your gut health might suffer.
Exercise is generally beneficial, but overexercising especially while undereating adds stress to your body. This leads to an increase in stress hormones, which can cause your body to hold onto fat instead of burning it.
I believe there is a time and place for healthy weight loss, and it’s much easier when your gut is happy! So if this resonates with you, I encourage you to be patient and consider prioritizing healing your gut for a healthy metabolism and weight loss.
How you can prioritize gut health to support sustainable weight loss:
- Uncover gut imbalances: If you feel STUCK on your weight loss journey, it is essential to assess the state of your gut health. Imbalances in gut bacteria, low stomach acid, and poor digestive function can all impact your ability to lose weight successfully.
- Eating enough to heal and support metabolism: Yo-yo dieting can wreak havoc on gut health and metabolism! Instead of calorie counting, focus on eating nutrient-dense whole foods that support gut health. Prioritizing fiber-rich vegetables, whole food carbs, anti inflammatory fats and quality proteins can help support your gut and weight loss efforts.
- Choose the right type of exercise: Movement is crucial for weight loss, but not all workout routines are created equal. High-intensity exercise can increase gut symptoms and place additional stress on the body. On the other hand, lower impact forms of exercise like strength training, yoga/pilates and plenty of walking can support digestion and weight loss, especially if you haven’t seen success with high intensity workouts.
- Address inflammation: Inflammation is the root cause of several health problems, including weight gain. It’s key to focus on reducing gut inflammation and supporting blood sugar as these two are major root causes of systemic inflammation. Additionally, consuming a variety of fiber rich foods to nourish beneficial bacteria and anti-inflammatory foods like turmeric, berries, leafy greens, and fatty fish can help lower inflammation.
- Remember, weight loss is a journey and not a race. Letting your body heal and developing healthy habits to boost your metabolism are key for long-term success in weight loss.
If you’re dealing with stubborn weight you can’t seem to shake, you may want to consider the power of healing your gut! It could be the missing key piece in reaching your goals.
Ready to dive deep into your gut health and work with a gut health dietitian? I offer the testing you need to learn how your gut health could be impacting YOU (your skin, your hormones, your metabolism…basically everything).
If you are ready to learn more, book a no-pressure Root Cause Clarity Call with me!
1- Gomes, Aline Corado, et al. “The Human Gut Microbiota: Metabolism and Perspective in Obesity.” Gut Microbes, 4 July 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6219651/.