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Published on February 15, 2019

Do Vitamins for Weight Loss Work And How?

Do Vitamins for Weight Loss Work And How?

Have you ever had a friend that told you they lost weight by taking vitamins? I did! Let’s just say it didn’t workout for me as well as it did for him.

Everyone has been a culprit of trying a quick-fix solution to reverse years of bad habits, if only losing weight was as easy as popping some vitamin supplements in your mouth every morning. Unfortunately, it’s not.

However, don’t misunderstand. Vitamins can be useful in your journey towards losing weight, and that’s what we’re going to talk about.

Can Vitamins Help You Lose Weight?

Vitamins alone can’t do any wonders when it comes to losing weight. However, paired with the right kind of health practices, vitamins can be an invaluable partner in your fight against those few extra pounds.

Your body has a whole array of chemical reactions going on at any time, and a lot of these reactions use vitamins to regulate certain steps. Without an adequate supply of the proper vitamins, some of these chemical processes are bound to suffer, and your body won’t be running at its optimum functionality. When your body isn’t working as efficiently as it should be, some of your weight loss efforts will be futile.

When you supply your body with these essential vitamins in the form of supplements, you’re allowing your body to work at its top capacity, and preventing any sub-optimal processes from holding back any weight loss efforts.

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Which Vitamins Can Help with Weight Loss?

Vitamin D

A study done at the University of Minnesota found that overweight individuals with more vitamin D in their systems lost more weight after they started a weight loss regimen.[1]

Lucky enough for you, vitamin D is one of the cheapest vitamins you can get, it’s completely free. Your body can produce enough vitamin D simply by bathing in the sweet sunlight. But a lot of people are spending more and more time indoors and the sunlight isn’t an option. So there are numerous supplements on the market to help make up that deficit.

A deficiency of vitamin D is associated with weight gain and obesity, and a large percentage of Americans actually have sub-optimal levels of vitamin D.

In addition. Vitamin D can be found in foods such as tuna, beef liver, cheese, egg yolks, cereals and milk.

You can learn more about vitamin D here:

Everything You Need To Know About Vitamin D

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Vitamin C

We all know a little bit about vitamin C. We know that you can get it from a glass of orange juice, or that it’s great for keeping away a cold.

Did you know that it is beneficial for losing weight though? Research has shown that individuals with higher levels of vitamin C in their systems lost more weight than those with lower levels of vitamin C.[2] Supplements can be a great way to keep your vitamin C levels high, but increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables is a great way to get that vitamin C and go on a healthy diet at the same time.

Vitamin C can aid with a significant improvement on the absorption of iron in your body. It can be found in fruits such as kiwi, watermelon, pineapple, grapefruit, papaya, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries and strawberries.

Vitamin B12

Also known as cobalamin, vitamin B12 is a very important vitamin for maintaining a lot of bodily functions.[3] Vitamin B12 is important in the production and maintenance of red blood cells, nerve cells, and DNA. Apart from those functions, however, vitamin B12 is very important in regulating how your body processes certain nutrients.

When deficient in vitamin B12, your body opts to convert these nutrients into adipose tissue – that is, fat – instead of burning them off for energy. Keeping your body well stocked with vitamin B12 can help your weight loss efforts and keep you in top shape.

You can get vitamin B12 in supplements and animal products. It is very important to note, particularly for vegans and people going on vegetarian diets to lose weight, that vitamin B12 is not found in plant foods! Vitamin B12 can be found in sardines, beef, milk, fish, poultry, and eggs.

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Vitamin B1

Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, is related to vitamin B12 as they’re all part of the vitamin B complex. Just like its compatriot, vitamin B1 is benefitical in the fight against those extra pounds.

Vitamin B1 plays a very important role in regulating appetite.[4] Individuals deficient in vitamin B1 may find themselves eating a bit more regularly than they might like, which usually isn’t ideal especially when trying to lose weight.

Apart from that, vitamin B1 is important in processing your carbohydrates to energy. A vitamin B1 deficit could mean that your metabolism isn’t quite optimal and your body is storing those carbs as fat instead of burning them off.

Vitamin B1 can be found in all sorts of foods like milk, eggs, and grains. If you’re not a fan of those, vitamin B supplements are readily available, and they usually contain all the vitamins in the vitamin B complex. Vitamin B1 can be found in these foods oranges, pork, nuts, pasta, breads, and rice.

Minerals

These aren’t technically vitamins, but in colloquial speak, they are sometimes included.

There are quite a few minerals which can be bought as supplements which can be very helpful in weight loss regimens:

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Calcium has been linked to maintaining an optimal metabolic rate[5] and keeping blood glucose well controlled. Paired with vitamin D, calcium does a lot more than just keeping your bones healthy, but assist with weight loss. While supplements are also available, dairy products are rich in calcium as well as vitamin D.

Iron is integral in the structure of red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the cells of the body. Low levels of iron can cause deficient production of red blood cells or anaemia.[6] A lower number of red blood cells means a poorer oxygen supply to the cells which can affect exercise and athletic performance when trying to shed some fat.

Magnesium is very important in the function of many enzymes, and also in the action of ATP, which is the main source of energy for cells.[7] A magnesium deficiency adversely affects metabolism, so its intake should be kept optimal through the consumption of foods like nuts, seeds, and grains.

Where to Go from Here?

While vitamins (and minerals) don’t do any of the heavy liftings when it comes to watching your weight, they keep your body in top shape and aid in optimum function, which streamlines the weight loss process and can prove very synergistic with other elements of the regimen, such as dieting and exercise.

Keep your diet healthy and balanced, and supplement as necessary to make your weight loss journey as smooth as possible. If you’re considering taking any of these vitamin supplements, make an appointment with your family doctor to look into recommended dosages for optimal health.

Last thing to mention, in combination with consuming these supplements remember to switch up your exercise programs. Do a spinning class, then the next day go lift some heavy weights. Every little bit counts!

More Resources About Weight Loss

Featured photo credit: Kimberly Nanney via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Sergio Pedemonte

CEO and Certified Personal Trainer of Your House Fitness

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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