How Significant is the Role of Gut Health in Weight Management Solutions?
Over half of the adults in the EU are obese. The search for weight management solutions has revealed that the gut microbiome plays a significant role. There can be little doubt about the reasons why so many people are overweight today. Previous generations dined mainly on fresh, natural meats and vegetables and engaged in more physical work. By contrast, our modern lifestyle is far more sedentary. Most employees now sit at a desk or counter whilst at work, and spend their evenings in an armchair watching TV.
In addition, the twenty-first-century diet consists predominantly of highly processed foods. Two hormones control our appetite. Leptin is also known as the “satiety hormone” as it assists your body in regulating energy intake and expenditure thereby keeping your body fat levels balanced. Ghrelin signals hunger. It seems that some additives in processed foods tend to suppress the action of leptin. At the same time, sugar and high-fructose corn syrup can raise the level of ghrelin, leaving one still feeling hungry even after eating.
Common Weight Management Solutions
Dieticians, fitness trainers, physicians and surgeons offer various ways to lose weight. Some merely require time and willpower, while others are more rigorous but offer a quick fix:
- Diet: There are probably as many diets as dieticians, although most regimes do not seem to be sustainable in the long run. Dieting requires time and discipline. It often takes months to see results.
- Exercise: Jogging, cycling, brisk walking, and regular gym visits are helpful but require dedication. In practice, exercising should be combined with healthy eating to be effective.
- Liposuction: This surgical procedure involves removing fat from areas such as the thighs, buttocks and tummy. It is essentially a cosmetic procedure and is prone to risks. One might lose up to five kilos, but it offers no long-lasting health benefits.
- Gastric Band Surgery: Placing an adjustable band around the upper stomach creates a small pouch while partially isolating the larger portion below. After the operation, a person may only eat and drink small quantities leaving them feeling full quicker and for longer. To ensure losing enough but not too much weight, the surgeon can adjust the band by injecting liquid into it through a port just beneath the skin. A band is not suitable for everyone and requires some lifestyle changes.
Imbalances in the Gut Microbiome can Hinder Weight Management Solutions
Why do some people seem able to eat anything without gaining a gram, while others tend to gain weight regardless of what they eat? The explanation may be found in the gastrointestinal tract. The human intestinal tract is home to a vast number of microorganisms consisting of hundreds of different species, collectively known as the gut microbiome. The precise composition differs between individuals. Many of these microbes play a role in aiding the digestion and absorption of food.
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