Slow Metabolism, Slow Weight Loss (We Have An Answer!)

April 15, 2023

Have you tried countless diet programs without long term success? Maybe you lose a little weight at first but gain it right back and then some? Do you feel like you’re stuck with a slow metabolism? Well, in today’s show, we’ll be discussing this very topic and offering solutions to the root cause of slow metabolism and slow weight loss. There are many factors at play and we’ll highlight a few of them, like digestive issues and gut health, autoimmune diseases, and stress, while sharing ways to heal your body with real food.

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MELANIE: Welcome to Dishing Nutrition, brought to by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. Listeners, let me ask you a question. For those of you that are at home, are you struggling with weight loss? Have you tried countless diet programs without long-term success? Or maybe you lose a little weight at first, but you gain it right back, and then some. Do you feel like you're stuck with slow metabolism?

Well, trust me, you are not alone. We see this in clinic all the time, and we want you to stay tuned because during the next hour we'll be offering solutions to the root cause of slow metabolism and slow weight slow weight loss. So many of you might be thinking, I have tried everything to lose weight and nothing sticks. I'm stuck with a slow metabolism and there's nothing I can do about it. If this sounds familiar, we may have some great answers for you, some new ideas.

In fact, over the last several months, all of us dietitians and nutritionists at Nutritional Weight and Wellness have been researching and researching and meeting regularly to discuss this phenomenon because it is such a hot topic with our clients. We know our clients want answers and real solutions to get their metabolism working again. So that's been our mission. I'm Melanie Beasley, and I've been a dietitian for 35 years. And over the many years that I have been counseling clients, my views on weight loss honestly have evolved as the science has evolved.

It's no longer what I used to teach, which is eat less, avoid fat, exercise more. There are many, many biochemical factors that are at play, but I explain to my clients that that's really is good news because it means that they really never have to go on those highly restrictive, low calorie starvation type diets that made us all angry.

And they don't have to do an intense exercise program ever again to lose weight. We work together as a team to get to the root cause of our weight gain. And guess what? I often recommend that they should be eating more food to heal their body and metabolism. So right, does that just explode your brain this morning? But you're not stuck with or destined to suffer from a slow metabolism.

We have the power of real food nutrition to best support our metabolism. And today we'll be sharing some new ideas to think about metabolism and weight loss. But before we go further, let me introduce my cohost today. I'm here in studio with a Registered Dietitian, Teresa Wagner, who always looks awesome, even though it's early. Well many of you know by now from either being longtime listeners of Dishing Up Nutrition, or maybe you belong to our Dishing Up Nutrition Facebook group where Teresa hosts live events to answer questions. Welcome to the show, Teresa.

TERESA: Well, it's good to be here, Mel, and I'm excited to talk about this topic today of slow metabolism and slow weight loss, because like you said, it's something that we’ve, the nutritionists, the registered dietitians at Nutritional Weight and Wellness have been researching in depth over the last several months. And I've personally worked with, and I know you have too, many clients around this particular topic.


TERESA: So it's come up at some point.

MELANIE: Women are frustrated. Men are frustrated.

TERESA: Yeah. What's going on with our metabolism?


Delving into health history: how it connects to metabolism

TERESA: When working with clients on healing their slow metabolism, I ask many questions about their health history. What could the root cause be that isn't just as simple as eating too much and not exercising enough? Right? That's what we've always been told. Eat less, exercise more. But if that's not the issue, then what's going on? And like Melanie said, there are many factors at play. So here are example or some sample questions that I might ask. And maybe as you are listening to me, ask then think about if any of these really resonate with you.

So one of the questions I will ask is, do you suffer from digestive discomfort, like irregular bowel movements, acid reflux, bloating or gas? And when we talk about irregular bowel movements too, I think a lot of times people don't know that what is healthy is to have a bowel movement every single day.

MELANIE: Every single day.

TERESA: And some people are like, well, my body just doesn't work like that. I'm, you know, every other day or three times a week. That's what's normal for me. Well, it might be normal, but that's not what's healthy. Right?

MELANIE: Right. That's a good way to put it.

TERESA: Right. So, so we, I ask a lot of questions about digestion. I sometimes ask questions about things like autoimmune diseases like MS, rheumatoid arthritis, or Hashimoto's thyroiditis. I'll ask about medicines that they may have been taking. Are you taking acid blockers or antacids more than a couple of times a day? Or even have you been doing this for an extended period of time? Because those are not recommended to be taken for over two or three weeks. You know, and many people have been on them for years.

MELANIE: For years, and it, it, it has an effect on the body.

TERESA: It sure does.

MELANIE: And so you're so frustrated trying to lose weight, you don't even realize it could be connected to medications or some of these gut issues.

TERESA: Right. And it's hard to connect those dots. Right? I'll ask about antibiotic use. Have you taken several rounds of antibiotics; even starting way back in your childhood. Did you have a lot of ear infection as a baby or other infections throughout your life? Have you had excessive amounts of stress in your life? Over the past few years, you know, there's been a lot of extra stress just with the pandemic.

MELANIE: And there's been a lot of weight gain.

TERESA: And there is, yeah. Perhaps, you know, the people that are listening, perhaps many have gained weight during the pandemic and just haven't been able to lose it now that we're back to, you know, regular life. So believe it or not, all of these contributors to slow metabolism are things that we ask about and could possibly be something that you hadn't thought about before. And maybe it's surprising. So maybe you're trying to connect how common digestive issues or simple over-the-counter medications cause slow metabolism. Or perhaps you're wondering how stress caused you to gain weight. Maybe you forgot to eat and then you ended up gaining weight. You were eating less, but you still gained weight.

MELANIE: That hardly seems fair.

TERESA: Right. So we're here today to give you some answers to those questions.

MELANIE: You know, and I think that there's, it's unfair that people are judged when, when they have a weight problem by just assuming that they're eating too much. And that is not always the case. So Teresa, I love that you mentioned all of those things because they play such a, a role in your ability to drop weight if that's your goal. And all of these common issues can impact your metabolism. So your metabolism's just the rate upon which you burn energy, you know, and so that's something that we need to think about.

How can digestion issues slow metabolism?

So how could digestion issues slow your metabolism? We've all heard you are what you eat, but we as dietitians and nutritionists know that it's more about you are what you digest and absorb. So here's a quote from the book, Nourishing Wisdom by author Marc David, who is the Harvard trained expert in the psychology of eating. He says, “Nourishment comes from the process our body undergoes to digest and assimilate nutrients. It is the breakdown of food in the mouth, the churning in the stomach, the absorptive process in the intestines, the whole range of digestive activities. The process of digestion is nutrition.”

TERESA: So what I'm hearing him say is that it is not just the individual nutrients in food that provide nourishment, but the entire process the body needs to go through to absorb and use those nutrients.

MELANIE: Yeah, exactly.

TERESA: If any part of that process is compromised, then proper nutrition is compromised. When we are missing the absorption of key nutrients, metabolism can suffer and weight gain can occur. So that's why we often focus on gut health first and then weight loss follows.

Gut health is important for a good metabolism

MELANIE: Yeah. And I think the, the point needs to be made is we all know food's yummy and that's why we eat it because we love food. But it's actually the bigger purpose of food is to nourish, to nourish the body. So let's look at weight loss from a different perspective: healing your gut to boost your metabolism. Think about what over the years could have compromised your digestion and overall gut health. As Teresa mentioned earlier, taking acid blocking medications long-term, either over the counter or by prescription, or being prescribed antibiotics frequently throughout your life, which we sometimes you need the beds.

TERESA: Absolutely.

MELANIE: But both of these affect the gut microbiome. In fact, today many people have low stomach acid and just can't digest food very well. So if, if they're taking acid medication, their digestion actually decreases, resulting in bloating, heartburn, and inability to access those key metabolism supporting nutrients like amino acids from protein. I mean, actually if you're not digesting, it'll sit there and sort of ferment in your gut and cause a problem.

We'll talk some more about that when we get back from break. You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. Today, almost three-fourth of adults in the U.S. are overweight or obese. And most of those adults have been counting calories or points, but sadly, these people are more overweight than they were before they started dieting. No wonder evidence is now showing the ultra-restrictive diets don't work. This morning we’ll share our real food approach to weight loss and healing and metabolism. There’s hope out there and we’ll be right back.


TERESA: Did you have a topic that you'd love to hear about on Dishing Up Nutrition? We have a special “Ask the Nutritionist” mini podcast episode every Thursday that comes out every Thursday to help answer more of your questions. So these are deep dives into single topics and they're very interesting. I've really enjoyed listening to those.

MELANIE: I do too.

TERESA: If you would like to request a topic, visit our Dishing Up Nutrition Facebook page. And if you want to browse those mini episodes, just search Dishing Up Nutrition wherever you get your podcasts. And you will see those mini episodes there.

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So before break we were talking about the effects that common medications can have on our gut health. And then in turn that having an effect on our ability to lose weight. We were talking about antacids, having low stomach acid. We talked about antibiotics. So for most of us, we've had some of these medications come into our lives.

MELANIE: Of course. And you know, a lot of times when I get clients, their mind is kind of blown when they're having acid reflux and we talk about you don't have enough stomach acid.

TERESA: Yeah. Because it seems like you should have too much.


TERESA: Right. Why, why is it burning if there's not too much acid going on there?

MELANIE: Yeah. It seems very counterintuitive.


MELANIE: But I just, you know, I just have to say, you just have to trust me. I see this in clinic all the time.


MELANIE: And this is fixable. We can, we can work on this together.

TERESA: Right. And like you had said just before break, sometimes it's the fermenting of the foods in the stomach and kind of bubbling back up the esophagus. Also, if we don't have enough stomach acid, it doesn't send that signal to that sphincter or that flap that's between your stomach and your esophagus to tell it to shut.


TERESA: And so it seems like we should have too much acid, but really it's not enough acid so things aren't digesting fast enough, or we're not getting this signals to actually just physically close that barrier so it doesn't go up that esophagus.

MELANIE: Into the throat. Yeah.

TERESA: Yep. Well, okay, so if this has been your situation, what do we do? Right? Because we can't go back in time. We have to look forward, and there are some simple steps that we can take to start healing our digestive tract after long-term use of some of these disruptive medications.

MELANIE: And we're not saying stop your medication.

TERESA: No, we're not saying to do that.

MELANIE: We're not saying that, right?

TERESA: But it's, it's a worthy goal to try to get off it eventually, but yeah…

MELANIE: You need support with that.

Tips to support digestion, the microbiome and weight loss

TERESA: Yes. Yes. So to support digestion, to support your microbiome and support weight loss, we suggest starting by adding certain key probiotics. Much of the digestion of food occurs in our small intestinal tract. And the best probiotic to support the intestines is bifidobacteria.

MELANIE: That's a master player.

TERESA: It is. Yep. It is. When I'm working with a new client, I often recommend taking two Bifido Balance capsules before each meal to begin repopulating the beneficial bacteria in the gut. So that's six a day, which sometimes can be a little bit overwhelming, but it really does work. And what I love about those Bifido capsules is that they're not these gigantic probiotics, meaning there's not so much of the beneficial bacterium that sometimes it can cause negative effects. You know…

MELANIE: The bloating and it almost feels like your guts are blowing up if you start with a big dog probiotic and you haven't been using one. And bifido is gentle.

TERESA: Exactly.

MELANIE: Because it's, you know, we're talking about bifidobacteria, but not talking about multiple strains that we're trying to introduce at one time.

TERESA: Exactly. And starting with those two capsules, even though it seems like a lot: six, six capsules, it actually is a pretty low mild dose. So it's, it's, it's just enough. I do encourage people though, to include foods that have naturally occurring beneficial bacteria in them and trying to get that daily if they can. And that could be foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, full fat yogurt or kefir, or even some of my clients’ favorite, one of the easiest ones to do daily is having just a small glass of kombucha.


TERESA: All of these foods contain those naturally occurring beneficial bacteria for the gut. And if you're looking on the labels of your foods, usually somewhere on the container it will say live and active cultures.

MELANIE: Yeah. So that's a good point. And you don't want to heat that kimchi and, and the sauerkraut because you kill the little buggers.

TERESA: That's right.

MELANIE: We want to keep them alive.

TEREASA: That's right. We need to eat those cold. So this is just to start when we're talking with our clients: having a little bit of a probiotic in the capsule form, incorporating some of those fermented foods. And these are some of the simple first steps that we can take to heal the gut microbiome to support the metabolism, especially after long-term antacid use, even long-term use of pain relievers like ibuprofen or frequent antibiotic use.

MELANIE: Yeah, that's a really good point. And it's a gentle way to start incorporating, you know, if you like any of those, those products. I love to begin with the bifido just because it is the master player in the digestive tract. It makes up the primary strains that you have. So we want to start with the big dog first.

Chronic stress can be a metabolism disruptor

And you know, another metabolism disruptor we mentioned was chronic stress. When we are under chronic stress, the hormone cortisol is released from the adrenal glands. And when your body is undergoing stress, the adrenal, those adrenal glands are going to produce more and more cortisol, which in turn causes the liver to release more glucose. And some of that extra glucose gets converted into energy, which is good, but much of it gets stored in our fat cells.

So think of it this way, when you are in a stressful state, cortisol is elevated, which leads to increased blood sugar levels and fat storage. So if this goes on and on repeatedly, repeated elevation of cortisol can certainly lead to weight gain and difficulties in losing weight. Plus we know that chronic stress affects the microbiome. So we circle back to what you were saying, Teresa. There's just that mind/gut connection, but there's also the mind/cortisol connection. So if you're stressed, you could be gaining weight and a lot of times you'll see it in your belly.

TERESA: Yeah. Everybody's favorite place to gain weight. Right?

MELANIE: So now you're more stressed.

TERESA: Exactly. Exactly. And that high stress and high cortisol levels can also increase your appetite and cravings for processed carbohydrates and sugar, which also usually results in weight gain.

MELANIE: And that's, that's the comfort food we reach for when we're stressed.

TERESA: Yeah. Think about what you want to eat when you're stressed. It's easy grab and grow ultra processed foods like fast food from the drive-through. Maybe it's a pastry and a sugary latte from the bakery. Or maybe it's just whatever goodies you keep in your cupboard or your pantry. You know…

MELANIE: Crackers.


MELANIE: Oh, the crackers.

TERESA: Crackers. Yes. These types of foods contain heavily processed seed oils, highly refined carbohydrates. Both of them are metabolism robbers.

MELANIE: Yeah. So let's talk more about the crackers and metabolism robbers when we come back from break. You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. A 2017 study from the North American Menopause Society found that women who were overweight experienced more uncomfortable symptoms of menopause. Does this sound like you? We encourage you to keep listening for real solutions for sustainable weight loss.


TERESA: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Today we are discussing our solutions to a slow metabolism and slow weight loss. Has this topic today resonated with you so far? Keep listening for more real practical solutions to heal a slow metabolism. And before break, we were talking about highly refined carbohydrates and sugars and things that we crave when we're under stress.

MELANIE: Crackers.

TERESA: And crackers. Yes. The crackers. Because those are our go-to foods in high stress and we are trying to connect the dots between high stress, high cortisol, slow metabolism and weight gain. And you may be thinking, you know, it's hard if not impossible to avoid stress in your life. So how do we manage stress levels through life circumstances that are just out of our control.

Strategy to manage stress: balance the blood sugar

Well, here's our advice. It all goes back to eating real food in balance four to five times a day. And know this isn't going to take away the external stresses in your life if you're going through some really hard times. But what it does is it helps to maintain balanced blood sugar levels throughout the day to take that physiological stress off your body and mind. And when I say physiological stress, those are the internal stresses, the things that we maybe put into our body. So when we put in high sugar foods, high carbohydrate foods, high or an excess of high carbohydrate foods that causes internal stress in our body or that physiological stress.

MELANIE: Because when your blood sugar pops up like that, it's a really stressful event for the body. You don't feel it, but you're actually compounding the stress.

TERESA: Right. And then when you know, there's sometimes that rebound effect, right? Where you have that high blood sugar like you were talking about, which you don't really feel, but you certainly feel low blood sugar, and low blood sugar can feel like irritability. It can be moodiness; all those, all those very uncomfortable feelings, which when we are uncomfortable in our body, that which creates poor moods, well of course that should show us that that's stressful to our body.

MELANIE: It's very, very stressful.

TERESA: Mm-Hmm. So Mel, when we're talking about eating balanced foods, can you describe what that can look like?

What does eating in balance look like?

MELANIE: Sure. And I, and I want to say that when you take the time to make real food, you sit down and you're eating with purpose to nourish your body; you're mindful about what you're eating; that rest and digest is really, really important for your stress in your life. The other thing that you're telling yourself internally is that you deserve to be nourished and cared for.

It's one of the things that you can control during a stressful time. And so it's not selfish. It's very selfless to take care of yourself. It's like putting your oxygen mask on first before you help anyone else in the family. But you have to start by doing that with some balanced eating. And the way we teach that at Nutritional Weight and Wellness means that for each meal you want to include four ounces of animal protein, cooked animal protein, you know, steak, pork chop, chicken anything like that; eggs. It supports the calming of the brain and making those neurotransmitters that are our feel-good chemicals in the brain.

So protein is really especially important to combat stress. And then if you add one to two cups of low carb vegetables, like I like the ones that grow above the earth, you know, except for corn and beans. So we're talking broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, asparagus, cauliflower, lettuce, spinach. An example would be like, then add like a half a cup of those starchy root vegetables like carrots or sweet potatoes.

TERESA: The ones that grow below the ground?

MELANIE: The ones that grow below the ground. Yeah. So and then to make it delicious, you want to add a tablespoon of natural healthy fat and that helps the brain and helps you absorb those nutrients like butter, olive oil, avocado oil. These are great choices because when we follow this type of a menu plan at least four times a day, this is going to keep your cortisol or your stress hormone level in check and your blood sugar stable.

It's going to keep you in the normal range and essentially you're going to have a better well-working metabolism. And frankly, you're just a nicer person because your blood sugar is balanced and you don't have that irritability and that hunger and where you, you know, look at your husband and think he's just chewing too loudly. And you think, oh, maybe I need a snack.

TERESA: Yes it is, yeah, that low blood sugar has definitely has an effect on our moods. And it's very funny because I mean, people talk about being hangry and there's commercials out there for how to alleviate that hanger.

MELANIE: Yeah. Yeah. And they, they always throw a Snickers down their throat and that is not what we're recommending.

Easy, fast and healthy meal ideas

TERESA: That is not what we're recommending. No. So being a busy parent; I'm a working mom. I have three kids at home. I need to help my family balance their blood sugar as well and keep that even so that we all in our family keep our moods, keep our moods steady because it's tough. I've got pre-teens now. It's, it's, it's a whole new world.

MELANIE: It's a whole new world; buckle up.

TERESA: Yep. So, like so many people, I don't always have time to make home cooked meals ahead of time to be prepared for those busy weeknights, but I like to have some shortcuts or some easy options available so that I'm able to throw something together quickly on those nights where we're very busy; maybe not everybody's home at the same time, but we all still can eat balanced.

I always have my freezer stocked with a variety of frozen vegetables. I think that is the easiest thing as far as vegetables are concerned. And as far as my kids are concerned, the plainer the better. And so frozen vegetables work really well and there's a variety of different types that you can get at, at the grocery store. So the variety is just built in there. And then I'll keep easy animal protein sources in the fridge as well. An easy option can be, you know, they have those craft sausages out, not Kraft the brand, but more craft like artesian.

MELANIE: Yes. Different flavors.

TERESA: The different flavors.

MELANIE: Chicken sausages.

TERESA: Yeah. They're pre-cooked, so all you have to really do is reheat them. So pairing that with some of those frozen vegetables is an easy way of getting that protein and vegetables, that plant food that we want them to be eating. Like I said, those sausages are available everywhere and you can find them that without preservatives, without nitrates, without fillers that are commonly found in processed meats. So that can be a quick, easy option.

MELANIE: Yeah. It adds a little pizzazz.

TERESA: Yeah. So just throw it all together, heat it up. The meal is colorful, it's delicious and it's ready to go in minutes. And it really doesn't have much for prep work. For my kids, I usually have some sort of starch involved here in fruit, because you know, when kids are growing they need some of that filler food. You know, they need some things to, to fill them up to, to fuel them, them for their active lives and their growing bodies.

MELANIE: But we aren’t talking chips and crackers and bread.

TERESA: No, but I'm not talking about chips. I'm talking more like, you know, maybe it's rice or potatoes or some other sort of natural food that just can help fill them up. But I really do like to emphasize plants and proteins.  

MELANIE: Vegetables, vegetables.

TERESA: Yep, exactly. I'm always like, well, where are your proteins? Where are your plants? And when I'm talking about plants, I'm talking about those living plants: broccoli, cauliflower, carrots.

MELANIE: Love that. That's a great way to say it.

TERESA: Another easy option I like to do with my kids is one I've been doing quite often lately. I've gotten two relatively new gadgets: the air fryer and the instant pot and those are very handy for quick weeknight meals. My air fryer has an air roast option and what I've been doing as a pork loin roast or not the pork tenderloin, not the long skinny one, but the one that's more rectangular that has that fat back on it.

MELANIE: Mm-hmm.

TERESA: And all I do is sprinkle it with salt and pepper, some paprika, some onion powder and garlic powder. That's it. And then I just air roast it, which you can just roast it in your oven too for…

MELANIE: How long?

TERESA: I, it takes about 40 minutes, I would say. You want the internal temperature to be…

MELANIE: I want to know if my air, air fryer has an air roast now.

TERESA: Yeah. Yeah. It's so, it's fantastic. But even in your oven, it wouldn't take that much, much more time.


TERESA: …to roast it. But it's easy. It's very quick. There's no prep involved and everybody likes it. And like I said, pull out those frozen veggies, grab some fruit and you know, we're off to the races. And with these kinds of time saving ideas, I know I can feed my family those real food meals even in a time crunch, which is more nights than not these days. So, so that's what's going on at my house.

MELANIE: I love that. You know, I just recently purchased, I think I got out on Amazon, of course. And it's a steamer, so it's it's a pot and then it's got the, the pot that goes on top that has holes in it so you can steam. And I have done, you know, like baby red potatoes and my vegetables all at one time. And while that's steaming in there, then I do my protein.

TERESA: Perfect. Perfect.

MELANIE: But I'm going to pull out that air fryer now.

TERESA: Yeah. Well, yes. I mean all the gadgets. It's so fun.

MELANIE: I feel like we don't have enough. Well our real food eating plan heals the body. And I love all those ideas that you gave because it's going to heal the brain and of course supports weight loss. On the other hand, skipping meals, when you skip meals due to stress or relying on ultra processed fast food meals is stressful to the body and slows your metabolism. Well, we can't always control our life, especially if you're busy and you've got, you know, preteens or kids like Teresa. We can't control our life stressors, but we can often control our food choices to lessen stress on our bodies.

So listeners, have you ever thought, I'm only eating one meal a day. I'm still not losing weight. And but this might be the key for you. It could be that you're slowing your metabolism by only eating one meal a day.

TERESA: Right. Your, your body adjusts down to the fuel that you're giving.

MELANIE: It's exactly what you don't want.

TERESA: Exactly. You want it to adjust up. You want to give it more so it burns.

MELANIE: Revs. And that protein, you know, we should mention that when you're eating that animal protein, it revs your metabolism.

TERESA: It sure does.

MELANIE: You're revved. I mean my husband is like, you've taken a battery out of him when he hasn't had enough protein. And as soon as we get protein in him, it's like you put the battery back in because it revs you, it revs your metabolism. That's what we want.

TERESA: Right, exactly. That's exactly what we want. And what's nice about eating protein too is that our body doesn't efficiently store protein. And so when we're thinking about making fast meals and snacks and things and, and how do I, how do I fill up without gaining weight? Eating more protein is actually a great option for people who want to lose weight because, because we don't store protein well.

MELANIE: That's a really good point. Let's talk some more about that after the break. You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. As we've discussed during this hour, good gut health is essential for good metabolism. In February, we published a blog article called “Nutrition for Healing Gut Issues”, which is a great read that goes into more detail about supporting gut health. It even provides delicious gut healing recipes. To read the article, visit, and search “nutrition for healing gut issues” and get those recipes.


TERESA: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. If you've been struggling with slow weight loss for years, healing your metabolism takes a long-term commitment. As dietitians and nutritionists, we work individually with you to set up an eating plan to heal your metabolism for sustained weight loss. We know there are so many causes of a slow metabolism, so let us help you find a solution. A nutrition consultation is just a phone call away.

So give us a call at (651) 699-3438 and we'll gladly answer all of your questions and get you set up with an appointment with one of us. And each and every one of us has experience working in this topic and area. And so you really can't go wrong with any of the dietitians or nutritionists at Nutritional Weight and Wellness.

Schedule Nutrition Counseling

MELANIE: We've all been brainstorming together.

TERESA: That's right. And then we have each other as resources too, as we get if there are some cases where we get stuck on it. So it's really nice to have that group dynamic there. Well, let's circle back to the connection between gut health and weight loss. As we had touched on earlier, a major underlying cause of a poor functioning metabolism is having poor gut health. So how do you know if you have poor gut health?

How do you know if you have poor gut health?

MELANIE: Good question.

TERESA: It could be something more obvious, like uncomfortable digestive issues, constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, or acid reflux. But it could be something less obvious like an autoimmune disease, which is a condition in which your immune system becomes confused and it starts attacking your own body. Some of the more common autoimmune diseases are type one diabetes, celiac disease, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis or MS, psoriasis and Hashimoto's thyroiditis. There are actually 100 different kinds of autoimmune diseases.


TERESA: So there are a lot of them out there. And for us, it comes as no surprise that research has linked autoimmune diseases to the health of the gut microbiome, given that 80% of our immune system is housed in our gut.

MELANIE: Say that again. That's a really good point.

TERESA: So that autoimmune connection, you know, we have all these autoimmune diseases.

MELANIE: Mm-hmm.

TERESA: And so it's really, it's just no surprise that there's that connection to gut dysbiosis and autoimmune disease because so much of our immune system, 80% is housed in our gut.

MELANIE: That's a good thing to think about if you get sick all the time.


MELANIE: How's your gut health?

TERESA: Yeah. Which we don't think about that. You know, when you have somebody who is catches every cold and virus that comes along in the, in the winter or even springtime, you know, if, do we check in with our gut.

MELANIE: How's it going?

Processed foods and sugar negatively impact gut health

TERESA: It's, it's hard to connect those dots sometimes. So what causes our gut to go from having a flourishing microbiome with a well working metabolism to becoming healthy and inflamed, often leading to a sluggish metabolism or even maybe that autoimmune conditions we were talking about? Well, here are a few of the common reasons that this can happen. If we are consistently eating a diet that's high in processed foods and sugar.

MELANIE: There's a theme here.

Fiber is helpful for gut health

TERESA: Yes, there is. And when we have that processed, that diet high in processed foods and sugar, oftentimes that means that we are having a diet that's also low in fiber. Fiber is what feeds that bacteria in our gut. So we need to have lots of fiber in our diet. And when I'm talking about fiber, I'm also more specifically vegetables. Like really the the fibers that are found in vegetables.


TERESA: And even certain fruits like berries, pomegranates are great sources of that fiber.


TERESA: Pears. Great sources of that, fiber that are, that our bacteria love in our gut that helps them, that helps to nourish those, those bugs. We have to feed them too. We're not just feeding ourselves, we're feeding a whole host of living organisms.

MELANIE: You know, and a variety. We need a variety because we have a variety of bugs in the microbiome. You need a variety of fiber, fruits and vegetables to feed each bacteria.

Drink filtered water to support microbiome health

TERESA: Good point. Another thing that many times we don't think about when we're thinking about the health of the microbiome is drinking unfiltered water. Tap water often contains hormones, prescription medications, chlorine and pesticide residues, so that, all those things, those can affect the, the health of that bacteria.

Overuse of anti-inflammatory medications can compromise the microbiome

Overuse of anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin, Advil, Aleve, ibuprofen. In fact, most over-the-counter drugs or even prescription drugs have a negative effect on the health of the microbiome.

MELANIE: That's a really good point.

Antibiotics compromise microbiome health

And probably the worst offender is antibiotics and using them inappropriately. Of course we have to take antibiotics. They are lifesaving in certain circumstances, but taking them appropriately and then after using them to really going back in there and supporting the health of the gut after we take those antibiotics.

MELANIE: Repopulating, you know, with that bifido that we were talking about earlier. And the good news is that it's really never too late to improve your gut health and get your metabolism revved up and working again. So listeners, you've listened over this past hour. Think about what resonated with you that could be contributing to your slow metabolism if that's your struggle. So to improve your gut health, are you willing to start taking some bifido bacteria probiotics before each meal?

And one of my clients recently told me that she takes her bifido probiotic before her meals and bonus: her sugar cravings go away. When she forgets to take them the cravings comes sneaking back. It's kind of magic.

TERESA: Yeah. I've had that experience with probiotics too with, with clients as well, and with myself actually.

MELANIE: Yeah; really.

Tips for helping with constipation

TERESA: Or how about this? Are sluggish digestive symptoms like constipation slowing your metabolism? Those who suffer from constipation know how uncomfortable it can be. But did you know that it can slow metabolism and overall is harmful to our health? To get your system moving again, first, we recommend a balanced food plan with plenty of vegetables for that fiber. There might be certain foods that we recommend as well that are beneficial to speeding things up. Drinking adequate water and daily exercise. In order to get your bowels to move, you need to move.

And if that doesn't work, then in addition to those things, we suggest three to four capsules of our Mixed Magnesium before bed. I can't tell you how many clients I've had that have had success with that Mixed Magnesium for constipation.

Recap of how to heal metabolism

MELANIE: Yeah. It's kind of it, it's another magic. All of these small actions add up to achieving really better gut health for a better working metabolism. And at Nutritional Weight and Wellness, we have been teaching about good gut health and ways to support your metabolism for over 20 years. And we believe the best way to heal your metabolism is to support a healthy gut by eating a balance of real protein, real vegetables, use your vegetables as your carbohydrates and then real natural fat; and a few key supplements may be necessary.

By eating this way, you will heal your metabolism to lose weight and maintain that weight loss. And we have a lot of clients that can attest to that. It's it's key. You know, getting your body back on track, the body does what it's supposed to do. Our goal at Nutritional Weight and Wellness is to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food. It's a simple yet powerful message. Eating real food is life changing. Thanks for joining Teresa and I today.

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