Is a Gut Microbiome Testing Kit Your Key to Sustainable Weight Loss?

Can a Gut Microbiome Test Improve Your Health, Is Your Gut Bacteria Why You Aren’t Losing Weight?

Written by Meredith Hayes. Updated on Why You Should Actually Listen to Your Gut

Have you tried everything to lose weight? Was losing weight once easy, but now it’s impossible? If the weight won’t come off, your gut bacteria might be to blame. Let’s explore how gut health influences your weight and how a gut microbiome testing kit may help! 

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What Are Gut Bacteria?

Our digestive system isn’t something we think of much, but the gut is referred to as the body’s “second brain”. The digestive system is home to over 5,000 species of bacteria, totaling around 1 trillion bacteria in total.

The bacteria in your gut, also known as the microbiome or gut flora, work together synergistically to perform a variety of functions throughout your body. This includes digesting and absorbing the nutrients in the food you eat so that you can benefit from the essential vitamins and minerals within. 

But the gut does so much more! A healthy gut positively influences your immune system, mood, behavior, weight, and whole-body health. 

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How Does the Gut Influence Your Weight?

Some refer to different gut bacteria as “good” or “bad”, or “healthy” and “unhealthy”, but it’s not that simple. The microbiome is a delicate balance. If you have too much or too little of different strains it can disrupt how your body self-regulates.

Science Direct outlines how high levels of some bacteria are almost always associated with obesity. Also, how a proper balance of other bacteria increases the likelihood of maintaining a healthy weight. 

This is because bacteria play a vital role in managing factors such as:

  • Hunger
  • Metabolism
  • Insulin levels

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How Does Gut Bacteria Get Out of Balance?

Before you order your gut microbiome testing kit, you might be wondering if you’re unknowingly making dietary and lifestyle choices that may be disrupting your gut health. Below are the top causes of digestive imbalances.

Food choices: Sugar and processed foods kill the bacteria that help you lose and maintain weight while feeding those that contribute to your obesity risk. Sugar cravings are often a sign of imbalance, as sugar bacteria want more sugar. Even the pesticides on food can disrupt your microbiome.

Lifestyle: High levels of stress, not getting enough sleep, smoking, and heavy alcohol intake can throw off many of your body’s internal systems, even if their presence is short-term. Working out also helps your body self-regulate, so a lack of physical activity can disrupt your gut. 

Medications: Some prescription and over-the-counter medications have the side effect of disrupting your digestion. This includes antibiotics, over-the-counter and prescription anti-inflammatory medications, antacids, antidepressants, sleeping pills, and statins. 


What Is a Gut Microbiome Testing Kit?

An at-home gut microbiome testing kit can be purchased in drug stores or online. You provide a stool sample and mail it in. It measures your gut flora and provides you with personalized suggestions. You can also ask your physician to order the test for you. 

While a dietician or physician can suggest generic dietary and lifestyle changes, this test helps you understand what foods to eat more of and what foods to eat less of for your body.

This supports the growing trends in both active and personalized healthcare.  

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Can’t I Just Take Probiotics?

Probiotic supplements are often suggested during and after a round of antibiotics or when your digestion has changed. While they may be effective at restoring your microbiome while taking antibiotics, they only contain a limited range of healthy bacteria. 

Most probiotics contain lactobacillus and bifidobacterium. These essential bacteria only represent a small percentage of the bacteria in your digestive system. If they aren’t what you need more of, your digestion, immunity, health, and weight may not improve. 

To ensure your approach is personalized, you need to know what bacteria you have too much or too little of. 

How to Improve Your Gut Flora?

You can start making healthy changes to your nutrition that support microbiome balance today! To really dive into how your digestive system influences your weight and whole-body health, watch Netflix’s documentary Hack Your Health: Secrets of Your Gut

Gut bacteria require soluble and insoluble dietary fiber from fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, and legumes. However, the average American only consumes about 15 grams of fiber per day. This is about 10 to 15 grams short of what physicians suggest. So, it’s time to start counting your fiber intake! 

If you’ve taken a gut microbiome testing kit, you’ll know precisely what foods to eat more of and what foods to avoid. If you haven’t taken a test yet or are waiting for your results, you can start by eating the rainbow.  

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Why You Need to “Eat the Rainbow”?

Generic nutritional guidelines suggest eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. However, Dr. Annie Gupta from the Netflix documentary Hack Your Health: The Secrets of Your Gut takes this recommendation one step further. 

Dr. Gupta promotes the concept of nutrient diversity or “eating the rainbow”. Different fiber sources feed and grow different types of bacteria. So, she suggests eating 20 to 30 different types of fruits and vegetables per week. 

To achieve this, she suggests the acronym “ABC”. 

  • Always
  • Be
  • Counting

Just use a nutrition app or create a note on your smartphone to track your weekly ABCs.  

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How Long Will It Take to Improve My Gut Health?

The answer to this question is layered. Making positive changes to your nutrition can improve your microbiome in as little as 3 days. However, it can take 3 to 6 months (or more) to fully restore balance. 

However, you’re likely to feel improvement along the way—so the sooner you start the better! Once restored, you’ll have to proactively maintain balance. 

If you’ve tried everything to lose weight, it might not be you. Consider making the changes above and ordering a gut health test to see how you can personalize your nutrition to support weight loss and whole-body health! 

Written by
Meredith will assist you with your health and family problems. She is a professional therapist who has huge experience in the field of family health care.
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