Incorporating Probiotics in Your Weight Loss Plan: Step 4

Healthy gut with probiotics and prebiotics

Week four of my weight loss journey and I actually gained two pounds.  But, I am not distraught over it, because I understand it is a process.  I KNOW what I am doing is working – so I just need to stick to it.

Belly fat is a problem I have and research has made me think that maybe – I am not getting enough probiotics?

Prebiotics and Probiotics can be very confusing weight loss terms.  Working in conjunction, these bacteria can make for a very healthy gut and assist in your weight loss journey.

Sur La Table

Probiotics

Probiotics are food products containing good bacteria, similar to the bacteria already existing in your body.  In the correct amounts, these bacteria aid in digestion, metabolic activity and your immune system.

However, not all bacteria in your digestive tract are considered “good” bacteria.

healthy gut probiotics prebiotics

photo: freefromheaven.com

There are two main families of good bacteria in the gut: bacteroidetes and firmicutes. Body weight seems be related to the balance of these two families of bacteria.

Both human and animal studies have found that normal-weight people have different gut bacteria than overweight or obese people (https://www.healthline.com/nutrition).

In those studies, people with obesity had more firmicutes and fewer bacteroidetes, compared to normal-weight people.

Probiotics may reduce the number of calories you absorb from food. They also affect hormones and proteins related to appetite and fat storage. They may also reduce inflammation, which can drive obesity.


Consult your physician before taking probiotic supplements


In 2013, the British Journal of Nutrition tested 210 obese participants, who had “lots of fat in the belly area.”  Participants were given probiotic suppliment,  Lactobacillus gasseri  which caused people to lose 8.5% of their belly fat mass over a period of 12 weeks.  When they stopped taking the probiotic, they gained the belly fat back within 4 weeks.

However, more tests need to be conducted before recommendations can be made.

Stonewall Kitchen, LLC Nevertheless, most doctors agree belly bacteria has an incredible impact on everything from weight loss and inflammation, to perhaps even our susceptibility to depression and anxiety.

My doctor recommended incorporating more FIBER into my daily food plan.  Therefore, I take one dose = 2 teaspoons of orange Metamucil everyday.  As a bonus, I mix it with water, which is 16.9 ounces.  WATCH THE VIDEO HERE!

 


Prebiotics

In 1995, a new term developed for a special type of soluble fiber that is used mostly by the beneficial good bacteria as a fuel – PREBIOTIC.

These prebiotics produce certain substances that acidify the colon and serve as a nutrition source for the colon’s own cells, which allow this beneficial bacteria to grow and maintain a healthy gut.

JoAnn's Food Bites Probiotics

Inulin, is a prebiotic existing in the plant world.  Foods containing natural inulin include:  wheat, onions, bananas, garlic, leeks, chicory root, Jerusalem artichokes, wild yam, agave, and jicama.

Prebiotics are not absorbed in the small intestine but are used as fuel by some of the colon bacteria, which results in health benefits.

Here is a great explanation I found on how prebiotics and probiotics work together:

A helpful metaphor to understand the difference between a prebiotic and a probiotic may be a garden. You can add seeds—the probiotic bacteria—while the prebiotic fiber is the water and fertilizer that helps the seeds to grow and flourish. 

How to you incorporate probiotics in your lifestyle?

Check out these tools to optimize your weight loss!

 

 

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