Top tips to lose weight by improving your digestive system
WEIGHT LOSS can often be a hard journey for many, not knowing where to start and not knowing the correct foods to feed your body. From crash diets to restricting your body of nutrients it is often hard to know what your body needs in order to lose weight healthily.
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Your digestive system aka your gut, is one of the most important parts of your body, it breaks down food and nutrients which the body uses for energy, growth, and cell repair.
Alex Glover, nutritionist at Holland & Barrett told the Express.co.uk: “There are lots of ways to lose weight over the short term, but this doesn’t mean they’re healthy or sustainable.
“There are millions of bacteria living inside your gut, known as your microbiome. Everyone’s microbiome is unique to them, and everyone’s plays a large factor in weight management.”
Studies by Kings College, London have shown that your microbiomes affect how even identical twins differ in gaining and storing weight.
“Meaning our weight loss journeys must always work to also benefit our gut,” says Alex.
Dietitian Dr Megan Rossi, aka The Gut Health Doctor and author of Eat Yourself Happy explained how rather than cutting things our of your diet, losing weight and maintaining a good working digestive system is all about portion control.
She told the Express.co.uk: “For filling and nutritious meals, diversity and fibre are key for keeping us fuller for longer.”
When a meal keeps you fuller for longer, you are less likely to snack throughout the day which can help when losing weight.
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Dr Rossi added: “Rather than counting calories, I’d recommend focusing on variety – the more, the better – and keeping to appropriate portion sizes.
However Dr Rossi explains that it is important not to obsess over portion control as this can impact your relationship with food as well as your overall well being.
The Gut Health Doctor continued: “Unlike other types of carbohydrates, our human cells can’t digest fibre. It’s sole purpose is to feed our gut bacteria, which, in turn, produce beneficial compounds that help to balance our blood sugars and tell our brains that we’re full.
“At the moment in the UK, we’re only getting 19g a day of fibre on average, out of the recommended 30g daily. It’s a good idea to increase your fibre intake to help with blood sugar ‘balance’.”
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Healthline says that eating more foods rich in fibre can be an effective strategy to help lose weight.
However, it won’t lead to long-term results unless you pair it with a lasting lifestyle change.
A long lasting lifestyle change refers to daily exercise, getting plenty of sleep and nourishing the body with good whole foods.
Dr Rossi suggests aiming for two pieces of fruit, five portions of vegetables, three portions of wholegrain, one to two portions of nuts or seeds daily.
She also explains that weight management isn’t just about the food we eat, poor sleep quality can also be associated with weight gain and recommends around seven to nine hours of sleep a night.
Nutritionist Jenna Hope told the Express.co.uk: “Beans and pulses are great foods to include in your diet when it comes to fat loss.
“These foods are low in calories whilst being a great source of prebiotic fibres.
“Prebiotic fibres are required to feed the good bacteria in the gut to help maintain an optimal gut bacteria profile.
“Beans and pulses can be added to soups, stews, curries and dips.”
Improving your digestive system aka your gut health by incorporating nutritious gut friendly foods can help with weight loss if paired with a lifestyle change.
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