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The Secret to Losing Weight Might Be in Your Poop

Think you are doing everything right by working out and eating your greens, but those extra pounds still won’t go away? Well, there’s more to it than just leafy diets.

A study published in the International Journal of Obesity suggests that maybe it talks with poop! They say checking out what’s in your poop could reveal something about how bacteria in your gut is messing up your weight loss attempts.

Unbelievable right?! Turns out shaping up might not be as simple as ‘calories in versus calories out’ – greener stuff could influence anyone’s equation for losing fattage big time!

What does Dr. Arne Astrup say?

Man thinking

Dr. Arne Astrup, from the University of Copenhagen, explains that specific bacteria living in your gut are real MVPs when it comes to weight control. So you could be crunching veggies and sweating up storms at the gym, but if these stomach soldiers ain’t right inside your gut, getting rid of those extra pounds might remain quite tricky!

There are these two types of bacteria called Prevotella and Bacteroides that can actually affect our weight. Some folks got lots more of these little dudes floating around in their guts than others, meaning they might find it easier to lose weight.

To test this out, scientists gathered 62 people who were struggling with their weight. Half were asked to try out a “Nordic” diet packed with fruits and vegetables while the rest got the average Danish fare (think meatballs ‘n bacon). No surprises when those on the veggie-heavy Nordic diet dropped more pounds.

But get this: when everyone switched over to this fruit & veggie rich diet, ones having more quantity of those clever bacteria – Prevotella and Bacteroides – ended up losing even extra weight and fat than before irrespective of what they ate earlier! Cool right?

Alright, so like this is what it boils down to. Even if you’re all about that health life – exercising and eating right – but don’t have the good bacteria chilling in your gut, losing weight might be a bit of hassle compared to someone who does. This just goes on to show not every diet fits everyone perfectly. You might have heard some saying checking out our poop could provide insights into picking the most killer diet plan for us.

But hold up! While that sounds intriguing as heck, do know that some stomach doctors aren’t exactly sold on this whole concept of analyzing feces to tailor diets yet.

What does Leo Treyzon say?

Woman thinking

So, while stool tests might tell you how healthy your gut is, there still aren’t enough studies for doctors to advise you on how to lose weight based on your fecal results.

Leo Treyzon, M.D., a gastroenterologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, says:

In 2018 we can look at your gut, and give you data on it, but the research on what you can actually do with those results isn’t actually there.

Still, some doctors may be able to look at your results and prescribe a diet or lifestyle change that may help — but those recommendations are going to be based on the doctor’s observations, not necessarily from strong research.

Leo Treyzon


Dr. Amy Wilson

Medically reviewed by Dr. Amy Wilson. Dr. Amy Wilson, born in the United States, obtained her medical degree from Lincoln University School of Medicine. Specializing in obstetrics and gynecology, she’s dedicated 15 years to women’s health, becoming a distinguished gynecologist and serving in various U.S. medical institutions.


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