Does Gut Bacteria Cause Weight Gain?

woman with an overweight belly measuring her waist

You do everything right. You eat the right foods, do the right workouts, drink the right amount of water and sleep the right amount of hours. After months and months of ceaseless effort, you just aren't seeing the results you want. Instead of trying the hundredth workout on the list or the newest fitness fad, try taking a look inward. The culprit of your weight gain, or lack of weight loss, could be hiding in the dark corners of your stomach. There are billions of microorganisms at war in your gut that can help or harm your body, depending on who is winning.

According to WebMD, there is a difference in the mix of bacteria between healthy people and people who are overweight or unhealthy. It's not necessarily that healthy people have certain bacteria and unhealthy people have another. The more variety you have, the better able your body is to produce molecules to keep your body working at its best. An article featured on Scientific American says that gut bacteria determines how we store fat, whether or not we feel hungry or full and the balance of glucose in the blood. Perhaps the secret to weight loss is keeping your gut happy and paying attention to the mixture of bacteria floating around in there.

woman eating a healthy snack of fruit and yogurt

>> Read about all the benefits of probiotics and how they can make you happy.

Researchers have identified one particular type of bacteria that may exist in thin people and not obese people. While it's not yet proven, researchers discovered that, on the same diet and exercise, mice who were given that bacteria gained less weight than those who weren't. (via Byrdie) It may sound crazy, but it just might be a step in the right direction. You probably already know that weight loss starts, and predominantly resides, in the kitchen. What you eat is a huge determining factor for reaching your weight loss goals. The same goes for gut bacteria. Foods that contain the good bacteria that you want in your belly include yogurt, miso soup, soft cheeses, pickles, legumes and asparagus. (via Health & Wellbeing) Be mindful of what you eat, knowing that the food you put in your body could be helping or hurting your weight loss, depending on what tiny organisms are packed inside.

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