Skinny Gut Diet

Discover The Secret
To Successful Weight Loss

You lose weight… and gain it back. Carb and sugar cravings are a constant battle. What are you doing wrong? The answer is closer than you think. The Skinny Gut Diet uncovers the real reason why diets just don’t work. It’s called the gut factor—and it may be keeping you from lasting weight loss.


Danielle Lost 42 Pounds!*

“I look at food differently now. The muscles I built with exercise are finally showing themselves. For me, gluten was poison. And my husband has lost over 30 pounds too!” --Danielle A.

*Results may vary.

Skinny Gut Diet

Now Available in Paperback
Discover The Secret
To Successful Weight Loss

You lose weight… and gain it back. Carb and sugar cravings are a constant battle. What are you doing wrong? The answer is closer than you think. The Skinny Gut Diet uncovers the real reason why diets just don’t work. It’s called the gut factor—and it may be keeping you from lasting weight loss.


Suzanne Somers
New York Times bestselling author

Nobody knows more about the Gut than Brenda Watson. She is one of my teachers. Her knowledge of how it works and how to eat will be transformative and reading The Skinny Gut Diet will be life changing.

William Davis, MD
New York Times #1 bestselling author of Wheat Belly

Author Brenda Watson has compiled an astoundingly comprehensive yet user-friendly guide to a promising health frontier: management of gut flora to achieve optimal health and weight. If you have been looking for a source for informed, insightful, real-world advice on participating in this explosive and exciting movement, Brenda's Skinny Gut Diet is destined to become the classic.

David Perlmutter, MD
New York Times #1 bestselling author of Grain Brain

The Skinny Gut Diet opens the door to success not only in terms of weight loss, but more importantly, for giving the reader a user-friendly plan based on the most well respected leading edge science that will clearly enhance your health and longevity.

What you will learn in the Skinny Gut Diet

Your Inner Weight-Loss Secret

An eye-opening look inside your digestive tract and how its function affects whether or not you lose weight and keep it off

Why Gut Balance Matters

An explanation about why the 100 trillion bacteria in your gut need to be in balance—and how they get out of balance in the first place

No Fads Or Deprivation

A step-by-step guide for balancing your gut and achieving lasting weight loss without fad diets or deprivation

10 Skinny Gut Test Cases

Follow the inspiring stories of 10 Skinny Gut dieters who experienced life-changing transformations

14-day Start-Up Food Plan

Follow three simple rules for weight-loss success, plus a 14-day start-up food plan and over 75 delicious, easy-to-prepare recipes

Going Beyond Weight Loss

The long-term benefits of the Skinny Gut Diet go far beyond weight loss—look better and feel better from the inside out

A Sneak Peek Inside The Skinny Gut Diet

Ready to change your weight loss fate for good? The Skinny Gut Diet reveals the missing piece of the puzzle—the secret to losing weight and keeping it off that Brenda calls the gut factor. Peek inside the book today and discover how living a Skinny Gut lifestyle can help you absorb fewer calories from food, curb cravings and store less fat—all with the benefits of improved digestion, a stronger immune system and even a better mood.

To download sample chapters from The Skinny Gut Diet in PDF format, visit Brenda Watson’s Scribd page .

Click here to download a PDF excerpt from the Skinny Gut Starter Guide.



Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Resource Directory



What would you say if I told you that you have an inner weight loss secret waiting to be revealed? What if you knew that you are only partially responsible for being overweight, and that even if you do everything you can to get healthy and lose your belly, you won’t achieve lasting weight loss if you don’t address this one factor? What if you knew that by addressing this factor, not only would you finally lose weight—and keep it off—but you would also experience the side benefits of fewer digestive problems, a stronger immune system, and even a better mood?

You have likely tried a number of diets by now, losing weight each time only to gain it back—and then some. You have reduced fat, reduced sugar, reduced carbohydrates, and certainly reduced the flavor of your meals. You have counted calories, counted inches, counted pounds, and counted on each diet being the last one you’ll ever try. You have eaten mindfully, eaten organically, eaten locally, and eaten your way through more diet books than you care to admit.

But I’m willing to bet that you have not taken into account your inner weight loss secret. If you knew that you had within you one thing that could change your weight loss fate for good—and that scientific research could prove it—would you be interested? I’m here to tell you that your inner weight loss secret lies within your digestive tract. I call it the gut factor.

Inside your digestive tract are trillions of bacteria that play a crucial role in not only your digestive and immune health, but also your overall health—and most notably, your weight. Each of us has a unique balance of bacteria that either protects us and keeps us healthy or leaves us susceptible to disease. That same balance can either contribute to weight gain or to weight loss. When your gut bacteria are out of balance, you gain weight. Conversely, when you balance your gut by eating the right foods (and by avoiding the wrong foods) you lose weight, reduce cravings, ditch digestive upsets, boost immunity, reduce inflammation, and feel great.

At the heart of digestive balance we find good bacteria—the beneficial microbes found in a healthy digestive tract that work in myriad ways to keep you healthy. By eating living foods—those foods that contain good bacteria (also called probiotics) and foods that feed these bacteria in your gut—you will balance your gut and finally be able to achieve the lasting weight loss you have been seeking.

There are two main groups (phyla) of bacteria in the gut:

  • Bacteroidetes (pronounced BAC-ter-OY-deh-tees)
  • Firmicutes (fir-MIH-cue-tees)

Don’t worry—I don’t expect you to remember these long names. Instead, let’s call them “Fat bacteria” (Firmicutes) and “Be skinny” bacteria (Bacteroidetes). Your ratio of these two groups determines whether or not you will be more likely to gain weight. The Firmicutes bacteria are better able to extract calories from food and cause you to accumulate fat than the Bacteroidetes. Simply put, you want to increase the Bacteroidetes and decrease the Firmicutes in your gut for weight loss.

There are also two smaller groups (genera) of bacteria that are beneficial to your overall health:

  • Bifidobacterium
  • Lactobacillus

Bifidobacteria are acquired during infancy and by eating certain foods throughout life. They are found in highest amounts in a healthy colon, or large intestine, and protect us against infection, boost our immune function, help keep us regular, and produce certain vitamins and nutrients. Lactobacilli are obtained during birth and also by eating particular foods. They are found throughout the digestive tract, but are particularly associated with the health of the small intestine. Lactobacillus bacteria help our immune and digestive systems function well, and they are also found in the vaginal tract where they establish bacterial balance by producing lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide to maintain a healthy pH level there. Both Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli protect us against an overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria in the intestine. In effect, they “crowd out” the bad bacteria in our guts, promoting gut balance.

All of these beneficial bacteria—Bifidobacteria, Lactobacilli, and many bacteria from the Bacteroidetes group—can be increased in your gut by eating foods that feed these bacteria while starving the bad bacteria. The result will be a gut balance that helps you lose weight and stay healthy. I wrote this book to help spread the word about this inner weight loss secret because I have seen so many people achieve vibrant health and optimal weight by balancing their guts. I don’t want it to be a secret anymore. You see, digestive health is the foundation for total-body health. If you don’t address weight gain at its core—at the gut level—then you can’t lose weight and expect to keep it off.

Why are weight loss goals so difficult to achieve? The answer is simple. Current diet programs do not address the underlying contributor to your weight gain: the gut factor. Gut imbalance contributes to a wide range of digestive conditions. And unfortunately, digestive health is often overlooked. Instead of paying attention to digestive disruptions, we tend to cover our symptoms with medications such as acid-blockers and antacids, antibiotics, immune-suppressors, anti-inflammatories, and laxatives. These medications merely act to silence symptoms that indicate something is not quite right. Silencing your symptoms does not address the cause of your symptoms, however. This is a fundamental problem of conventional medicine.

I propose a different model. Instead of covering up your digestive symptoms with medications laden with side effects (many of which actually further digestive damage rather than fix the real problem), why not dig deeper? Why not uncover the true foundational digestive imbalances that, when resolved, eliminate the need for such treatments in the first place?

What if, by balancing your gut bacteria with the right foods, supplements, and lifestyle, you might be able to finally drop the weight that has burdened you for so long? Could the answer really lie within you? Could the bacteria you house within your gut have the power to turn your health around for the better? It sure can. And I will show you how.

The Skinny Gut Diet is a lifestyle that will transform your health by giving you the tools to eat well for your gut so that you can finally lose weight and feel great. You will learn how to eat foods that nourish you and the population of beneficial bacteria within you. You will discover the three simple rules that make eating healthy easy and delicious. A two-week menu planner will guide your meal decisions and give you inspiration to adapt the diet to your own preferences. Appealing, easy-to-prepare recipes will help you eat for your gut on a regular basis. A simple supplementation guide will help you round out your diet to keep you nourished from the inside out, and a rescue kit will help you navigate in the world with your new eating habits.

If you have been battling weight gain for years, you have likely tried it all—you name it: diet, exercise, medications, diet pills and drinks, techniques, and therapies. Yet the end result is always the same—you fail to lose much weight or if you do lose weight, you gain it back. Each time you fall into the same old patterns that leave you unhappy and still trying to squeeze into your jeans. If you are overweight and unsatisfied, I want you to look at your health from a different angle. Consider that the traditional methods to weight loss are missing an important piece of the puzzle.

By traveling back to the source of your overall health and addressing imbalances in your gut, you fundamentally change the downstream effects that have kept you overweight and unhappy for so long. This book will give you the tools you need to finally shed unwanted weight—both physical pounds and the weight of unhappiness. I will reveal how the digestive system is the true source of health and I’ll help you put into action the simple steps to balance your gut to achieve your ideal weight and feel your best.

Chapter 1


It is no secret that your digestive tract performs vital functions that allow your body to work optimally. After all, over the course of a lifetime you will eat over 60 tons of food that must be broken down into nutrients that can be absorbed and used by your body, while the rest—what we usually think of as waste—is removed via bowel movements. Digestive function is hardly a new discovery. What is most remarkable about your digestion, however, is at the microscopic level—your gut microbes, mostly composed of the bacteria within your digestive tract.

Living inside you at this very moment is a community of organisms. You house a literal ecosystem inside your digestive tract made up of 100 trillion microorganisms that outnumber—by ten times!— the individual cells that make up your entire body. Numerically speaking, you are only 10 percent human. The other 90 percent is mostly bacteria along with other microbes such as yeasts, viruses, and, yes, even parasites. In fact, it is no longer plausible to consider yourself as one being. You may now think of yourself in the plural— we rather than I.

Let me say that again: Your gut contains 100 trillion (with a capital “T”) gut bacteria. It’s hard even to conceive of so many bacteria. We usually only think of such high numbers when we discuss the national debt—and even the $16 trillion national debt is dwarfed by the magnitude of your bacteria community. Your heart will beat an average of 2.5 billion times in a lifetime, and the average male will eat over 75 million calories before he dies, yet these enormous totals pale in comparison to the number of bacteria living in your gut this very moment.

The bacteria in your gut contain over 100 times more DNA than your own human DNA. Your microbial genes work together with your human genes to keep you healthy or, in certain cases, cause disease. The DNA of your bacteria is unique to you, like a fingerprint, and research shows that your bacterial genes may impact your health even more than your own genes will. You can’t see them and you usually can’t feel them, but your gut bacteria are in control. Considered an organ in their own right,1 the microorganisms in your digestive tract perform an astonishing array of functions that are only recently being regarded as an integral component of human health. Once considered simply passengers as they traveled through our intestines, it is now known that not only do our microbes rely on us but, perhaps even more so, we rely on them.

Every surface of your body—both the outer cover of the skin and the inner linings that include the digestive tract, urogenital tract, and even the respiratory tract—is covered in microbes. Researchers worldwide are currently hard at work trying to characterize these microbes and determine their relationship to human health. Their discoveries are turning out to be some of the most exciting medical advances of our time. And they’ve only begun to scratch the surface.


Gut bacteria are remarkable for six main reasons. Your gut bacteria can help you:

  1. Lose weight.
  2. Keep weight off for good.
  3. Reduce silent inflammation (the root cause of chronic disease).
  4. Improve immune function.
  5. Reduce digestive distress and stay regular.
  6. Reduce depression and anxiety.

Pretty remarkable, I would say. Did you have any idea your gut bacteria could do so much? The bacteria in your gut are hard at work, day in and day out, keeping you healthy and protecting you against disease.

If you are reading this book, you are likely facing the same struggle with weight that I have faced—endless dieting, endless cheating, and endless fluctuations of not only weight but the moods and other health conditions along with it. It’s a vicious cycle of battles and triumphs, ups and downs, successes and failures. I can tell you, it’s exhausting. I’ve been there. I have ridden the same diet roller coaster as you—until I decided to get off the ride.

I went on a search for the real answer to weight loss and good health. What I found would surprise you. Through my research and experience working with others, I found that the only way to truly achieve lasting weight loss was by looking within and balancing the gut—that is, increasing the beneficial bacteria and decreasing the harmful bacteria. Without gut balance, you will only lose superficial weight and you will only achieve superficial health. By balancing your gut—and addressing your health at its true core—you will be able to finally get to the heart of what ails you physically, mentally, and emotionally, as you will see. Truly, your health begins in your gut.


Over thirty years ago I started on the road to naturally heal myself of many health conditions that began during my childhood. I suffered from chronic fatigue and migraine headaches, and a range of digestive disorders that persisted into adulthood. Plus, I was overweight. These health conditions really impacted my life. All these conditions, I learned later, were directly related to my gut. I, perhaps like you, was a child of the antibiotic revolution—I was given antibiotics in early childhood for just about everything. If I had a bad cold or sore throat, I took antibiotics. If I had an earache, there were more antibiotics. Stubbed my toe? Just in case, I took antibiotics. You know the routine.

As a result of too many courses of unnecessary antibiotics, the good bacteria in my digestive system were destroyed, which led to my poor health later in life. After being frustrated for many adult years going to doctors who had no answers for my health problems, I took matters into my own hands and began to seek natural solutions. I became my own health advocate. This was in the 1980s, mind you, when natural health was considered strange at best. But it called out to me because of the central theme that the body should be treated as a whole—that each system is connected to the others, and that there are natural means to help bring balance back to the body.

Today, it’s exciting for me to witness how science has expanded our knowledge of the digestive system, particularly how our gut bacteria play a central role in our overall health; just a few decades ago, conventional medicine’s view of digestion was comparatively primitive. Studies are continually being published that document gut imbalance (largely due to antibiotic overuse) and its correlation not only to digestive and immune health but also to a broad range of negative health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, mood disorders, and, of course, to the obesity epidemic currently plaguing the nation.

At the start of my journey, I did not know that my gut was the core of my health problems. But I made a decision at that time, based on what I had read in natural health books I found in a health food store, to work on my digestive health so that my overall health would improve. That decision turned out to be one of the biggest and best choices I have ever made. Everything changed when I rebuilt my digestive health. It was like a light went on. By dealing with my inner landscape—by balancing my gut—I was able to finally rid myself of my chronic health conditions. Over a period of time I regained control of my health, weight, energy levels, and the inflammation that was at the root of my problems. Even though the information I had available to me at the time was not backed up with the scientific evidence we have today, it worked. The basic principles of returning the digestive system to health through internal cleansing, healing a leaky gut (more about that later), and restoring the balance of good bacteria are what eventually healed me. Today, science is proving that these principles work.

Restoring my health propelled me into my life’s work: to help others do the same. I became an expert in nutrition and natural medicine, earning a degree in natural health and founding five natural health clinics. I wrote nine books and produced five public television shows, as well as gave hundreds of lectures and radio interviews, all about the crucial foundational role of digestive health on overall health. The power of gut health to heal the body is the core of my message, and I share it whenever I can.

This journey has brought me to where I am now—writing The Skinny Gut Diet so that I can share my message with you. Over the years I have worked with thousands of people struggling with health issues. In most cases being overweight is a central theme of poor health. A few years ago, in an effort to assist family members, I discovered a new way of helping people with their weight that also had an amazing effect on their health issues. By restoring the balance of friendly bacteria, along with adding foods that feed the good bacteria and removing foods that feed the bad bacteria, people were finally able to drop their weight for good—and their health issues resolved. Blood pressure dropped, cholesterol went down, blood sugar normalized, energy increased, and moodiness disappeared. Since then, I’ve shared the empowering Skinny Gut Diet program with many people, and it has given them new life.

The Skinny Gut Diet program also changed my own life. I have always known the power of probiotics—these good bacteria have been a part of my health program for many years—but by eating living foods and healthy fats every day, eating protein at each meal and snack, and understanding the importance of tracking my sugar intake (including the sugar that comes from carbohydrates), I have finally been able to keep my weight stable and my inflammation down.

The Skinny Gut Diet is the answer for anyone who wants to not only lose weight but also address the underlying cause of chronic disease—silent inflammation, sometimes referred to as chronic inflammation, which we will talk more about later. I am thrilled to share this program with you. Together, we can achieve vibrant health and optimal weight.


Somehow we have been led to believe that fluctuations in weight are the result of a simple energy imbalance resulting from eating too much food and exercising too little. This phenomenon is known as the calories-in/calories-out model, and its validity is being seriously questioned by scientists.2 The United States is the second-most-obese country in the world, only recently surpassed by Mexico; two-thirds of American adults and one-third of American children are overweight or obese. Many of these people are trying earnestly to eat less and move more, yet their weight continues to climb. Why is it that some people can eat all they want and not get fat, while others count every calorie and regularly work out, only to gain five pounds by looking at a piece of chocolate cake?

The calories-in/calories-out model does not account for the gut factor. As I mentioned at the start, the gut is more densely populated by bacteria than any other part of the body. Researchers are rapidly discovering that these bacteria play an integral role in the development of obesity. In short, the gut factor explains the paradox of our previous understanding of the calories-in/calories-out model.

With the Skinny Gut Diet, you implement a lifestyle that balances your gut. You eat delicious foods that feed the beneficial bacteria and reduce the harmful bacteria. You will also take supplements that help maintain that balance and support your core health. Thus, by correcting your imbalance, you will reach a new state of wellness that penetrates deep within you to bring about overall wellness.

How does gut bacterial balance help you lose weight? With the right bacteria:

  1. You will absorb fewer extra calories from food.
  2. You will store less fat.
  3. You will have fewer cravings.

Throughout this book I will be exploring the science behind these points and many more benefits of gut balance—as well as how to achieve that balance by eating fermented foods and fiber and by taking the right supplements. Although the weight-loss benefits of gut balance may be the most important feature for you right now, you will learn that gut balance goes far beyond weight loss. When you balance your gut, you reset your health and you build a strong foundation of wellness.

Diet and Gut Balance—Lost Without Each Other

We can trace obesity back to digestive imbalance in a few ways that are changing how scientists and doctors view this pervasive, epidemic condition—and changing their view of what was once thought to be our useless bacterial inhabitants. Also changing is our view of the role of diet. Once thought to be the major determinant of weight gain or weight loss, it is now clear that our gut bacteria are as important as the foods we eat when it comes to how much weight we will gain and how much fat we will accumulate. In fact, some studies have found that when the gut is in balance, poor diet alone is not enough to induce obesity.3 But before you get excited about the prospect of being able to eat all you want simply by keeping your gut in balance, know that a poor diet itself will eventually lead to gut imbalance, foiling your plan and packing on the pounds. What’s important here is that your gut bacteria and diet work in conjunction. You must address both in order to truly regain your health and your waistline. The Skinny Gut Diet will help show you how.

The Proof Is in the (Low-Sugar) Pudding

While researching and writing this book, I had the pleasure of guiding ten individuals through the Skinny Gut Diet for a period of three months. I didn’t want to just provide you with theory and studies and anecdotal reports. I wanted some hard evidence. So I recruited men and women of varying ages and weights, all of whom needed to lose 20 to 75 pounds. Throughout these pages you will hear the inspiring stories of Eva, Polly, Cynthia, Charlie, Danielle, Alexandra, Dave, Sandi, Theresa, and Shirley. I started them on the diet, and I stayed with them for three months. I am happy to report that, as we go to print, six months later, all participants have maintained or continued to lose weight.

At the beginning of the program, everyone was weighed and measured. But that’s not all—they also submitted stool samples to test for gut bacterial imbalances. And, boy, did they have imbalances, as you will read in some of their testimonials! Many had the same gut profile as studies have found in obese people: a high ratio of Fat : Be Skinny bacteria (Firmicutes : Bacteroidetes). Some participants began with high amounts of yeast or other microorganisms, too. Many had relatively low amounts of the beneficial bacteria Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. I suspected as much, since these folks all had 20 to 75 pounds to lose, and I knew that gut imbalance is a root cause of weight gain—the theme of this book.

The test we used was the Metametrix GI Effects Comprehensive Profile. This stool test uses both culture-based and DNA-based testing to detect the common beneficial microbes, along with potentially pathogenic microbes, including parasites. And of course, the test measured the Fat : Be Skinny bacteria ratio, also called the adiposity index or fat index. (See graph below.) Participants underwent stool testing at the beginning of the study, after six weeks, and again at three months, when the study ended. Although the idea of submitting a stool sample was not everyone’s favorite part of the program, it was a relatively easy process and it gave us a great look at what was going on “inside.” Stool testing such as this is truly an eye-opening experience. The idea that we have a vast community within us can seem an elusive concept for most people, but when you see the specifics of what is really going on in there, it can be enlightening and motivating. The following images come from a sample test and are two of the markers that I paid closest attention to in the study participants— the adiposity index and the amount of beneficial Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.

The stool test is helpful to determine how out of balance your gut may be, but it is not a necessary part of the diet. If you are overweight, you likely house the wrong gut microbes. Following the Skinny Gut Diet will help you to replenish the right gut microbes, whether or not a test tells you that you are out of balance.

For three months, the Skinny Gut Diet participants followed the three simple rules of the diet:

Rule 1: Eat more fat (healthy fat) to reduce silent inflammation.
Rule 2: Eat living foods every day to balance the gut.
Rule 3: Eat protein at every meal and snack to eliminate cravings.

The participants tracked their daily food intake and did their best to stay within 8 to 10 teaspoons of sugar daily (remember, that number includes the sugar from starchy carbohydrates, too) using the Teaspoon Tracker I developed. This tool was critical in the success of the program and made the diet easy to follow, as participants started to see their food differently. They ate protein at every meal and snack to eliminate cravings. And it worked!

The diet didn’t feel restricted. It was simply a new way of eating. The participants learned to eat healthy fats, and they no longer considered fat a dirty word. In addition, every day they added the Skinny Gut supplements to their daily routine to optimize digestive health. And it showed. Their digestive symptoms improved and their bowel movements had clockwork regularity. They tracked their weight on a weekly basis, and we measured everyone’s waist circumference, waist-to- hip ratio, and percent body fat at the beginning, middle, and end of the study. And down the numbers went, to everyone’s delight.

We met almost weekly to check in, share meal ideas and tips, talk about our progress, and touch base as a group on a mission. It was an amazing experience not only for the individuals on the diet but also for me. I never tire of watching people’s bodies transform. My opportunity during this time to witness the excitement and engagement of the participants in this program truly brought me joy. The aha! moments came on a regular basis. Indeed, observing the renewal of these individuals was inspiring.

I am writing this book because I want the same renewal for you. I want you to realize that eating healthy and achieving your ideal weight can be simple, once you take into account the gut factor. I hope that you have found inspiration in these pages and that you have already begun the journey back to your true self—the you who is healthy, lean, well-nourished, and most of all, happy.

Three Simple Rules Starter Guide

The Skinny Gut Diet is a lifestyle that will transform your health by giving you the tools to eat well for your gut so that you can finally lose weight and feel great. You will learn how to eat foods that nourish you and the population of beneficial bacteria within you. The Skinny Gut Diet is made up of 3 simple rules:

RULE 1: Eat more fat (healthy fat) to reduce silent inflammation

Healthy fats—especially those high in omega-3—will help to quell the silent inflammation that comes with being overweight. On the Skinny Gut Diet, you will not have to track your fat intake. Instead, you will simply make sure that you are eating the right fats while avoiding the wrong ones.


  • Cold-pressed olive oil, flax oil, coconut oil
  • Moderate amounts of butter
  • Foods naturally rich in healthy fats:
    • Avocados
    • Olives
    • Walnuts
    • Almonds
    • Pecans
    • Flaxseeds
    • Chia seeds
    • Pumpkin seeds
    • Sunflower seeds
    • Sardines
    • Salmon
    • Coconut
    • Coconut milk


  • Trans fats (hydrogenated oils)
  • Corn oil
  • Cottonseed oil
  • Vegetable oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Shortening

RULE 2: Eat living foods every day to balance your gut

In the Skinny Gut Diet, living foods include those foods that increase your good gut bacteria. The living foods that you will eat daily include the following:

  • Fermented foods
  • Non-starchy vegetables
  • Low-sugar fruits

Living foods either contain beneficial bacteria or they act as food for the beneficial bacteria already in the gut. When you eat living foods on a regular basis, you will replenish the good bacteria in your gut, and you will increase your fiber intake, which helps control your appetite. Fermented foods include the following:

  • Live cultured pickles
  • Sauerkraut (refrigerated, nonpasteurized)
  • Cultured vegetables
  • Kimchi
  • Cheese made from raw milk
  • Unpasteurized miso
  • Tempeh
  • Kombucha
  • Yogurt containing live cultures
  • Kefir (dairy and nondairy)

Prebiotics—Food for Probiotics
In addition to fermented foods, you will also eat plenty of foods rich in soluble fibers called prebiotics that feed the good bacteria in your gut. Aim to include these high-prebiotic foods in your diet as often as possible.

RULE 3: Eat protein at every meal and with every snack to eliminate cravings

Protein is an important part of the Skinny Gut Diet. You will eat protein at each meal and snack to help keep your appetite satisfied. Eating protein throughout the day will help curb your cravings. Do you tend to crave carbs, snacks, or sweets mid-morning, mid-afternoon, or before bed? This is your body chasing the sugar high (and your unfriendly gut microbes chasing their next meal).


  • Meats (Beef, pork, chicken, etc.)
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Low-carb flours
  • Dairy
  • Low-carb nut milk
  • Tempeh
  • Tofu
  • Hummus
  • High protein, high fiber shakes & bars

Select from:

  • Table of Contents

  • Introduction :

    The Gut Factor
  • Chapter 1 :

    A Remarkable Discovery
  • Three Simple Rules :

    Starter Guide

In The Skinny Gut Kitchen Video Collection

Simple Skinny Gut Breakfast

High-Fiber Greens Drink

On-The-Go High-Protein Shakes

High-Protein Snack Ideas

Order Your Copy Now

About the author

Brenda Watson, C.N.C.

For more than 20 years, Brenda Watson, C.N.C., has been helping people achieve vibrant, lasting health through improved digestive function. She is among the foremost authorities in America today on optimum nutrition and digestion, natural detoxification, and herbal internal cleansing.

Brenda is fully engaged in communication channels, including radio interviews, national speaking engagements, TV appearances, and health columns. She has published eight books, including the New York Times bestseller the Fiber35 Diet. Her no-nonsense approach to bodily functions has made her a popular presenter on public television—where she has been successful with five nationally televised health specials.

A wife, mother and grandmother, Brenda resides in Florida where she established five natural healthcare clinics specializing in cleansing and detoxification. Someone who firmly believes you should “practice what you preach,” Brenda’s own personal health “makeover” is a model for women and men in all life stages. While waging her own battle with poor health, she discovered the natural remedies that would be the foundation for her recovery. Brenda believes each of us holds the power to turn our health around, and has made it her mission to educate others on the importance of good digestive health and how to achieve it.

Brenda personally answers questions in her online community at .