There are more commercial weight loss programs available then ever before. While many of them lead to excellent success stories, some are falling short. One of the biggest shortcomings of some of these plans is their lack of diversity when it comes to vitamins and minerals (micronutrients). While you might be losing the unwanted weight, you may not be giving your body all the nutrition it needs to keep it off. Does this mean you should abandon your commercial weight loss plan? By adding a high quality multi-vitamin to your program you can continue to lose the weight while also maintaining overall body health.
Is My Weight Loss Program Lacking in Vitamins?
With so many programs and products making claims about the success of their weight-loss plan, it can be hard to find a program that suits your needs. Many commercial programs offer short-term solutions and temporary results that only further the underlying problems. Many of these plans rely upon dietary restriction in order to offer quick results. While you may see initial weight loss, what you might not see if the underlying effects on your body. As you limit your food intake, you might actually be missing many of the key vitamins and nutrients you need to sustain weight loss and overall health. So, in the short-term you might see a reduction in weight, in the long term you could be doing more harm than good.
What Does Science Say About the Nutritional Value of Weight Loss Programs?
In a 2010 study researchers looked into the underlying health levels associated with commercial weight loss programs. They published their findings in an eye-opening article, Micronutrient quality of weight-loss diets that focus on macronutrients: results from the A TO Z study.
The study took an investigative look into the overall micronutrient quality of many weight-loss diets and programs. This means that they wanted to know if people adhering to these diets were getting all the vitamins and minerals they need to be healthy while losing weight. They compared overweight women randomly assigned to one of four popular commercial diets that varied primarily in macronutrient distribution (low carb, low fat, low calorie). The diets evaluated were Atkins, Zone, LEARN (Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitudes, Relationships, Nutrition), and the Ornish diet. Their nutrient levels were compared between the four groups at 8 weeks and within each group at 8 weeks to see if any of the groups were at risk of micronutrient inadequacy. While some diets had lower risk of inadequacy, all groups showed some sort of deficiency in things like vitamins A, B-12, C, E, and K, thiamine, folic acid, iron, magnesium and zinc.
These Stanford researchers concluded, “Weight-loss diets that focus on macronutrient composition should attend to the overall quality of the diet, including the adequacy of micronutrient intakes. Of the specific weight-loss diets that are defined largely by their macronutrient content, micronutrient intakes tend to be overlooked. Given the established roles of vitamins and minerals in acute and chronic health conditions, micronutrient adequacy should be an important consideration when assessing the overall quality of weight-loss diets.”
What they are saying is that while these diets show good results with weight loss, they can potentially lead to inadequate levels of certain vitamins and minerals. The simple act of taking a high quality supplement can help support weight loss and keep your body healthy.
What Vitamins Best Support Weight Loss Goals?
If you are considering a weight-loss program you should also be taking vitamins to supplement what your restrictive diet might be missing. These are some of the most important vitamins that your body needs when it is going through the process of shedding weight. In fact, specific vitamin deficiencies can slow down or prevent weight loss. Check your multi-vitamin to make sure you are getting all of these key components:
Vitamin A: This vitamin helps to support the genes that keep food from storing up as fat, thereby reducing the size of fat cells.
Vitamin B3: B3 is important during the weight-loss process as it increases the bodies rates of adiponectin, which is an important weight loss hormone secreted by fat cells.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D is a powerhouse when it comes to weight loss. An ample amount leads to better metabolism of carbohydrates.
Vitamin E: E is tasked with stopping pre-fat cells from transitioning into mature fat cells, which leads to lower levels of body fat.
Vitamin K: Low levels of vitamin K have been associated with increased fat tissue. The Stanford study showed that several of the most popular weight-loss programs left dieters with insufficient vitamin K levels.
Calcium: The mineral calcium works with vitamin D to help you shed fat. It is stored in fat cells, and studies have shown that the more calcium a fat cell has, the more fat that cell will release to be burned.
Chromium: This compound is very important in the process of making our bodies more insulin sensitive, which helps reduce body fat and increase lean muscle mass.
Inositol: Like vitamin B3, inositol has been shown to help increase adiponectin levels, which plays an important role in weight loss and fat burning.
Lipoic Acid: This important form of acid helps improve glucose uptake into cells, which helps our bodies burn more carbohydrates. Lipoic acid is a great addition to a low-carb diet plan.
Magnesium: Low levels of magnesium in cells are linked with an inability to use glucose for energy, which means it gets stored as fat instead.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: One of the many important roles that omega-3s play is to facilitate weight loss by activating the enzymes that trigger fat-burning in cells.
Biotin: Biotin is of the best ways to boost metabolism by helping stabilize blood sugar and lowering insulin.
Zinc: In the Stanford study several diets came up short when it comes to zinc. Low levels of this important element have also been linked with increased appetite.
Including a multi-vitamin when starting a weight-loss program is a great way to make sure your body has the nutrients it needs to lose weight and stay healthy. The simple step is often overlooked when starting the journey to weight loss. By adding a top quality vitamin supplement you can ensure your health while on the path to your ideal weight.