Nutrition and Natural Tactics: Your Weight, Your Microbiota

Are your gut bacteria the key to your weight problem?


The bacteria in your gut may be the secret to that slim waist you are after. Breaking research is indicating that the trillions of microbes in your digestive system, known as your ‘microbiota’, could be influencing your metabolism and surprisingly, affecting your weight.

It seems that a diversity of microbes in the gut seems to be a key factor to staying slim.  In Western societies with western style diets and eating habits, the diversity of our microbiota is much reduced and focuses on species that enhance weight gain.  Whereas in other countries with more traditional diets the diversity and types of microbiota enhance weight reduction, hence those societies are noted for their health and balanced weight.

The good news is that it may be possible to alter our microbiota levels and species to assist in bringing our weight down. Studies indicate that lean people have 70% more gut bacteria and more diversity than that of their overweight peers.

This seminar will focus on the dietary and lifestyle factors that can enhance and promote the diversity and variety of your gut bacteria, and how you can utilise this to your health and weight advantage.

Course outline

  • A brief overview of the key types of microbiota and their functions
  • how western style eating and lifestyle habits lead to microbiota imbalance
  • a brief look at traditional world diets and the influence they have on healthy weight balance
  • taking charge of your microbiota. What you need to eat to make your internal microbiota garden flourish. What you need to avoid to prevent a decline of your healthy species.
  • a discussion about Probiotics and Prebiotics, the part to they have to play in this picture.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course, participants will have learnt how to construct a microbiota friendly lifestyle and eating pattern.


  • Saturday 25 August, 9:30am -1:00pm
  • $55.00 incl. GST
  • The University of Auckland, City Campus
  • Presented by Vicki Martin-MacKay, Registered Dietitian

Seminar presenter

Vicki Martin-Mackay

Vicki Martin-Mackay

Registered Dietitian

Vicki is a Registered Dietitian with many years of nutritional counselling and teaching experience. She has a private nutrition practice specialising in assisting those with challenging health conditions utilising both integrative nutrition and complementary medicine approaches. Along with her Otago University Dietitian training, Vicki has completed a naturopathic diploma and studied traditional Chinese medicine extensively in China and Japan. She has also worked for many years in the health food industry. Currently, she is studying towards a Masters’ Degree in Health Sciences at the University of Auckland. Vicki strives to bring a balance of both clinical nutritional experience and evidence-based study to her practice and teaching.

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