Do you know that we have trillions of bacteria in our gut that determine whether we’re lean or fat, and every day we feed and nurture them?
I’ve pointed out several times that Calories in/Calories out as a weight loss strategy is false, it doesn’t work. Neither does dieting; that’s a statistic. We’re not a Math Equation, we’re a Chemistry Set. I’ve harped on the HORMONAL actions that happen when we eat grains, sugars, and processed foods: fat storage, muscle breakdown, slow thyroid, etc, etc.
Science (the Human Microbiome Project) is showing that our BACTERIA are just as important as our Hormones when it comes to our weight. We’re supposed to be filled, and covered, with bacteria; we actually have more bacteria than human cells.
To be healthy and lean, we need to have predominantly BENEFICIAL bacteria. If we have an imbalance, and the pathogenic bacteria outnumber the beneficial bacteria, we’re in trouble.
What determines our bacterial well being? A lot. Antibiotics support pathogenic bacteria. Most drugs ( OTC and prescription) change the pH of the stomach, which allows pathogenic bacteria to thrive. Stress does the same thing.
A biggie: our FOOD is our BACTERIA’s food, and what we put in our mouth determines who gets fed best, the Lean strains or the Fat strains.
The Standard American Diet (SAD) of 60% carbs (mostly from grains and sugar), not only initiates Fat Storage through high blood sugar and hormones, but it feeds PATHOGENIC strains, because they thrive on sugar. Beneficial bacteria eat FIBER, from vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds.
So let’s feed our Skinny Bacteria! I’m including links to learn the nuts and bolts, but here’s a snippet: Studies are showing that lean people have a bacterial population that includes more “bacteroidetes” bacteria. Bacteroidetes is an umbrella terms for several different species. Overweight people have more “firmicutes”, again, an umbrella terms for several species.
If you have more Firmicutes than Bacteroidetes, you’re going to have a hard time losing weight, no matter what you do. Firmicutes bacteria harvest more calories from our food, encourage more fat storage, and less fat burning. Who wants that? There’s also the brain signals I mentioned earlier: “slow down the thyroid, slow down the metabolism, she’s dieting again and I don’t want to starve to death!” Our gut bacteria and our brain are intricately linked.
Here’s some tips on how to feed our Bacteroidetes, and not our Firmacuties.
Tip #1: Eat 3 meals a day of Real Whole Food, with plenty of good fat, clean proteins, TONS of vegetables, some fruit, some nuts and seeds, and maybe some dairy if you tolerate it. Fermented and cultured foods are a must. DITCH THE GRAINS AND SUGARS. ( Fat Bacteria THRIVE on grains and sugars) Our body was literally designed by God to run on Real Whole Foods. This means cooking.
Tip #2: Have an Eating Plan that includes enough food at each of our 3 meals to genuinely Satisfy Our Hunger. WE’RE NOT DESIGNED TO ENDURE HUNGER. The brain just won’t allow it; it takes too many nutrients to do the constant upkeep and repair that happens all day and all night. Again, our brains have an intricate and intimate relationship with our gut bacteria. Firmacutes bacteria – the sugar eaters – contribute to those annoying brain signals that conspire to make us search out more sugar ( who searches out more broccoli ?). Bacteroidetes strains don’t do that! Bacteroidetes thrive on Fiber and Resistant Starch in vegetables.
We have a lot of power when it comes to reducing our Firmicutes and increasing our Bacteroidetes.
A Real Whole Food Diet is so honestly and totally best for us. We feed the good bacteria and signal hormones that trigger satiety in the brain. The desire -or compulsion- to eat CRAP ( and feed the Firmicutes ) abates and abates every single day we eat like this.
Notice that feeding our skinny Bacteria is the same advice as building a strong immune system.
This whole Microbiome science is fascinating, and I encourage you to learn more about it – which is really learning about ourselves. The more we know, the easier it is to make good choices. Here’s some links: