Nutritionist Guide to Weight Loss Series – Part 4
In my series, Nutritionist Guide to Weight Loss Series (published parts I, II, III, and now IV), I have discussed gut health’s relationship with weight loss. I am a registered nutritionist for over 15 years and a great many people came to me for weight loss.
A happy gut can break down food, digest it, and use the nutrients for essential life functions. In fact, signs that your gut is healthy is having a bowel movement or two daily; passes easily and well-formed. It is best to keep your weight in a healthy zone to maintain a healthy digestive system.
When your digestive system is healthy, it will regulate your appetite and affect your body’s weight. The digestive system signals your body to eat more (hunger pains) or eat less. The appetite regulators allow you to combat obesity.
An unhappy gut doesn’t digest food properly, creating a toxic environment and leading to multiple health issues. Moreover, If your body is busy with the damage and toxicity in your gut, our system won’t function properly to achieve weight loss. In addition, your body has trouble giving proper signals to identify hunger and fullness. Ultimately, an unhealthy weight can spiral out of control.
Causes of an unhealthy gut
The Standard American Diet is often to blame for gut issues. The USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans defines the Standard American Diet (SAD):
Foods HIGH in the following
- saturated fats
- high-fat dairy products
- processed & fast foods
Foods LOW in the following
- fresh fruit
- fresh vegetables
- whole grains
- lean protein
- healthy oils
Negative symptoms are signs there is a gut health problem.
- chronic muscle or joint pain
- headaches or migraines
- gas or bloating
- stomach pain
- upset stomach
There are a few ways to improve basic gut health
- Drink plenty of water to help eliminate toxins
- Take probiotics and eat foods rich in probiotics (i.e., fermented foods such as sauerkraut, miso, and yogurt)
- Eat less processed food, junk food, alcohol, and caffeine.
- Get plenty of sleep to improve gut flora.
- Exercise – moving the body is medicine for gut health.
If you suspect a leaky gut, it is essential to try and heal. Your gut is an essential part of your system. It allows nutrients to reach your body’s functions and provide energy. When it is damaged, it allows invaders, like toxins, undigested food particles, and bugs to pass through your intestinal wall and enter the bloodstream. Your immune system gets confused and goes into overdrive to fight off these invaders. The immune system will attack healthy tissue and may cause serious health issues.
There is no one definitive cause of leaky gut. It can be a genetic predisposition—for example, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, and irritable bowel syndrome.
However, the Standard American Diet can be a big player with low fiber intake and high sugar and saturated fats, which is also known to kick off the entire process.
Stress in society is at an all-time high. Consequently, being chronically stressed will trigger an inflammatory immune response to both gut and brain problems. I’m sure you have heard that your gut is your second brain. In fact, if your gut is unhealthy, it can cause physical and mental health issues. Studies have shown that poor gut health contributes to stress, anxiety, and depression.
Symptoms of leaky gut
- itchy rash or eczema
- digestive issues
- brain fog
- tingling or swelling in the mouth or tongue
- seasonal allergies
- difficulty breathing
- vomiting and/or diarrhea
It is critical that you take some time to heal the inflammation and damage caused by leaky gut. Starting with a specific dietary plan is suggested.
What should you eat
- Fermented veggies
- Steamed veggies
- Bone broth
- Coconut oil
- Wild natural fish
- Sprouted flax seed
Be sure to share your experiences or ask questions.
Go back and check out the series; Missing Key to Weight Loss – From a Nutritionist
Part 1. Tired of Weight Loss Failures
Part II. Missing Key to Weight Loss
Part III. Leaky Gut & Elimination Diet