• Livia Ly, MS, RD, LDN

Managing Your Gut Health to Lose Weight Once and for All

Research shows that the gut microbiome — the bacteria that live in your intestines — can influence your ability to lose weight. Here are 3 ways your gut bacteria could be making it hard for you to lose weight.

1. By telling what to eat and how much– Your microbes communicate with your brain through the vagus nerve. They impact your satiety and hunger-control hormones and can increase your hunger. An unhealthy gut can alter your mood; higher stress and anxiety drive preferences for carb-rich foods. A disrupted gut microbiome can also affect your tongue's taste receptors for fat and sweets.

2. Increasing inflammation – An altered gut microbiome can impact your intestinal wall junctions by making them loose and inflamed. Chronic low-grade inflammation can lead to obesity. The gut microbiome can also contribute to inflammation by producing harmful byproducts, which can enter the blood and turn on inflammatory responses. This can lead to increased fat storage.

3. Impacting your blood sugar control- A diet low in fiber and prebiotics does not produce enough butyrate – This essential short-chain fatty acid is protective against obesity and insulin resistance. Adequate insulin helps regulate your blood sugar and turn it into energy. Butyrate also reduces inflammation and makes you feel full more quickly.


  • A food elimination diet is one of the crucial initial steps to healing your gut. If you have digestive symptoms, this diet will provide less fermentation in your gut and consequently improve symptoms, such as flatulence, bloating, loose stools, reflux, etc.

  • A food elimination diet will also help investigate possible sensitivity and intolerances that may drive your migraines, skin rashes, joint pain, low energy, and sleepiness during daytime or seasonal allergies.

A vital food elimination protocol is the 8-week low-FODMAP diet. The low-FODMAP diet reduces certain carbohydrates that are hard for people to digest. It can be a restrictive and overwhelming type of diet if you are exposed to a small variety of foods and if you are trying to follow it without professional help.

The good news is that I can help you find healthy and low-FODMAP substitutes for many foods that are part of your current diet. Check out this list with items for you to try:


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Instead of


artichoke, asparagus, cassava, cauliflower, garlic, onions, pickled vegetables, portabella mushrooms, scallion bulb, shallots.

bell peppers, carrots, celery (1/2 stalk), cucumber, eggplant, ginger, herbs, leafy greens, leeks/scallions (green leafy part), olives, potato, radish, seaweed, spices, tomato, zucchini.


Instead of


apples, blackberries, cherries, dates, figs, mango, nectarine, peaches, pears, plums, watermelon, fruit juices, coconut water.

blueberries, grapes, kiwi, lemons and limes, melon, orange, papaya, pineapple, plantain, raspberries, strawberries, avocado (1/8 of the California ones)

Nuts & Seeds

Instead of


Almond meal, amaranth flour, cashews, pistachios

almonds (10), Brazil nuts, hazelnuts (10), macadamias (20), peanuts/peanut butter, pecans (10), walnuts (10), flaxseeds (1 tbsp), chia seeds (2 tbsp), pumpkin seeds (2 tbsp), sunflower seeds (2 tbsp), hemp seeds


Instead of


wheat bread, all-purpose flour, flour tortilla, wheat pasta, wheat crackers, and other wheat baked goods, egg noodles, wheatgerm, barley/rye products, roti, naan, couscous, wheat granola bars and cereals, semolina


Instead of


black beans, black eye peas, kidney beans, lima beans, mung beans

​chickpeas (1/4 cup), edamame (1 cup), lentils (1/2 cup), firm tofu, hummus (1/4 cup), green beans, bean sprouts


Instead of


cow milk, cream cheese, ricotta, yogurt, cottage cheese, ice cream, sour cream

​lactose free milk, lactose free yogurt, plant-based yogurt, plant-based milk, lactose free or plant based ice cream, goat milk yogurt, lactose free/plant-based cottage cheese and cream cheese, dairy-free healthier frosting, goat cheese, brie, camembert, colby, cheddar, feta, havarti, mozzarella, parmesan, pecorino, swiss cheeses

Sweeteners & Condiments

Instead of


agave, honey, sugar alcohol sweeteners

maple syrup, coconut palm sugar, cacao powder, vanilla, spices, capers, no cane sugar strawberry jam, avocado mayo, mustard, vinegar, oils, baking powder, gelatine, ghee

Meat & Eggs

Instead of


processed meats with wheat or high fructose corn syrup: chorizo, sausages, processed meats (check ingredients)

all other meats, poultry, fish, pork, wild game, eggs

Other drinks

Instead of


​alcohol, soda, soymilk, black/chai/fennel/chamomile/oolong teas, wine, whey protein concentrate

Get help on your journey to heal your gut and manage your inflammation, skin issues, mental health, migraines, joint pain, energy levels, allergies, blood sugar, and body weight.

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