For those who have been struggling to shed a few pounds and get down to a healthy weight, the journey might seem harder than it is supposed to be. Even if you’re trying to gain weight, sometimes the process seems nearly impossible. After all, you have tried to monitor your caloric intake, you’ve increased your activity levels, and you are trying to keep up a positive, can-do attitude. So which factors can help you control the effect of metabolism on weight gain?
If the scale isn’t budging or if it seems to be going in the opposite direction, you might want to start looking at the silent work of the microorganisms living in your gut. Most people blame their metabolism for unexplained weight gain, weight loss, or plateau, but it might be directly related to the health of your gut. That may be true, but we need to look at the health factors that help lower and increase metabolism and affect your lifestyle.
You may have thought you were in this weight struggle on your own, but the truth of the matter is that there are trillions of tiny bacteria in the digestive system that have a very strong influence on your metabolism and weight fluctuations. Let’s examine how gut bacteria can affect your digestive system and metabolism, making it harder to make the scale move in the desired direction.
The Need for Gut Health
Research has shown that with the right balance of bacteria within the digestive tract can help boost your immune system, improve your ability to defend against the symptoms of digestive disorders, and work to promote healthy weight maintenance. However, in addition to these benefits, there is a new wave of evidence that indicates a healthy system full of active probiotics can help you pursue healthier food options and weaken your attraction to processed and unhealthy foods.
One of the studies that support this claim is the work of the Washington University School of Medicine. In a study with 154 people who were considered obese, they had the smallest variety of gut bacteria. When there is an increase in the bacteria Firmicutes, there is evidence of increased risk for more significant weight gain. This bad bacteria take the calories out of food and converts them into fatty acids and simple sugars and dumping them back into the bloodstream and intestines. However, with an increase in levels of Bacteroidetes, there has been evidence that the processing functions can help create a slimmer physique.
The Effect on Metabolism
Anyone with an interest in dieting or who is plagued by inconsistent weight gain will want to know all the tips and tricks for getting back to a target weight or slowing the ride of packing on the pounds. We know there is an effect of metabolism on weight gain, but we need to understand what affects metabolism. Gut bacteria is through to help with this process, with some strains of probiotics helping flood the body with more calories and reducing the ability of the body to store calories as fat.
Perhaps more significantly, scientists in New York have indicated that Helicobacter pylori assist with regulating the hormones related to feelings of hunger. Too much of this bacteria can cause H. pylori and painful stomach ulcers, so keeping an optimum level of good bacteria of all kinds is crucial to digestive health.
There is also the presence of a fatty acid called acetate that needs to be regulated by good gut bacteria, but when there is too much acetate, it promotes unhealthy storage of body fat. While most people tend to blame a slow metabolism for the build-up of body fat, the initial culprit can be linked back to poor gut health. Replenishing the gut with Bifidobacterium and other good bacteria can restore the balance and improve metabolism functions.
When it comes to helping your body burn through the nutrients and convert food into the components that feed the body, there is a lot of functioning that can be attributed to genetics. Metabolism is one of the functions that is often blamed for unwanted weight gain and while it is impacted by the individual’s genetic makeup, there are other factors that influence how fast or slowly your body can use up energy.
‘Digesting’ The Facts
The metabolism is the bodily process where food and drink are converted into usable energy. The body, even when it is at rest, needs the energy to fuel functions like breathing, growing cells, circulating the blood, and adjusting hormone levels. Things like body size and composition, gender, and age are genetic areas that affect your metabolism rates, but food processing and physical activity are individually-controlled elements that can impact how well your body successfully burn energy.
To boost your gut health, try these gut-friendly foods.
High Fiber Foods
- Green peas
- Beans (kidney, pinto, and white)
- Whole grains
Foods High in Polyphenols
- Cocoa and dark chocolate
- Red wine
- Grape skins
- Green tea
Controlling your metabolism and keeping your weight in check is possible if you maintain a healthy, active lifestyle. This includes a well-balanced diet, aerobic or physical activity four to six times a week, and good gut health. Try to engage in intense resistance training a few times a week to also help maximize the metabolism boost. Now we understand the effect of metabolism on weight gain, the role of gut health, and the importance of exercise, we can take our health to the next level.