The American approach to weight loss starts, for most, with calorie counting. Even if you do subscribe to the “Calories In, Calories Out” school of weight loss (many don’t, by the way), the fact is this: If you have an unhealthy gut, then changes to your diet may be of little use or completely irrelevant.
While Diet Hacks Are Often Unsustainable, a Healthy Gut Provides a Sustainable Foundation for Weight Management
Many crash diets and popular weight loss methods are popular for a reason. In many cases, they work—the benefits, though, are often short-lived and unsustainable.
Penn Medicine explains that while cleanses can be good for your overall health, they don’t work for long-term weight loss. “Fad diets,” as Penn refers to them, often lead to significant weight gain shortly after the diet ends.
Even more alarmingly, many crash diets that focus on calorie counting can pose a serious risk to your health. Dehydration, kidney damage, and heart problems are among the risks that Penn Health identifies when you don’t take a sustainable approach to weight management.
Even if a certain dietary approach works towards your short-term goal, you’ve overlooked the foundation of long-term health and weight maintenance: Your gut microbiome.
Put Down the Crash Diet Manual and Take a Look at Your Gut Health
Do yourself a favor and put down the Atkins diet recipe book or log out of the health-focused Instagram page. For the next few minutes, consider that your gut health—not your eating or exercise habits—could be the source of any weight-loss frustrations you’ve been experiencing.
The journal Nature published one of many studies highlighting the importance of the gut microbiome in weight loss outcomes. It found that proper gut health is the catalyst for long-term weight loss. Without the right balance of good bacteria in your gut, your body isn’t prepared to take full advantage of any diet or exercise that you choose to pursue.
When it comes to weight management, you should truly trust your gut—or, at the very least, take a look at it.
Consider Probiotics and Other Long-Term Weight Loss Solutions
When you focus too heavily on counting calories, you can easily trick yourself into limiting thinking. Rather than asking questions like “Is my gut microbiome working to help me lose weight?” or “How do I achieve a healthy bacterial balance in my stomach?” you might focus on how many Oreos you can eat because they fall within your calorie limit for the day.
If you want to achieve a healthy weight for the long haul, you must lay the foundation. Probiotic-rich foods and supplements introduce live, healthy bacteria into your stomach and small intestine. These bacteria help ensure that your body breaks down food and absorbs nutrients as it should, fine-tuning your gut so that it can help you look and feel good for years to come.
Visit Gut to Know for more resources about gut health, how to achieve it, and how to approach weight loss from a healthy perspective.