If you’re the type of person who is constantly trying – and failing at – the latest diet, hoping it will help you to lose weight, listen up!
Maybe the low GI no carbs gluten free vegan diet where you can only eat dust and drink your own pee will help. I don’t know for sure. Perhaps that new one will be the key to keeping you trim, fit and healthy. Good look to you, sport.
All I’m saying is that not many of those diets work. Maybe they do for some people, but for the majority of us, they just don’t.
You’ll see a small loss in weight initially, but most of us wind up putting everything back on all over again, with a little to spare. It leaves you feeling downtrodden and dejected.
But hey, don’t worry! It’s hard sticking to a diet and exercise plan, and denying yourself all of those delicious foods that you enjoy and are your favorites.
So the scales refuse to budge. What’s going on there, hmm? Well, it turns out that there are lots of other things at play, besides just the amount of calories you consume.
Like what you ask? Well, like gut bacteria, for a start. Yep, it turns out all that stuff about micro-organisms inside your gut that you thought was all a bunch of hokum could actually be the thing that’s stopping you from shedding those pounds!
See, a new study published in the International Journal of Obesity (I was on the cover of the August edition, I was very proud) has revealed that the proportion of some bacteria in the gut might just play a role in a person’s weight.
In particular, the levels of gut bacteria could be related to how much weight a person is able to lose under certain conditions.
So it probably won’t be a shock for many of you to learn that the approach to diet and nutrition we have all been told is best for us all these years might not actually be.
All of the calorie counting and taking hard exercise regimes could even all be completely pointless! Bet you gym bunnies feel pretty stupid right about now!
Researchers from the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports at the University of Copenhagen (fancy name, I bet that looks good on a resume) did some tests on 62 people. All were different weights, shapes and sizes, but all wanted to reduce their weight.
What happened next was those crazy Danes (that’s not a phrase I get to say often, okay, I break it out whenever I can) got groups of those volunteers to follow various different diets.
They assigned some to follow the New Nordic Diet, which involves eating lots of dark and leafy greens like broccoli and kale, berries and whole grains and a whole bunch of other good stuff.
The rest of the group were assigned to eat the Average Danish Diet, which consists of lots of lean meat, eggs, lettuce and coffee, but doesn’t allow any grains.
So next the participants were grouped according to how much of two different bacteria – things called Prevotella and Bacteroides – they had in their bodies.
What theUniversity of Copenhagen eggheads found was that those folks who had more Prevotella than Bacteroides in their gut and followed the New Nordic Diet had a larger loss of body fat than those with that same bacteria ratio following the Average Danish Diet.
But then there was no difference in weight loss between the two diets for people who had more Bacteroides than Prevotella.
Those with a higher ratio of Prevotella to Bacteroides were also more likely to lose body fat when they followed diet that is high in fiber compared to those with a low ratio.
“Human intestinal bacteria have been linked to the increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity, and scientists have started to investigate whether the intestinal bacteria can play a role in the treatment of overweight,” says co-author of the study, Professor Arne Astrup, “But it is only now that we have a breakthrough demonstrating that certain bacterial species play a decisive role in weight regulation and weight loss.”
So simply getting a stool sample taken will tell what your intestinal bacteria is made up of, which will in turn then help you to work on rebalancing your bacteria ratio. According to this research, this will then help you to lost weight more effectively.
A lot of gut bacteria imbalance can actually be reversed simply through the diet you eat, too! So cutting out sugar and alcohol whilst reducing your intake of things like caffeine will help. So will those fancy prebiotics and probiotics you can get these days.
But if you’re not sure, you can always make an appointment to see a nutritionalist. They can assess your gut health, and take into account other lifestyle factors that might account for unexplained weight gain or inability to shift the pounds.
So what do you think? Will you be checking the color of your poop in future, or do you think it’s all a pile of… well, poop? Let us know with a COMMENT and don’t forget to SHARE this article to see what everybody else thinks!