Could Gut Health Be the Secret to Weight Loss?


Recently I was at a health food store with my friend Kiru Kishokumar, a Health expert Pharmacologist, Certified in Integrative Nutrition. I told her that I was thinking about doing a cleanse as I was feeling bloated but was so confused by the plethora of gut cleanses, digestive aids, fat loss, weight loss, anti-bloating, antacids products on the shelves!  If one were to read all the marketing hype we would end up just popping pills taking shots of ‘nutritious’ liquids and drinking some ‘magic’ concoction! In short I would stop going to the supermarket and instead fill up my shopping cart with supplements digestive aids ‘nutritious’ powders/liquids and more!

Her response really got me confused and intrigued, ‘it’s about time you take care of your gut pets’!  “What? gut pets?” I exclaimed!

Like many Kiru, almost a decade ago, was struggling to lose weight. She says she had dysbiosis, indigestion, was bloated all the time, and struggled with low immunity, nothing helped her until she decided to go into a gut health journey! Intrigued by this I asked her to explain  

According to Kiru, when we set out to lose weight, we often think of counting calories, exercise and fasting, but we never think about fixing what may be the root cause of weight gain and resistance – our gut microbiome! Really, gut microbiome?

 If you’re one of those people saying ‘I’m doing everything and the weight is not coming off’, you are on the right page. I learnt a lot and so will you!

Kiru smiled and explained “Gut microbiome refers to bacteria, fungi, viruses, cells and their genetic materials that live in our gut. Our large intestine is a heaven for trillions of mutually beneficial microbes representing as many as 5,000 different species and weighing up to 2 kilograms.

Gut healthrefers to a balanced ecosystem of microorganisms that live in the digestive tract. Some of the best documented benefits of these beneficial microbes include assistance in the digestion (the break down some of the food that we cannot break), regulation of our bodies metabolism, blood sugar level, and appetite, detoxification of dangerous chemicals we ingest with our food, regulation of our immune system, and influence 95% of serotonin (happy hormone) production”.

Here’s another very interesting fact she shared apparently, our gut microbiome may also tell us what to eat. They can drive our cravings, (yeast crave for sugar, Bacteroidetes crave fat, Prevotella love carbs). They each have their own method of asking for their favourite food. They communicate with our brain via the vegus nerve, manipulate our eating behaviour by changing the taste receptors on our tongue, they even play a clever trick mimicking hunger hormones. Therefore, weight loss has less to do with will power and more to do with the balance of good to bad bacteria in our gut!!

She went on to reveal that science now links imbalance in gut bacteria to mineral deficiencies as well. It turns out both magnesium and zinc can become deficient in our body if our gut bacteria are not well-nourished.

As I was ‘digesting’ this she revealed a little-known fact that we inherit our gut microbiome from our mothers. ( So, I’m not responsible if I’m fat it’s my mom who is to blame!!!). We are first exposed to microbes when we pass through our mother’s birth canal, and are breast fed. New evidence suggests that babies may come in contact with some microbes while inside the womb, and the foundation for gut health is laid in the first 3 years of life. As you grow the diversity of these microbes increases. It is influenced by the food that we eat, the environment we live in, our daily habits, microbes of other members of your household, and your state of mind. This means that your weight may not be genetic, but instead a result of the bacteria that got passed down to you.

Seeing my confused expression Kiru elaborated, “Let me bring you the science to explain how gut microbiome can influence your weight. Scientists took bacteria from the guts of human identical twins, one of whom was obese and one of whom was lean, and transferred those bacteria into the guts of lean, germ-free mice. Bacteria from the obese twin made the mice become fat, but bacteria from the lean twin did not. This shows that there are different types of bacteria in an obese compared to lean. Researchers also found that weight gain and obesity correlates with increased Firmicutes and decreased Bacteroidetes.  Firmicutes (a bad bacteria) store calories as fat. They went on to say if you have 60% firmicutes and 40% bacteroidetes, this ratio will set you up for weight gain. Akkermansia and Christensenella are good gut bacteria that are linked with preventing weight gain and are often found in slim individuals. The microbial diversity of obese patients is much lower than that in healthy individuals. This is why you may find some people can eat whatever they want and stay skinny while other person eats a carrot and gain weight.”

Growing evidence suggests, we not only need the right proportions of bacteria, but also need a vast diversity of bacteria to lose weight. However, modern life is full of toxins that hurt our gut bacteria. Antibiotics, western diets, stress, sleep deprivation, birth control, and environmental pollutants (mercury, lead, pollution, perfumes, etc) decimate good bacteria, creating an imbalance of bad to good bacteria, leading us to store more fat than usual!

Kiru shared 12 steps to improve gut microbiome and lose weight!

  • Avoid refined carbs, sugar, inflammatory oils, and toxic processed foods.
  • Avoid antibiotic infused food – meat, dairy.
  • Eat good fats – avocado oil, olive oil, nuts, seeds
  • Increase plant diversity – bring in at least 50 different types of plants per week. 
  • Eat prebiotics (flax, chia seeds, garlic, asparagus), probiotics (kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir), and polyphenols (raw cacao, olives, green tea) more often.
  • Practise intermittent fasting – 16-24 hours fast, alternate day fast, 5-day water fast
  • Vary your diets – ketogenic, vegan, carnivore
  • Get quality sleep.. My favourite!!
  • Regular body movements YES!!!
  • Mange stress
  • Probiotic supplements
  • Get your hands dirty

We all have a miraculous intelligence built in us. And that intelligence knows how to lose weight. And now  I know that my gut microbiome plays a key role in releasing these excess. I have taken Kiru’s advice to bring them in, feed them and nature them not only to lose weight but to have a healthy body and mind.

Could gut health be the secret to weight loss for you? If you think this might be you, connect with me or  and I’ll  be happy to connect you all of these principles in depth.

Why do I like Kiru? Besides being A health expert by profession, and medical intuitive by heart, Kiru’s unique approaches have led her to work with multiple corporates, top CEOs, working mothers, and many others worldwide who had successfully seen profound changes in their health, career, relationships and overall life. She is nurturing, funny and most of all knows what she’s talking about! Kiru’s advice “The key to healthy weight loss is less about limiting what you put into your mouth and more about eating foods that give your gut pets a helping hand”.

Multiple International awardee for Women Empowerment, Leadership and Entrepreneurship. Sandi Saksena is a Queen, Femtor, Facilitator, Negotiator and personal finance influencer.  A well - known personality in the media for her contributions on personal financial matters and leadership she is regularly featured in various international publications and international platforms as a speaker/host/moderator.

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