In the first article on fat loss we discussed the process of detoxification; removing the toxins from our fat cells by eliminating bad foods and swopping them for specific clean organic foods. We also discussed the 3 cleanses for the liver, kidney and gut which are responsible for removing the rubbish from our bodies, restoring these organs to optimal performance to help the fat loss and health goals.
This a great start and will certainly lead you onto a healthier and leaner body. It is simply NOT a case of reducing your calories and eating the same crap diet. Having an honest look “under the hood of your car” so to speak will help you find the root of your problems. When you want to lose body fat you must take a serious look at the foods you are eating and understand if they are helping or harming your body.
This leads us onto the second article which is on Gut Health. Good health begins in the Gut as this organ is responsible for extracting all the nutrients we need from our food. It houses 70% of our immune system so if we are looking to train hard and build a sculpted lean physique, we will need that support system in place.
At this point you are probably thinking “I understand that good gut health will lead up to and speed up Fat Loss…but how and why?”
Gut Flora. Your Gut aka your digestive tract is now also referred to as our 2nd brain. The body contains over 100 trillion cells and our digestive system contains close to 10 times that amount. Scientists state that the Gut has 100 times more genes than the human genetic code. Your digestive tract contains micro-organisms known as ‘gut flora’. The relationship between the human body and gut flora is symbiotic which means they work closely together. The Gut Flora keeps the immune system strong, grows helpful bacteria, produces vitamins for the intestinal tract and produces hormones such as oestrogen and testosterone.
So if your Gut Health is damaged then training and goals of Fat loss will be seriously sabotaged! This article will help you appreciate the focus on the benefits on the metabolism and immune system thus you’ll understand that it’s the only way to lose body fat safely and effectively.
2 people eat two halves of the same steak…
Client A has good gut health, a fast metabolism, a good relationship with absorbing proteins, fatty acids and carbohydrates. This person has detoxed and cleansed the body, in addition has maintained a clean, organic diet for 3 months and drinks lots of purified clean water.
Client B is overweight, fat, a much slower metabolism, a bad relationship with absorbing proteins, fatty acids and carbohydrates. This person's diet has been terrible for 3 months and drinks alcohol and fizzy drinks.
Can you see that both clients are eating the same steak however their bodies broke the food down differently because of the state of their gut health.
We have millions of strains of bacteria in our Gut which effects our ability to metabolise food. A sustained healthy diet will both speed up and improve our bodies abilities to achieve our desired body composition of muscle mass and body fat.
The earlier we chuck out the bad snacks, foods, alcohol and toxins the quicker our bodies can break down proteins, carbs and fats. Client A also typically can enjoy a cheat meal once a fortnight or month and know that the body will not have problems breaking it down for energy. Client B would repeatedly eat the same bad ‘cheat meal’ and the body will store it as fat. To break this down further read the four areas below which elaborate as to why your bodyfat is high or low.
1. Hormones. Gut Health also has an effect on several different hormones such as Insulin. This is a hormone made by the pancreas that allows your body to use sugar (glucose) from carbohydrates in the food that you eat for energy or to store as glucose for future use. Insulin helps to manage your blood sugar levels from getting too high or too low. Sugar cannot go into cells directly, it needs insulin to be released and attaches to and signals cells to absorb from the blood stream. This hormone is described as the 'key' which unlocks the cells to allow sugar to enter the cell to be used for energy. If insulin production is interrupted or damaged by a continuous bad diet of processed foods and refined sugars then it will not only cause harm to your gut health but cause your body fat (triglycerides) to increase. Good probiotic supplements have been shown to improve regulating glycemic control of blood sugar.
Leaky gut and other gut imbalances can impact other hormones including estrogen by disrupting estrobolome, the gut bacteria that metabolize estrogens. Gut health microbiome plays a central role in the regulation of estrogen levels within the body and thus influence the risk of developing estrogen related diseases such as endometriosis (gut dysbiosis) and polycystic ovary syndrome. Research also shows that gut health can impact the central nervous system disorders such as anxiety, depression, schizophernia and autism. This makes sense as your gut manufactures about 90% of the body's serotonin and neurotransmitters (brain hormones) that contributes to happiness and well being.
2. Prebiotics and Probiotics. Prebiotics are a type of fibre that gut flora (probiotics) feed on. This includes foods such as chicory root, Jerusalem artichoke, raw dandelion greens, onions and asparagus. Probiotics are billions of healthy microorganisms including lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium that help keep your Gut Healthy, hormones in check and waistline's down. Fermented and cultured foods contain probiotics, live microorganisms that help balance gut flora. Most of us don't eat fermented foods, making probiotic supplements a smart alternative to gut health. This is so very often the sticking point to weight loss for so many clients.
3. Digestive Enzymes. Digestive enzymes supplements help fix several issues such as bloating, flatulence, heart and Gut Health. There are four main type of digestive enzymes. Proteases and peptidases breakdown protein into smaller peptides and amino acids. Lipases break down fat into three fatty acids plus a glycerol molecule. Amylases break down carbs like starch into simple sugars. Once nutrients are broken down into small enough molecules they are absorbed through the wall of the small intestine into the blood stream and then delivered through the body. Something client A does very well at! However sometimes the body doesn't make enough digestive enzymes which can lead to slowing down of the metabolism and are not able to break down certain foods including lactose such as milk. Fruit and plant based foods will help you with digestive enzymes issues.
4. Immunity. From a health point of view (and not just aesthetics) your meals must have variety and be balanced which include fibre, phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and pro biotics. A strong, healthy, active Gut with high a metabolic rate will help prevent hundreds of other health issues such as IBS, runny nose, joint pain, bloating, congestion, low moods, headaches, stress, sleep deprivation, no energy, weight gain, leaky gut syndrome and more!
Now that we have an understanding of just how important gut health to losing stubborn body fat is, we need to address issues with our intestinal health with a 3-step process: