The ups and downs of weight loss
Weight loss can feel like a never-ending uphill battle for many as this process can be complex and impacted by many factors. When most have been taught that you simply need to eat less and exercise more to lose weight this creates more frustration when expectations are not met. This is because body weight depends on many more factors than just a reduced-calorie diet and energy expenditure through physical activity.
Many additional factors need to be addressed such as hormonal balance, stress, toxins, gut health, emotional health, trauma, and even mindset.
If you are experiencing unhealthy weight gain it's absolutely essential to get to the root of the issue as an unhealthy weight is a symptom of internal imbalances.
Though a balanced diet and exercise program are of course essential for weight management we have compiled a list of some vitamins and supplements for weight loss that may support your efforts in achieving your weight loss goal.
A healthy diet is absolutely essential for metabolic health and a healthy weight loss journey and that must include fiber. Fiber is found in fruits and vegetables and it is recommended by health experts to consume at least 30 grams daily.
Blood sugar and insulin imbalances are quite common among overweight women and men and fiber can help to improve blood sugar control while increasing satiety.
Fiber is not a weight loss supplement, though you can now find it conveniently as a dietary supplement for additional support. We always recommend focusing first and foremost on reaching optimal fiber consumption through food intake first.
Some good sources of fiber may include apples, asparagus, leafy greens, root vegetables, flaxseeds, avocado, chia seeds, berries, carrots, broccoli, beans, legumes, and brown rice.
There are many health benefits to vitamin D such as supporting healthy bones, energy levels, and immune health, but did you know of its effects on body weight?
A clinical trial found that supplementing vitamin D among obese women for 6 weeks increased serum vitamin D levels while it decreased body mass index compared to controls.
The best source of vitamin D is said to be the sun but it is also present in some foods, such as fatty fish, cheese, egg yolk, and fortified dairy products.
For many people though, food sources will prove insufficient in meeting the daily requirements and most often a vitamin D supplement will be needed.
Researchers have noticed lower-than-normal levels of vitamin D in obese people compared to those with a healthy weight (1). Vitamin D supplementation has been thought to play a potential role in the regulation of abdominal fat mass (2).
Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency may include fatigue, bone pain, poor bone mineral density, muscle weakness and aches, weakened immunity, and mood changes.
Doses of vitamin D typically vary between 500 and 5,000 international units however we recommend testing your blood levels with your doctor to more accurately find the appropriate dosing for you.
Green tea is one of the healthiest beverages you can consume and green tea extract is often included in weight loss formulas.
It contains many beneficial compounds for health and that can also help to support weight loss, such as antioxidants, caffeine, vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll, catechins, and the amino acid l-theanine.
The active ingredient, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), is the main antioxidant found in green tea and is linked to boosting metabolism and reducing fat accumulation
Research suggests that green tea supplements can help to decrease body weight by increasing expenditure and fat oxidation and increasing weight loss results post-exercise due to its thermogenic properties (3)(4).
Green tea is a great beverage to consume for its health benefits and might even support your weight loss journey.
Iron is often recommended to women with heavy periods who are more prone to iron deficiency and it actually also may play a role in weight loss.
Treating iron-deficiency anemia with an iron supplement has actually been shown to improve metabolic parameters and weight loss among women (5).
Without enough iron, the metabolism can slow but energy can also be impacted and lowered as well. Iron is responsible for delivering oxygen to your cells and helping your muscles burn fat efficiently.
Iron-rich foods include meats, seafood, beans, and spinach. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is also required for optimal absorption of iron and it has been shown to improve iron status by consuming adequate vitamin C alongside iron. Vitamin C foods include bell peppers, strawberries, broccoli, spinach, kale, and kiwi.
If you are at a higher risk for deficiency or have very low levels, supplementation may be necessary.
It is always recommended to check your iron blood levels and verify with your doctor before supplementing to avoid iron toxicity. Iron should not be supplemented if not deficient. You don't want to have too little iron but you also want to avoid too much.
Carnitine is a chemical derived from an amino acid and made naturally in the human brain, liver, and kidneys. It plays important roles in metabolism and energy production by shuttling fatty acids into the cell to be used as energy (6).
You can obtain carnitine mostly from animal foods and the body also requires vitamin C in order to make it.
Carnitine is known as an ergogenic supplement often used for workouts and improving exercise performance (7).
More research is needed to properly assess the efficacy of carnitine on weight loss.
A popular supplement among those in the fitness industry, l-citrulline can help to promote lean body mass and enhance athletic performance by increasing nitric oxide production and improving oxygen utilization in the muscles (10)(11).
L-citrulline may support weight loss by suppressing appetite, decreasing food consumption, and impacting various metabolic pathways (13).
This compound is made naturally in the body and found in foods such as watermelon, pumpkin, and cucumber but it can also be supplemented to increase levels in the blood.
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