Ever thought of trying probiotics for weight loss? They may seem a little tame in comparison to fat burners and metabolism boosters, but there’s research out there to suggest that they’re super successful. Here’s what you should know.
Want to shed some pounds, feel better, have more energy, and get better rest? Who doesn’t! Probiotics could be the key to achieving all of those things. In a world full of fat burners, metabolism boosters, and gym supplements, probiotics don’t seem very exciting.
But if you want to lose weight and maximize your digestive health at the same time, a probiotic supplement is your best bet. Why? Once you get your gut health under control, everything from weight loss to energy levels falls into place without you even trying.
Let’s have a look at the evidence of probiotics for weight loss and why you should be seriously considering them if you want to drop the pounds.
The Gut Bacteria’s Role In Weight Loss
Probiotics are all about gut bacteria. But what role does gut bacteria play in weight loss? To understand, we need to look at how the good bacteria in your digestive system works in the digestive process. These living organisms in your gut help to:
- Break food down into nutrients
- Absorb the nutrients
- Fight off bad bacteria
- Produce vitamins
- Produce short-chain fatty acids
- Repair the gut lining
- Boost the immune system
- Maintain harmony in the gut
When the good bacteria in your gut is strong, well-fed, and working as it should, your metabolism should be speedy and your gut health should be good.
When they’re outnumbered by bad bacteria or weak, though, your gut health, immune system, and weight will suffer!
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How Do Probiotics Affect the Gut Bacteria?
Probiotics are live bacteria. When you hold a probiotic capsule, you’re holding the same organisms that live in your gut! When you ingest these capsules, you’re adding more strong, healthy bacteria to your digestive system.
If your gut bacteria is out of balance and the bad guys are winning, taking a probiotic supplement can boost the number of good guys, bringing harmony to your system. This means your body will:
- Digest food more easily
- Absorb nutrients in the food
- Feel fuller for longer
- Ease nasty gut symptoms
So, How Does This Help You Lose Weight?
Ultimately, probiotics themselves aren’t what lead to weight loss. It’s the improved gut health and reduced inflammation that comes with using probiotics that helps you lose the fat.
When your gut is healthy, weight loss comes easier and weight management is a breeze. Your body absorbs all the nutrients it needs, your bodily processes happen more smoothly, and inflammation goes away.
When your body is using all the nutrients from food, it stores less fat, keeping your waist size down and your energy levels up! This means you aren’t storing fat and you’ve got more energy to exercise, a win-win combination.
Other happy side effects of probiotics include a reduced appetite and increased satiety, which means overeating will be a thing of the past.
It’s important to note, though, that not all types of probiotics are known to be great for weight loss. If you want the most potent supplements that lead to weight loss, look for ones that contain lactobacillus gasseri or lactobacillus rhamnosus.
Other Factors That Contribute to Weight Loss
While probiotics for weight loss can make a big difference, they shouldn’t be used on their own. Taking probiotic supplements should improve your gut health, as long as you’re adapting your lifestyle to be healthier as well.
Using probiotics for weight loss will work much more effectively if you also fix the following aspects of your life.
If you’re eating an unhealthy diet, no amount of probiotic supplements is going to fix the state of your gut microbiome! But pair your supplements with a healthy diet, and you should see results fast.
All that’s really required for weight loss is to eat fewer calories than you burn. But even though you can eat 1,500 calories of processed food and sugar and still lose weight if you’re burning more than that, you’ll get much more nutrition out of a diet containing high levels of protein, healthy carbs, and a moderate amount of healthy fats.
What foods are good for the gut? Fermented foods are a great start, as they contain high levels of probiotics. Check out this list of prebiotic-rich foods—prebiotics are food for probiotic bacteria!
The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism. This means you should be doing resistance training as well as cardio, which gives you the best combination of muscle building and fat burning.
Of course, exercise also increases calorie burn. High-intensity interval training can boost your metabolism for several hours after your workout.
Poor health can have a negative impact on your weight. Illnesses can leave you feeling run down and lacking energy, which can easily lead to comfort eating and forgoing exercise.
Certain diseases and disorders can also have an impact on metabolism. For example, an underactive thyroid can lead to you gaining weight even if you’re eating well and staying active.
Another common health issue that can have a huge effect on gut health is diabetes. This leads to your body inadvertently storing sugar as fat instead of using it for energy.
Most of us aren’t getting enough sleep! But did you know that getting too little sleep can have a detrimental effect on your weight. When you’re short on rest, your body will search for energy the following day… And unless you can take a nap, you’re likely to be reaching for unhealthy and high-calorie carbs.
It’s hard to tell why, but one theory is that the quality of your sleep affects the hunger-regulating hormones in the body. When you’re tired, you’re also less likely to be inclined to exercise.
Did you know that hunger and thirst are regulated in the same part of the brain? Yep… When you start to feel snacky, you might actually just be thirsty.
Staying hydrated throughout the day is the key to preventing accidental eating! Water also helps to speed up the metabolism and ease the digestive process, so hydrated throughout the day is key to losing weight.
Risks of Taking Probiotics
There aren’t many documented negative side effects to taking probiotics. But everyone’s body is different, and some people may experience unpleasant effects when taking probiotics for the first time.
You may experience some digestive upset in the first week or two as your gut gets used to added bacteria. In rare cases, people may experience allergy-like symptoms including skin rashes and hives.
The only time it’s recommended for a person NOT to take probiotics is if they’re suffering from an autoimmune disorder or already have an overgrowth of bacteria in the gut.
Final Thoughts: Do Probiotics for Weight Loss Work?
So, do probiotics for weight loss actually work? It depends largely on the lifestyle of the person taking them, but if they’re used alongside a healthy diet, enough sleep, regular exercise, and good hydration, then the evidence suggests that they do truly help you to lose weight.
Taking them on their own without changing your lifestyle may not have the results you expect. But if you put in the extra effort, you can expect great results!