Dr. Travis Stork found a way to get people excited about gut bacteria
Dr. Travis Stork’s known for hosting The Doctors, a health-focused daytime talk show, but these days, it’s his latest book that’s getting all the attention. In December, he released The Lose Your Belly Diet, a book that aims to help people lose weight by focusing on the bacteria in your gut.
Though it’s been months since its debut, the book continually spikes on Amazon’s Movers and Shakers list — its roundup of the top-selling products across the site — and it’s currently listed as the No. 1 bestseller in the Diet Books category. Naturally, this begs the question: What’s all the hype about? Aside from the famous author — and the fact that the title suggests fixing a problem just about every human struggles with (just look at search traffic for “flat belly” and “flat stomach” exercises). Is it all just marketing hype?
While it is cleverly marketed, what sets the diet apart from many out there is its focus on microbiomes — those tiny organisms that live in our bodies, particularly our stomachs. Having a healthy mix of bacteria in your gut can keep you healthy, lowering your chance for various diseases — and help keep your weight in check, according to Dr. Stork.
“Researchers are now discovering that gut bacteria also seem to play a role in the complex process of weight loss and weight gain,” he writes. “We don’t know exactly how much impact our Little Buddies have on our weight, but we’re learning enough to believe that understanding the connection more fully may help us as we confront the obesity epidemic in the United States — and in our own bodies.”
The book itself doesn’t get tediously microbiome-focused, though. The first section of The Lose Your Belly Diet sets the stage, then part two goes into which foods can give you that healthy mix of gut bacteria. Part three focuses on other ways to boost your stomach’s microbiome health (avoiding antibiotics when you don’t need them, exercise, and what probiotic supplements to take, namely), while part four gets actionable, providing a diet quiz, recipes, and a meal plan.
Essentially, that meal plan involves eating plenty of leafy greens and fiber-rich vegetables, as well as high-fiber, low-sugar fruits, like blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and pears. He also recommends two to three servings of whole grains per day, as well as six to seven servings of protein — with a preference for nuts, legumes, fish, and dairy over beef, pork, and chicken.
Overall, the plan seems in line with many healthy eating plans out there. No food is off limits, though it does recommend avoiding anything that’s high in sugar.
Though there aren’t many stories online from people who’ve tried the diet, Dr. Stork has featured two women on his talk show who both lost 20 pounds — and four inches from their waistline — after following the diet for a few months.
“Compared to other diets, there is more variety. I didn’t feel like I was deprived,” one of the women featured, Karen, said. “Within a week, I actually felt different. I felt better.”
Throughout the clip, there is a disclaimer: These results aren’t typical. Most people lost an average of about 1 1/2 pounds per week. That falls in line with most recommendations for healthy weight loss (about 1-2 pounds every seven days).