Losing weight is a common resolution for the New Year, but did you know that less than 3% of individuals who lose weight successfully maintain that weight loss.
One of the reasons that I’ve personally observed people fail with weight loss is that they become too focused on calorie counting. What I mean by this is they continue to consume their favourite snack foods each day or maybe use sugar laden diet shakes. The problem with this approach, even if they initially lose weight, is that it maintains the cycle of sugar craving and so requires a lot of will power to maintain. I’m sure we are all familiar with the fact that the more sugar we eat, the more we feel like eating it.
Gut flora plays a role in obesity.
Interestingly, research confirms that the microbiome plays a role in the food we choose. In the case of sugar consumption, we may be supporting the growth of the exact microbes that influence us to eat more sugar. Not only this, but having an unhealthy microbiome can make you more prone to weight gain. This was shown in a study that compared a group of healthy mice, to a different group of healthy mice that had received feacal transplants from obese mice. Amazingly, even though both groups of mice were fed the the exactly same diet, the mice with the unhealthy feacally transplanted micro-flora became fat. This type of research shows that the state of our gut has far reaching effects, including the way we store fat, how we regulate our hormones and how this effects whether we feel hungry or not.
As a naturopath, and with all this evidence in mind, it makes sense that addressing the gut health is the ideal way to commence a weight loss program. Not only will it improve your chance of losing weight and keeping it off, but you will also reap the many additional health benefits associated with maintaining a healthy microbiome.
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Cindy Morris has been working as a naturopath for over 15 years, she is currently adding to her clinical skills with further study at Griffith University. Her clinical focus is around chronic fatigue, thyroid health and auto-immune conditions.