*This is a guest post. The opinions expressed are those of the author and not my own.
We all know that eating healthy and regularly exercising can result in a much healthier lifestyle and will provide us with a lean, muscular physique – but is that all there is to the story? Well, researchers in China have been looking at how the bacteria in our body can impact our weight gain or weight loss. Even though cutting out calories and following a strict exercise regime has proven to be effective. When it comes to weight loss, the researchers think that the secret may be in our bacteria and that changing the type of bacteria in our body, could prove to be more effective than simply cutting calories and exercising.
There are many biological reasons for why the bacteria in our body may promote weight gain. Just one of these examples would be the bacteria known as enterobacteria – high levels of this could result in an insulin resistance, meaning that you wouldn’t feel full after eating just a standard meal, you may need double or even triple the amount in order to satisfy your hunger. Already we can see that the bacteria in our gut can play a big role in our body composition and can be a determining factor in whether we gain weight or lose weight. By taking this into account we should be able to further increase our chances of achieving our ideal physique and living a healthier lifestyle.
Calculating our caloric allowance and eating at a calorie deficit is the number one way to lose weight, but even if a person does this, their performance could still be limited. If the bacteria in their body are fighting against them – for example, if their body contained too many enterobacteria.
Scientists in Shanghai recently conducted a study on 93 obese people in order to test their thesis of gut bacteria affecting weight gain and weight loss. The scientists administered the volunteers with a stack of supplements that would promote the growth of certain types of bacteria and diminish the levels of the other bacteria which would limit their performance. They also accompanied this alongside a balanced diet. The participants of the study were weighed, measured, and required to fill out a survey about what food they had eaten in the previous 24 hours. The surveys were taken at 30-day, nine-week, and 23-week intervals.
Over just nine weeks, the participants of the trial lost 5kg (approximately 11lbs) on average. However, due to the nature of the study and the fact that the participants could not be monitored at all times – meaning that they could stray from their diet or do other things that could impact the result of the study. It’s not possible to come to an exact conclusion in regards to how much gut bacteria impacts our weight gain or weight loss. We can’t say that the amount of certain bacteria in our body is the result of our weight gain because there is a correlation, but correlation doesn’t necessarily mean causation.
In the end, a healthy and balanced diet is a proven method if you’re looking to lose weight. Accompany this alongside a strict exercise regime, and you’ll be on your way to your ideal physique in a relatively short space of time. Gut bacteria may place an important role in our body composition, but there isn’t enough evidence to prove this just yet. So for now we will have to settle for the old method of diet and exercise.
Many people fail to lose weight using the standard method, and it’s usually because we are ill-informed and bombarded with ‘fads’ – routines and nutritional plans that promise great results. But never live up to their expectations – however, we can lose weight by looking at the problem objectively and by not making excuses. Firstly you will need a healthy and balanced diet, you can work this out by first calculating your Total Energy Expenditure (TEE). If you want to lose weight, eat below this, if you want to gain weight then eat this number. As far as exercise goes, it doesn’t really matter what you do in the gym if you’re new to fitness, as long as you get in there and do something you will see great results.
1) Turnbaugh, Peter J.; Ley, Ruth E.; Mahowald, Michael A.; Magrini, Vincent; Mardis, Elaine R.; Gordon, Jeffrey I. (2006). “An obesity-associated gut microbiome with increased capacity for energy harvest”
Stevan McGrath loves to explore the world through traveling and thrilling getaways that adventure lovers may dream of exploring. His writing domain revolves around topics like health and fitness, wearable technologies, product reviews, skincare science etc. He is a contributing writer to various other websites since 2011. His articles are well-researched and published on several websites. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ for daily inspiration.