Ask a Nutritionist: On The Gut Makeover, Hot or Cold Water and Fasting

The Gut Stuff reader:

I have two questions. I have been on the Gut Makeover diet, sticking to it well, for only four days, surprisingly I’m not hungry at all. Is it ok to drink hot or cold water between meals, and when having the 12-hour overnight fast? I have not lost any weight yet – is that the norm?

Jeanette answers:

Well done on starting The Gut Makeover.  Although many people lose weight following the four-week plan I designed, most also see improvements in the health of their skin, mood, and digestive health too.

I encourage readers to not peak at the the scales for at least the first two weeks, and to only measure at weeks 2 and 4 when the microbiome has had time to take new shape. Many people see a change in body composition – becoming more lean and less fatty, so using a tape measure to measure your waist at the 2 and 4 week mark could be useful too – scales are not the whole story. If there is no noticeable weight loss after four weeks check:

1) you were following it right – no more than 2 pieces of fruit a day (because of the sugar), you weren’t snacking, and you haven’t been drinking alcohol which in my experience can sabotage weight loss. For people who DON’T want to lose weight (eg people following the plan for skin/mood/digestive health), I usually suggest having more fruit and to introduce snacking and not doing the 12-hour fast. Make sure you put live fermented foods daily into your diet in the second half of the plan for the live probiotics in them (kefir, sauerkraut, Roquefort)? Are you having enough variety of vegetables? You’ll need to follow the plan the whole month to start to get your diversity of bacteria in the gut moving in the right direction and hopefully this starts to impact your metabolism. See the Diversity Challenge worksheet which is downloadable from my website to keep track.

2) Chronic stress which can raise your cortisol levels and lead to weight stubbornly sticking around the middle of the body. If there is a lot of stress in your life consider implementing lifestyle changes to help counterbalance outside stressors such as a daily mindfulness exercise to slow down your breathing, and making sure you are moving around plenty every day,  Do these in addition to focussing on your diet. Exercise is also important for creating a health microbiome and modulating weight.

No advice in this column is designed to override any by your medical doctor and should not be relied on as a substitute for specialist dietary advice. If you have any concerns about your health, visit your general practitioner, or medical consultant. 

Do you want to ask a nutritionist a question about your gut issues? You can do that HERE!