Bacteria in and on our bodies, collectively called microbiota, outnumber our own cells 10 to 1. (This means 90% of the estimated 100 trillion cells in the adult body are bacteria.) Our guts are home to an estimated 300-500 species of bacteria, which are responsible for more than just helping us digest food. In fact, research shows gut bacteria affect your immune system, mood, metabolism, and much more.
Poor gut health has been linked to autoimmunity, cancer, diabetes, obesity, fibromyalgia, asthma, autism, and many more chronic diseases. Many studies have also found the balance of gut bacteria has a profound effect on weight issues, including setpoint weight. This science sparked the “probiotic revolution.”
What are probiotics?
Probiotics refer to a mixture of beneficial bacteria and other microorganisms that live in the body and support health. Probiotics also refer to foods or supplements containing live microorganisms intended to correct the imbalance of good and bad gut bacteria. Studies show probiotics are not only beneficial for improving many health conditions caused by poor gut health, but they are also particularly effective for helping people lose weight.
The science is clear. If you want to lower setpoint weight, you need to improve your gut health.
Gut health and setpoint weight
Gut health is one of the three factors that determine your setpoint weight. (The other two factors are brain inflammation and hormones.) The brain, digestive system, and hormones talk to each other through a continuous feedback loop to synchronize the activities that maintain a specified level of body fat. This is known as setpoint weight, and it is that range of about 20 pounds that your body strives to keep you within.
If there is dysfunction in any of these factors, it affects the others. This causes a hormonal clog in which the body does not receive proper signals with respect to body fat. The body becomes confused and doesn’t know how much fat you have or need. But since its primary purpose is keeping you alive — and having a sufficient level of body fat is essential in that mission — it gives you more fat. This elevates your setpoint weight.
Taking steps to prevent neurological inflammation and hormonal dysregulation is essential to lowering setpoint weight, as is improving gut health. Fortunately, the SANE setpoint diet addresses all three of these factors. (More about that shortly.)
Fat bacteria and thin bacteria?
Research shows an imbalance of gut bacteria, called dysbiosis, can lead to weight gain. Dysbiosis refers to a persistent imbalance of gut microbiota that can negatively impact health. Optimum gut health depends on a precise balance of good and bad bacteria. Too many bad “critters” leads to all kinds of problems.
How much effect does gut health have on setpoint weight and weight gain? A LOT. For instance, poor gut health can encourage overeating. A study conducted by Martin Blaser of New York University indicates a gut bacterium called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) modulates levels of ghrelin, the “hunger hormone,” thus taming hunger. H. pylori used to be plentiful in the digestive tract, but now it is rare because of antibiotic usage and hygienic living conditions. Could the lack of H. pylori be one of the reasons so many people have trouble with their appetites? Could it be why so many people overeat?
Perhaps, but there are other reasons, too, many of them regarding gut health.
Scientists conducted an experiment in which they gave gut bacteria from obese people to some mice, and they gave bacteria from thin people to other mice. Mice that received bacteria from obese people became fatter than those that received bacteria from thin people.
Gut health, setpoint weight, and types of bacteria
Research shows the majority of the gut microbiome (gut bacteria) fall into two classes — firmicutes and bacteroidetes. Obese individuals, studies show, usually have a higher ratio of firmicutes to bacteroidetes. This makes sense when you consider that firmicutes are more efficient at extracting calories from food passing through the gastrointestinal tract.
If you have a higher ratio of firmicutes to bacteroidetes, your total calorie intake will be higher than the thin person with a higher ratio of bacteroidetes — even if you are eating the exact same foods. Consistently high-calorie intake leads to elevated setpoint weight and weight gain.
And there is another important method by which gut bacteria affect your setpoint weight — cravings. Incredibly, research shows gut bacteria may affect the foods you crave. Here are the types of foods favored by 3 different types of bacteria:
- Prevotella: Carbohydrates
- Bifidobacteria: Dietary Fiber
- Bacteroidetes: Certain Fats
Studies also show people who crave chocolate have more of certain bacteria than those who do not crave chocolate.
This knowledge about gut health and setpoint weight is extremely important. It can certainly improve your health and even save your life.
Why lowering setpoint weight is important
Obesity has become an epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 39.8% of the U.S. population is obese, which equates to about 93.3 million people. Obesity is a condition in which the accumulation of body fat is great enough to significantly increase the risk of health problems.
And negative health effects from obesity have certainly been seen in America. For instance, obesity is the biggest risk factor for type 2 diabetes. (This is because they are both symptoms of the same underlying cause, insulin resistance.) The Centers for Disease Control estimates those who are obese have a 90% chance of eventually developing type 2 diabetes.
Today, 100 million Americans either have prediabetes or diabetes. (Source: Centers for Disease Control) If you are diagnosed with prediabetes, that means your blood glucose levels are higher than they should be but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. But consistently higher-than-normal blood glucose levels still increase your risk for diabetes-related health problems.
Some other health problems associated with obesity include:
- Abnormal cholesterol levels
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Kidney disease
- Gallbladder disease
- Sleep apnea
- Several types of cancer
Almost everyone who struggles with their weight knows they are at increased risk for at least some of the above health problems. Yet, they have not been able to permanently lose weight.
Why most people lose the weight loss battle
What is their problem? Is it a lack of caring? Lack of willpower? Are they lazy? The answer to all of these questions is a huge NO!!!
Statistics show untold millions of people routinely try to lose weight. In the U.S., approximately 45 million adults go on a diet each year, and the average dieter makes 4 weight-loss attempts per year. Yet, they are not able to attain their weight-loss goals. Most frustrated dieters blame themselves even though diets have a proven failure rate of about 95.4%.
We want to assure you that all those diet “failures” were not your fault. You were simply given the wrong information about how metabolism and setpoint weight works. Once you learn the correct information, you will easily be able to lower your setpoint weight. You’ll finally have the metabolism of a naturally thin person.
The truth about weight loss: quality over quantity
The truth about sustainable weight loss is that the quantity of the food you eat does not matter nearly as much as the quality. We have been taught that we must burn more calories than we consume, creating a calorie deficit to lose weight.
The calorie-deficit theory of weight loss teaches all calories are the same, regardless of the foods from which they come, and that the metabolism is like a scale in which calories in = calories out. There’s only one problem; this theory is not true, at least not in the way it is being taught.
Calories do matter, and a calorie deficit is necessary to lose weight. But you don’t have to count those calories. Your body does that for you. But it is not as simple as calorie in = calorie out. Rather than having a metabolism that operates like a scale, you have a biological feedback system that establishes your setpoint weight.
This biological feedback system is like the thermostat in your home. Just as your heating and air conditioning respond to the temperature the thermostat “thinks” your home should be at, your setpoint stimulates or suppresses your appetite and raises or lowers your metabolism based upon how much “fat” it thinks your body should store.
Why calorie-cutting doesn’t work
If you try to lose weight by cutting calories — while eating low-quality foods — your body thinks you’re starving. To keep that from happening, it activates many hormonal and metabolic processes that make you cold, hungry, and irritable. It slows your metabolism and makes your body hold onto fat, and it sends most of the calories you consume straight to your fat stores. It does this to save your life.
You will lose weight on a crash diet, but it will be short-lived. As soon as you go off the diet, you’ll start gaining the weight back, plus an additional few pounds. The only way to lose weight permanently is to lower your setpoint weight. The most important way to do that is to eat high-quality foods.
High-quality foods trigger fat-burning hormones and clear hormonal clogs. They fill you up fast and keep you full longer. When you eat high-quality foods, you subconsciously eat fewer calories resulting in a calorie deficit. But your body doesn’t fight against weight loss because you are fully satiated (not hungry), your cells are flooded with nutrients, and your blood sugar levels are stable. Under these conditions, the body will gladly burn fat and lower your setpoint weight.
How to improve gut health and lower setpoint weight
Regularly enjoying a high-quality diet not only clears hormonal clogs but also improves gut health. Lowering your setpoint weight can be as simple as eating so many foods that feed the Bacteroidetes (lower setpoint bacteria) that you are too full for foods that feed the Firmicutes (higher setpoint bacteria). Keep these guidelines in mind:
Foods for higher setpoint bacteria:
Foods that feed higher setpoint bacteria include:
- Highly processed foods (Generally, these generally contain more than 3 ingredients on the label.)
- Any food with ingredient(s) you can’t pronounce or don’t know what it is.
Foods for lower setpoint bacteria
Foods that feed lower setpoint bacteria include:
- Green vegetables
- Green tea
- Citrus fruits
- Chia seeds
- Flax seeds
SANE Setpoint Diet to improve gut health and lower setpoint weight
With the SANE setpoint diet, you’ll enjoy all the foods needed to feed your lower setpoint bacteria. And you’ll be so full of these SANE foods you won’t have room for anything that feeds the higher setpoint bacteria. You’ll starve the “bad” higher setpoint bacteria, which will help lower your setpoint weight.
The setpoint diet is amazingly easy to remember, too. Simply focus on choosing whole foods as close to their natural states as possible, and choose foods from these four food groups:
10+servings per day
Your good gut bacteria love the fiber in non-starchy veggies. They are not only filling, but they also provide an abundance of nutrients to your cells. Examples of great non-starchy vegetables include:
- Collard Greens
- Romaine Lettuce
3-5 servings per day, 30-55 grams per meal
High-quality protein triggers short- and long-term satiety hormones, meaning it fills you up quickly and keeps you full for a long time. Protein also has little effect on blood sugar levels, and it boosts your metabolism, both of which result in a lower setpoint weight. Some delicious nutrient-dense proteins include:
- Cottage Cheese
- Egg Whites
- Grass-Fed Beef
3-6 servings per day
Whole-food fats also keep you full for a long time, which helps prevent overeating and lower your setpoint weight. Some great whole-food fats include:
- Chia Seeds
- Coconut Milk
- Flax Seeds
0-3 servings per day
For a sweet but low-sugar treat, feel free to enjoy up to 3 servings of low-fructose fruits per day. Some yummy choices include:
- Goji Berries
Next step: Learn how your gut health effects your setpoint weight with SANE
Ready to finally break free from the yo-yo dieting rollercoaster by balancing your hormones and lowering your body’s setpoint weight?
Want to know the exact foods and serving sizes that are scientifically proven by over 1,300 peer-reviewed research studies to boost metabolism, burn fat and enjoy virtually effortless weight loss like a naturally thin person?
Download the free SANE metabolism boosting food list, cheat sheet and “Eat More, Burn More” weight loss program by .