Do you have trouble losing extra weight even though you’re exercising regularly and eating healthy foods?
Starving yourself to lose weight isn’t good for your body, and a super hard-core exercise program may not be the answer, either. These are both extremes, and most people’s needs fall somewhere in between.
So let’s take a closer look at something that’s becoming a near epidemic in Western culture. It very well may apply to your situation.
Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it also takes a bacterial community to keep YOU healthy.
Yes, you have a village of microorganisms living inside you. It’s a symbiotic relationship. You rely on each other for survival. This community is called your microbiome, and it lives in your intestinal tract.
When this community is in balance, it helps you with digestion and absorbing nutrients so you can create energy for your body to use. It helps to keep your hormones balanced, so that you feel hungry, when appropriate, but also satisfied when you should be. When it’s out of balance, stuff starts to hit the fan, and chaos ensues.
How does the microbiome get out of balance?
The overuse of antibiotics may be the biggest cause. Even if you don’t take antibiotics, you likely get them indirectly through the food you eat. Up to 80% of the antibiotics sold in the US are fed to livestock for various reasons.
Antibiotics kill bacteria, and they don’t discriminate. So you lose the helpful ones, too. Unfortunately, the bacteria we call “bad” earn that label because they are so adept at repopulating. You get an overgrowth… An imbalance.
Chlorination and fluoridation in municipal water supply also do a number on gut bacteria.
The resulting imbalance leads to inflammation, which can cause weight gain all by itself. And it also causes a permeability issue in your intestinal lining, commonly known as leaky gut.
This leads to your immune system reacting badly to many foods that are normally considered to be healthy. This releases another negative cascade of events, creating more health problems.
As if this weren’t enough, the bacterial imbalance also causes a hormonal imbalance. This affects metabolism, mood, sleep, the ability to think clearly, skin breakouts, and more. Hormones are responsible for those hunger cues you get even though your brain knows that you’ve had plenty to eat.
And we are not done yet. Sometimes this imbalance can be a bit sneaky. You may not realize you even have digestive problems, because you don’t have the typical heartburn, gas, or bloating you most often think about. It is easy to think you have a gut related problem when you have a lot of gut related symptoms, but while a disrupted microbiome can result in abdominal symptoms, it can also be to blame for so much more.
So if you’re eating a reasonably healthy diet, and you still can’t lose that extra weight, why not try healing your gut? It just may be the answer you’re looking for.