How to Lose Weight: Get Probiotics Into Your Diet

Fat Bastard from 'Austin Powers' figured out how to lose weight, and probiotics likely helped

Fat Bastard from ‘Austin Powers’ figured out how to lose weight, and probiotics likely helped | Source: New Line Cinema

If you’ve spent any amount of time searching the internet or supplement stores for magic weight loss pills, we’ll save you some time: they don’t exist. There are proven, effective ways to lose weight, and unfortunately, none of them are particularly fun or easy. If you’re wondering how to lose weight, it’s really as simple as diet and exercise. That’s it. But if you want to make things a tad bit easier on yourself, you should add some probiotics to your diet because research is showing it can help tremendously.

What are probiotics, exactly? Essentially, the term describes a collection of living bacteria and yeast. These microorganisms are considered good for our health, as they live inside and on our bodies in a symbiotic state. They are most commonly known to be good for our digestive systems.

So, what do researchers have to say about how probiotics play into the weight loss equation? According to a new meta-analysis published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, good bacteria and foods containing probiotics can help people lose weight, and lower their BMI. Consider them a new weapon in your own personal fight against obesity.

How to lose weight with a proper diet

A proper diet includes lots of fiber and plant-based options

A proper diet includes lots of fiber and plant-based options | Source: iStock

A sound, healthy diet is tantamount to losing weight and probiotics can simply be a part of that diet. Though many people and healthcare professionals have been dismissive of probiotics in the past, the research disagrees. The most recent study says that people who ingested different types or species of probiotics had more success dropping weight. Researchers analyzed 20 different studies reach their conclusion.

The authors said, “Consuming probiotics could reduce body weight and BMI, with a potentially greater effect when multiple species of probiotics were consumed, the duration of intervention was ≥8 weeks, or the objects were overweight.”

“To date, quite a few researchers have investigated the effects of probiotics on body weight and BMI, without a consistent result,” the study’s author Qingqing Zhang said, per a press release. The researchers did point out the amount of weight people in these studies and trials lost was small, but it’s still an important finding. As noted, probiotics weren’t taken seriously by a good deal of healthcare professionals for a long time. But this analysis lends credence to their effectiveness, and shows they may be a valuable tool for people who are struggling with their weight.

Still, weight loss really depends on maintaining a caloric deficit — that is, consuming fewer calories than you’re expending during the day.

Where to find probiotics

Yogurt, a good source of probiotics

Yogurt, a good source of probiotics | Source: iStock

If you think probiotics may help you get over the hump, or break a weight-loss plateau you’ve run into, it’s relatively easy to stock your fridge or cabinets with them. Mostly, you’re going to want to scour the dairy aisle at the grocery store. You may end up spending a little more on some of these items, but if they prove effective, they might be worth it.

Some of the more popular foods containing probiotics are yogurt and milk — both of which can be purchased with added probiotic populations. Certain cheeses also contain them, as do drinks like Kombucha tea. Even certain breads and vegetables (like pickles) can add some healthy bacteria to your gut.

While some of these foods may be new and unfamiliar to you, many people swear by them. Drinking Kombucha for the first time, for example, can turn some people away from it for life. For others, the digestive boost is enough to keep on consuming. You’ll have to experiment with different foods until you find a good match for your preferences.

Probiotics aren’t a silver bullet for obesity issues, but the research suggests it helps. If you’ve been struggling with weight loss, giving them a shot may be worth your time.

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