How To Change Your Gut Bacteria For Optimal Weight Loss

By Dr Christine Northup


When it comes to losing weight, most diets focus on calorie reduction and exercise. While eating less and exercising more will usually result in weight-loss, if you get your microbiome healthy, you will lose weight. It’s all about correcting the overgrowth of unhealthy bacteria, which is making you crave the wrong foods and triggering inflammation.
Your microbiome is housed in your gut and the other openings of your body such as your mouth, your genitals, and your nose. When your gut microbiome is balanced, you stay healthy, you are in a good mood and you have a lot of energy. When your gut microbiome is out of balance, you are setting yourself up for a host of health issues, including weight gain, diabetes, brain fog, and cancer.

Unfortunately, an unbalanced gut microbiome, or dysbiosis, is common today. Thanks to years of following diets high in processed foods and sugar, consuming conventionally raised meat and dairy products full of hormones, plus rounds of antibiotics, too many antacids and chronic stress, most of us have impaired gut health. 

This makes sense because when you change your gut bacteria, you change how your body produces and metabolizes energy.

This also explains why so many people lose weight only to gain it right back because the bad bacteria are still present in your gut. The bad bacteria remember when you were fat, and they want to continue to live, so they trigger cravings for the foods that feed them.  


Tips for changing your gut bacteria for weight loss.

In addition to the steps I outline above, here are a few more ways to set up your gut for weight loss:

  1. Sweat every day.Your gut bacteria operate best when you exercise regularly. That’s because regular exercise promotes biodiversity of your gut flora. Research shows that exercise actually increases the good bacteria in your gut!
  2. Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep has been associated with obesity. Now Researchshows that one of the reasons sleep deprivation causes weight gain is because it significantly changes your gut flora. In fact, after just two nights of sleep deprivation the gut flora of patients resembled those of people who are obese. Now, here’s the catch, your gut flora can affect your sleep patterns, so in order to get a good night’s sleep, you must improve your gut flora.
  3. Get dirty. While being clean is fine, overly sterile environments don’t promote biodiversity of your gut bacteria.  Go ahead and get dirty. And, skip the hand sanitizer.
  4. Find time to de-stress. Research shows that prolonged periods of stress can impair your gut bacteria and make you susceptible to infection.
  5. Breast Feed Your Baby.While breastfeeding can help moms lose their baby weight, this one is for your child. Babies are born with nearly sterile and bacteria-free guts. Breastfeeding your child for the first year (or as long as you can) helps to colonize your baby’s gut flora. And, your breast milk actually nourishes the bacteria to allow it to become established.
  6. Eliminate artificial sweeteners.While the link between artificial sweeteners and weight gain is not clear, one thing research shows is that artificial sweeteners alter the gut bacteria in a way that causes glucose intolerance.
  7. Eat the Nordic way.Arne Astrup,‎ Jennie Brand-Miller,‎ and Christian Bitz, leaders in obesity research and authors of The Nordic Way cookbook, suggest eating skyr, whole-grain rye breads, and wild foods, including herbs, greens, nuts, and berries. They also suggest that replacing wheat with oats, rye, and barley, and eating seafood, such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, clams, mussels, and even seaweed, helps improve gut flora.
  8. Make preparing your meals a ritual.Every culture has rituals around food, but with our busy lifestyles, we have all but forgotten them. Turning your meal prep into a ritual – and it doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming – helps to bring awareness and intention to our meal and meal time. This relaxes you and sets you up for better digestion.
  9. Get your microbiome analyzed.If you want to know what is going on in your gut flora, you can take a test that will give you a snapshot. But, remember your microbiome is changing all the time with every meal.
  10. Take the gut-brain test.Your gut has its own nervous system – the enteric nervous system (ENS). Integrative neurologist Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary, author of The Prime, says that the answer to losing weight spontaneously is to make your gut smarter by bringing your enteric nervous system back online and in control of your food choices. To find out how well your gut-brain is working, take the Gut IQ Test.

Like everything else, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to your microbiome. You may be a strict vegetarian, eat the Paleo way or fall somewhere in between. The key is to keep supporting your microbiome with the foods that are healthy for you.

How have you taken measures to heal your gut? Do you notice a difference in your overall health? Please share your comments below.

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  • Evette Samuels says...

    I pretty much eat exactly this way and workout. I lose weight in 2015 75 pounds and early this year my body begin to go up by 15 pounds. For 4 years straight I was in constant drop mode I can’t figure out why my body start changing. I purchased the kit and will be starting it 2 weeks from today. I’ve been trying to figure out what brought the change in weight other than I turned 50 yes old and started showing signs of menopause. I’m beginning to have hot flashes over this pass year and turned 51 2 weeks ago. This article has me wondering could this be the problem.

    On Aug 23, 2018

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