Posted on November 07 2018
If you know my story, you know that I've spent far too much of my life hurting my body trying to lose weight. The eating disorder, the excessive exercise, and the brutal self-hatred all took their toll on me. That's why whenever anyone asks for my help losing weight, my first response is to say "go easy on yourself sister".
The truth about losing weight
Contrary to what we hear from the endless stream of weight loss advice in magazines, infomercials and internet articles, getting down to an "ideal weight" shouldn't be your goal in life.
But...depending on your personal health history, losing weight might be an important part of getting healthy. In fact, even a small amount of weight loss can have a big impact on your heart health, your mobility, and even your life expectancy.
Of course, there's no shortage of weight loss advice out there...
You know you need to exercise. Obviously I'm partial to dancing, but anything that gets your heart rate up will help burn off fat.
And you know you need to be mindful of what you eat. I'm a fan of Michael Pollan's succinct advice: Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. (In other words, eat real (not processed) foods, don't overeat, and get plenty of fruits, veggies and whole grains.)
But before you exercise...
And before you diet...
There's a massively important situation you need to address: your microbiome.
Your digestive tract (everything from your stomach to your large intestine) is filled with a wide variety of microbes that have a profound impact on your health. Your immune system, your metabolism - even your mental performance - is influenced by the microbes in your gut.
Researchers have found that if you have the wrong microbes dominating your microbiome, losing weight is far more difficult than in should be. If you've struggled to lose weight even when you're exercising and dieting, the culprit might just be your gut!
So before you diet, and before you exercise, let's address the health of your microbiome.
First, ditch the processed foods. Processed foods are loaded with dangerous chemicals like emulsifiers and preservatives, that throw the balance of gut bacteria all out of whack. And because food processing typically removes the natural fiber in food, the bacteria in your gut are forced to consume the mucus layer of the intestines instead of natural fiber, which is terrible for your immune system.
Second, eat more fruits and veggies. You probably already know that fruits and veggies help our immune systems, lower our risk of heart disease and cancer, and can even reduce bad breath! But a hidden benefit of eating lots of plants is their help in maintaining the health of your gut bacteria.
And you don't need to "force" yourself to eat your least-favorite vegetable. Make a list of your five favorite fruits and your top five veggies, and find ways to get more of them in your life.
Third, get THE RIGHT probiotics. You've no doubt seen probiotic supplements popping up everywhere. Unfortunately, not all of them are helpful when it comes to getting your gut in great shape for losing weight.
There are certain strains of gut bacteria that are directly linked to increased weight loss. Most bargain probiotic supplements don't have these strains, which is why I worked with probiotic experts to create the Body Groove Essentials Weight Loss Probiotic supplement.
Taking just one of these capsules each day increases the helpful microbes in your gut that help you lose weight, which is why it's the perfect way to START losing weight, even before you start dieting or exercising.
So to summarize...before you start a new exercise program or a new diet, take care of your gut by cutting out food that was made in a processing plant, eating more foods that grew on actual plants, and consider supplementing with helpful probiotics.
And remember, no matter what you choose to do to lose weight, don't stress out about it. Not only does the stress KEEP you from losing weight, but it also makes your life miserable.
If you can eat healthy food you love, do fun and creative dance exercises you actually enjoy, and use those choices to create the healthiest version of yourself, I promise you'll be glad you did. And if you need help along the way, that's why I'm here. Let's get you dancing - and check out the probiotics to see if they're right for you.