Healthy weight loss takes a lot more effort than buying and taking some magic pills. However, we might as well help the body out as much as possible to ensure it has all the vitamins and minerals it needs to function optimally while we work to lose weight.
An important piece of long-term health is eating a well-balanced diet, like a plan offered through
that provides the majority of our nutritional needs. Unfortunately, there are times when even the best eating plans fall short. This can also occur when we are reducing calories to cut body fat. To cover our bases, we can add a few key vitamins and minerals to our nutrition plan. In some cases, they may give you the boost you need to keep your metabolism functioning properly and help you stay on track with your weight loss goals.
When it comes to vitamins and minerals, the list of options proven to promote a healthy metabolism and assist with weight loss is pretty short. Here is a list of the top 5 choices to help you shed fat and keep it off:
According to scientists, Vitamin D is critical for humans to have a healthy functioning immune system. They also tell us, we can get the amount of vitamin D our body needs from the sun. Unfortunately, most of us just don’t spend enough time outdoors on a year-round basis to meet this need.
Research has shown vitamin D also plays a crucial role in preventing depression and can significantly reduce stomach fat in obese individuals.
Since getting the minimum daily requirement for vitamin D can be difficult, supplements are typically recommended. If you’d like to get as much from your whole food sources as possible, great sources include egg yolks, and several fish sources like salmon, tuna, sardines, and cod liver oil.
- Vitamin B
The B vitamins are crucial for promoting a fully functional metabolism. They are responsible for giving the body the help it needs to properly metabolize the macronutrients we eat (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) to fuel our primary systems.
There are several B vitamins including cobalamin (B-12), thiamine (B-1), folate (B-9), pyridoxine (B-6), niacin (B-3), riboflavin (B-2), biotin (B-7), and pantothenic acid (B-5).
A shortage or deficiency of just one of these B vitamins will impair your metabolism and the body’s ability to regulate energy production and storage. These are both important players in the weight loss game, so it’s a great idea to stay on top of them.
Excellent whole food sources of B vitamins include lean meat, eggs, bananas, potatoes, lentils, beans, and whole grains. To be 100% balanced, it is a good idea to take a supplement offering all of the B vitamins, also known as B Complex.
Magnesium is a mineral that plays an important role in the body’s energy production systems. In fact, magnesium is part of hundreds of enzyme systems that are responsible for a host of functions including regulating blood pressure, controlling blood sugar or blood glucose levels, building and maintaining strong bones, and ensuring the nervous system functions properly.
Excellent sources of magnesium include green leafy vegetables like spinach, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Adding a supplement with magnesium is also a great option to help you get a balanced supply without overdoing it on your gastrointestinal system.
Low iron levels are the most common deficiency among Americans. Low levels are responsible for causing anemia. People who suffer from inadequate iron levels are sabotaging their body’s ability to generate energy from nutrients by limiting the amount of oxygen it can transport to the cells. When this occurs, our ability to burn fat is also impaired.
Iron deficiency anemia can show itself with several symptoms including low energy levels, weakness, fatigue, and impaired physical endurance.
Three populations who are at higher risk of becoming iron deficient include vegetarians, people who donate blood frequently, and women who have heavy menstrual cycles.
Food rich in iron includes spinach, shellfish, beans, and lean meats. Studies have also shown both iron supplements and iron derived from whole food sources absorb better by eating them along with vitamin c and vitamin c rich foods like strawberries and tomatoes.
- Green Tea Extract
While green tea extract is not an actual vitamin or mineral, it is a proven substance for improving the body’s ability to oxidize fat. Studies have clearly shown green tea extract to contain powerful antioxidants along with substantial caffeine. This combination has consistently increased energy production and reduced body fat in obese individuals.
Vitamin, Mineral, and Supplement Considerations
While these vitamins and minerals should be a key focus for those looking to reduce body fat through a healthy weight loss plan, it is also important to consult with a doctor first to discuss the benefits and risks of each. People with underlying medical considerations should also consult with their physician in this regard. Conditions to be careful of include those who are pregnant or who may become pregnant, those who are breastfeeding, and people being treated for heart disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure.
In addition, be certain to read all labels completely to check the active ingredients list and to ensure you take the correct amount for your body.
In combination with a well-planned eating program and fitness plan, balancing your vitamin and mineral intake can help you lose weight by helping to keep your body functioning optimally, managing your stress, maintaining a positive attitude, and boosting your energy.