Sometimes, weight loss requires more than the traditional ‘fewer calories in and more calories out’ approach. It is because vitamin deficiency may affect metabolic processes and the body’s ability to shed fat (1), (2). The solution – either consume vitamin-rich foods or take supplements to cover micronutrient deficiencies. This will help you lose weight and make you feel alert and energetic. Keep scrolling to know which vitamins can help you burn fat, along with a list of minerals to focus on and precautions to take. Swipe up!
In This Article
Vitamins For Weight Loss
1. B Vitamins
B vitamins play a crucial role in boosting metabolism. Scientists have found that these vitamins could prevent weight gain and improve energy metabolism-related enzyme activities (3). There are several B vitamins:
- Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
- Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
- Niacin (Vitamin B3)
- Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5)
- Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6)
- Biotin (Vitamin B7)
- Folate (Vitamin B9)
- Cobalamin (Vitamin B12)
Consume leafy green vegetables, beans, eggs, meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, and B vitamin-fortified cereals and bread (4). Vitamin B12 is mainly found in meats, and if you are vegetarian or vegan, you may have to take supplements. The best way is to consult a doctor, test for B vitamin deficiencies, and tweak your diet or take supplements as suggested.
2. Vitamin D
The next important vitamin to fast-track your weight loss process is vitamin D. It is known as the sunshine vitamin, as it gets synthesized when you are out in the sun. However, there has been an exponential increase in cases of vitamin D deficiency in the recent past (5). This fat-soluble vitamin is responsible for good bone health and protecting the liver. Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with autoimmune diseases, depression, cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases (6).
Several studies found a correlation between vitamin D intake and weight loss. It was observed that vitamin D deficiency was prevalent in people with obesity. Improved vitamin D levels and a weight loss diet may reduce BMI, body weight, hip circumference, weight circumference, and inflammation in people with clinical obesity (7), (8). Talk to your doctor to see if you need vitamin D supplements. Also, go out for a 10-minute walk in the morning to help your body synthesize vitamin D.
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a water-soluble micronutrient and antioxidant mainly found in citrus fruits. Other sources of vitamin C are berries, bell peppers, chili, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, tomato, spinach, and potato (9). Scientists believe that consuming antioxidants like vitamins C and E may help reduce oxidative stress and the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes (10).
A study showed that adequate levels of vitamin C in the body could help oxidize 30% more fat during moderate-intensity exercise (11). This may help in weight loss. In a review published by the University of Chile, researchers speculate that vitamin C intake may reduce high blood sugar levels and inflammation and break down fat cells (12).
These three vitamins regulate different metabolic processes in the body to help with effective weight loss. There are other nutrients that may play a vital role in preventing weight gain and aiding weight loss. Let’s take a look at them.
Mineral Supplements For Weight Loss
Calcium is important for maintaining bone health and may help with weight loss. Scientists have found that taking calcium and vitamin D3 supplements for 12 weeks could reduce body fat and visceral (belly) fat and improve metabolic health (13).
Another study found that a calorie-restricted diet and increased dietary calcium intake could improve fat loss (14). However, there are reports where people did not see any significant changes in weight or fat after taking calcium supplements. Therefore, it is advisable to check with your doctor and follow the recommendations.
Iron deficiency is often associated with obesity. Multiple studies found that obesity might disrupt iron homeostasis, leading to iron deficiency anemia, and losing weight may improve the iron profile in people with obesity (15), (16), (17). A mice study found that iron supplementation could prevent high-fat diet-induced weight gain and fat accumulation in the liver (18).
The effect of iron supplements on obesity is still unclear. Therefore, it is best to consult a doctor and check your iron status before taking supplements. You may also up your iron intake by consuming iron-rich foods like dates, raisins, dark leafy greens, beans, and meat.
Magnesium is an essential mineral that helps maintain heartbeat, bone health, immune system, blood glucose levels and helps produce energy and protein (19). You can source magnesium from vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, fish, milk products, and unprocessed cereals (20).
Unfortunately, magnesium deficiency is prevalent in people with obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other metabolic syndromes. Increasing magnesium intake helps improve metabolic syndrome by reducing blood pressure, high blood sugar, and high triglyceride levels (21), (22). A study found that magnesium supplementation could reduce BMI in people with magnesium deficiency, insulin resistance, and obesity. Researchers also observed some changes in body weight and waist circumference in a few participants (23).
These vitamins and minerals accelerate your metabolism and contribute to your weight loss goals. However, before you rush to the pharmacy to get your supplements, here are a few precautions and tips to keep in mind.
Precautions And Tips
- Take supplements only after consulting your doctor.
- Do not take supplements that you are allergic to.
- Consume a balanced diet. Focus more on whole foods to get your daily dose of vitamins and minerals.
- Exercise regularly. Do a combination of cardio and strength training.
- Stay away from junk food loaded with trans fats and saturated fats.
- Drink at least eight glasses of water per day.
- Indulge in activities that help keep the stress away.
- Sleep for at least 7 hours per night.
Vitamins, minerals, and supplements are crucial for regulating different metabolic processes in the body and promoting weight loss. However, depending solely on them will not help. Weight loss requires a holistic approach. You must consume a balanced and healthy diet, practice portion control, and exercise 3-5 hours a week. Changing your lifestyle is the key to losing weight and never gaining it back. However, if your weight loss has stalled, check whether you have a vitamin or mineral deficiency. Consult a doctor to determine a diet chart and supplements you may need to balance the deficiencies.
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- Risk of Deficiency in Multiple Concurrent Micronutrients in Children and Adults in the United States
- Overweight & obese Australian adults and micronutrient deficiency
- B Vitamins Can Reduce Body Weight Gain by Increasing Metabolism-related Enzyme Activities in Rats Fed on a High-Fat Diet
- B Vitamins
- Vitamin D deficiency 2.0: an update on the current status worldwide
- Vitamin D Deficiency
- Effect of Vitamin D Supplementation on Weight Loss Glycemic Indices and Lipid Profile in Obese and Overweight Women: A Clinical Trial Study
- Effect of vitamin D supplementation along with weight loss diet on meta-inflammation and fat mass in obese subjects with vitamin D deficiency: A double-blind placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial
- Vitamin C
- How Effective Are Antioxidant Supplements in Obesity and Diabetes?
- Strategies for healthy weight loss: from vitamin C to the glycemic response
- Vitamin C in the treatment and/or prevention of obesity
- Calcium plus vitamin D3 supplementation facilitated Fat loss in overweight and obese college students with very-low calcium consumption: a randomized controlled trial
- Calcium and dairy acceleration of weight and fat loss during energy restriction in obese adults
- Association between obesity and iron deficiency (Review)
- In overweight and obese women dietary iron absorption is reduced and the enhancement of iron absorption by ascorbic acid is one-half that in normal-weight women
- Impact of diet and weight loss on iron and zinc status in overweight and obese young women
- Iron supplementation regulates the progression of high fat diet induced obesity and hepatic steatosis via mitochondrial signaling pathways
- Magnesium in diet
- Magnesium and Human Health: Perspectives and Research Directions
- Magnesium in Obesity Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes
- Oral magnesium supplementation improves the metabolic profile of metabolically obese normal-weight individuals: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial
- The effects of magnesium supplementation on obesity measures in adults: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials