Weight loss: Dr Michael Mosley on gut bacteria & weight gain plus what to eat


Dr Michael Mosley champions rapid weight loss diets over slow and steady, recommending the Keto diet, Fast 800 diet and Fast 800 Keto to dieters who want to lose fat fast. But despite the availability of rapid weight loss diets, some struggle more than others to lose those excess pounds – why?

Gut bacteria helps break down food, manufactures vitamins and trains the immune system.

Dr Michael began: “People thought it was all about genetics and then they thought it was about environment.

“But now it’s very clear that your gut bacteria play a very huge part.”

Identical twins typically have a similar weight, but when they don’t, it’s often the case of their individual gut bacteria.

READ MORE: Weight loss: Woman loses 10st and maintains by cutting out 1 food

The question of whether gut bacteria affects weight and weight gain was tested in a study on mice.

A group of mice were either fed poo samples from an overweight person or poo samples from a person with a healthy weight.

“Typically what happens is the mice will become fatter if they are fed poo from the fat person and stay slim if they are fed poo from a slim person.

“It suggests there’s something in there.”

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Gut bacteria is often overlooked when considering weight gain, but there are “trillions in there”, about 4lbs worth.

In conversation with Effective Health Exec, Dr Michael was asked: “Crucially, you get good gut bacteria and bad gut bacteria. How do I get bacteria in my gut that enables me to eat unlimited chocolate?”

The expert admitted that with gut bacteria, a lot of it is “genetic”.

“There are very few people who are able to do that. They have a particular sub-section of bacteria that allows them to live relatively unhealthy lives, but for most of us that’s not true.”

In a study examining blood glucose levels when eating certain foods, it was assumed that everyone’s bodies react the same way to the same foods.

However, while some people responded “a lot”, others responded “not at all”, due to the different types of gut bacteria each person had.

He explained: “You could eat grapes and it have very little effect on your system, and I could eat grapes and get a great big spike.”

For those struggling to lose weight because their gut bacteria is not breaking down their food adequately, Dr Michael Mosley recommended testing their gut bacteria at British Gut.

Although dieters can raise their metabolic rate by moving more, whether it’s standing up more often or taking the stairs, weight loss is all about diet, according to the expert.

“Losing weight is more about changing your diet than exercise. Exercise is great but someone described it as Barman and Robin – and Batman is the food, the major component.

Healthline revealed how slimmers can improve their gut bacteria.

They suggested eating a diverse range of foods, including fruits, vegetables, legumes and beans, fermented foods such as yoghurt and sauerkraut, wholegrains, and prebiotic foods which are fibre or complex carbs.

A plant-based diet is also recommended because of its high fibre content.

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