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Last Updated on December 15, 2020

Do Vitamins for Weight Loss Work And How?

Do Vitamins for Weight Loss Work And How?
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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!

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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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Published on July 14, 2021

13 Best Foods to Eat at Night (Advice From a Health Coach)

13 Best Foods to Eat at Night (Advice From a Health Coach)
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We’ve all had late-night cravings. Those times when you would lie in bed but your mind is on the fridge. You try to fight it, but you find out that you can’t. Food—you want food—to chew and to drink and to swallow. It usually goes this way: after much hesitation, you would get off your bed and walk over to the kitchen where you would stand for seconds and maybe even minutes contemplating a lot of things.

You have heard about it—read about it, too—the famous “eating late at night isn’t good for you.” You know well about how eating late at night can cause you stress and make you gain weight. But you just want to eat—and eat you must.

But what must you eat? What are your best and most healthy options? Here are the 13 best foods to eat at night.

1. Turkey

If you aren’t a vegetarian, then you most probably love turkey. It is not only very tasty and delicious, but it is quite nutritious, too. Turkey contains a lot of protein. As little as 28 grams of turkey already contains eight grams of protein.[1]

It also contains some amount of vitamins and a nutritive compound called selenium. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that plays an important role in ensuring the thyroid gland functions properly.

Turkey passes as one of the best foods to eat at night because the protein tryptophan, which it contains in a considerable amount, is believed to promote tiredness and thus, sleepiness.[2]

2. Fish

Another great choice for non-vegetarians is fish, especially fatty fishes like salmon, tuna, and mackerel. These are considered healthy choices because they contain a considerable amount of Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps your body regulate its calcium levels and is good for your kidneys, parathyroid glands, skin, etc.

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Fatty fishes also contain omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are a group of healthy fatty acids that can serve as anti-inflammatory agents and are good for the brain. Omega-3 fatty acids are shown to be able to increase the amount of serotonin produced by the nervous system, and thus, make sleep feel better.[3] This means that fishes would not keep you awake! You don’t have to roll from side to side trying to fall asleep after eating them.

Fishes also contain nutritive oils that are good for your body and skin.

3. White Rice

White rice is just rice that has no bran germ—that is, both bran and germ have to be removed as a result of processing from brown rice to make it white rice. This removal of bran and germ causes white rice to contain lower fiber, nutrients, and antioxidants when compared with brown rice. However, white rice still contains a commendable amount of nutrients such as thiamine, folate, and manganese and so is great as a late-night meal.

White rice has a high Glycemic Index. (GI). A food’s glycemic index is simply the measure of the rate at which that food increases the body’s sugar level. Taking in foods with a GI index, such as rice, can improve the quality of one’s sleep. This is as long as one takes these foods one hour before sleep. If you plan to sleep by 7 p.m, then it is a good idea to eat white rice by 6.p.m.[4]

4. Bananas

Finally, Something for vegetarians. A fruit! Bananas not only taste good, but they are also rich in the compounds potassium and tryptophan, making them one of the best foods to eat at night.

Tryptophan, as earlier stated, is an essential protein that plays a role in relaxation. Some bananas before meals can improve the quality of your sleep. Plus, they contain vitamins and are rich in antioxidants. They also contain compounds that are capable of making bowel movements easier.

5. Cheese and Crackers

Cheese and crackers, crackers being a source of carbohydrates and cheese a source of tryptophan, can help balance the body’s sugar level. When you take cheese and crackers together, more tryptophan is made available to your brain.[5] The sugar in cheese feeds your brain, and tryptophan helps with the production of melatonin.

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This means that there would be more serotonin and melatonin production in your nervous system when you take cheese and crackers together. Serotonin improves the quality of a person’s sleep.

6. Warm Cereals

Cereals are great sources of fiber. Ones like oats also contain an impressive amount of melatonin, which improves sleep.

Before bed, a hot bowl of cereal and maybe even whole grains are a good choice. They do not contain a lot of calories and would most likely not keep you awake.

7. Yoghurt

Yogurt tastes good, and kids and adults love them. They are also a rich source of calcium. Calcium is an essential mineral to the body. It is necessary for the growth of bone and teeth, and skeletal, smooth, and cardiac muscles need it for muscular contractions to happen.

Your body also needs calcium to produce melatonin from tryptophan. If calcium levels are low, there will be a reduced rate of production of melatonin—and thus, low quality sleep. Yogurt also contains casein. Casein is believed to reduce early morning hunger.

Unsweetened yogurt is a great snack and one of the best foods to eat at night.

8. Eggs

Eggs are great sources of protein and don’t contain many calories. As a late-night snack, eggs are a great pick. They are easy to cook and can go along with many different kinds of snacks.

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Eggs also contain tryptophan, which—as you must now already know—can improve the quality of one’s sleep.

9. Protein-Pineapple Smoothie

As you may have noticed, most of the snacks and foods on this list of best foods to eat at night are protein-rich foods. Protein-rich meals taken around bedtime can boost muscle repair. They can also combat age-related muscle mass loss especially in people who frequently exercise.

As a late-night snack, you can blend some pineapple pieces into milk. Milk is a great source of the protein tryptophan from which the body produces melatonin. Pineapples do not contain a lot of calories and might not prove a threat to your body’s normal digestive functions. Pineapples can also boost your body’s serotonin levels.[6]

10. Tart Cherries

Juices made from tart cherries are great alongside other snacks, such as crackers and cheese. Tart cherries have anti-inflammatory effects. Even though in small quantities, tart cherries contain the sleep hormone melatonin. They also contain procyanidin B-2, which is believed to keep stable the essential amino acid tryptophan.[7]

Tart Cherries have low calories, too. This means that they are not too heavy and do not pose the threat of fat deposition, and they would not keep you awake.

11. Honey

Honey harvested from bees is nutritious and does not contain a lot of calories. It is known to be capable of increasing the production of melatonin in one’s body.[8]

It also contains healthy sugars, such as fructose and glucose, and can have a healthy effect on your body’s sugar level. Honey is one of the best food to eat late at night.

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12. Popcorn

When it isn’t swathed in sugar and milk and other fatty stuff, popcorn presents as a great late-night snack. Popcorn is a low-calorie snack and contains a rich amount of fiber.[9] High-fiber grains are believed to lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.

Also, popcorn contains polyphenols. Polyphenols are antioxidants believed to improve circulation and in general, health.

13. Baked Sweet Potato Fries

French fries are amazing. They taste so good. Do you like french fries? Then baked sweet potato fries are a great pick you might want to consider.

As a late-night snack, you can very well bake sweet potatoes instead of frying them. They are easier to prepare when baked and do not contain so much fat. Sweet potatoes contain a good quantity of fiber and vitamins.[10]They also contain some great amounts of protein.

Final Thoughts

When next you have the craving for a late-night meal, you should know that not all meals are great when eaten at night. Some are about right, and others could contribute to excessive weight gain, heart diseases, digestive disorders, and other health issues.

Have you ever woken up with swollen eye bags, felt nauseous, or had malaise after a late-night meal? Then it’s possible the meal was not a great pick.

When choosing the best meals and snacks to eat at night, you should choose meals that contain low calories—not more than 200 calories—and have high protein content. Proteins like tryptophan enhance the quality of sleep. Some of these foods include eggs, turkey, cheese, bananas, yogurt, juices, etc.

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Remember, eating healthy is a great way to remain healthy.

More Healthy Snacks Options

Featured photo credit: K15 Photos via unsplash.com

Reference

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