While your diet and workout routine will determine how much weight you lose, using supplements could help you accelerate your weight loss by speeding up your metabolism. The body requires a number of different nutrients and minerals like Vitamins, Magnesium, and Iron to function at its peak. We’ve sorted out and compiled the best supplements you can use to boost your weight loss in this article.
Supplements for Weight Loss
1. Vitamins for Weight Loss
The body needs an array of different Vitamins to keep functioning at peak efficiency. Having adequate levels of Vitamins boosts your body’s metabolic processes, which work around the clock to burn calories and deliver energy to the body when it needs it.
Having a faster metabolism means the body is able to burn calories much faster, thereby making it harder for fat to get stored in the body.
[Also Read: How to Lose Weight Naturally]
2. B Vitamins for Weight Loss
The B Vitamins are essential for the body’s metabolism to be performing as intended. There are many Vitamins in the B complex that the body requires:
- B-3 (Niacin),
- B-2 (Riboflavin),
- B-1 (Thiamine),
- Folate, and
It is essential that you have healthy levels of all B Vitamins, because deficiency of a single Vitamin in the B complex could affect the functions of the other Vitamins.
The most vital B Vitamins for weight loss are:
- B-12 for weight loss: The Vitamin has the task of regulating the metabolism of proteins, fats, and works in conjunction with B-6 and folate. It is mostly found in meat and meat products, making vegetarians more likely to be deficient in this Vitamin. It is available in the supplement form and is found in natural sources such as meat, dairy products, and fortified plant-based milk.
[Also Read: Vitamin B12 Supplement For Weight Loss]
- B-6 for weight loss: This Vitamin works with B-12 to help metabolize protein.
- B-1 or Thiamine for weight loss: This Vitamin metabolizes fat and carbohydrates.
The body’s capacity to metabolize fats, carbohydrates, and proteins are determined mostly by the B Vitamins and maintaining a healthy level of these Vitamins ensures that nutrients are not stored in the body in the form of fat.
Vitamin D for Weight Loss
Research has shown that low Vitamin D levels contribute to controlling blood sugar and improving insulin resistance in those who have diabetes. Insulin regulation is an important part of the body’s metabolic processes and can affect weight loss efforts majorly. However, it must be noted that merely supplementing with Vitamins will not make you lose weight by itself, if it is unaccompanied by a healthy diet and exercise.
[Also Read: Walking For Weight Loss]
Vitamin D is produced in the body naturally with exposure to sunlight, but it is also found in food like:
- Egg yolks,
- Cod liver oil,
- Fortified plant-based milk, and
- Some mushrooms.
Cod liver oil is one of the best Vitamin D supplements.
A study(1) found that women with type-2 diabetes, when supplemented with Vitamin D, showed improved blood sugar levels and reduced waist sizes.
Recommended daily intake: According to the US Institute of Medicine, the recommended daily intake of Vitamin D is 10-20 micrograms.(2)
Vitamin C for Weight Loss
Vitamin C is an essential Vitamin which means that it can’t be synthesized by the body and must be absorbed from food and it has many health benefits including:
- It is a strong antioxidant that reduces the risk of many chronic diseases.
- Reduces oxidative stress caused by free radicals.
- Regulates blood pressure.
- Reduces the risk of heart disease.
- Allows for better absorption of iron.
While it has many great health benefits like those listed above, the factor that makes it so appealing to people looking to slim down and get fit is its correlation with fat oxidation (which is the body’s ability to harness fat as a viable source of energy). While this does not directly affect weight loss, it helps with losing fat, which in the long run would mean losing weight as well.
A study showed that Vitamin C supplementation in obese men and women helped them losing a considerable amount of fat while on a short-term diet when compared to those who were not supplemented with Vitamin C. The group that was not supplemented with Vitamin C showed as much as an 11 percent reduction in the body’s ability to oxidize fat.
The best sources of Vitamin C include:
- Citrus fruits, like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits.
- Green and red peppers.
Vitamin C is also available in the supplement form.
Recommended Daily Intake: For adults, 65 to 90 mg a day, and a maximum of 2,000 mg/day.
[Also Read: Benefits of Probiotics for Weight Loss]
2. Magnesium for Weight Loss
Magnesium is vital for the body to be able to carry out the chemical reactions that burn fat to produce energy, which makes this nutrient one of the most important for those looking to lose weight. Magnesium can be found in a range of different foods, including nuts, seeds, legumes, spinach, potatoes, salmon, and bananas.
Be careful with Magnesium supplementation as it reacts adversely in those who have some medical conditions. Make sure to consult a dietician or a doctor before starting magnesium supplementation.
Recommended average daily intake: For adults, 310-420 mg depending on age and gender. You may have higher or lower requirements based on your needs and should consult a doctor to ascertain exactly how much of the nutrient you require.
3. Zinc for Weight Loss
A deficiency of zinc could cause unplanned weight loss, but the body requires an adequate amount of zinc to function properly. Using zinc supplements for weight loss can greatly benefit those who are overweight or obese. It is an essential mineral that regulates the functioning of the immune system, protein building, and wound healing.
In a study, it was found that individuals who were obese had low levels of zinc circulating in their bodies and that increasing zinc levels through supplementation could greatly help their weight loss efforts. Another study found that obese individuals who were supplemented with 30 mg of Zinc Gluconate daily lost weight and had improved body mass indices.
Zinc is found in foods like:
- Dark-meat poultry.
- Zinc-fortified cereals.
Zinc is essential for the proper functioning of the body; however, excessive levels of the mineral can cause adverse effects such as nausea, headaches, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.
Consult a doctor or a dietician before using zinc supplements.
Recommended Daily Allowance:
- For males, 11 mg per day, depending on age.
- For females, 8 mg per day, depending on age and pregnancy.
Refer to the recommendations by The Office of Dietary Supplements(3).
4. Iron for Weight Loss
Iron is an essential mineral that helps carry oxygen in red blood cells. When a person is deficient in Iron, their bodies might not be able to send an adequate amount of oxygen to their muscles, which makes the muscles less efficient in their ability to burn fat for energy.
Low Iron levels can also obstruct metabolic processes that are vital to weight loss efforts. Keep in mind that, while Iron is essential for the optimum performance of the body’s metabolic processes, it can be very toxic when consumed in high doses.
Therefore, it is imperative that you consult a dietician or a doctor before taking iron supplements. The mineral can be found in meat, brown rice, nuts, leafy vegetables, tofu and soy, and beans.
Recommended Daily Allowance:
- For males, 8-11 mg per day, depending on age.
- For females, 8-27mg per day, depending on age and pregnancy.
Refer to the recommendations by The Office of Dietary Supplements(4).
Other Supplements for Weight Loss
- Calcium: This mineral plays a crucial role in determining how fat is stored in the body. The levels of calcium in a fat cell are directly proportional to how much fat the cell is able to burn.
- EGCG or Epigallocatechin gallate: This is an antioxidant found in green tea that helps heat production by means of calorie burning. It can also inhibit the growth of fat cells. It is available in the supplement form.
- Docosahexaenoic acid or DHA: is an omega-3 fat typically found in fish like salmon. It inhibits the growth of fat cells and causes them to die. It is available in the supplement form.
Things to Keep in Mind
It is important to keep the following in mind while supplementing with Vitamins and other nutrients:
- Mere supplementation will not further your weight loss efforts if it is not accompanied by lifestyle changes, including eating healthy and exercise.
- Always consult a doctor or dietician before using any supplements.
- Excessive amounts of any nutrient is bad for the body and can cause adverse reactions. Make sure to stick to the recommended intake as advised by your doctor or dietician.
In conclusion, using supplements for weight loss can be a great way to lose weight faster and more efficiently when accompanied by a healthy diet and adequate exercise. Vitamins B, C, and D are among the most beneficial for those looking to lose weight. If you are inclined to use supplements for weight loss, you should consult a doctor to see if you require supplements or not. Using supplements when they are not required can do more harm than good.
We hope this guide has helped you and we wish you good luck on your weight loss journey!
1. What supplements should I take to lose weight?
Magnesium, iron, calcium, zinc, and Vitamins B and D are the most essential for the body’s metabolic processes. However, you should not take supplements before consulting a doctor or dietician, because excessive amounts of some nutrients can be toxic.
2. Can I lose weight by simply taking supplements?
No, mere supplementation will not have any noticeable effect on weight loss. Weight loss is primarily determined by your caloric intake and the number of calories you expend. You will lose weight if there is a caloric deficit or when the caloric expenditure is greater than the intake.
3. Will using supplements for weight loss interfere with my medication?
There is a chance that the supplements could interfere with your medication and it is strongly advised that you consult your doctor before you take any supplements.