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Vitamins and Supplements for Weight Loss

Updated on February 10, 2012

Cinnamon can regulate your teaspoon at a time.


Weight loss pills are not realistic. They provide quick results, but they don't offer a permanent change. Diet and exercise are the only things that can give you a permanent, healthier, fitter body. There are vitamins, minerals, protein and healthy fats the body needs, and while most of these things can be found in the healthy food we eat, sometimes supplements are a little extra push in the right direction. My feeling is, get the vitamins, protein and minerals from food first. Get them from supplements when they're more realistic.

*Vitamin B - These vitamins support and raise the metabolism and promote cell growth and muscle tone. But, you don't need fancy, expensive B12 shots to get it in your system. In fact, most people get the B vitamins they need through the food they eat. Vitamin B is water soluble which means any excess is excreted in the urine. The Mayo Clinic suggests that instead of injections eat plenty of fish, chicken, eggs, milk and kidney beans to get a variety of all of he B vitamins in your diet.

*Vitamin C - It's good for more than helping you through your cold symptoms. Vitamin C speeds up muscle recovery by reducing cortisol, a hormone that breaks down muscle tissue during exercise. It also increases iron absorption, reduces muscle soreness, increases energy and transports nutrients to the muscles to help growth and repair.

A study done by Arizona State University showed a correlation between low amounts of vitamin C and an increased waistline and body fat. Fat, along with carbohydrates, is used as energy during exercise. The study showed that participants consuming about 500 milligrams of vitamin C per day along with a healthy diet, had a 30 percent increase in fat loss with abdominal fat being the most affected. It concluded that increased levels of the vitamin helped burn fat more efficiently during exercise.

Get plenty of vitamin C, but not too much. More than 2000 milligrams per day will not only be excreted at the end of the day, but it can cause unpleasant side effects like abdominal pain and diarrhea. Foods with the most vitamin C are leafy green vegetables, broccoli, bell peppers, kiwis, oranges and strawberries.

*Vitamin E - If you are trying to lose weight, chances are you are exercising. You may have found your muscles are so sore you are having to take days off for recovery. Studies have shown that this vitamin can fight off the free radicals produced during exercise which can help with muscle soreness. The study showed that even doses of 200 to 400 IUs can be beneficial. Johns Hopkins found that a dose over 400 IUs could be associated with an increased risk of death. It might be best to get vitamin E from food which is found in meat, leafy vegetables, plant and vegetable oils, whole grains and nuts.

*Conjugated Linoleic Acid - One of my hubs talks about fat busters, but it doesn't mention CLA. CLA was shown in studies to be "possibly safe" and "possibly effective". It claims to reduce body fat and build muscle. However, it comes down to getting enough of the right fats in our diet. CLA can be found in red meat and lamb. Also, monounsaturated fats found in nuts, safflower oil, olives and other foods have been shown to keep fat from storing as glucose and instead being used for fuel for the muscles during exercise. Only 25 to 35 percent of a healthy diet should consist of any type of fat, healthy or not. Taking a CLA supplement is one way to ensure you're getting enough in your diet. Taking too much can result in fatigue or abdominal upset. Start out with 1000 mg per day.

*Cinnamon - This tip comes from Dr. Oz. If you don't like the taste of cinnamon, there are supplements you can take, but the real thing is always best. One teaspoon of ground cinnamon per day can regulate blood sugar and metabolism.

*L-Carnitine - This amino acid is essential for energy, heart and brain function and muscle movement. It's also helpful for people who carry their weight in their upper bodies. About 500 mg per day, along with diet and exercise, can help burn off the weight in those problem areas. Vitamin C activates l-carnitine so make sure you get plenty of that in your diet as well.

*White Kidney Bean Extract - Along with a low fat diet, white kidney bean extract can help prevent the carbohydrates we ingest from being converted to glucose which is stored in our fat cells. This is particularly helpful for women who have the dreaded thunder thigh issue - like me!

*Raspberry Ketones - I'm all about increasing the nutrients in your diet before resorting to supplements, but eating 90 pounds of raspberries per day is unrealistic for anybody. That's what you would need in order to get the 100 to 200 mg per day dosage. The body produces adiponectin, a hormone that shrinks fat cells. Raspberry Ketones regulates these hormones. Start out with 100 mg per day and increase to 200 mg over time.

A little bit of help along the way, along with diet and daily exercise, can improve the way you feel about yourself and your appearance. Remember that no supplement is a miracle drug that will change you unless you change your eating habits and get moving!



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