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The image of the intestine and the bacteria inside the intestine seen through a lens

Fit or Fat? Who Decides—You or Your Gut Bug!

The total sum of all your genes, is just 30,000, while your gut biome, contains up to 20 million genes. So, even if there's a history of obesity in your family or if genetics are a factor, obesity is not a given factor. Your gut biome has more power over your post-meal blood sugar, fat, weight and waist size than you imagine. We present you with 10 proven methods to dance in harmony with your friendly bacteria and optimize your gut health. Get ready to salsa your way to a healthier gut and a happier you!
obese woman standing worried looking out the glass window thinking about how to lose weight

Did you know that your brain weighs roughly 1.4 kg, whereas your gut bacteria weigh about 2 kg? The thought that gut bacteria have as much control over your life as your brain is simply mind-boggling. The butterflies in your stomach when you’re scared or your trust in your gut instincts while making decisions are both messages from your friendly gut bacteria. So, if you’re having trouble losing weight, it’s time to turn your focus on your friendly gut bacteria, known as the gut biome.

During the historic travel from womb to world. You swallow some of the first vaginal microbes that will colonize your gut. Yet, if you were born via C-section, you may have missed the process. Interestingly, the differences in the gut biome were found to disappear within 9 months after birth.

3d view of bacteria and virus in the intestine

As you grow, your gut becomes home to a large number of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and archaea, which live together as a colony. You provide them with a secure, warm home to live, and they thank you by digesting resistant starchy meals, and fighting off nasty harmful bacteria.

How does the gut bug survive?

The part of your food that your body can’t break down or absorb is called Resistant Starch (RS). It goes down to your colon where the good bacteria in your gut, ferments this RS and produces SCFAs (short-chain fatty acids). These SCFAs serve as food for the gut biome and have an interesting effect on the communication between your gut and brain. This communication system is super important for controlling how much food you eat and how your body uses energy.

SCFAs can sense how well-fed you are and help maintain a good balance of energy in your body. By eating prebiotics, which are foods that help the good bacteria grow in your gut, you can increase the production of SCFAs. This might boost how much energy you burn, which could lower your risk of becoming overweight.

They can also help control your blood sugar levels, which is really important if you have diabetes. SCFAs might even make your body’s cells respond better to insulin, a hormone that helps control your blood sugar. This means that your cells can use glucose from your bloodstream more effectively, which can lead to better blood sugar control.

Here’s a juicy tidbit for you! Have you ever heard of vaginal seeding?

A team at New York University placed a swab in a woman’s vagina who was about to deliver through a C-section. After screening her for harmful group B Streptococcus, as well as viral and fungal infections, they then rubbed the newborn baby’s face, mouth, and skin with the vaginal-microbiome-soaked swab. The purpose behind this is simply to simulate the microbial exposure that happens during a vaginal birth.

Here are 7 ways curated by MyFat Diet to befriend the friendly bug in your gut!

1. Every week, eat 30 different plant-based meals for your healthy stomach bug!

the number 30 written in numerical form with a colorful pattern

Eat 30 or more varieties of vegan foods each week and get a more diverse gut biome. Researchers at the University of Bergen advise the use of super six plant groups like nuts and seeds, legumes, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices. It may sound time-consuming and expensive to consume 30 different plant-based meals per week. But it’s much less expensive, simpler, and tastier than you may imagine. Give yourself 1 point for each one of the 30 plant-based foods you eat that will be good for your gut bug.

2. Be a Flexitarian!

flexitarian diet with a tiny bit of meat, lots of fruits and vegetables.

You might find it interesting to know that an 18-week flexitarian diet regimen led to an average weight loss of 7.8 pounds (3.5 kg). A 1.2-point decline in body mass index (BMI), according to a study. This is because a flexitarian diet promotes consuming fewer animal products, such as meat and dairy. More plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and proteins. The Flexitarian diet might be ideal for you. If you’ve always been interested in vegetarianism but found it difficult to completely give up meat.

3. Eat more colorful foods and fewer probiotics!

According to a new study, eating a diet high in polyphenols and low in probiotics can help you lose weight. A probiotic-restricted diet that only allows modest amounts of yogurt, soy yogurt, or probiotic supplements, is ideal for weight loss.

Your gut biome loves colorful food. So, embrace blueberries, blackcurrant blackberries, and other colorful fruits that are high in polyphenols. Chokeberries and elderberries have the highest amounts of polyphenols.

4. Grind your own spices and herbs before using them to feed your gut bacteria!

Season your food with oregano, peppermint, star anise, celery seed, sage, rosemary, and thyme which are the highest in polyphenols. To ensure that the flavors of the dry herbs are fully released during the cooking process, add them early. Using a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle, mill your own spices rather than using the ones that have already been ground.

5. Go with prebiotics!

Prebiotics are often high-fiber diets that feed the gut biomes and improve their balance. You can find, inulin and fructo-oligosaccharide, added to a variety of foods and drinks, including cereals, breads, and dairy products. Asparagus, bananas, Jerusalem artichokes, garlic, leeks, chia seeds, chicory root, onion, and asparagus also contain prebiotics naturally.

7. Add seaweed to your seafood!

woman having a spoon full of sea weed like wakame and smiling at camera

Your gut biome is fond of brown and edible seaweeds, which are prized for having a lot of fiber. Fucoxanthin, a pigment found in brown seaweeds, also reduces insulin resistance and scavenges free radicals.

Try using seaweeds in place of low-calorie gelatin if you’re a vegan or vegetarian. You may also use seaweeds in jam, jelly, and marmalade.

When soaking your sprouts, include a strip of kombu to help them absorb the minerals. Soak wakame or arame in water for a short period of time, and add them to savory recipes like stir-fries, soups, stocks, and stews.

Interestingly, a new biodegradable health sensor that can be worn by athletes or patients to track their temperature and heart rate has been successfully tested by researchers at the University of Sussex. This sensor combines graphene with natural materials including rock salt, water, and seaweed.

8. Make friends, groom, or be groomed more frequently!

a group of friends from various ethnic background hug and laugh together

Be more sociable, dig in the dirt, play with pets at home, and grow more gut biome.

Animal behavior researchers often refer to “allogrooming” as a means to maintain hygiene, and studies support this claim by showing that it also improves the gut biome and releases endorphins.

For instance, a gelada baboon spends most of its waking time digging through the fur of its buddies to get rid of filth and parasites from hard-to-reach places. When a strong fight between two aggressive and rivalrous male chimps comes to a halt, a female chimp may break the deadlock by allogrooming one male chimp after the other, until both are at peace enough to call it quits.

You have a lot more in common than you think with social grooming behaviors often found in monkeys. For example, whenever you run your hands through your lover’s hair, pat your teammate on the back after a win, deliver a sincere hug, or squeeze a friend’s shoulder after a loss.

9. Use Guided Meditations

Even if you don’t have the time or the motivation to meditate like a monk, guided meditation can be a great tool, especially if you are new to this journey.

Recent studies have shown that guided meditation, which has nothing to do with nutrition, is a surprising strategy for altering your gut microbiome. Suppose you’re someone who constantly frets about whether you’re practicing flawlessly. In that case, guided meditations help you visualize and open up your mind, so you can immerse yourself deeply in the moment.

Mini-guided meditations that last 5–10 minutes are a fantastic place to start if you don’t feel like you have enough time for a full 20–30 minute, meditation session. Here’s one for you to try:

Even the busiest of your schedules will allow you to easily fit this guided mini-meditation in. Become proficient at brief bursts of meditation and work your way up to longer sessions.

10. Practice Breathing Visualization Meditation!

According to a 2018 research study on novice meditators, 13 minutes of daily meditation improved the gut biome and reduced negative mood and anxiety. Join Meisha in this guided “Bee’s breath” meditation, one of the easiest and simplest types of meditation, for a calming and beneficial experience.

In conclusion, whether we tend to be fit or fall into the category of being overweight can be significantly influenced by the health and balance of our gut biome. The gut microbiota’s makeup affects a number of aspects of weight control, including metabolism, how well food provides energy, and even food cravings. We may assist our efforts to achieve and maintain a fit and healthy body by cultivating a diversified and healthy gut microbiome through thoughtful dietary decisions and lifestyle practices. Remember, whether we go towards being fit or fall into the trap of becoming fat depends not just on the calories we consume but also on the complex interplay between our intestines and general well-being.

Is it just a beer belly or is it more?

If you believe a quick fix at the plastic surgeon is in your future, think again. Liposuction primarily targets subcutaneous fat, the type that collects beneath your skin, not visceral fat, the unhealthy kind that surrounds your organs. So, if your waistband has been feeling a little tighter lately, implement the four ideas that we have put forth. It might be time to take action, starting today.

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