As discussed last week in Part 1 of this series, several factors come into play when it comes to weight loss.
We covered proper tracking of food intake in our previous post, and why it is key to ensuring we are eating the right amount.
This week we will discuss other factors that affect weight loss such as food quality and gut health.
The quality of the food you eat can have a tremendous impact on health. Tracking macronutrients is important, but where the macronutrients come from is equally as vital.
Typically the healthier our bodies become, the more we trend towards our ideal levels of body weight and fat. Much research suggests that the foods that make our bodies healthiest are ones our ancestors ate before modern food processing.
Many processed foods are made in a way that is incompatible with our digestion. The way our body processes a sweet potato with coconut oil can be very different from the way it processes a powdered donut even though calories and macronutrients are similar.
The sweet potato is packed with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. It has specific plant fibers to nourish beneficial gut microorganisms. It has an ideal ratio of starch to sugar and combined with the coconut oil it can keep blood sugar within healthy levels post meal.
Overall, it is more likely to have positive impacts on your health, mood, and energy levels. The powdered donut on the other hand may have a much higher amount of sugar, a highly inflammatory type of fat, and synthetic chemical ingredients to act as food stabilizers and flavorings.
Even processed meal replacements enriched with vitamins and minerals that are marketed as being healthy alternatives for weight loss have major health disadvantages to whole unprocessed food.
Our bodies simply don’t assimilate isolated nutrients the same as they do in their natural state in whole unprocessed food.
The health of our digestive system is largely dictated by our microbiome. The microbiome is a collection of bacteria, yeast, and other microorganisms that reside in our digestive tract.
These microorganisms carry out a multitude of metabolic processes including helping us digest the foods we eat. Keeping the microbiome healthy becomes essential to make sure our metabolism is healthy.
Many things can negatively affect the microbiome like frequent alcohol consumption, high intake of processed foods, antibiotic use, and chronic stress. Limiting these things can often lead to better weight management.
It’s also important to eat foods that our bodies tolerate and digest well. Unfortunately food eaten doesn’t always translate to food digested if we don’t have the proper microorganisms to help facilitate the process.
Even naturally occurring unprocessed foods can wreak havoc on our health if we are not able to properly digest them.
For example, many different grains and legumes can cause gut irritation if not properly prepared to be digestible. Often undigested food can lead to gas, bloating, sluggishness, and sometimes more serious health concerns.
It can be beneficial to identify foods that our bodies don’t agree with and limit them from the diet.