Wondering to yourself, "What vitamins do I need to lose weight?" or "How much water should I drink to lose weight?" Wonder no more with this definitive guide on the best-kept weight-loss secrets.
If you've been thinking about taking vitamins to lose weight, we have some great news for you: There are a few vitamins out there that may help you reach your weight-loss goals. As you probably know already, no one vitamin will be a "magic pill" for weight loss, but eating the vitamins in whole foods can be especially beneficial, according to dietitian Keri Glassman of Nutritious Life
"A diet rich in whole foods will be loaded with vitamins that naturally act as antioxidants in the body helping to reduce inflammation," she says, adding that supplementing vitamins can't hurt.
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Keep in mind that a healthy vitamin intake is just one piece of the weight-loss puzzle. Shedding extra pounds can cut your risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and joint pain by 50 percent, so it's no wonder more than half of us say losing weight is our top health goal. The great news: You can pare those pounds and keep them off without going hungry by using the latest research-backed steps to weight-loss success.
What vitamins do I need to lose weight?
In a perfect world, we would all be getting enough vitamins from the food we eat to reach optimal nutrition and achieve a healthy body weight. However, we definitely don't live in a perfect world, so this is why Glassman says vitamin supplements can serve as "insurance" for a healthy diet. Though we should certainly strive for getting as many vitamins as possible through food, there are a few specific vitamins that could possibly help with weight loss — and they're worth keeping in mind.
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Glassman says studies have shown that people who aren't getting enough vitamin C might be more resistant to weight loss than people who have adequate levels. So supplementing vitamin C is a possibility there (or you can always munch on an orange or two!). However, she also says more doesn't always equal better; because vitamin C is water soluble, any extra will simply leave your body after you use the restroom. In short: When using vitamin C for weight loss, don't overdo it!
Vitamin A can also be enormously beneficial, because it naturally acts as an antioxidant. Studies have shown eating foods rich in antioxidants like vitamin A can reduce inflammatory markers. Considering chronic inflammation can prevent weight loss and also lead to weight gain, it may be wise to start eating foods like pumpkin, which is not only packed with vitamin A for weight loss, but other powerful antioxidants as well.
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You can actually double your weight loss with vitamin D. Even better? Losing weight with vitamin D sounds incredibly easy, too. Boston University researchers say you'll lose twice as much weight on any diet if you take 2,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily. Vitamin D3 (the most absorbable form of the nutrient) helps shuttle dietary fats into muscle cells, where they're burned for energy instead of converted into body fat.
Important: Always check with your doctor before starting a new supplement.
Will eating salad help me lose weight?
Salads are part of most weight-loss plans, and now researchers know it's not only because they are filling for few calories. Research in the journal Appetite reveals eating a heaping cup of leafy greens daily can help you shed up to 24 pounds in one year, thanks to the natural pigments that give those greens their colors. They increase your production of leptin, a hormone that helps you feel comfortably full for up to six hours after each serving, said study co-author Rick Kohnke, PhD.
How much water should I drink to lose weight?
Dozens of studies have already proven sipping six 8-ounce glasses of water daily helps protect against kidney stones, headaches, joint pain, and fatigue. And now, University of Utah researchers have discovered another benefit: It can increase your metabolic rate 3 percent or more, helping you effortlessly burn off seven pounds in six months. Your liver is more efficient at flushing out metabolism-slowing toxins and using fat for fuel when you're well hydrated!
How much exercise do I need to lose weight?
The more you exercise, the more weight you'll lose, right? Not necessarily! A new City University of New York study found sedentary women who start exercising moderately (say, walking briskly for 30 minutes) burn an extra 200 calories daily and lose weight up to 33 percent more quickly. But if they push themselves to work out longer and harder, their bodies actually adapt and start burning fat more slowly, stalling their weight-loss goals.
Will fruit help me lose weight?
Eating three cups of fresh or frozen berries each week could help you shed four pounds monthly without dieting, reveals research in the British Journal of Nutrition. Berries contain nutrients (polyphenols), which block sugar absorption and help your cells burn blood sugar for fuel before it can be converted into fat, said study co-author Leo Niskanen. Bonus: Those healthy polyphenols nourish your insulin-producing pancreas, cutting your risk of pre-diabetes by 31 percent, Yale researchers said.
Will eating fish help me lose weight?
Up to 66 percent of us battle diet-sabotaging cravings and hunger pangs when we're stressed, and Indiana University researchers have discovered how to overcome them: Eat 18 ounces of fish or seafood weekly! Salmon, tuna, and other fish are rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which calm your brain's anxiety center, reducing the urge to eat when you're stressed, Kohnke said. Don't eat fish regularly? Try taking 1,000 milligrams of fish oil daily.
Will a massage help me lose weight?
Pausing every hour to give yourself a firm one-minute hand and finger massage could cut 120 calories out of your daily diet and eight pounds off your figure every year, Swedish research shows. Brief hand massages encourage the release of endorphins and serotonin, hormones that shore up willpower and reduce the urge to munch.
Wow, who knew weight loss could be so simple!
NEXT: Try these five easy diet swaps for weight loss.