Do I need Probiotics for Weight Loss?

The Power of

What is a Probiotic?

Probiotics are a group of live, active microorganisms (mostly bacteria, but some other microbes like yeast) that have intended health benefits within the GI tract

What do Probiotics do inside our bellies?

Probiotics can ferment, decompose, and help to digest the foods you eat. The bacteria must be live cultures in order for us to get the benefits of probiotics.

What can probiotics do for our health?

Research has been emerging on probiotics and shows that those with lesser amount of “good” gut bacteria are more susceptible to diseases of the GI tract like Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s, Irritable Bowel, and even has been linked to greater risk of obesity.  Having appropriate amounts of probiotics in the diet and in the gut are linked to a healthier immune system, improved cardiovascular health, better nutrient absorption, and lessened risk of obesity.

Where do we get Probiotics?

We start acquiring gut microbes when we are born, and continue to acquire more depending on our environment. In fact, if you have a pet, you have more gut microbes than someone who doesn’t! Your food and drink choices, as well as, overall health, stress and antibiotic use can impact the gut microbe amounts. Antibiotics kill all of the bacteria in the gut, whether good or bad, in attempt to help fight off illness!

Sources of Probiotics

Fermented foods are all great sources of probiotics. Fermented foods are cheese, kefir, and yogurt. The good bacteria is used in the fermentation process, which helps yield the final product. To know if you’re getting good bacteria, the label on the product will say “live and active cultures”. There are other food sources of probiotics that go beyond dairy; these are any pickled vegetables, some soybean products, and unpasteurized sauerkraut. Another source of probiotics is Kombucha, which is a yeast fermented tea drink. It provides the good bacteria, while in a drinkable tea form.

Eating and Storage of Probiotics

-      Most probiotics need to be kept in a refrigerator, so be sure to store them between 34-38 degrees.

-      Probiotics come in different strains, check the label to see what type you’re getting (there’s Lactobacillus rhamnosus, L. casei, Bifidobacterium lactis, L. bulgaricus, and S. themophiles.)

-      Cooking and eating will destroy the live and active cultures

-      If you have a milk allergy, be careful because some probiotics are grown in a dairy medium, even if the product is in a dairy product

-      Try to have probiotics in your diet every day since they cannot be stored, they only pass through the GI tract

Why Fad Diets Aren’t Working for You

They reel you in with flashy promises, like lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks, never have cellulite again, the diet to end all diets, cut carbs and find happiness, but after it’s all said and done, you never seem to lose as much weight as they diet says you’re supposed to.

You may lose 5 pounds over 2 weeks, but you still aren’t happy.

So, you pick another to try and start down that road again.

No carbs, no coffee, no fruit, no protein, high protein, drink only protein shakes, have this cleanse, etc, etc, etc!

The list and gimmicks are endless.

But they never seem to work for you in the long run.

Here’s why:

They don’t teach you what to do once the diet, the challenge, the cleanse ends. They lay out tough to meet guidelines, but you go after it for 2 weeks to 30 days, you get slightly discouraged when you don’t see the same result, and then go back to what you were doing before the diet/challenge/cleanse started.

How discouraging!

They aren’t working for you because they are too strict, make you change too much at once, and don’t help you once you lose the weight thus making you gain it all back.

So, what should you do?

Start small. Find the easiest, the smallest thing you can change today, like cutting out that snack you mindlessly eat before bed, or skipping that frappuccino in the morning on the way into work, or that 2pm soda. Start small and make it something easy.

Once you feel confident with that, add something else in. Maybe extra vegetables with dinner, or a 15 minute walk twice a week. Slowly start to increase those healthy habits, like extending your walks for another 15 minutes, or adding vegetables to lunch and see where it takes you.

When you take something away completely and make it off limits, you create deprivation and cravings. Slowly ween yourself off of the soda, the excess snacks and such, but when you feel like having them, just do it! Honor that hunger and craving!

Weight loss and diets can seem so overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Start small and see where it takes you.