The Link Between Gut Health and Weight Loss

August 21, 2023

This article is written by our Resident Nutritionist Sarah Moore. Sarah is a University qualified Registered Nutritionist, recipe developer, blogger, mum and foodie with a no BS approach to nutrition and healthy eating. Her strength as a nutritionist is decoding complex health messages into practical real-life advice that will make a real difference to your health and well being. 

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It’s that time of year!

This time of year often sees our social media feeds filling up with DETOX style programs and products that claim to be the answer to your GUT HEALTH AND WEIGHT LOSS issues.  Are the two even related? Let’s take a closer look.

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Our Guts

Our gut encompasses our entire digestive system, from our mouth to, well… the end. The digestive system (gut) contains trillions of microorganisms that help us process food and also help our bodies maintain overall well-being.
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Why Are ‘Healthy Guts’ Important?

Having a healthy gut plays a big role in the vital functions of the body’s digestive and immune systems. We know that having the right kind of microorganisms, especially bacteria in your digestive system has a positive effect on your body’s absorption of vitamins and minerals, your mental health, hormone regulation, digestion, vitamin production, immune response, and the body’s ability to eliminate toxins.
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Formal Gut Issues

For some people, gut health is the more specific area of managing food intolerances, allergies, diseases or symptoms that cause digestive issues. Even in the absence of disease or allergies, mild bloating, diarrhoea, constipation or gas can greatly impact on your wellbeing and every day.
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KEY MESSAGE: food intolerances, food allergies and certain diseases can cause digestive upset. If you’re experiencing recurrent symptoms like gas, bloating, constipation or diarrhoea, speak to your GP or an Accredited Practising Dietitian, before looking for help online.
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Improving Gut Health

Thankfully for most people without formal gut issues, identifying then reducing the quantity of trigger foods eaten can be a simple process. Common culprits for bloating include beans, cruciferous vegetables, carbonated drinks and artificial sweeteners.
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You can improve your digestion further by drinking plenty of water, exercising regularly and chewing food properly. Try these tips before you cut out milk products or wheat, as you’ll risk missing the real culprit and beneficial nutrients.
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KEY MESSAGE: We can aid digestion and therefore gut health by reducing trigger foods, drinking enough water, exercising regularly and chewing food properly. Cutting food groups or foods can result in nutrient deficiencies.
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The Link Between Gut Health and Weight Loss

The link between gut health and weight loss is new, exciting and a current marketing trend. Unfortunately, the science around gut health is very new and emerging and we still don’t know the full picture. Most of what we know so far is based on correlational studies. Current evidence suggests that our unique gut microbiomes may have some characteristics that can predict the body’s response to diet, exercise and energy intake.
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This sounds exciting, however we are a long way off being able to modify our gut health to produce weight loss. There is also a large genetic factor to our body size, shape, gut microbiome and responsiveness to diets. We need much more research before we can determine how modifiable our gut microbiome is, particularly concerning how our body stores fat and muscle, and how it responds to different dietary patterns and exercise.
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KEY MESSAGE: Be wary of fad diets and detox products that are touting “gut health” as a key benefit. Our guts need food, including fibre for optimal health.
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Improving Your Gut Microbiome

What we do know about our gut health is that we can make improvements to our microbiome by feeding them well. We can do this by simply eating more plant foods (fibre), increasing the variety of plant foods in our diet as well as being physical activity. The bonus is these habits improve our health and wellbeing in our areas too!
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KEY MESSAGE: Aiming for a wide variety of plant foods and being physically active is good for our gut AND our overall health.
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Helping busy women improve their nutrition habits is something we explore more in our KICKSTARTER PROGRAM and COACHING SERVICES. If you’d like more information about how we can support your nutrition goals drop me an email on renee@sayyesfitness.com.au

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READY TO SAY YES TO YOURSELF AND YOUR HEALTH? OUR TRIAL OFFER or KICKSTARTER PROGRAM ARE GREAT PLACES TO START (or re-start)!

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