Staying healthy requires diet, exercise, rest, hydration and stress management. One of the big challenges for those who are comforted by sweets is that feeding your gut sugar promoted the growth of unhealthy bacteria, which can increase the inflammation throughout your abdomen. Even if you’re not gaining fat, you may be gaining bulk, which can make you feel overweight. Gut bacteria can also help you feel full because they impact the hormones released by your gut. The hormones ghrelin, leptin, and peptide YY are currently being studied as methods of increasing your sense of fullness. To make sure that your production of these hormones is healthy and beneficial,
- avoid sugar to boost leptin levels
- eat protein at each meal to increase your ghrelin production
- include plenty of greens for peptide GLP-1
Other hormones, such as cortisol, can push your weight up. Cortisol is necessary hormone that controls a healthy heartrate and other critical factors to keep your body functioning. However, too much cortisol can be produced if you are under a great deal of emotional stress. As your stress level goes up, your body and brain go into “survival first” mode. You may crave high calorie foods, particularly unhealthy carbohydrates and sugars. Get in a regular habit of stress management, such as
- gentle exercise
- gratitude focus
As you turn away from foods that are creating a lot of gut inflammation, you may find that exercise is easier and more comfortable. As you can move more, your stress level will continue to drop. If you struggle to fall asleep, consider meditating before bed. One of the most important things you can do to protect your body, brain and gut is prioritizing your rest.
If You Feed Them, They Will Multiply
One of the big challenges that those focusing on weight loss face is the attention on calories. While reducing your calorie intake does matter, it’s important to note that artificial sweeteners are incredibly hard on your gut. Building up healthy gut bacteria will take a focus on enjoying the natural sweetness of your food choices. If you’re hooked on diet soda, start weaning. Your teeth and your gut will thank you. If you need the caffeine, switch to green tea.
You may need to pair this with a fruit snack, such as an apple, as green tea can be a bit acerbic. For those who need the carbonation, consider switching to sparkling water with a twist of citrus. Be prepared for a headache. The combination of sugar-free sweeteners and caffeine may have become a habit. Breaking from this may lead to an unpleasant ache behind the eyes. As you fight through this, try a combination of bergamot and black tea for a natural sweetness plus caffeine.
You can also incorporate kombucha into your routine. Switching directly from diet soda to kombucha can be a jolt to your taste buds; you may want to incorporate your kombucha into a fruit smoothie. Now is also the time to start feeding that healthy gut bacteria. Consider adding a daily dose of fermented food, such as
- brined pickles (vinegar-free)
- yogurt and kefir
- kim chi
Any time you make a change in your diet, you change your gut biome. To avoid shocking your gut biome and dealing with potential upset, make sure you get
- more water to keep moving waste along
- exercise, to let gravity help your gut
Improving your gut is a healing process and your body needs sleep to make improvements. As healthy bacteria grows, you may experience more gas. There may also be a bit of bloating in the early stages, especially if you have a history of constipation. Keep going. Staying healthy and strong has never been more important. A gut that is well-fed will let you know when your stomach is full and make it easier to maintain a healthy weight. Focus on fiber, healthy levels of protein, and a bit of fermented food each day to maintain health while you drop fat. If you’re struggling to build an effective eating plan, we can help, call now at 205-352-9141.