We know that you—like us—are super keen to do what it takes to healthily keep your weight in check. So to help you understand your body better, we’ll be releasing a series of blog posts, written by TCM expert Dr. Nat Kringoudis, specifically about healthy weight management. We want you to understand what can really make the difference in keeping you happy, healthy, and lean.
Look out for these five upcoming Healthy Weight Management Series blogs:
- Is your poor gut health contributing to your weight gain?
- Are your hormones making you gain weight?
- How stress is contributing to your waistline.
- Why your emotional health may be standing in the way of a leaner you.
- Is your liver to blame for your tight jeans?
Is Poor Gut Health Contributing to Your Weight Gain?
We’ve long raved on about gut health; that’s because it is so darn important. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, remember, your gut is the center (the hub) of your body’s universe. But to understand how it’s connected to weight gain, you have to dig into it on a deeper level. That’s why we are here now, to understand exactly why your digestive system could be the reason you continue to see the scales crawl up and the pounds creep on.
Perhaps you’ve always thought of food as something that ticks boxes in meeting your body’s hunger needs and left it at that. The truth is, our digestive systems are so much more than a huge pit that catches our food once we’ve enjoyed it. Food is medicine and that what you eat can either take you toward healthy weight management or the contrary. What you put in your body counts.
Decoding and understanding your body is like peeling back the layers of an onion. It’s one thing to make sure your food is feeding your body in the right way; the next layer is making sure the digestive system is in good working order so it can complete its task of assimilating and breaking down food. You could eat your body weight in amazing whole foods, however if your digestive system is sluggish, it may be unable to meet your body’s daily nutritional requirements.
Digestion begins in your mouth, where enzymes are released to begin the breakdown process. From there, it depends on what you eat (carbohydrate, protein, fat or sugar and so on) as to how it is absorbed—all food requires various enzymes and digestive processes to get the job done. It’s an intricately orchestrated activity that happens inside each and every one of us.
Unfortunately, over time, our digestive health has gotten weaker as we are exposed to more pollutants, stress, environmental influences, poor food choices, and heredity factors. When your digestive system is weakened, your body struggles to extract the micronutrients required for everyday body function. The end result is that your body continues to tell you that it is hungry because its needs haven’t been met. Hence, the cycle begins. You overeat to meet your body’s requirements, and your body continues to ask for more and more.
Overeating isn’t a solution to poor gut health. It only leads to weight gain. The solution is to rebuild and repair your gut so that it can once again do the job it is supposed to do! There are several elements to healthy weight management and healing your gut health:
- First, we need to look at the gut wall—the barrier between your food and the rest of your body. Gut wall permeability is key. To support a healthy wall, it’s important to include foods that are rich in collagen, such as gelatin. The tricky part is, these foods are often ones we’ve avoided including the bones, tendons, skin, and scales of animals. However, you can buy gelatin supplements. There is also evidence to suggest that gelatin helps to normalize hormones in people with obesity.
- Second, check your gut flora. Medications like birth control or antibiotics, stress, and inflammatory foods like sugar and gluten all rob the gut of precious bacteria required for great health. The trick is to reintroduce bacteria by eating probiotic foods like fermented vegetables, kefir yoghurt, and kombucha.
- Third, make sure your gut is digesting well. Ingredients like Mai Ya (Barley), Shan Zha (hawthorn berry), and Green Tea are wonderful for their ability to maximize digestion and aid in absorption. These ingredients are found in many of our tea blends to really help the gut digest optimally, such as Digestive Herbs formerly Tiny Tea Teatox, Liver Cleanse, and Anti-C Tea.
Steering your body toward optimal health doesn’t need to be overwhelming or difficult. It starts with the little things you can do daily. The simple tools in this blog will get your digestion on track in no time and encourage healthy weight management!