Are you someone dealing with the problem of overweight? The good news is that probiotics can help you lose weight and belly fat. Before getting into the specifics, let’s try to understand more about probiotics and how they work.
What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are live microorganisms that offer health benefits when consumed or applied to the human body. Examples of foods containing probiotics are yogurt and fermented foods such as kefir, kimchi, miso, fermented and raw cheeses, and raw apple cider vinegar.
Types of probiotics
Of the microorganisms present in probiotics, the most common ones are bacteria that fall under the group Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Depending on the different strains of probiotics, its effects may also vary.
Studies on probiotics and weight loss
- The British Journal of Nutrition published the results of a study that investigated the effects of Lactobacillus among people with obesity. It was found that women who consumed a probiotic supplement lost more weight when compared to those who did not.
- Another study published in ScienceDirect showed that the Lactobacillus amylovorus and Lactobacillus fermentum strains of probiotics were effective in shifting body composition. To explain, these probiotic strains helped the subjects of the study lose 3 to 4% of their body fat in six weeks.
How do probiotics help in losing weight and belly fat?
There are several microorganisms in the human body. They appear mainly in the form of friendly bacteria. Of these bacteria, some may help lose and gain weight. In your gut, the beneficial bacteria aid in the breakdown and digestion of food.
They also play the role of creating nutrients and vitamins for your body to use. The probiotic bacteria feed on fibers and subsequently convert them into helpful compounds.
The other benefit of probiotics is that they regulate your appetite. The presence of appetite-reducing hormones in probiotics such as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and peptide YY (PYY) aid you in burning more calories.
In addition to that, probiotics can also reduce fat storage in your body which is often one of the main causes of weight gain.
How to choose the right probiotic?
As you know, there are many probiotic products available in the market. However, it is quite important to pick a product that best fits your needs.
1. One of the important criteria to consider is the specific strains of bacteria or yeast included in the product that have been proven to provide health benefits.
2. The next aspect to check is the colony-forming units (CFUs) listed on the label of the product. CFUs stands for the number of viable bacteria in a single dose.
Choose a product with a higher CFU count if you are a person with specific health conditions or if you are taking antibiotics.
Follow a balanced approach
As you know by now, probiotics provide several potential benefits. However, the key is to maintain a balanced approach to your overall diet and lifestyle. Along with probiotics, you need to focus on a well-rounded and nutritious diet.
- Make sure that you include a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats in your diet which are pivotal for optimal health.
- Do regular exercise
- Focus on managing stress levels
- Get adequate sleep
Side effects of probiotics
In the initial days of taking probiotics, some people may experience mild side effects such as an upset stomach, diarrhea, gas, and bloating.
There are even cases where people experience allergies, skin rashes, or itchiness. In case you notice any of these side effects, stop taking probiotics and speak to your doctor.
Obesity can be an embarrassing problem and many people struggle to lose weight and belly fat. Hope the article unravels the less-known facts about how probiotics can help you lose weight and belly fat.
However, before adding probiotics to your daily routine, consult with your healthcare provider, especially if you are on medications or diagnosed with any underlying health conditions. The healthcare provider would be able to guide you based on your personal needs.
Last but not least, when you start consuming probiotics, begin with a low dose and gradually increase it so that your body gets sufficient time to adjust.