Is Your Gut Health Thwarting Your Best Weight Loss Efforts?

Have you been trying to lose weight, counting calories, exercising, but neither the scale or the pounds budge? One of the common problems of weight loss programs that donít work or work for the short-term but donít offer any lasting results is their failure to explore the link between gut health and weight loss.† One of the keys to permanent weight loss is a healthy gut with plentiful amounts of and a wide variety of strains of beneficial probiotics. Simply adding more fermented foods to your daily diet can make the difference. Fermented foods add beneficial bacteria known as probiotics to our diet and our bodies.

Related: 3 Great Vegan Fermented Foods to Make At Home

In numerous studies the intestines of overweight and obese people were found to differ from those of lean people. In the journal Beneficial Microbes, researchers found that obese and overweight people tend to have a higher ratio of harmful microbes to beneficial ones. The specific harmful microbes may differ from study to study, but the general consensus is that bad bugs (or a lack of good bacteria caused by insufficient amounts of fermented foods) may be making us fat.

After all, most of our ancestors included fermented foods in their diet on a daily basis.† Of course, overeating, poor eating choices and inadequate physical activities are also responsible. But, to adequately address weight issues it’s important to eliminate harmful pathogens that cause weight gain from our bodies. And, the best way to do that involves eating more fermented foods.

Studies, including the Beneficial Microbes one, now show that the ratio of healthy bacteria to harmful microbes in our gut can influence our weight in several ways, including by:

1)† Providing us with the energy we need through the breakdown of starches and sugars in our diet. Beneficial bacteria assist with the digestion and absorption of these carbohydrates.

2)† Affecting cellular energy levels of liver and muscle cells. If the liver and muscles do not receive the energy they need to perform optimally, then they donít function adequately and cannot break down fat stores and build up muscles (which in turn, break down fat).

3)† Affecting the accumulation of fat in our tissues.

Youíre probably wondering if eating more fermented foods will really make much of a difference to your weight? Research shows that it does. A study published in the journal Internal and Emergency Medicine showed promising results in the prevention and treatment of obesity and related metabolic disorders simply by changing the balance of intestinal flora, in favor of the healthy probiotics found in many fermented foods.

In that study, scientists examined the effects of administering probiotics to obese individuals. They found that probiotics could stabilize blood sugar levels, which reduces cravings for sweets and fatty foods, but also reduce the bodyís production of fat storage hormones. The combination of which results in a fat-melting alchemy that may help overweight and obese individuals lose weight even when other avenues arenít working. The study concluded that probiotics show promise in the prevention and treatment of obesity and metabolic disorders.

3 Great Fermented Foods to Make at Home
25 Easy Ways to Get More Fermented Foods into Your Diet
How to Make Fermented Pickles


Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-news Worldís Healthiest News, the Cultured Cook, president of PureFood BC, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: The Cultured Cook: Delicious Fermented Foods with Probiotics to Knock Out Inflammation, Boost Gut Health, Lose Weight & Extend Your Life.


Lesa D
Past Member 3 months ago

thank you Michelle...

Sonia Minwer Barakat Requ

Thanks for sharing

Marie W
Marie W11 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

natasha p
Past Member about a year ago


Sarah Hill
Sarah Hillabout a year ago

I love sauerkraut! Hubby does not. That means I don't get it very often.

Jeramie D
Jeramie Dabout a year ago


STEFANIE RACKSabout a year ago


bob Petermann
bob Pabout a year ago

Thanks for the ideas

Angelo Morella
Angelo Morellaabout a year ago

It’s worth thinking about the cause of a problem as this provides more alternatives to fix the problem. Adding probiotics to the diet is a worthwhile intervention however it does not address the cause of the problem. Apparently one of the contributors to the makeup of the microbiome is what we eat. Eating meat frequently results in different microbe profile compared with vegetarians and results in bugs that produce methylamine a cancer causing substance. So the bugs that grow have specific nutritional needs and if one is not eating the right food one may not have the right diet to promote proliferation of beneficial bugs from fermented foods.
Although we have been brought up listening to people who purport to be health saviours and allege to have the answer to a specific problem, it more often the case that addressing the mess that we have got into health wise in our affluent societies requires a basket of solutions. The Mediterranean diet is one such basket of solutions including, modest amounts of foods based on a foundation of daily staples such as starches (eg pasta, bread, rice and potatoes), followed by fruit, veg beans legumes and nuts with lesser amounts of olive oil, chees e and yogurt, weekly additions of fish, poultry, eggs and monthly addition of meat.
Less than 4% of Australians follow the Australian dietary guidelines, and in my experience they are unwilling, ignorant of and/or are addicted to their tasty oversized servings of bug and health killing food

Laurie S
Laurie Sabout a year ago