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Candida and Weight Loss

Candida overgrowth can be a significant barrier to weight loss. Candida is a naturally occurring yeast in the intestinal tract, and is vital for healthy digestion. However, when Candida overgrowth occurs, it can create problems, both with digestive function (gas, bloating etc) and more systemically with fatigue, headaches, brain fog and so on.

In looking at the association between Candida and weight gain, the first thing we need to examine is the fuel source for yeast (and subsequently Candida). Yeast feeds off sugar – that is its preferred fuel source. Subsequently an individual with a hefty yeast overgrowth is going to crave sugars and carbs, as that is what the yeast is craving.

Part of the dilemma is that the sugar/ carb phenomenon is a catch-22. Yeast feeds off sugar, so a diet high in sugars and carbs will perpetuate Candida overgrowth; and yet Candida overgrowth will set of cravings for more sugars and carbs. See how this might be a hard cycle to break?

Furthermore, yeast will crave not only sugar, but more yeast. What is alcohol? Sugar and yeast. And a bunch of empty calories. I know many individuals who crave wine or beer – not because they have a drinking problem – but because they have a yeast overgrowth and they’re predisposed to that because of it. High yeast foods can be a trigger also – vinegars, mushrooms, breads to name just a few.

Anti-fungal treatment can often help curb cravings for sugars, carbs and alcohol, and these are three things that will be very helpful in maintaining a healthy weight. Also, treating yeast overgrowth can help reduce intestinal bloating which makes one more feel more rotund, even if it’s not true body fat. Addressing yeast overgrowth will also boost energy levels making exercise a more viable and appealing proposition.

Candida overgrowth also compromises proper absorption of nutrients. It is associated with “leaky gut”, which means the gap between the intestinal cells widens. This then leads to nutrients not being well absorbed, as well as larger-than-normal food molecules escaping into the blood stream triggering immune reactions and inflammation.

Addressing Candida overgrowth can be done through diet, although even the most rigid anti-Candida diets are rarely enough to eradicate the problem. The more balanced option is moderate dietary modifications, coupled with anti-fungal remedies, which can range from herbal medicines all the way through to strong prescription medicines. Many people find that once yeast overgrowth is addressed, cravings for sugars and carbs are reduced and weight loss is much easier.

If you struggle with Candida overgrowth, check out Dr. Nicola’s online course here – it will give you a tremendous amount of knowledge on what underlies Candida issues, and how to overcome them. http://candida.drnicoladucharme.com/


  1. My primary care doctor and endocrinologist are just not getting it.
    I do see a D.O. for injuries from work and a car accident. HE is the one who suggested I check to find out if I have candida. I had been telling him how I am eating tiny portions, mostly lean protein, veggies and fruits. I ride my mountain bike an hour a day, and in the summer, I was swimming a mile 4-5 days a week, and I GAINED WEIGHT.
    NO BREAD or white pasta. I have whole grain pasta about 3 times a year! Carbs is not my problem.
    I did the “spit test”, that I also found online, and after doing it twice, it appears I have the over growth.
    Doctors do not seem to care to find out the underlying problems. They just deal with your symptoms. That is not going to solve the problem.

    Why does the patient have to diagnose themselves, and then try and convince the primary care doctor to help get it solved? I am actually very physically fit despite my 4 level cervical fusion. I just cannot get rid of these last 10-15 lbs. I do crunches on the exercise ball that an ex-trainer taught me because of my neck issues. I am targeting that area to no avail.

    My osteopathic doctor seems to be more in tune with people then the primary care. He has relieved so many spasms and realigned my entire body over time. I highly recommend anyone in pain to see an osteopath. Mine is exceptional and very gifted.