Why is it so Hard to Lose Weight?

October 10, 2020

Listen in as two nutritionists share the answers to the question new clients frequently ask – “Why is it so hard to lose weight?” The answer? Listen in as they explain the common mistakes they see again and again, some that are decades in the making. The good news? You can start reversing those misguided attempts today – starting with what you eat next.

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LEAH: Good morning and welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight & Wellness. It is hard to believe, but this begins our 17th year of broadcasting Dishing Up Nutrition.


LEAH: For 17 years, every Saturday, or MOST Saturdays I guess I should say, we have shared up to date nutritional information designed specifically to make a difference in the lives of our listeners and their health. So each week our message has been about eating real food. Like that's a term now I think that we can kind of put our stamp on is eating real food. So that our listeners and our clients can have more energy, less inflammation, better health, and everything in between. So it isn't a message about the latest fad diet. It's about eating a healing plan of real food. This is just kind of an interesting observation and, Britni, maybe you've noticed this in clinic here and there, but I've noticed with some of my clients that it seems that many people seem to like blame or really attribute many of their health problems to their genetics.

BRITNI: Yes. I agree with that.

LEAH: And they haven't quite made that connection yet that the food that they're eating is the cause of their health problems. So as dietitians, we work one on one with clients and so we'll hear things like "my father had diabetes, so I know sooner or later, I will probably have that too." Or maybe it's "my mom had arthritis, so I will have it eventually also." One I've heard, I think recently in the last week or two, "my grandmother had Alzheimer's disease. So I really worry that I will also get Alzheimer's disease." And it is important to know our family history. What is in our family history. I mean, we even have this in our health questionnaire, an area where people can kind of talk through or list out what's in their family, but it's also important an important concept I think to say the family history does not have to become our destiny. We can be more like maybe we have some predispositions in the background or tendencies one way or another, but it does not have to be our destiny.

BRITNI: It's so true. And I think that what oftentimes people don't think about is, you know, maybe your dad had something, your mom had something and now you do. What about your lifestyle? So you probably have a similar lifestyle, you know, a lot of our habits come from childhood. And so I think oftentimes it is more lifestyle and your food choices driving those conditions then genetics.

LEAH: Yup, absolutely. I'll say that to my clients too. It's like, you know, we probably, especially as younger children ate a lot of the same things growing up as our parents did. So how much of an impact did the foods that we were all eating together then have on the development of some of these conditions? It's kind of food for thought, you know, we use that a lot. And so for you listeners out there, maybe you've also said to yourself, you know, "I must come from a family...there must be an obesity gene out there because my dad was overweight. His mom was overweight. All of my brothers and sisters are overweight and now I'm starting to gain weight. So it just must be baked into our destiny. It must be in our genes." So the question we are going to address this morning on the show is why is it so hard for many people to lose weight? We're going to go through a couple of things, pretty much two main points that we'll address throughout this show. And maybe you as a listener, if this is something that you've wondered yourself and maybe you've said to yourself, "well, why can't all my friends lose weight just by drinking less wine or less soda or less XYZ, while I can't lose weight and I never even drank wine to begin with. It's just not fair!"

BRITNI: Yeah, we hear that sometimes.

LEAH: Yep. So, so this is, these are the kinds of things we want to explore in today's show. And before we dive deeper into our topic, I want to introduce myself and my cohost who's here in studio with me. My name is Leah Kleinschrodt. I'm a registered and licensed dietitian. And here with me this morning is Britni Vincent, who is also a registered and licensed dietitian. And today our goal is to share some new information, but also some old information about weight loss. And our hope is that you will really think about the information we're going to share with you about weight loss and perhaps then be able to take some of that information and start feeling out and applying in your own life where it makes sense for you and applying this to your own body. As we all know, it's one thing to KNOW the information, which is what our show is about a lot of times, we want to give that information out and make it as widespread as possible, but then it is a whole other thing to actually APPLY it and to do it. And changing food choices are hard, especially like you said Britni, if these are things that have come from our childhood, these are habits that have been deeply ingrained. And oftentimes this is the hardest part for people.

BRITNI: Yeah, it really is. And I think that you need to go into this recognizing it's a process. This takes time.

LEAH: Absolutely.

BRITNI: If you're, if you're somebody that's feeling overwhelmed and not even sure where to start as we're talking today, just think, "what's maybe one thing that I could start to change today after the show?" And sometimes those little steps are what you need. And if you are... if you have a goal of weight loss, you are not alone in this weight loss battle because 75% of adults in the United States are overweight or obese. Cause as Leah just mentioned, people may know, but it's really difficult to do. And then of course, there's people out there that really just don't know this information. And we hear over and over that people who are considered obese are at a higher risk for testing positive for COVID.

LEAH: That's scary.

BRITNI: It is scary. BUT this pandemic has not changed many people's eating habits for the better. In fact, over the past nine months, I mean, I've heard this so much that people have actually gained weight. You know, there's so much stress in many different ways with the pandemic and people are finding that they're turning to sugar and more of those processed foods more often. So today Leah and I will address two important reasons why you may find it difficult to lose weight.

LEAH: So we've talked about this first reason, many, many times over the past 17 years on previous shows, but we thought we would share it again just to refresh your memory and maybe say it in a different way so that it rings true for different people this time. A major reason why it may be difficult for you to lose weight is that your body may have too much insulin floating around and that insulin...too much insulin comes from eating too much sugar. As Britni mentioned, especially over these last six to seven months or so many people are finding, trying to find that comfort and that stress relief from eating those high sugar, highly processed foods. And that is not doing anybody's waistline or anybody's insulin levels any favors. Some people have too much insulin because they have to inject insulin into their bodies. Maybe they have type one or type two diabetes. So you can get excess insulin just from those injections that you're doing. But other people have too much insulin because they have eaten too much sugar and too many of those processed carbs for too long. These people they've eaten too much bread, too much pasta, too much pizza, too much popcorn. So we pick on popcorn a lot. Too much candy, too many pastries, far too many times for far too many years. And this is just not to say one ice cream cone or one bowl of popcorn is going to give you insulin resistance. I hope we really drove home that message that this is a PROCESS and it takes a long time for this to happen.

BRITNI: Yeah, it does. And you know, you don't even have to be overweight to be insulin resistant. So you could have been insulin resistant many, many years ago, and then it's just gotten worse over time and started to cause that weight gain.

LEAH: I think that's a really interesting point Britni is usually when we think about too much insulin, too much sugar, and the show is about difficulty losing weight, but not everybody who has insulin resistance has a weight problem necessarily. You can still have that biochemical imbalance and still be within say a normal, healthy body weight range. So here's some just a couple interesting facts about the hormone insulin. Insulin's job is to take sugar or glucose that we get from the foods...when we eat that we get from our foods and then it's supposed to escort that sugar into the cells in our body. But when you have too much sugar floating around, you're going to produce a lot of insulin, probably overproduce that insulin, and when your liver and your muscles and your brain have kind of they've saturated, they have enough of that sugar, well then that insulin's got to put that extra sugar somewhere. And it's going to put it into your fat cells and your fat cells are going to grow and your tummy gets bigger. Thighs fill out and your face gets round. I mean, you get the picture. Everything kind of expands. So on that note, we do need to go to our first break and you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight & Wellness. Have you ever been told by a health professional just to lose the weight and it will reduce your cholesterol? And that is a message that you know anyone would think that that extra weight is the CAUSE of that health problem, whether it's cholesterol or diabetes or Alzheimer's or heart disease. But the fact of the matter is that extra weight is only another one of those health symptoms, not the cause. So it's quite often that excess sugar and those processed carbs that are really at that root cause, but it could also be a lack of sleep or ongoing stress or potentially from a medication. At Nutritional Weight & Wellness, we believe that in order to lose weight, we need to first get your body healthy and then your body will start to let go of some of that extra weight that it's been hanging on to. And Britni and I will share some strategies for getting healthy before and after the breaks. So we'll be right back.

BRITNI: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Because of COVID-19, the riots, the unrest, the fear about finances. I mean the list can go on and on right? Many people have gained 10, 15, 20 pounds in the past few months. As dietitians and nutritionists, we want to support you with our nutritional knowledge, our caring, our nonjudgmental approach to help you to change your nutrition to change your life. We want to help you to eat real food to support your nervous system, your bone density, your sleep, your mood, your energy, and just your overall well being. And taking our Nutrition 4 Weight Loss series of 12 classes, you have weekly support for the next three months will help give you the tools you need to get back on track with eating real food. We are here for you, whether in a virtual classroom or just meeting one-on-one with your dietitian or nutritionist, which are available by phone or through Zoom. You can call us at 651-699-3438 or email us at email@weightandwellness.com and we'll help you find the best solution for you.

LEAH: Yep. The front desk are so, so helpful for managing those questions. Anything that comes through the phone, they usually have a great answer or at least can ask some more probing questions about finding that best fit for you. So, yeah. So Britni, you know, we started introducing the concept before we went to break about one thing that really holds back weight loss for a lot of people. And that's too much insulin, which is coming from that background of too many processed carbs and too much sugar. So I know you have some more information to share on that.

BRITNI: Yeah. You know that too much insulin...That can lead to heart disease, high cholesterol, type two diabetes, cancer, dementia. I mean, again, that list can kind of go on. Sugar and refined processed carbs are typically the culprit. So at this point in time, many adults are eating an average of 150 pounds of sugar and about 150 pounds of flour a year. That's a lot!

LEAH: 150 pounds of EACH.

BRITNI: Yeah. Wow.

LEAH: That's significant.

BRITNI: So what that breaks down to is three pounds or six cups a week of both sugar and flour. Wow. So is it any wonder that 75% of adults in America are overweight weight or obese?

LEAH: Well that is definitely one of the pieces to the puzzle. The question of the day and the question that's on a lot of people's minds is how do you talk your body into losing that extra body fat? How can you kind of coax out some of that extra body fat? The answer to that question is quite simple. It's cut out the sugar and those processed carbs. And that's, I mean, that is a message we have been getting out there for these last 17 years. But again, knowing is great. Hard to do sometimes. Eating sugar and processed carbs is a habit. It's a very unhealthy habit and it's a habit. It's a strong habit for a lot of people that it just takes some time to find those substitutions or to find those little niches to how do we start making those baby changes so that in the long run and you can make great progress? As humans, we are wired to love sugar. It's in our biochemistry. It's, you know, we're made to like the taste of sugar and to gravitate towards it. But in years past people's bodies could tolerate eating some sugar, which their bodies used a lot more efficiently for energy. And in those days, people, it worked maybe for some people because they were very active and this was more in years past. And there was not this overproduction of insulin that caused their fat cells to just grow and grow. People, they burned up that extra sugar, extra energy that they ate with their active lifestyle. So sugar did not expand those cells.

BRITNI: Yeah. Nowadays it's a very different story. So here's a question to ask, "could the reason it is so hard for you to lose weight be because you are eating too much sugar or too many processed carbs?" I encourage you to reflect on this, like really think about what you're eating on a daily basis.

LEAH: You don't have to tell us think about it for yourself.

BRITNI: I mean, those candies here and there or cookies that you might not think add up to much. They are probably adding up. Or the chips for some people. So if your answer is YES, how can you change your habits? Well, most people need real nutritional education and support to make the necessary changes. I mean, the knowledge is really the first step, but as we've been talking about, the doing as the hard part. But we have to get rid of those cravings for you to be successful because you can't fight those cravings forever.

LEAH: Yup.

BRITNI: So the beauty is once you've really get rid of the processed carbs and the sugar for most people, those cravings just go away. So it's getting over that first hurdle of eliminating that. And for some people, it is a cold turkey type of thing. And for people who are prediabetic or insulin resistant, eating just a little small amount of extra sugar could mean that most of the sugar goes right into those fat cells and then again making it really difficult to lose weight.

LEAH: Yep. And yeah, like you said, it doesn't take a whole lot to goose a little extra sugar into those fat cells, especially in the beginning when you do have more of that insulin resistance or more of that cross buildup around your cells. So sometimes it does take a lot of diligence, especially in the beginning. And then as you progress things, you know, you can make some choices. But one thing that I talk about with my clients a lot, or I get this question of, you know, "how do I flip that switch? How do I get my body into that fat burning mode and out of the fat storage mode? Is there anything, any one thing that I can do to try to edge that process along?" And the first thing that I always tell my clients is we need to be eating enough PROTEIN throughout the day. So that's eating three to four ounces of animal protein, at least four times a day. Some people need five. Some people get away with six, but at least four times a day, getting enough protein in. This is potentially our biggest lever that we can kind of pull or dial up or dial down to get our metabolism in that boosted state as much as possible. Now, protein kind of helps our metabolism and helps those cravings and helps that insulin resistance in a couple of different ways and the amino acids in protein... So these are the little building blocks of proteins. They send messages to different areas of your brain to say you are full and you are no longer craving sugar and processed carbohydrates. So that's great. It's sending those messages to the brain to calm that brain down and to take care of those cravings. And when you eat sufficient protein, you are telling your body to just let go of some of that extra body weight. It also helps to balance out those blood sugars.

BRITNI: We are here for our... we have to get to our next break actually.

LEAH: I know, we do! So you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. And this month we are offering a 15% discount on all of our calcium supplements. All of our calcium products are in a very absorbable form of calcium. And we even have chewable calcium supplements for those of you who are tired of swallowing yet another big tablet.

BRITNI: You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight & Wellness. If you, a friend, or family member is struggling with macular degeneration, you are not alone because 11 million people in the U.S. Have some form of macular degeneration. This is a serious eye disease because it can actually result in blindness. So join Shelby and Dar as they discuss eye health with Dr. Chris Knobbe, the founder and president of the Cure Age Related Macular Degeneration Foundation.

LEAH: Say that three times fast.

BRITNI: Right?! Dr. Chris Knobbe will share his research about how vegetable oils are so damaging for your vision. So before break, Leah, you were talking about blood sugar balance.

LEAH: Yup. And how protein is one of those macronutrients that helps anchor our blood sugars into a good place, which then starts to help decrease or chip away at some of that insulin resistance. So, yeah, so I really, I hound my clients a lot about getting enough protein in, because again, not only does it keep you satiated, but it helps to start decreasing that insulin resistance. And it keeps that muscle mass on our frame, so then when we're losing that body fat, we're also still keeping on the muscle in that lean tissue. And that's really what people want when they talk about weight loss, right? Cause we want to lose that extra body fat, but we want to keep our muscle mass on us.

BRITNI: You know and I think that too, that extra protein to gain the lean body mass, that's why a lot of people when they're losing weight, they start to see those inches come off faster than sometimes the weight on the scale.

LEAH: Absolutely.

BRITNI: So that's part of why we encourage people to measure themselves. And getting into the habit of eating the protein is difficult, but... you know, as somebody, I did not eat much protein in the past at all. Maybe I'd get three ounces in a whole day. But now that I do, and if for some reason I don't get enough, my body really, really misses that and I get hungry sooner.

BRITNI: Yup. Yep. I have that same past. And once it actually took me starting to measure my cooked proteins and I realized, oh, on an average, I was getting two to two and a half ounces per meal. Really, you need to be getting at least four ounces. I found for me four to five ounces is kind of a good sweet spot for my body to sit in. So yes, that protein helps keep our blood sugars balanced. It helps us to manage all these stressors that are being thrown at us. And this is just one great way that we can encourage our listeners and encourage our clients to nurture yourselves throughout the day. So this is eating the Weight & Wellness Way is getting in enough protein throughout your day. And because of the coronavirus many or I would say perhaps most people are feeling stressed and many are experiencing elevated cortisol levels. And cortisol is kind of our one main stress hormone. When you're under stress, that hormone cortisol, it's released from our adrenal glands. Those little adrenal glands sit on top of our kidneys. And when your body is undergoing stress, those adrenal glands keep getting that signal, "hey, make more cortisol", which in turn causes the liver to make more glucose. So more of that sugar. So your liver is producing a little extra sugar then throughout the day and when it gets those signals from cortisol, it keeps making that sugar. Some of that extra glucose or that extra sugar gets converted into energy with the goal of being, hey, if you were being chased by a tiger, you could use that sugar immediately to get away from that tiger. But that's not the case for most of us these days.


LEAH: That extra glucose is good if you're running from a tiger, but not so good if all you're doing is sitting at your desk and answering emails throughout the day. So if that's the case, much of that extra glucose is going to be put into our fat cells instead. And think of it this way, when you're in that stressful state, cortisol is elevated, which leads to elevated blood sugar levels, which leads to fat storage. Repeated elevation of cortisol can certainly lead to weight gain and difficulties with losing that weight on the other side.

BRITNI: Yeah. I'm so glad you brought up that stress point, cause that it's really important for people to understand. High stress, high cortisol levels increase your appetite and your cravings too. So, and of course they're increasing your cravings for the processed carbs and sugar. And that's usually gonna result in weight gain. So just think about what you want when you are stressed. For me, it's sweets. Whether it's in the form of ice cream or cookies, that's what I want. And the high stress levels and high cortisol levels can also suppress your immune system. And then if you're eating sugar on top of that, that's also going to suppress your immune system. So definitely not a good situation at this time. So you may be wondering "how can I manage my stress level during this pandemic?" Obviously, a lot of this is out of our control, right? BUT what you put in your mouth IS in your control.

LEAH: Absolutely.

BRITNI: And our body doesn't know the difference between the stress of COVID and working from home, helping your kids with online school, and the stress of eating sugar. It's just both stress to our body. So here's our advice. It goes back to eating real food in balance four to five times a day. It's so important to maintain those normal blood sugars, so you're not going too high or too low. So Leah, what do we mean by balanced meals?

LEAH: Balanced eating. Balanced meals. We say it every week on the show. We say it the Weight & Wellness Way balanced eating, but this means... here we're going back to protein... we need, you know, three to four, maybe some people even need five to six ounces of that animal protein with each meal. Then we're talking at least one to two cups of a low starch or low carb vegetables. So this would be maybe broccoli or tomatoes or snap peas, something in that category. You also need just a little boost of something starchy, maybe some carrots, a half a cup of sweet potatoes or baby red potatoes, squash is coming into season. So half a cup of say butternut squash. And then we need some of that good, healthy fat to go on top of that sweet potato or to cook that protein in. And these are things like butter, olive oil, avocado oil. These are all just examples of some good choices.

BRITNI: So what, what would a meal like this look like?

LEAH: I've had stir fry on the brain a lot lately.

BRITNI: Yeah. Yum!

LEAH: So I love a good stir fry and I love stir fries for the fact that you can get everything in one pot for the most part. And so this, this is a great example of, alright, we need a protein base for that stir fry. And that could be shrimp, that could be steak, cut up beef, that could be chicken. I mean, take your pick. Lots of protein options. Then you can get a variety of vegetables into that dish. So maybe you're doing a beef and broccoli. So you're only using broccoli or my favorite shortcut is to get those mixes of frozen vegetables and maybe they say stir fry blend on them. So you're getting a lot of variety with those vegetables.

BRITNI: Great idea.

LEAH: and all you have to do is heat them up in the pan. So you can get a variety of vegetables in just using those frozen vegetable blends. And then a good healthy fat... I love coconut oil in my stir fries. Cause you get the, it kind of just works well with those Asian inspired dishes or some of that tropical flavor. And then I'll probably put that on a bed of maybe some quinoa, maybe some brown rice, or a lot of what I've been doing just to try to sneak in those extra vegetables is doing like a half in half combination of quinoa and some riced cauliflower just to sneak in a little extra vegetable to that base.

BRITNI: Yeah. If you have not tried riced cauliflower, highly recommended and a lot of people mix it in and then their kids are totally fine with eating it. So it helps or maybe your significant other too, so it hhat helps to up those veggies.

LEAH: Absolutely. Following this type of meal plan, at least four times a day will help. That helps keep your cortisol level in check. It keeps your blood sugar stable and in the normal range. And this is a healing plan that heals the body. It heals the brain. And when we support that body on that healing journey, that's when that weight loss just tends to naturally start happening. On the other hand, when we go low calorie, when we slash those calories drastically, or we're eating a low fat plan, in reality, that is stressful to our bodies because it creates a low blood sugar state. And when your blood sugar is low, your energy is low and then your body and your brain are gonna seek out anything that it possibly can to get that blood sugar up, which often leads to OVEReating. And that tends to be later on in the day or at night tend to be the biggest trouble times for my clients.

BRITNI: And that when that low blood sugar hits your body will even output more cortisol. So again...

LEAH: More stress.

BRITNI: Yeah! We're back to that vicious cycle we were talking about earlier. So I want to jump into the second reason why it's so hard to lose weight. Because of COVID-19, we are getting calls daily from listeners who are asking, what vitamins should I take to support my immune system. We know there's so much more to building your immune system than just taking vitamin D3, vitamin C, zinc, melatonin. It really all goes back to eating balanced meals of real food to support getting many different vitamins and minerals for your immune system.

LEAH: Yup. So we have to start always with that foundation of real food. Real food is going to give us that best source of vitamins, minerals, enzymes kind of in the right combinations that nature naturally packages up for us. But in addition, real food is necessary to digest and metabolize your food. So gut health. This is one of my favorite, favorite topics in the whole world is to talk about gut health.

BRITNI: Me too!

LEAH: Your gut health is so important to your immune function, but it's also so important for your energy and for your weight loss, just for overall health. Some of you may not know this, or maybe you've heard us to touch on it here and there throughout the years, but good intestinal health helps with weight loss. Recently, Dr. Christiane Northrup, she posted a blog titled *How to Improve Your Gut Microbiome in a Day.* She wrote that 80% of your immune system is actually in your gut. So your gut and your immune system are just intimately intertwined together. So it's actually in that lining of the intestinal tract. There's a single cell lining in that intestinal track that really drives a lot of our immune system. Then we have our microbiome, which is that mixture of good, bad neutral bacteria or those gut microbes that live in our intestinal tract. And the microbiome also helps the body with just about everything else, including digesting your food, thinking clearly, and even maintaining a healthy weight. So when your gut microbiome is working well, you're probably feeling great, but if it's out of balance, it's potentially setting you up for a host of other health issues: weight gain and diabetes, brain fog, cancer, all sorts of different things. So we actually have to take our third and final break. So we will come back to this topic of gut health, but you're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. And if you are struggling with extra pounds that have attached themselves to various parts of your body over the past few months, you know a low fat, low calorie diet isn't the healthy solution or a great long term solution, and that this can actually be quite risky during this high stress time. So that said, I suggest enrolling in our 12 week Nutrition 4 Weight Loss series as Britni had discussed coming back from the other side of break previously. And we have two ways that you can participate and benefit from our knowledge and support. So we offer this 12 week series through a Zoom format starting either Monday, October 26th or Wednesday, October 28th, where it's actually a live class or perhaps you find it more convenient to sign up for our Nutrition 4 Weight Loss online series. Both options are equally effective and have wonderful teachers. And we'll be right back.

BRITNI: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. I want to share with you my experience with these Zoom Nutrition 4 Weight Loss classes. So I just wrapped up my first Zoom class, almost a couple of weeks ago now, and it was the first time doing it. So I just wasn't sure how it would go. And it was wonderful. I mean, we had really great participation. I think that all the participants felt like they got that support like they would in a one on one class and I would highly encourage you to do that. I really think that format is wonderful and more convenient too for a lot of people. You don't have to drive anywhere.

LEAH: Yeah. You don't have to plan on the extra time to travel or anything like that or like having to bring food with you or bring your dinner with or how am I going to make this work with the family's schedule and things like.

BRITNI: You could even do the class in your pajamas if you wanted to.

LEAH: Absolutely. Yep. Actually it's even encouraged, right?


LEAH: Yeah. And we are offering a $50 discount for those upcoming series that are coming up in October. So again, if this is something that you've been thinking about, maybe that little discount is enough to grab your attention or just to say, "hey, maybe this is a great time to make that investment in myself", especially as we have the holidays kind of coming up right around the corner, starting with Halloween, right into Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, everything like that. And so those classes would be great to just help carry you through and give you that extra little support, we can kind of be that, that person sitting on your shoulder during those difficult times.

BRITNI: Yeah. I taught a class through the holiday season last year and my class participants were really thankful that they did that just for the extra support cause those are difficult times.

LEAH: Absolutely.

BRITNI: So before the break, we were talking about our gut health, our immune system, and Leah was starting to talk about, you know, having an unbalanced gut. So what causes that? You know, in a lot of our classes we teach about these many causes. So here are just a few of them: eating a diet of processed foods and sugar, eating conventionally raised meat and dairy products full of hormones and pesticides, even drinking unfiltered water. So those often contain hormones and pesticide residue. And then the overuse of antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medications. I mean, I just think back to how many antibiotics I was on in my life and even think back to when you were a kid, like this goes back to your birth. That impacts your microbiome today, which is kind of crazy to think about. So for more information about gut health, I recommend taking our online class *Gut Reaction: Restored Digestive Health Through Nutrition*. The classes online for only $25, which is a great deal. Go to weightandwellness.com to sign up or call us at 651-699-3438. We'll help you sign up for that class or help you find the best online class for you to take.

LEAH: Yeah. And we've had many different choices, but if you're specifically interested in the gut one, that is a really helpful class. And as Britni mentioned, there's so many different reasons why a person's intestinal tract might take a hit over the years or it might get imbalanced. For example, sugar feeds the growth of bad bacteria in the intestinal tract. Frequent use of antibiotics decreases that bad bacteria, but it also wipes out our good bacteria also. And we need antibiotics sometimes, you know, to take care of little infections here and there, but when it becomes a chronic thing and when we're not doing what we need to do to kind of take care of our gut microbiome AFTER those antibiotics, then we, again, we, then we start to see clients who really have accumulated a lot of damage in their guts over the years and they just don't feel good. So when you get those antibiotics in, again, you wipe out the bad guys, but you also wipe out the good guys and you have just less of that bacteria overall, which opens the door just a little bit more for those bad guys to come back with a vengeance.

BRITNI: Yeah. And another thing that really impacts your gut health is taking antacids. Those really affect your gut microbiome. In fact, today, most people don't have enough stomach acid. I know that might sound strange, but a lot of people have low stomach acid and they can't digest their food fairly well. And so if you're seeing undigested food in your stool, maybe you don't look, which I would encourage you to. But if you're seeing that, that's a sign that you probably have low stomach acid. And if you've been taking antacid medication for any length of time, usually your digestion will decrease resulting in bloating, heartburn, inability to access those amino acids from protein. And you also don't have to be on antacids who have low stomach acid, you know, that happens from antibiotic use, naturally as we age our stomach acid production reduces. So there's a lot of other contributing factors, but we've really need to make sure we're breaking down that protein cause we need those nutrients from protein to help to support our metabolism, our energy, our brain function, plus the nutrients from protein builds bones, muscles, keeps the cravings under control. So weight loss really is so much more complicated than just cutting calories. The old model of "calories in, calories out" does not really have any meaning for weight loss. Weight loss is just much more complicated than that.

LEAH: Absolutely. Yes. We're talking a lot about those little biochemical connections that are going on inside of our body. That, like you said Britni, like you don't get that information from just the number of calories that you're eating or not eating or whatever the case may be. So to support healthy digestion, we want to maybe wrap up the show with just what can you do to support your gut and your microbiome and that digestion so that you can access the energy and the nutrients that you were getting from our real food? So we suggest oftentimes adding in certain key probiotics. Much of the digestion of our food, it starts, it starts in the mouth. It continues on in the stomach, but the vast majority of it occurs in our intestinal tract. The best probiotic to support the small intestinal tract is bifidobacteria. That's about 70% of the bacteria that live in our intestinal tract. We often recommend taking two capsules of Bifido Balance with each meal. And then that's a great place for many people to start is just with that bifido, but if you're looking for maybe a multi-strain or just getting in some diversity into that gut microbiome, you could add in a multi-strain probiotic. One capsule of the Biotic 7 is a great option. That's one of my favorites to use. So that multi-strain probiotic helps support the health of the stomach, the health of the small intestine, and also the health of the large intestine, so you get a little more variety in there. At Nutritional Weight & Wellness, we've been teaching about good gut health and gut support, ways to support that gut microbiome, for over 20 years. Supporting your gut health will help to reduce those sugar cravings, which then helps with weight loss efforts. They're one in the same.

BRITNI: And at Nutritional Weight & Wellness, we believe if you get your microbiome healthy and you're eating a balanced diet of real protein, real vegetable carbs, real natural fat to maintain normal blood sugars, you will lose weight and maintain that weight loss. This is actually a time to understand that more or less. We have thousands of clients that can attest to that information.

LEAH: Absolutely.

BRITNI: So our goal at Nutritional Weight & 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 really is life changing. Thank you so much for joining us today. Be healthy and be safe.

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