Trust Your Gut
–Did you know 5 lbs of your total weight is gut bacteria?
–Did you know that sugar cravings can be caused by harmful yeasty overgrowth in the colon?
–Did you also know that your uncontrollable urges around food may not be your fault?
It’s time to trust your gut. It’s got a lot to tell you if you will stop and pay attention.
An imbalance of too much harmful, yeasty bacteria (known as candida) and not enough of the good, beneficial bacteria (I.e the good bugs that live inside you that help prevent illness and combat pathogens), sets the stage for the perfect environment for sugar cravings, uncontrollable food cravings, and dis-ease throughout the body.
If most of the gut is full of the harmful, yeasty, bacteria, these pesky, unwanted guests scream loudly to the brain send the signal of “hungry, hungry, hungry for sugar, sugar, sugar” (or “carbs, carbs, carbs). They also rob you of and consume for themselves any good nutrients you take in alongside sugary processed foods. (See example of what I mean in the following paragraph). Because of this, you won’t be able to retain any beneficial nutrients like essential vitamins and minerals. How so?
Let’s say you have a craving for a 6 inch sub, yet, since you are “trying to get your nutrients in”, you request extra veggies and maybe some avocado on it to provide good vitamins and minerals. But what you may not realize is this: The harmful bacteria love to feast on the yeast and sugar conversion from the bread to keep themselves growing and reproducing. Moreover, they gobble up the magnesium and potassium in the veggies and avocado which is why you find yourself hungry, lethargic, and craving more carbohydrate-rich foods just an hour later. It’s not your fault if you are hungry for sugar! You quite possibly have an overgrowth of yeasty bacteria that screams for sugar (or carbohydrates that convert to sugar) all the live-long day. But wait there’s more! Those harmful gut microbes release toxic waste by-products known as “endotoxins” leading to chronic infections and inflammation in the body.
This IS obesity. Obesity IS inflammation. Inflammation by endotoxemia which causes adipose cells (aka fat cells) to increase fat storage and multiply.
Bottom line: harmful gut microbes increase appetite, especially for sugar.
“Leaky gut” is another reason for this. Inflammatory, gluten-rich foods such as Doritos, crackers, a donut or two at the office, cereal, even whole grain bread creates inflammation in the intestinal walls, and causes a breakdown of the intestinal walls allowing for undigested food particles to pass into the bloodstream. This is the cause behind many food allergies, digestive issues such as gas, pain and bloating, reactions like diarrhea, plus even issues unrelated to digestion like headaches, migraines, and skin eruptions.
By getting the gut under control and back in balance, not only will you kill hunger and sugar cravings once and for all, but you will also end chronic inflammation, digestive issues, acne, fat gain and other issues caused by leaky gut and a lack of nutrients!
To help you figure out where to start, here’s some suggestions in achieving a good “gut feeling”:
Focus on foods that are low in sugar so you stop feeding your harmful bacteria. Avoid fruit, grains, dairy, and anything processed for at least 2 weeks. Include lots of healthy fats, coconut products (which kill off harmful bacteria), protein-rich foods, and loads of veggies.
Focus on a balanced approach towards food with an emphasis on fats, proteins and plant-based carbohydrates, making sure to eat a meal every 4 hours. Avoid eating every 2 hours or snacking between meals.
Be aware of your portions (generally palm-sized for proteins, and thumb-size for fats) so there is no energy excess to feed harmful bacteria. Even too much protein can convert to sugar in the body and feed the bad guys.
Regularly consume “prebiotic foods”, or foods that feed the GOOD, beneficial bacteria. These foods are those such as fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi, olives, and even high quality dark chocolate. (Oh, yes you can!)
Supplement with a high quality probiotic known as “bifidus” which is what 70% of our gut SHOULD be made up of. I recommend starting with only a bifidus supplement, avoiding products that have multiple strains of different probiotics.
Avoid antibiotics like the plague. Interestingly, most generally kill off the beneficial bacteria yet leave the harmful ones intact worsening symptoms of sugar cravings, infections, and hunger, and adding even more fun stuff like yeast infections, itchy ears, and bloating. Anti-biotic means “against life”, while probiotic means “for life”. Food for thought.
Focus on foods that help build gut immunity like bone broth, collagen, lemon, and garlic, as well as a good quality unrefined coconut oil.
Lower your stress. I know, usually you roll your eyes when you see this, but how is that working for you? Remember this: STRESS KILLS THE GOOD BUGS, leaving the bad guys unharmed. Find 5-30 minutes per day where you can chill out, relax, sit quietly, pray, talk a walk, read something inspirational, get off social media, lie down, or even listen simply go to bed earlier.
Rest the gut and the digestion from time to time with intermittent fasting. (For example: aim to finish dinner at 7:30pm and do not eat until 11:30 or 12 the following day. A 14-16 hour fast can help burn stored body fat, balance hunger hormones, and allow the gut to heal from damage from processed foods. It’s when we rest that we actually are repairing the most, hence the slogan “Rest and Digest”.
This is only the beginning of how to get your gut in good working order. And it’s so critical to do so. Not only are cravings an issue when the gut is out of balance, but did your know your moods will be too?
If digestive issues, low moods, and food cravings have got you feeling like you are trapped in someone else’s body, I can help. With personalized nutrition therapy coaching, customized supplement recommendations, and life coaching that works with you to come up with a plan that works, it’s my pleasure to assist you in finally conquering your cravings and your health once and for all. Contact me at 417-230-0554 to set up your confidential phone consult or one-on-one in-person consult. Your gut will thank you.