Remember back in the day, when your mother or doctor always told you, “Take your vitamins?” Well, they were not only right, but that advice can help you shed the pounds!
When beginning your weight loss journey it is important to eat more nutritional foods, as these are what will fill you up, help build lean muscle, and boost your metabolism. However, we often forget about the importance of getting vitamins in our diet, but there are several vitamins which also assist in losing weight, as well as keeping your body functioning. Let me explain the role of certain vitamins in weight loss, and why you shouldn’t forget your ABC’s when counting calories!
Vitamins B2, B3, B5, and B6
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) and vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) all play a part in ensuring normal thyroid function, while taking care of your metabolic system to assist in the process of energy generation. Good food sources include: Milk, almonds, eggs, leafy green vegetables, wheat bran, tuna, turkey, chicken, oats, brown rice, wholegrain bread and beans.
In addition to helping make red blood cells, this vitamin effects how well your body uses calories. It is usually found in the protein in fish, chicken and beef. The vitamin itself does not cause weight loss but making sure our body has enough B12 means you will experience increased energy, therefore increasing your motivation to exercise.
This nutrient in the B vitamin family helps metabolize fat. If your levels of choline are too low, then fat can get blocked in the liver, slowing down the body’s processes and therefore leading to weight gain. Good sources of this vitamin are egg yolks, wheat germ and peanuts.
Vitamin C helps balance out the cortisol spikes, which occur as a result of stress and leads to difficulty in losing weight. This is because cortisol breaks down lean muscle (the type of tissue that burns calories more efficiently) and holds onto fat cells in the abdominal region. Vitamin C is essential for making carnitine, a compound used by the body to turn fat into fuel, so increasing your intake of this vitamin can counteract the effects of stress. Good sources of vitamin C include: Kiwi fruit, bell peppers, blackcurrants, broccoli, oranges, and strawberries.
Many overweight people are found to have a vitamin D deficiency, and studies have shown that participants with higher levels of vitamin D have been more successful at losing weight on low calorie diets. Like vitamin C, vitamin D plays a part in counteracting the effects of stress by helping control your cortisol levels. If you are having trouble losing weight it could be a sign of a vitamin D deficiency. A supplement of up to 10,000 IU will normalize your levels, but taking a daily walk in the sunshine is also a good source of vitamin D.
Omega 3s, also known as fish oil, have received a lot of press because of their benefits in the prevention of heart disease and diabetes. Many studies have shown that omega 3 fish oil can promote natural weight loss through the way it works as an anti-inflammatory. Omega 3s calm the immune system and help fight the damage caused to the body by poor food choices and a lack of exercise. As the body is not distracted fighting toxins, it is able to focus on getting to its natural weight.
Furthermore, omega 3 fish oil has been found to help reduce hunger and control cravings by controlling and maintaining insulin levels. Insulin is used to tell the body’s cells to take in calories, so if there is an imbalance of insulin, too many calories are taken in and never used, resulting in weight gain. If insulin levels are well regulated, the body’s cells have a chance to release stored fat and weight loss ensues.
Although no vitamin can directly lead to weight loss, it is clear that getting a balanced diet is essential when trying to lose weight. Remember, knowledge is power, and each and every bit of information you learn regarding health and weight loss brings you that much closer to reaching your goal. That is, as long as you follow them!
What did you think about this article, did you find it useful? What changes are you going to make in your diet to better incorporate vitamins?