Written By Emily White

Anyone who has gone through the weight loss journey will tell you that it is not an easy one. Sometimes, you find that you have tried a healthy diet and an exercise plan but you are not amounting to any visible results. There is a possibility that you are deficient in another key element, vitamins and key nutrients. Vitamins and minerals play a role in weight loss and weight management. There are nutrient needs that cannot be met by a diet alone. Replenishing our bodies with the right vitamins and minerals satisfies our body’s nutrient craving keeping us away from unhealthy eating.

There have been testimonies of people who have added a vitamin regimen into the weight loss program and they found that they were able to eat less and still make better food choices. Inevitably, they found more energy to exercise and plan meals. Furthermore, they attest to the fact that the vitamins helped them sleep better and we know that better sleep helps with weight control.

The vitamins that have been shown to help in weight loss include:

1.) Iodine

An underactive thyroid gland can make your weight loss journey difficult. This is because the thyroid hormone produced in the thyroid gland controls metabolism in the body and other important body processes. Low thyroid hormone levels means low basal metabolic rate and thus a general tendency of weight gain. Iodine is one of the minerals that supports the thyroid. More often than not it is overlooked. Table salt is enriched with iodine but people are moving towards sea salt which is inadequate in iodine content. There are several multivitamins that contain iodine. However, when it comes to iodine, you should not overdo it. High doses of iodine supplements cause an inflammation of your thyroid. This inflammation leads to palpitations and anxiety, something you want to avoid if you are planning for weight loss.

2.) Vitamin D

Low levels of vitamin D cause your body to convert sugar to fat instead of energy. It has been shown that both inactive and overweight individuals have low vitamin D in their bodies. Obesity and metabolic syndrome has been associated with vitamin D deficiency. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study that shows that obese adults who took vitamin D supplements lost significant belly fat compared to others who did not.

The sun is not sufficient enough for vitamin D. Use the vitamin D2 and D3 as a supplement option.

3.) Iron

Treating iron deficiency has been associated with a reduction in waist circumference, body weight and BMI. Women are at greater risk of iron deficiency because of menstruation and may find it difficult to lose weight. For better absorption, iron should be taken up with vitamin C. furthermore, iron has been attributed to high energy levels which more often than not lead us to more exercise and eventual weight loss.

4.) Magnesium

Magnesium helps relax your muscles thus giving a calming effect. It has also been shown to give better sleep. Poor sleep has been shown to raise blood sugar levels and slow metabolism. Magnesium maintains healthy levels of GABA which is a neurotransmitter thus improving sleep quality. Magnesium is especially useful for people suffering from insomnia. The magnesium allowance for men is 400-420 mg and 310-320mg for women.

5.) Carnitine

Carnitine is an amino acid that shuttles fatty acids into the cell to be burned instead of storing. It is common to find obese patients with carnitine deficiency. Consider taking the L-carnitine at 500 to 1,000mg a day for increased weight loss.

6.) Beta-alanine

Beta-alanine is a compound involved in the reaction that produces the molecule carnosine. Carnosine which is concentrated in the muscles and brain helps in buffering the buildup of acid in the cells. This buildup often causes us to feel fatigued. 4-6 grams of beta-alanine boosts levels of carnosine in the skeletal muscles. It also improves exercise performance, something you need for weight loss. Although there are no chronic side effects of beta-alanine, using it does lead to a tingling effect on the neck, face and hands.

7.) L-citrulline

Research into L-citrulline is still emerging but it has been shown to have the same positive effects as beta-alanine. L-citrulline supplements improve performance levels especially in high intensity exercises helping you get more out of your workout.

5-7 grams of L-citrulline is safe and it should be taken in advance of a workout session because it causes dilation of blood vessels which can trigger a drop in blood pressure.

8.) Gymnema sylvestre

Gymnema sylvestre is an herbal product that works as an appetite suppressant. It:

-reduces sugar absorption

-lessens cravings for sweets

-promotes normal blood sugar

People who take gymnema sylvestre before meals tend to eat less. It is found different forms such as capsules, powder and teas.

9.) Glucomannan

The roots of the elephant yam or konjac are used for the production of glucomannan. This fiber absorbs water and gives you a feeling of fullness where you end up consuming less calories. A combination of glucomannan and a healthy diet can lead to an eight to ten pound weight loss in just over five weeks. Glucomannan keeps your gut and intestinal bacteria healthy and healthy bacteria can help the body attain normal body weight.

10.) Theobromine

Theobromine is an organic alkaloid that naturally occurs in cocoa beans and chocolate. It has appetite suppressing effects. It also increases sensitivity of insulin thus useful in regulating glucose in the blood. However, this should not mean an increase consumption of chocolate. It has to be 85% cacao containing dark chocolate. The alternative is theobromine cocoa extract capsules.

11.) Matcha tea

Matcha is a form of powdered green tea that is whisked into hot water. The powder is made from ground green tea leaves. Matcha has a higher content of antioxidant epigallocatechin which has been found to increase metabolism during exercises. Matcha powder is available in grocery stores and can be added to smoothies.

All these vitamins have significant benefits when it comes to weight loss. However, you should consult your doctor or nutritionist before you indulge in any of the vitamins to avoid detrimental side effects.