I’m known as America’s Gut Health Doctor, so it won’t surprise you to learn that many of my patients are looking to heal their gut and reverse digestive issues.
What might surprise you, is that a surprising number of my patients are also seeking help for metabolic issues, like weight gain, diabetes, or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
As it turns out, in order to optimize your metabolic health, you have to optimize your gut health too. In fact, if you don’t address the gut when you’re trying to address metabolic issues, you’ll be left spinning your wheels , losing weight only to gain it right back, and relying purely on willpower, which nearly always fails in the end.
The good news is that I’ve developed the ultimate solution to addressing microbiome and metabolic health, in the form of a convenient and delicious HAPPY GUT® Cleanse Shake . Stick with me, and I’ll explain how these two are connected.
Before I give you the key to finally giving your metabolism the support it needs, let’s gain a better understanding of what metabolic health actually is, and how it’s related to gut health.
What is Metabolic Health?
Many people think about metabolic health as the rate your body burns calories that controls your weight. But actually, it’s much more than that. When we talk about metabolism, we’re talking about the processes in the body that control our overall energy balance. In a more practical sense, this means the steps that help your body convert the nutrients in what you eat and drink into usable energy that powers your cells.
So, for example, if you eat a meal, your body would break down the proteins, carbohydrates, and fats in the food you eat, absorb the nutrients through the GI tract, and then take those nutrients and send them to the places in the body where they are needed most. Metabolism involves processes like fat storage and fat burning, blood sugar balance and our insulin response (your blood sugar regulating hormone), and the way we burn calories, which is why you’ll often hear metabolism referenced in the context of weight loss.
If you’re metabolically healthy, you’ll have healthy blood sugar, a healthy body composition, and your body will efficiently use or store the nutrients in the foods you eat in a way that promotes long-term health. If you are metabolically unhealthy, you run the risk of dangerous health complications like stroke, heart attack, heart disease, diabetes, and even severe infections.
So, what does it take to be metabolically healthy? Many conventional medicine resources will tell you that it’s as simple as eating less and exercising more. But the latest science begs to differ. What we know now is that metabolic health isn’t so simple, and it’s greatly affected by beyond just diet and exercise, like stress, genetics , and of course, the gut microbiome.
The Metabolism-Microbiome Connection
- One study showed that the relative proportion of Bacteroidetes bacteria is less in obese people compared to lean people, and that their relative predominance increases with weight loss.
- Research shows that shifts in the makeup of the gut bacteria have an effect on energy production and fat storage.
- Studies show that chronic inflammation caused by leaky gut and microbiome imbalances is a primary risk factor for chronic metabolic disease.
In fact, research shows that microbiome health can be associated with all the major metabolic health markers, including waist circumference, blood sugar levels, triglyceride levels, LDL cholesterol, blood pressure, and uric acid levels. It’s often the one missing link for people who are striving to achieve a healthy weight. And the issue that ties together gut health with weight gain is a tiny molecule called endotoxin that, when absorbed, especially when the gut barrier is leaky, leads to endotoxemia . 
Endotoxin is a toxin present in the cell membrane of certain bacteria in the gut (typically gram negative ones, like the infamous E. Coli) that protects the bacteria from attack and helps reinforce the structural integrity of their membranes. Studies have shown that a high level of endotoxins in the blood is a precursor for immune-related inflammation, weight gain, obesity, and metabolic syndrome. 
Clearly, there are endless connections between these two systems. And that means that if something is awry with your gut — either from a poor diet, a gut heath issue like Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Inflammatory Bowel Disease, or just from everyday stressors like antibiotics, medications, and chronic stress — it can lead to problems with metabolic health.
The good news is that you can also use this connection to your benefit. By healing your gut, you can also optimize metabolic health in just a few easy steps.
Heal Your Gut to Optimize Your Metabolism in 5 Steps
Daily movement can benefit both your metabolism and your microbiome directly. For example, studies show that exercise can enhance the number of beneficial microbes in your gut, promote gut bacterial diversity, and improve the development of good bacteria.
Eat fermented foods
Incorporating fermented foods — like sauerkraut, kimchi, and kefir — into your diet is one of the best ways to inoculate the microbiome with beneficial bacteria. Studies show that fermented foods have anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, and anti-atherosclerotic (which means heart friendly!) properties. With inflammation being one of the major drivers of chronic degenerative diseases, including weight gain and obesity, fermented foods are your friend. You can learn about all the benefits of fermentation here .
Stress is a major factor in metabolic issues, disrupting your blood sugar and causing your body to hold onto fat. In fact, one study showed that employees with chronic work stress were more than twice as likely to have the syndrome than those without work stress. Some of my best tips for reducing stress include meditation and breathwork. Check out my video on the effects of meditation on the microbiome !
Avoid gut-damaging foods
Drink a Daily Cleansing Shake
The HAPPY GUT® Cleanse Shake is a Metabolic Reboot in a Meal Replacement — it contains organic pea protein, organic greens, organic fruit, herbs, and antioxidants to support energy metabolism and a slimmer waist. It’s a powerful all-in-one solution for anyone looking for a metabolic reboot. The Cleanse Shake is the perfect morning meal replacement to keep your metabolic and microbiome health in perfect balance.
It contains clinically-proven ingredients like:
- 500 mg of L-carnitine to promote fat burning for an energetic recharge
- 50 mg of green tea extract for blood sugar health and powerful anti-inflammatory antioxidants
- 17 grams of easy-to-digest, organic, non-GMO, low-allergen pea protein per serving to promote a healthy metabolism
- Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) that support tissue repair, lean body mass, and weight maintenance
 Boutagy, N. E., McMillan, R. P., Frisard, M. I., Hulver, & M. W. (2016, May). Metabolic endotoxemia with obesity: Is it real and is it relevant? Biochimie, 124,11–20. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biochi.2015.06.020
 Boutagy, N. E., McMillan, R. P., Frisard, M. I., & Hulver, M. W. (2016). Metabolic endotoxemia with obesity: Is it real and is it relevant? Biochimie, 124, 11–20. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biochi.2015.06.020