Hi! Welcome to Fit, Food, and Fun Fridays! Today we’ll talk about microbiomes and your weight loss. What you eliminate from your body provides clues to your microbiome, and new studies have shown a link between your poop and weight loss. Intestinal bacteria in humans have been linked to the prevalence of persistent obesity and excess weight gain. Scientists are starting to investigate whether elimination can play an essential role as an effective long-term treatment for weight gain and retention.
Arne Astrup, a professor and department head of Exercise, Nutrition, and Sports at Denmark’s Copenhagen University, recently conducted a study in which he shared his findings of the connection between your poop to your weight loss. He discovered that there are specific bacterial species that play a very significant part in weight loss and weight regulation.
What is the Study All About?
The study highlights the division of 54 people into two groups. They are given 26 weeks to consume different kinds of diets. The first group was required to eat foods following the New Nordic Diet and the other group consumed foods following the standard type of Danish Diet. After 26 weeks, the first group that ate the New Nordic Diet lost double the amount of weight of those who ate the Danish Diet.
What Makes This Study Interesting?
What makes the study interesting is that the subjects were differentiated by their gut bacteria levels. Those with a high proportion of the Prevotella bacteria in relation to the Bacteroides bacteria lost 3.5 kg during the time they were asked to eat the New Nordic diet, while those with low Prevotella bacteria ratios didn’t even lose weight. Roughly 50% of the entire population has bacteria makeups which have been identified to aid in weight loss.
“This study only shows that half of the subjects can lose weight fast if they are going to eat in line with the dietary recommendations of Danish national. Apart from that, they also need to eat more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fibers. There are also some subjects who don’t seem to gain any advantage from this diet,” explains Mads Fiil Hjorth, an assistant professor and co-author of this study.
While the role of all the bacteria in your gut was not clearly identified, this study shows some glimpse of the future wherein people can use personalized profiles of bacteria to customize their diets for maximum health results. Profiling of bacteria is becoming increasingly more available and many scientists are already making some strides in determining new correlations.
As far as excretion and weight loss are concerned, ongoing studies are still being conducted to determine the exact relationship between the two.
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I really wanted to talk about this topic today because the overweight and obesity epidemic is at an all-time high! We are a fat society and it’s killing us prematurely. Not only do I truly believe that you have the power to lose weight to improve your health, but the science also agrees! You can adopt healthy lifestyle practices that improve your health and enrich your life, which can in turn improve the lives of those close to you. You have the power to break the cycle of obesity so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
I use lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you lose weight, and maybe reverse some of your chronic diseases. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy. But I always tell my patients that conventional medications may be appropriate at this time to prevent catastrophic illness, but over time, you can work to make the necessary lifestyle changes to possibly reduce and/or eliminate medications. Please remember to always consult your physician for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any decisions whatsoever.
Since weight management is very important in combatting chronic diseases, I recommend that you be mindful of your weight and its fluctuations, and that you monitor your weight AT LEAST on a weekly basis. I recommend a scale that includes a body composition monitor (*this scale cannot be used with a pacemaker or other implanted devices).
Physical activity (or exercise) can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several chronic diseases like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, just to name a few. Physical activity can improve your mood, boost your immune system, and even help you maintain a healthy weight.
I often recommend yoga and resistance training for physical activity, but as you are aware, there are plenty of forms of “movement” that you can do! But for the basics, especially if you’re just getting started, yoga and resistance training are where I would start.
Yoga can be a great way to improve your strength and flexibility, manage your stress, improve your heart health, and lose weight! I recommend using a grounded yoga mat to connect yourself with the earth and reduce inflammation.
Resistance training is the mainstay for overall health. It not only has beneficial effects on reducing body fat, it also increases muscle size and strength. Check out some basic dumbbells/free weights that I recommend to everyone.
Another alternative for dumbbells/free weights are resistance bands. They are great for physical therapy, yoga, strength training, and excellent for traveling.
Remember, living a healthy lifestyle including eating a whole foods plant-based diet, regular physical activity, and reducing stress are the best ways to maintain a healthy weight. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.
PS. I am always asked what tools and resources I recommend to help you reach YOUR health goals. Here is the ever-growing, always updated list for you.
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