Q: What makes The Skinny Gut Diet any better than other diet books?
A: I'd like to think that it's the hands-on research that we've done with multitudes of people, although we've specifically highlighted 10 cases in the book, and the decades of clinical experience I have in studying the shifts in the gut bacteria, long before the word microbiome was used in scientific circles. I've also really focused on simplicity, meeting people where they are, and offering practical tools that I've found were tremendously helpful through the years. I hope you'll buy one, get involved in our online Community, and find out!
Q: What type of probiotic should I take to increase bacteroidetes?
A: We may increase the level of bacteroidetes by consuming fermented foods and also by taking probiotic supplements.
Q: What are fermented foods?
A: They are foods like cabbage (sauerkraut) that have been produced or preserved by the action of microorganisms thus containing beneficial bacteria. Canned sauerkraut in a can is not considered a fermented food due to the fact that it has been pasteurized. Pasteurizing food adds heat which kills the friendly bacteria.
Live cultured pickles
Cheese made from raw milk
Yogurt containing live cultures (no added sugar)
Kefir (dairy and nondairy)
Q: What are healthy fats?
Cold-pressed olive oil, flax, coconut oil
Fatty fish, salmon or sardines
Corn or cottonseed oil
Vegetable oil and shortening
Q: Why are grains not allowed?
A: Grains are now recognized as inflammatory foods as they promote gut imbalance, increases leaky gut, raises blood and insulin levels.
Q: What are examples of low carb flour?
Q: Why can’t I use sauerkraut or beets that are sold in a can?
A: This type of food has been pasteurized (heated) so all friendly bacteria has been cooked out.
Q: What are examples of low sugar fruits and non-starchy vegetables?
Examples of low sugar fruits are:
Black berries, raspberries, blueberries, granny smith apples,
Examples of non-starchy vegetables are:
Kale, spinach, Swiss chard, broccoli, Brussel sprouts
Q: What are prebiotics?
A: They are soluble fibers that feed the good bacteria in your gut.
Examples are Jerusalem artichokes, dandelion greens, garlic, leeks, onions and asparagus
Q: How much water do I need daily?
A: We recommend drinking ½ your body weight in ounces daily, we also recommend drinking filtered water or purified water.
Q: How to calculate teaspoons of sugar?
Total carbs- total fiber ÷ 5 = teaspoons of sugar
Example: one medium banana has 27 grams of sugar and 3 grams of fiber
27 grams – 3 grams fiber ÷ 5 = 5 teaspoons of sugar for a medium banana
Q: Can I eat beans on The Skinny Gut Diet?
A: We suggest avoiding beans in the beginning or weight loss portion of The Skinny Gut Diet. The reason for this is that while beans are a good source of protein they are also high in carbohydrates. We have a section in the book that guides one in how to add beans back in to diet on Stay lean portion of diet, but it is no more than ½ c. daily.
Q: Can I have alcohol on The Skinny Gut Diet?
A: You can but limit your alcohol to wine or spirits, beer is very high in carbs. Eliminating alcohol is best, but not necessary, twice weekly, one glass of wine or spirits.
Q: What types of sweeteners are allowed?
A: Stevia, xylitol, Lohan, or erythritol
Q: Why do you say no corn on diet but suggest non GMO corn fiber?
A: A fiber supplement made from non GMO corn has had the starchy carbohydrate removed from the corn kernel.
Q: When do I take my supplements?
A: High fiber - take fiber supplements in morning and at night with a glass of water. If you take fiber supplement before a meal it will help curb your appetite.
Omega 3 oil supplements – enteric coated can be taken with or without food. Non-enteric coated fish oil supplements are best taken with food.
Probiotics – targeted released capsule probiotics can be taken with or without food or any time of day
Non- targeted release probiotic supplements should be taken with a light meal.
Enzymes- should be taken before each meal.
Q: Can I have beverages other than water on The Skinny Gut Diet?
A: We recommend having herbal teas, green tea, sparkling or soda water, coffee or tea with natural, non-sugar sweeteners. Vegetable juices are allowed too there are recipes in Chapter 10 of the book.
Q: How much weight can I expect to lose?
A: Weight loss for each person can vary, how much weight you lose depends on a number of factors. In general, the more weight you have to lose, the faster you will lose weight. You can expect to lose at least 1 to 2 pounds each week on The Skinny Gut Diet. The first two weeks, it is common for people to lose more than that.
Q: Do I have to eat only products that are labeled “gluten-free”?
A: If you have gluten sensitivity, you will want to avoid gluten by purchasing products that are gluten-free. Many people with gluten sensitivity do not realize they have it. If you find that by removing gluten from your diet you feel better (and when you reintroduce gluten you notice digestive or other symptoms), then you should steer clear of gluten. If you would like to be tested for gluten sensitivity, see Resources, page 257, for a test I recommend.
Q: Do I have to take the supplements?
A: The Skinny Gut Diet supplements are an important part of The Skinny Gut Diet. The H.O.P.E. Formula will help to balance your gut in conjunction with the diet. They work hand in hand. If you do not take the supplements, you will not experience the full benefits of The Skinny Gut Diet.
Q: What if I can’t stand fermented foods?
A: For some people, fermented foods are an acquired taste. The flavor of these foods is different from that of other foods. Fortunately, after you begin to incorporate fermented foods into your diet you will find that you grow to enjoy the taste. Stick with it, and your experience will change.
Q: I’m constipated. What am I doing wrong?
A: You may not be eating enough fiber. You want to get at least 35 grams of fiber every day from your diet and supplements. That won’t be a problem if you are eating 5 to 9 servings of non-starchy vegetables and low-sugar fruits every day (you may want to get closer to 9 than 5 daily if you are constipated) and taking your fiber supplement. In some cases, dietary changes can create a sluggish bowel in the beginning. An herbal laxative may be needed in this case. In addition, probiotics and fermented foods play an important role. They improve your bacterial balance and help restore regularity. If you do not experience a daily bowel movement, you are constipated and you will not achieve weight loss as easily as you would if you did have regular bowel movements. It is critical that you properly address constipation.
Q: All this fiber makes me gassy. What should I do?
A: At first, you can introduce fiber gradually. Start by eating 5 servings of non-starchy vegetables and low-sugar fruits each day and work your way up as time goes on and your digestive system adjusts. Likewise, start by taking one serving of fiber per day and increasing it as you adjust. In addition, taking a digestive enzyme with every meal---and snacks if you are feeling gassy or as though you aren’t digesting well – will help to break down fibrous foods so that you don’t get gassy.
Q: Should I take an enzyme in conjunction with your probiotics or are they even necessary at all?
A: Enzymes are necessary in all functions of the body. Enzyme production decreases with age and I'll tell you personally I developed chronic inflammatory conditions in my own life due to a lack of enzymes. They cannot hurt you. It's not true that if you take enzymes that your body quits making them. Experiment and see if they help your digestion, decreasing gas or bloating or helping with bowel movements. Probiotics on the other hand, in my opinion at least, are necessary for everyone, every day in these toxic times.
Q: Can you talk about the safety of taking Psyllium husk as a fiber supplement?
A: Here's my view on psyllium husk - having worked in a clinical setting with people with digestive problems for many years, I have found psyllium to be beneficial in people who have very regular bowel movements, meaning 2 to 3 per day. In women particularly who experience more constipation or IBS I find psyllium to be irritating and more constipating and that's why I have used flax, oat bran, and acacia and in some formulas have added herbs that are soothing to these irritable bowel conditions.
Q: I know nuts are healthy but I feel like they constipate me. Should I limit how many I eat each day?
A: Absolutely limit them. Firstly, what kind of nuts? Secondly, do you soak them to remove the phytates which block mineral absorption and do you dehydrate or roast them? Also, they are high in carbs which we typically do not realize, so a serving size of nuts may be only 8 to 10, especially in the Get Lean phase of the Skinny Gut Diet.
Q: What's the best time of day to take a probiotic, empty stomach or with food?
A: There is no time of day that's better than others as long as you are taking a probiotic that has a delivery system. That means the capsule is delayed release and by-passes the acid of the stomach and delivers into the small intestine where it can begin to have an effect. In cultures like India where it is very important to have the good bacteria to overcome the bad bacteria which may be found in food, they use cultured foods after the meal when the stomach acid is buffered. We don't have to do that here in America since we have the delayed release capsules that deliver the bacteria at any time we care to take it.
Q: I learned recently, that the fiber we eat from lots of veggies and a few fruits provides plenty of fiber for our bodies and makes prebiotics for the probiotics we supplement or eat. Is that true?
A: Not exactly, the average person thinks if they eat a salad they're getting enough fiber for the day. That's actually only about 4 grams. Not nearly enough to support our bodies or our probiotics! Our ancestors ate 75 grams per day of fiber! And when Dr. Dennis Burkitt (who has passed away) went to Africa and studied the indigenous people who didn't have any hemorrhoids, IBS, cancer or other digestive issues he found they ate that much fiber!! We as a nation are so low in fiber which is exactly why we have so many digestive problems. You are correct that certain types of fruits and veggies act as prebiotics (foods) for our probiotics.
Q: Is there a certain type of probiotic that’s best to try to get for weight loss?
A: What we used successfully with The Skinny Gut Diet participants was a 50 billion, 10 strain cultures per capsule with the focus on bifido and then graduated them to a 100 billion, 12 strain cultures per capsule after further stool testing to see if the weight loss was accelerated with a higher dose probiotic. In our participants it seemed to be so.
Some people have reported that when they increased the doses even higher, for a couple weeks (taking 200-300 billion a day) that they lost a couple of stubborn pounds that didn't want to drop otherwise. Of course probiotics are NOT a magic bullet. You’ll still need to cut the grains and eat healthy proteins and veggies!
Q: Is it true that fermented cabbage/veggies have more probiotics than what you can get in a pill form?
A: The strains of probiotics that you get in fermented veggies are lacto only. There is no bifido, which is the main friendly bacteria found in the colon, and your body has 10 times more bifido than lacto bacteria. We do not want to diminish the importance of fermented vegetables even though they only contain lacto because they are so nutritious and alive and have so many benefits outside of probiotics. But what we have seen in stool analysis with our group is that the bifido bacteria from probiotic capsules benefit the overall health of the digestive system in a very important way.