Losing fat is just about eating less and moving more, right? Well, basically the entire fitness industry has been built on this premise, but is that really all there is to it? How do we explain all those people who aren’t necessarily over-eating and who exercise on a regular basis but they still can’t lose the fat? It’s genetics then, right? Although there may be a genetic component to fat loss, researchers still can’t account using genetics alone for why one person can eat junk and not gain fat while someone else seems to put on 10lbs from just looking at that kind of food. So if it’s not just about how much you move, or what you eat, or what your genetic make up is, what else do we need to consider?
Allow me to introduce you to your gut bacteria, a literal ecosystem living in your lower intestine. Researchers are now studying the effects that gut bacteria has on your weight and overall health, and the results are startling! According to a new documentary put out by The Nature of Things on CBC called It Takes Guts, “Microbes help us digest food, harvest calories, provide us with energy, produce crucial vitamins, regulate appetite, protect our immune system and fend off the bad guys. But because of our modern lifestyle, including a highly processed Western diet and overuse of antibiotics, some of the species of bacteria that once lived in our gut are on the verge of extinction.”
Understanding the role that your gut bacteria play in your health is vital, especially in the age of germophobia and the misapplication of antibiotics (especially in the case of our industrialized food system). Embrace those little guys! Protect their ecosystem by giving them a nice environment in your lower intestine to live in and they’ll return the favour many times over.
Besides being a regular contributor to the Function Health Club blog, Jeff Doyle is also the co-owner of Function Health Club as well as a Personal Trainer, BCRPA Trainer of Fitness Leaders, Agatsu Kettlebell Instructor and Older Adult Wellness Practitioner. He also has a Bachelor of Human Kinetics. You can contact Jeff directly at firstname.lastname@example.org