Looking to amp up your fitness routine? While it’s no secret that diet and exercise are the keys to successful weight loss, experts say that certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies could be hindering your progress. That’s why it’s important to consult with your doctor and incorporate a daily supplement into your weight loss regimen.
“As part of a healthy living plan that includes clean eating, exercise, and stress management, we find that vitamins and minerals can play a role in weight loss and weight management,” Arielle Levitan, MD, and Romy Block, MD, authors of the book The Vitamin Solution: Two Doctors Clear the Confusion About Vitamins and Your Health, tell Reader’s Digest. “Many, if not most of us, have nutrient needs that are unmet by diet alone. When we replenish these deficiencies with the right vitamins and minerals, in proper doses, then we can satisfy our body’s nutrient cravings and in turn, reduce our unhealthy eating.”
Keep scrolling to find out which vitamins experts say will kick-start your metabolism and help you shed the pounds (when combined with a healthy diet and frequent exercise, of course!):
When you are low in vitamin D, your body will convert sugar to fat instead of energy, warns Dr. David Friedman. In fact, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that overweight and obese adults taking vitamin D supplements along with calcium lost significantly more stomach fat than people not taking any supplements.
“If you are deficient in Vitamin D, there are two supplement options: vitamins D2 and D3,” Dr. Friedman explains. “I recommend D3 because it is much more effective at raising vitamin D blood levels than D2.”
“Those who are iron deficient may have trouble losing weight, and therefore, appropriately replenishing iron levels can help with weight loss,” according to Dr. Levitan and Dr. Block. “Typically iron should be paired with vitamin C to aid in absorption. In addition, iron plays a role in energy levels—when we feel energized, we are more inclined to exercise, which, of course, can assist with any weight loss efforts.”
Research shows that magnesium can play an important role in weight loss due to its ability to improve sleep.
"A lack of sleep is a key contributing factor to weight gain,” says Dr. Friedman. “If you are suffering from insomnia, it could be due to a magnesium deficiency. People with low magnesium often experience restless sleep, waking frequently during the night. Magnesium plays a role in supporting deep, restorative sleep by maintaining healthy levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter. Magnesium increases GABA and can improve sleep quality."
Glucomannan is a type of fiber that has been found to aid in weight loss. That's because it absorbs water, allowing it to give you the feeling of fullness so that you eat fewer calories. “Glucomannan is a healthy fiber that helps relieve constipation and feeds the friendly bacteria in the intestine,” says Dr. Friedman. “Healthy gut bacteria can help the body attain a normal body weight.”
In fact, one study found that taking glucomannan, when combined with a healthy diet, helped some study subjects lose eight to ten pounds of weight over five weeks.
Talk with your doctor before adding any of these vitamins and supplements to your routine!