Are you tired of the endless cycle of dieting and exercising without seeing results? What if I told you that the key to effortless weight loss lies in your gut health? That's right - your digestive system plays a crucial role in weight loss success. Keeping your gut healthy can help you lose weight and may even be the key to achieving your wellness goals. In this blog post, we'll explore the important role that gut health plays in weight loss through my own story.
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First reaction from people who knew me before I started on my natural healing journey is “waou! You’ve lost weight!” And that is how the whole conversation about how I’ve lost 33 pounds and how I've been healing naturally my autoimmune disease begins.
One night, back in October 2017, as I was talking to my new friend Manon about my joint pain, fatigue, and the huge impact my ankylosing spondylitis was having on both my personal and professional life, she advised me to go see her nutritionist, to check with him about food intolerances. Coincidentally, at that time, I had already been reading a lot about this subject and I was ready to give it a try. So my one and only goal, when I went to see this nutritionist was to try to stop the pain in my joints that I had been suffering from most of my life.
💭 Healthy BMI but still fat
When I first went to see this nutritionist, I weighed 138 pounds (for a 5ft4 height) so I absolutely didn’t think that I was overweight and I had a healthy BMI.
I knew that I was gaining a little bit of weight each year since I was 18. I gained about 4 pounds a year for no particular reason. But I wasn’t really worried about it because my mom and many people around me told me that it was normal to gain weight as I was getting older.
My nutritionist told me, “although it happens very often, it is not normal to gain weight just because you grow older, without a change in your way of feeding yourself and exercising”.
What he also told me, was that I was overweight, even though I didn’t really look fat and my Body Mass Index (BMI) was saying that I was in the “healthy” zone.
I was overweight not because of some trend or because some standard index was telling me that I was. But according to my own specific body constitution. My nutritionist has a special machine that scans the body and tells him the exact amount of fat, water and bones in my body. And according to the numbers given by this machine, I had too much fat and too much water in my body, mainly in my legs.
In the end, I was not really surprised because, at that time, it was getting harder and harder for me to stand for a long time due to water retention in my legs. I would wear compression tights a lot, in order to try and help with that. Walking and running would also cause lower back pain as my legs were so heavy to lift.
And last but not least, it was getting harder for me to find dresses in stores that would fit, due to a two-size difference between my upper body and my lower body. This might sound stupid, but not being able to find dresses that fitted me was depressing me. But, you probably know the drill: I just accommodated all these little discomforts and kept on with my life.
⭐ The Hidden Culprit of my Weight Gain: my Gut Health
I’ve always exercised and eaten home cooked meals. Already at that time, I almost never bought prepared meals at the supermarket. Thanks to my ingredient expert dad who taught me how to select the best quality products, I was already used to checking all ingredients on all packaged foods before buying them.
This nutritionist/functional doctor got me tested for intolerances on 22 foods. He also did a complete checkup of all my vitamin levels and many other things. With the results of these tests, he had the proof in front of his eyes that I was living a pretty healthy life.
So why was I overweight??
My nutritionist explained to me, that I wasn’t at fault in gaining this weight. It was due to my gut health! Without knowing it, I was eating food that was causing inflammation in my body .
Gut health plays a significant role in maintaining a healthy weight. When the gut isn't functioning optimally, it can cause a lot of issues that may lead to weight gain or difficulty losing weight.
📖 Why Gut Health Matters for Weight Loss
If you have read my article about food intolerances, you know that you can eat food you are intolerant to, without even noticing it. That is exactly what happened to me. According to my functional medicine nutritionist, eating food that I was intolerant to was causing inflammation in my body. This inflammation was preventing the adipocytes (body cells) in my body from doing their job of fat destocking.
My nutritionist made me remove my food intolerances from my diet and gave me some supplements to heal my gut. And I lost 33 pounds even though I still eat quite a lot, regardless of the calories and the quantity of fat in my food.
Again, my first goal was not to lose weight (or to cure my keratosis pilaris and many other symptoms). But by removing the food causing inflammation in my body and by healing my gut, I cured all these other symptoms.
And honestly, I feel much better in my body now that I have lost those 33 pounds. Not because I think I'm more beautiful. But because I feel better in my body because my legs are lighter. They used to be so heavy that it was painful for my lower back and my joints. It's now much easier and less painful for me to walk and run because the overweight in my legs is gone.
By healing my gut, the pounds effortlessly melt away.
When it comes to weight loss, gut health is vitally important. Taking the time to understand the role that gut health plays in weight loss and focusing on building and maintaining a healthy gut, can help you reach your weight loss goals more easily.
Start taking steps to improve your gut health today. Try adding some gut-healthy foods to your diet and experiment to see what works for you.
📋 Resources I Recommend
If you want to learn more about gut health and weight loss I highly recommend these resources :
- Gut and Weight: From dysbiosis to overweight, From inflammation to obesity written by Doctor Panizza.
- How to Fix Your Gut Bacteria and Lose Weight by Dr Mark Hyman