Can Probiotics Help You Lose Weight?

fit couple with abs showing weight loss and measures waist

There are claims that probiotic pills are magic weight loss solutions, but is this really the truth? There are a lot of unproven claims that exist in the dietary world. People love to jump on the “next best thing” before it is even proven to work. So, how do we know that probiotic pills work? This article will help you to understand what these are and if there is a chance that they can actually help you lose weight.

What are They?

Probiotics are beneficial to our body, although they are categorized as bacteria. Probiotics are especially helpful to our digestive systems. They come in supplements and they are found in certain foods. These foods include, kimchi, sauerkraut, and probably the best known food, yogurts. Our stomachs have both good and bad bacteria in them. Good bacteria, like probiotics, can be very beneficial to your gut health. The reason probiotics have come into talks about weight loss, is the fact that research has suggested that our gut health is directly linked to weight gain or loss.

Our gut health is obviously important for our overall health, but the question is, does it directly affect our weight? Some research has shown probiotics can be linked to weight loss because they help make our guts healthy. This research is not completely concrete quite yet, but researchers are making progress in trying to understand how our gut health affects our weight.

What Does the Science Say?

woman forming heart with hands over her belly gut healthGood gut health and a healthy weight have been linked over the years, but how much do they affect each other? When it comes to being heavier, studies have shown that these people have less good gut bacteria than people who are at a healthy weight. The less you weigh, the more gut bacteria you actually have. This is important because your gut needs all these different bacteria to stay healthy.

There still isn’t much solid evidence that supports the theory that probiotics are directly linked to weight loss. The biggest hill that researchers will have to climb is the fact that no one really knows if good gut bacteria is the result of a healthy diet, or if it occurs naturally in some people. Since there are also good bacteria in your food, it is really a toss-up on whether or not people with good gut health have it naturally or for their diets. Also, most of the research done on gut bacteria has been studied in animals and not in humans. Making this claim that probiotics help with weight loss a little tougher to prove.

There are suggestions that we should be looking at prebiotics instead. Prebiotics are fibers that your gut bacteria feeds on. Prebiotics can be found in vegetables, fruits, and oats. These foods are usually low in calories and are beneficial to your health, especially if you are looking for health foods. Fiber rich foods, like those that are health foods, help to make fatty acids in our body. Fatty acids are good for your health and your body needs them for various functions. Fiber-rich foods, like fruits and vegetables, are also used to increase healthy hormones found in your intestines. The more of these hormones that we have, the more full that we feel throughout the day. They lead to weight loss by helping reduce snack cravings throughout the day.

So, do Probiotics Work for Weight Loss?

food high in probiotics yogurt miso sauerkrautIt will not hurt you to take probiotic supplements. It is also not likely, at least as of now, that they help with extreme weight loss. Of course, having good gut health can help you to lose weight and give you better overall health, but the science behind probiotics is not sound. Keep in mind that probiotic supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. This means that quality control is at a minimum when it comes to these supplements. The best way to add probiotics to your diet is through the food that you eat. It will also be very beneficial to your overall health to begin adding foods that are high in probiotics to your diet.

What can I do for Weight Loss?

If you want to improve your gut health and loss weight there are a few things that you can do.

  1. You can add more barley and oats to your diet. You should be eating about one serving of either oats or barley daily. These carbs are best ate at breakfast time because they are filling and can help you to power through your mornings. They are full of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps you to poop, so it is very beneficial to your gut health. Barley and oats are more beneficial to your gut health than other whole grains because they are more soluble.
  2. Incorporate fruits and vegetables into your diet. Even if you feel as if you are already getting enough fruits and vegetables, you probably aren’t. Studies show that eating three or four servings of fruit daily and three to six servings of vegetables is the most beneficial to your health. You can incorporate these servings throughout your day. Have a serving or two with breakfast. Have a few with dinner, you will probably want to have your vegetable with dinner and lunch. Have a serving or two for a snack in the middle of the day, you can do a serving of fruits and veggies at this time. Incorporating these servings is not as hard as it seems and can be easily used in your everyday diet.
  3. To help your gut, you should eat at least one serving of yogurt a day. This does not mean to go grab the kid’s yogurt, but instead look into yogurts that are full of probiotics, like Greek yogurt. This will give your gut a healthy amount of probiotics, without you having to do too much to change your diet.

Talk to your doctor about how probiotics can help you.

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