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#42: Tasneem Bhatia, MD- Fix Your Gut and Burn More Fat with the 21-Day Belly Fix

About Dr. Tasneem Bhatia

Leading integrative physician Tasneem Bhatia, M.D. shares a groundbreaking 21-day eating plan to shed pounds, accelerate metabolism, balance your digestive system, improve gut function, and feel better every day – without dieting!

She is the author of the best selling book,

The 21-Day Belly Fix

The 21-Day Belly Fix: The Doctor-Designed Diet Plan for a Clean Gut and a Slimmer Waist

Show Notes

02:06 Dr. Bhatia’s Integrative Medicine Journey:

She completed medical school, trained in emergency medicine and pediatrics. Her first job was in the ER, but she was having health issues. At 28 she began her own health journey. Doctors had no answers for her, so she began searching for them. She began studying holistic medicine and nutrition, acupuncture, and Chinese herbalism.  She found her answers, but she continued her studies. Next it was Ayurveda, then integrative medicine. She opened her own practice in 2009 and continues to learn and grow.

06:35 Female Baldness:

Women who suffer from hair loss are not told that hair loss is a combination of five factors. There is a genetic factor, a huge hormonal component, a huge nutritional component, a stress component, and a pseudo-genetic environmental component, which, through various exposures, wears down gut function. Every component must be addressed. It is a 4 to 6 month long process.

08:31 Belly Fat and Gut Bacteria:

Belly fat is the most dangerous fat. Even thin people with belly fat are unhealthy. Belly fat impacts insulin. We have belly fat because our gut bacteria are not where they need to be. American gut bacterium are not what they were 50 years ago or what they are in other countries. These changes in our gut bacteria negatively impacts our hormones, metabolism, and metabolic rate, which in turn translates into belly fat, insulin resistance, and other things associated with many diseases.

10:29 Signs of Imbalanced Gut Bacteria:

No matter what condition Dr. Bhatia treated, she always came back to the gut. The gut is often the root of every other disease. Unless we have overt gut issues, many of us have not made the gut connection, so it can be a hard sell. Signs of gut imbalances can start with simple things like how often you go to the bathroom: IBS and colitis. Signs also include rashes, eczema, acne, dermatitis, allergies, asthma, and atopic diseases.  There is a huge gut/brain connection. If the gut is not working well, signs could be anxiety, depression, OCD, bi-polar, ADD/ADHD, and even autism. Research and clinical practice agree on this. The belly is the powerhouse for every other system in the body. It is where you hormones are made, where you neurotransmitters are made, and where detoxification takes place.

13:26 Bacterial Diversity:

We have a host of organisms living in our belly. We have bacteria that have to work together. When they do, they digest our food, metabolize our food, so we absorb our nutrients and our bodies do what they are supposed to do. When that balance is disrupted, one group grows out of proportion to others. You may have too much yeast in the gut, SIBO or parasites. We all have some level of parasites. When gut bacteria is out of balance, it effects gut function.

14:16 Good Bacteria in Foods:

An abundance of good bacteria are found in foods that have been allowed to ferment and grow a range of bacterial strains that then populate our digestive system. Fifty years ago all of our food had good bacteria. With intensive industrialization and hybridization, our foods no longer have the bacterial profile. Therefore, we no longer have the right mix of bacteria. We need our bacteria and we need it in balance.  We are no longer forced to eat seasonally, so we eat the same foods over and over.

16:07 Medications and Gut Bacteria:

Many of us are on acid blockers, antibiotics and other meds all of which are metabolized through the gut, wiping out gut flora.

16:49 Dysbiosis and Calorie Absorption:

Research shows that when we have imbalanced bacteria, it changes our metabolic rate because we are not able to produce adequate hormones. Metabolic rate is directly related to gut bacteria. Introducing beneficial bacteria brings pathogenic bacteria back into balance.

18:29 Testing for Bacterial Imbalances:

Conventional testing is not especially helpful in diagnosing candida, SIBO, parasites, lack of digestive enzymes, or leaky gut. Appropriate testing is expensive and often not covered by insurance. Access to these tests may be limited, so symptoms may be the diagnostic tool. Some of the signs of candida will be a rash at a moist spot on the body, a white coating to the tongue, brain fog and insulin issues. On a lab test you will see markers like a food peptide or a hemoglobin A1C becoming elevated. SIBO can be tested with a stool test and a breath hydrogen test. SIBO patients have often had multiple rounds of antibiotics, constant bloating, and anything they eat hurts their stomach.

20:58 Treatments for Bacterial Imbalances:

Treatments can be natural or medication based. There are many food based treatments to try before using a supplement or medication.

21:56 Ayurvedic Approach to Digestion:

The approach to digestion that we are now discovering in research and clinically is a 5000 year old concept. In Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, they treated the gut first. If you want to be vital, then you have to get rid of the toxins in your digestive system. Both systems of medicine were suspicious of dairy and often recommended removing it from the diet.

25:18 Rekindling Digestive Fire:

Clean out the digestive system with lemon water, or apple cider vinegar and water. Oil your system. They believed that fats helped to remove toxins. Ayurvedic medicine used ghee, clarified butter. Change the diet to something simple and easy to digest, so no tdairy, meat or excessive grains. Ayurvedic medicine included kitchari, a traditional vegetable stew. Chinese medicine used an easily digestible protein, sticky rice porridge. Dr. Bhatia’s 21 Day Belly Fix uses these same concepts.

28:43 Eating Lots of Meat:

Limiting or eliminating grains does not mean heavy meat consumption. Everyone needs to find their balance. Breaking down meat is hard on the gut, especially our super-sized portions. Quantities should be small.

30:04 Rebuilding Bacteria:

In the 21 day belly fat fix, the first 3 days are about gut rest, preparing it for building the right bacteria. Rebuilding bacteria takes advantage of probiotic rich foods, like kefir, bone broth soup, and fermented vegetables. Don’t eat the same foods all the time. Eat locally grown and seasonal foods. These will have a better bacterial profile than something that has traveled thousands of miles.

33:00 Reintroducing More Challenging Foods:

This is when meat, dairy, and grains are reintroduced. If your digestion is prepared, you can tolerate many of these different foods.

33:57 Implementing Old World Eating in today’s Busy World:

Dr. Bhatia does this with her family. They shop on Sunday, getting everything they need. It includes a diverse set of greens and fermented beverages. Take your green smoothie with you. Dinner is a regular meal, prepping before or after work. You can use a pressure cooker to make your bone broth.

37:52 Success Stories:

Dr. Bhatia’s husband lost 10 pounds and 5 inches around his waist. One 32 year old participant had already had 2 heart attacks and had uncontrolled blood pressure. He lost 20 pounds in 21 days. By day 7 of the plan, he had a doctor’s appointment and found that his blood pressure had dropped 20 points. By the end of the 21 days he was off his blood pressure medications. It is life changing.

40:20 Dr. Bhatia’s Favorite Supplement or Nutrient:

Everything is connected to the gut. Glutamine rebuilds gut lining, helps muscle recovery and subdues inflammation. Glutamine makes a difference for the majority of her patients. Three grams is usually the most effective. A very sick patient may need a little more.

41:35 One Health Tip for America:

Please get America off sugar! Sugar is killing our country. It is killing our children. We need to measure and quantify how much sugar we consume, in all of its forms.

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