I very much believe in the mind body spirit connection for the simple reason that everything we do is as a whole. We don’t disconnect the head from the body, although sometimes that would be nice and we don’t disconnect the spirit from the body and the mind.
When we are flowing into our passions and purpose, we find ourselves more at peace and thus less stressed.
With less stress comes weight loss in general. Why? Simple, we aren’t producing an overabundance of stress hormones called cortisol, which has shown to increase belly fat and we aren’t stuffing our faces mindlessly.
My own story with this scenario is that I personally didn’t realize how stressed I really was. Looking back, my dear friends and family will give me the sideways eye look when I say “I didn’t think I was that stressed.” As a result I put on a few extra pounds.
Since my focus has changed, I’ve lowered my stress and I’ve been more mindful of what goes into my mouth, my weight has just dropped off over the last few months, along with feeding my gut flora all the stuff it loves.
It’s really not rocket science. Our gut health plays into this perfectly. There are some very interesting studies taking place that are proving more and more that our “2nd brain” definitely has some play into excess weight. Did you also know that 70-80% of your immune system comes from the health of your gut?
The latest World Health Organization figures show there were more than 1.4 billion adults aged 20 or older who were overweight in 2008.
Of these, 200 million men and nearly 300 million women were obese.
Since these latest numbers are from 2008, we know these have risen, unfortunately.
Of the studies being done, researchers think that changing the type of bacteria found in the gut may be more effective at helping people to shed weight than cutting calories alone.
More and more research does show that your gut bacteria impacts your weight. There are other studies that show that lean people tend to have higher amounts of various healthy bacteria compared to obese people.
There was one particular study from 2011 found that daily intake of a specific form of lactic acid bacteria could help prevent obesity and reduce low-level inflammation.
Babies that are breastfed tend to have lower risk of obesity because of the bacteria mix flourishing in their guts that are found in breast milk. Probiotics also appear beneficial in helping women lose weight after childbirth when taken from the first trimester through breastfeeding.
There are other studies that have shown obese people losing fat by just drinking a probiotic-rich fermented milk beverage for 12 weeks. Probiotics have also been found to benefit metabolic syndrome, which often times goes hand in hand with obesity.
The reason this makes sense is that both are caused by a diet high in sugars, which leads to insulin resistance, fuels the growth of unhealthy bacteria and packs on excess weight.
Our modern diets have left our gut flora very overloaded with bad bacteria and not enough good. We need to “reseed” our gut with a good high-quality probiotic supplement or my favorite way is to eat and drink non-pasteurized traditionally fermented foods like:
- Fermented veggies/fruits
- Fermented milk products like kefir
- Natto, which is fermented soy
- Kombucha, fermented tea
Of the many reasons these foods are so beneficial, one of them is the fact that they contain lactic acid bacteria, which of course has health benefits over and beyond any weight-loss benefits, including a wide array of other healthy bacteria.
There are many different types and I recommend eating different varieties so as to inject many different bacteria types. This is a huge step in the right direction. You still need pay attention to the rest of your diet, especially if it’s poor. Processed foods as an example will compromise your gut bacteria as it will destroy healthy microflora and feed bad bacteria and yeast.
Other things that affect our microflora are:
- Chlorinated water
- Antibacterial soap/wipes
- Ag chemicals
Let’s also not forget the meats that you eat. If you’re buying commercial meat, they are loaded with antibiotics, which affect you. My strong recommendation is to reach out to local organic farmers who product grass-fed beef and pastured chickens. They will not be using antibiotics and they are eating a healthy diet.
There are many local CSA (community supported agriculture) groups available. Linking to them will help you find produce and meat that are free from chemicals and antibiotics.
The Weston Price Foundation has chapters all over the world and there are many connections to buying good, clean, healthy food.
When you tend to the health of your gut, your overall health will improve. There is a whole “ecosystem” that has taken up residency inside your gut. The type and kind are important. What you put in determines the overall health of these organisms. They can either prevent or encourage the development of many diseases, including heart disease and diabetes and many help dictate the ease with which you’re able to shed unwanted pounds.
This really needs to be an ongoing process since most of us are exposed daily to factors that will destroy beneficial bacteria in the gut.
Cultured/fermented foods like raw milk, yogurt, kefir, some cheeses and veggies are excellent sources of natural, healthy bacterial.
These foods/drinks need to become a part of your regular diet. If you don’t start here, then please take a high-quality probiotic supplement, especially if you are straying away from a healthy diet and find yourself consuming too much sugar and eating too many grains that haven’t been prepared properly.
If you have to take antibiotics due to an illness, make sure to put in good probiotics into your system right away. The benefit of the antibiotics doesn’t know the good from the bad bacteria, it just seeks and destroys all bacteria. You have to inoculate your gut constantly.
I am “The Gut Lady” not by accident.
Do you have stubborn weight that seems to be your best friend and not go away no matter what you do?