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Your Diet Might Be Helping You Drop A Dress Size, But What's It Doing To Your Gut Health?

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Restrictive diets are a 21st-century staple, with up to 50% of women, especially, reporting being on a diet the vast majority of the time. Weight loss is, quite obviously, the main goal of these pursuits but, given that most diets of this nature also cut out things like refined sugar and processed foods, most of us would assume that restrictive eating can also be beneficial for overall health. 

This can undeniably be true when diets are approached right, but it isn’t a given considering that, far from just cutting out known unhealthy sources, diets like keto eliminate entire food groups. As such, if we eat in these ways for extended periods, it’s not unusual for restrictions to take a negative toll, especially where healthy gut functioning is concerned. 

To prove that point, we’re going to look at three surprising ways that restrictive diets can prevent the growth and functioning of healthy gut bacteria, and what that means for everything from weight loss to immunity and beyond.

# 1 - Removing dietary variety

Healthy gut bacteria is incredibly varied, and it needs a variety of fuel to keep it satisfied. Even without restrictive eating, this variety has come under a great deal of fire over the past 50 years under the Western Diet. This is why so many of us buy supplements to keep gut health on track. Restrictive diets only add fuel to that fire, and before undertaking any eating plan like this, it’s essential to check that you’re either receiving the nutrients your gut needs or that you know which supplements you should take to keep gut health on an even keel regardless. 

# 2 - Reducing your energy levels

Calorie-based diets can have a detrimental impact on energy levels, making us far less likely to get moving. This is terrible news considering that exercise has been proven to facilitate the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. Inadvertently, then, restricting calories makes the growth of bad bacteria way more likely. With this in mind, avoiding diets that directly hinder calorie intake is always best, as is making sure to exercise alongside any dietary changes for positive gut health at all times. 

# 3 - Impacting your sleep

Your diet also has a direct impact on your quality of sleep. Again, this is bad news for gut health given that studies have shown how even two nights of sleep deprivation can cause notable changes to gut flora. Ironically, these changes most relate to an abundance of bacteria associated with weight gain, throwing gut health (and hopes for weight loss) altogether out of sync. As such, even those following restrictive diets should always aim for lasting fullness with the help of healthy options such as slow-release carbohydrates and other fuller-for-longer foods.

When we look at these facts together, it’s plain to see that restrictive diets and gut health don’t always get along. By recognising these risk factors, you’re in the best possible position to make positive changes that facilitate good gut bacteria and ensure maximum weight loss from your dietary efforts at the same time. 


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