So Should I Just Avoid Taking A Weight Loss Supplement?
The answer certainly isn’t a simple ‘no’. Supplements can be extremely useful when you’re trying to lose weight. The important thing is to consider what is in your supplement and why you are taking it. You also need to make sure that the supplements you are taking aren’t going to harm your body.
Some of the supplements you might want to consider when you are losing weight are:
This is an essential amino acid which plays a crucial role in the metabolism. This means that it can speed up fat burning, helping you to burn through calories more quickly. Your body can’t produce methionine, which means that it must be supplied by diet or supplements – and so it’s easy to end up with too little.
Methionine starts the process of making new proteins inside your cells, including in your muscles after an exercise session that damages them. This means that it can build up your muscles, improving your performance during your next workout.
There are many B vitamins that also play a big part in metabolizing carbohydrates, protein and fat. These include folate, B6 and B12. Low levels of another B vitamin, thiamine, has been linked with a poorly functioning metabolism – so if you are lacking in this vitamin, you will find losing weight to be particularly hard.
B12 isn’t found in any plant products, so those on a vegan diet will need supplements (or eat food which has B12 added) to get enough.
Choline was discovered fairly recently, in 1998, and it has been found that many people are not absorbing enough of this vital nutrient from the food we eat. It is neither a vitamin nor a mineral, but it is important in cell structure, cell messaging and – most importantly for us – fat transport and metabolism.
This nutrient is a powerhouse in terms of fat burning. It is used in metabolism all over the body, but is particularly important for breaking down and transporting fat away from the liver, so that it can be converted into energy.
Inositol is in fact a carbohydrate. It’s key in ensuring that insulin works properly in your body.
Insulin resistance is a condition where your body is less able to respond to insulin, and this can lead to metabolic syndrome (which, in turn, leads to weight gain, particularly around the waist). If you don’t have enough inositol, your body may struggle to react to insulin.
Various studies have shown that inositol may lead to weight loss because of this, particularly in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Whilst these are some of the most useful nutrients for weight loss, there are others too – such as vitamin D, calcium, iron and magnesium – which can provide a welcome boost for your metabolism.