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How to Lose Weight by Improving Your Gut Health

Mar 09, 2018

When it comes to losing weight, it’s often difficult to find something that works.

There are plenty of fad diets out there for the choosing and they can seem like a fun challenge at first when you’re all fired up and feeling motivated. You might even lose a bit of weight at the beginning.

But before too long, your weight loss stalls, you start craving other foods and you quit.

So what if I told you there was an alternative to these fad diets? What if I told you that we could switch the focus and instead of depriving our bodies, we could start nourishing ourselves from the inside and still lose weight.

Instead of focusing on diets, we need to start giving attention to one part of our bodies that we forget unless we have an issue- our gut.

You see, gut health is often the missing piece of the puzzle when it comes to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. You could follow any weight-loss diet in the world, but if you don’t have your gut health sorted first, you’ll continue to gain weight and struggle to lose it.

In fact, this is the exact conversation I had with a client of mine this week. She’d been taking antibiotics for a while and had really started to struggle with her weight, despite trying hard to diet.  

So today I’d like to share with you what I shared with her so you can take control of your weight and feel gorgeous again.

Most of us are suffering with sub-optimal gut health

We inherit all of the healthy bacteria in our gut from our mothers during the birth process. Thanks to these bacteria, we can utilize the nutrients in our mother’s milk efficiently and our immune systems can take their first steps towards development. These healthy bacteria continue to flourish in our guts and we eventually have a healthy colony of friendly gut bacteria.

However, it just take one well-intended dose of antibiotics and you start to destroy much of the healthy bacteria living there. As a result, you’re likely to start suffering various health complications such as digestive issues, sugar cravings, food allergies or sensitivities, moodiness, skin issues, autoimmune diseases, headaches, depression or anxiety and others besides.

It’s not just the antibiotics that can do it; life stressors, medication, ill health, ageing, a diet rich in sugar and processed foods, certain medications and other lifestyle issues all have their impact on your gut health.

Almost 100% of us have taken antibiotics at some point, or have felt the stresses of life come knocking at our door, which means that a huge number of us are suffer with poor gut health right now.

 

How poor gut health can cause you to gain weight

You’re probably thinking, ‘I understand that, Pamela. But how does this affect my weight?’ Great question!

In essence, it’s because of the impact that your gut health has on your hormones. Let me explain…

A lack of healthy bacteria in your gut puts a strain on your whole body and causes internal inflammation. This inflammation increases the activity of an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase.

Beta-glucuronidase helps your body deactivate and remove certain toxins from your body, including oestrogen.

It’s really important that this process works well because, if those oestrogens stick around, we end up with oestrogen dominance which can cause and worsen all manner of health problems including PMT,, symptoms of the peri-menopause and menopause, and uncontrollable weight gain.

It’s also worth noting that low levels of healthy gut bacteria could also cause you problems digesting your food. This means you won’t absorb all the nutrition it contains and you’re more likely to crave sugars and carbs too.

 

How to heal your gut and shift that weight

The next question is clearly, ‘What can we do about our poor gut health? How can we nourish our digestive systems so we can feel healthier and start taking control of our weight?’ Let me help. Here are four simple ways to get started.

 

1. Cut out processed foods

Processed foods lack the nutrients we need to attain optimal gut health, such as vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients. They’re usually low in natural fibres too so it’s much easier to overeat without noticing and thus gain weight.

Instead, give your gut a makeover by eating fresh, unprocessed foods that your grandmother would recognise as food. Home-cooked ‘real’ foods are usually much more nutrient-dense, more filling, more satisfying and better for your figure too.

Even if you’re not the best cook, invest in yourself and your health by learning how to cook a simple recipe or two from scratch, and your body will really thank you for it.

 

2. Manage stress daily

Many women don’t realise that living a high-paced, stressful lifestyle causes them to gain weight! Give your mental health some TLC and you’ll soon shrink your waistline too.

Stress impacts upon your weight in three main ways.

1) It disrupts your hormone levels so can often cause you to store excess weight where you need it the least- around your tummy.

2) Your gut is lined with millions of neurons- the same cells as are contained within your brain. When you get stressed, these get stressed too, and you’re more likely to suffer with gut issues like IBS and malabsorption of certain nutrients.

3) Stress affects your eating habits. When you’re stressed, you’re far more likely to find yourself in front of the fridge late at night, looking for something sweet to nibble on.

Luckily there are plenty of ways you can take control of your stress levels, soothe your gut, feel calmer and make better food choices. These include doing breathing exercises, listening to guided relaxations, or practicing meditation, anchoring and self-hypnosis.

(For a free taster of how beneficial guided relaxation can be, come and download my FREE audio guided relaxation.)

 

3. Get more ‘healthy’ bacteria into your body

For an extra boost and to replace the levels of healthy bacteria in your gut, I’d highly recommend that you increase your intake of probiotics. Probiotics are those healthy bacteria and yeasts which help nourish your gut flora and keep your digestive system working as it should.

You could go the usual route and take a probiotic supplement or you could take a more holistic approach and also eat plenty of probiotic foods such as garlic, oregano, onion and cabbage.

I shared a great red cabbage recipe via Instagram last week which is delicious and a great way to get more probiotics into your diet. Find out how to make it here.

 

4. Take apple cider vinegar (with 'The Mother')

Apple cider vinegar is also a great addition to your daily diet if you want to improve your gut health and lose weight. Take one tablespoon with eight tablespoons of water just before one of your meals daily.

However, make sure your apple cider vinegar contains ‘The Mother’; the beneficial bacteria that make the apple cider become vinegar. Unrefined, raw and unprocessed brands are generally best.

However, don’t be put off by the murky appearance of these type of vinegars- this is the bit that is great for your gut!

 

Many of my clients report that when they make changes like the ones I’ve mentioned here and start making their gut health a priority by switching a few things in their diet, learning how to better manage stress, including probiotics and taking apple cider vinegar, they start noticing significant changes in their health, and most importantly, their dress size.

So put these four tips into action and notice how much more vibrant you feel too.

 

PS. Are you following me on Facebook? Come over and join in the chat :)

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