Why Calorie Counting Hasn’t Worked For You
How many times have you heard something along the lines of…
“Just burn more calories than you take in, and you’ll lose weight.”
I’d venture a guess that if you’re reading this, you’ve definitely heard that before.
You may have even spent time calculating your BMR, weighing and measuring every bit of food you eat so you can translate it into a number of calories, or using calculators to figure out just how much you burned during your cardio session (and if you earned the ability to splurge on dessert).
Can I ask an honest question?
How is all that working for you?
Because I’m a science girl and here’s what I know…
The science shows there is more to losing weight than just counting calories. It’s a fact.
Today, we’ll dive deep into the gut microbiome.
Did you know that the microbes in your body outnumber the # of human cells you have 10:1!!?
Even though microbes are teeny tiny, there are over 100 trillion of them in our bodies, so they have a big impact on us, and our ability to achieve and maintain vibrant health.
These organisms regulate our immune system, our brain function, our metabolism, and weight, and they even make vitamins, neurotransmitters, and hormones. Super important stuff!
If you live in a developed country, you are highly likely to be impacted by an imbalance in your microbiome due to our modern convenient lifestyle.
However, don’t fret! Today I’m going to share the DOs I give to my clients when it comes to how to feed your gut for vibrant health.
DO eliminate foods from your diet that kill good microbes and feed the bad microbes…
This means removing processed and packaged foods – anything with a shelf life or an expiration date beyond a few weeks out. The obvious exception here is produce and meat because clearly, those foods won’t last forever but they ARE healthy for you when consumed fresh.
Don’t forget to take out refined grains… especially wheat, because they are super damaging to your gut microbiome!
DO limit sugar and eliminate artificial sweeteners and refined oils…
When I say limit sugar, I am not only talking about sweet foods but also items containing added sugar (sometimes that means bacon or salad dressing – read your labels!!). Did you know fruit is also full of sugar? Your body doesn’t see a difference between natural fruit sugar and table sugar; it all gets processed through the same pathways in your body. That said, in the early stages of restoring and repairing your gut microbiome, keep your fruit consumption to mainly berries and citrus fruits (lemons, limes and grapefruits) which are low in natural sugar. Once you have a balanced microbiome again, you can add back all your favorite fruits!
Artificial sweeteners, while being low or no calorie, are not supportive for your goals if you want to lose weight. It’s best to leave them out completely, because they cause inflammation and hurt the good bacteria in your microbiome.
(Have a sweet tooth? Do my free 5 day Sugar Detox to help reset your body!)
In terms of refined oils, avoid corn, canola, sunflower, safflower, and even grapeseed oil. These oils are often used in processed foods, so if you remove those from your diet you should be in good shape. For your cooking, opt for olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, walnut oil, grass fed butter or grass fed ghee.
DON’T rely on traditional meat or animal products…
Factory farmed meats are damaging to your gut microbiome because they’re full of antibiotics and hormones which kill off the good bacteria. This includes fresh conventionally farmed meat, plus cold cut meats, cured meats, canned meats, hot dogs, farm-raised fish.
If you can find a cured meat that just contains salt and water on the label, then that is safe! Be savvy and also look to make sure it is organic, hormone free, antibiotic free. You want to get away from all the meats that have a list of unrecognizable ingredients.
DO eat more of these foods…
- Fresh vegetables (especially cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, dark leafy greens)
- Fresh fruit (frozen berries, organic green apples, oranges, lemons, and limes)
- Starches like quinoa, brown rice, sweet potatoes, squash
- Fats (ghee, avocado oil, coconut oil, olive oil, avocados)
- Hemp milk, almond milk/yogurt, or coconut milk/yogurt, in place of dairy (remember no dairy!)
- Grass-fed beef or lamb, free-range, hormone-free, antibiotic-free poultry, and wild caught fish (includes canned sardines)
- Almonds, walnuts, hemp, sesame, sunflower, pistachios, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, and all the nut butters that go along with these
- Green tea and herbal teas (green tea will help caffeine withdrawal)
- Fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, non-dairy kefir
DO take a probiotic
Probiotics, which are a certain type of friendly bacteria, provide health benefits when eaten in naturally fermented food like sauerkraut and kimchi. They can also come in pill-form.
Probiotics can help support the microbiome, but don’t fall into the trap of picking the wrong ones that don’t move the weight loss needle.
My favorite probiotic is Probiomed 50. This is the one I take daily.
REMEMBER: If you are going to take these changes head-on in your life, focus on completing this protocol for 30 days.
From there, it may be possible to re-introduce some of the foods you eliminated, but do not do so all at once!
Want more easy food swaps to support your gut to release those extra pounds? Download my free Easy Food Swap Guide
Take Good Care,