You can now blame your gut flora for your excess weight. Research has found that obese people and lean people have different types of microbes in their guts.
One study put genetically-similar mice on a high fat diet. The mice gained or lost weight depending on the types of bacteria in their gut. A diverse mix of bacteria in the gut is also key to staying thin.
Another study looked at 77 pairs of twins — one twin was obese, the other wasn’t. The researchers found that the obese twin had different gut bacteria — as well as less bacterial diversity — than their non-obese twin.
Naturally slender people have more of a bacteria from the Bacteroidetes phylum. You can’t buy this species as a supplement, but you can hack it by eating foods bursting with antioxidants called polyphenols — found in brightly colored vegetables, coffee, and chocolate.
Gut microbes also make a hormone called FIAF (fasting-induced adipose factor) which tells the body to stop storing fat and burn it instead. To ramp up FIAF production, you want to starve the bacteria of starch and sugar. When bacteria are “hungry,” they make more FIAF and you burn fat.
Cleaning up your diet is the most powerful way to starve the bad bacteria and feed the good guys.
In the meantime, follow these gut-friendly diet tips:
Quit sugar: If you make one change to improve your gut health, make it this. Bad bacteria love sugar and feed off of it. Excess sugar is the prime culprit behind small bacterial intestinal overgrowth (SIBO) and candida (a type of yeast overgrowth). Cut out sugar (that includes the fructose in fruit), low-nutrient carbs, conventional dairy, and alcohol.
Choose a variety of foods: The hallmark of a thriving gut is a diverse mix of good bacteria. So eating a variety of low-toxin, anti-inflammatory foods ensures no one bacterial strain dominates over the others. Focus on vegetables, high-quality protein, and omega-3 fats.
Add MCT oil: Medium-chain triglycerides — the saturated fatty acids found in coconut oil — are strong antifungals, antibacterials, and antivirals. Try Brain Octane Oil — it’s the most potent extract of coconut oil. Use it in your Bulletproof Coffee, drizzle it over sushi, or blend it in a smoothie.
Feed your good bacteria prebiotic's: Prebiotic's are what good bacteria (aka probiotics) feed on. This process produces short-chain fatty acids like butyrate, which strengthens your brain and your gut (grass-fed butter is full of butyrate — one reason why it’s such a big part of the Bulletproof Diet.) You can get prebiotic's from vegetables rich in soluble fiber like sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, and asparagus, as well as coffee and chocolate. Also experiment with foods high in prebiotic resistant starch, like plantain and green banana flour, cooked and cooled white rice, and raw potato starch. Not everyone can tolerate resistant starch, so start slowly and track how you feel (one tablespoon of potato starch a day is a good starting point).
Get more collagen: Collagen heals and repairs the gut lining, making it easier for your body to absorb nutrients. Eat collagen-rich foods such as bone broth and organ meats, or add a hydrolyzed collagen protein powder to your smoothie.