Cutting calories and exercising have long been touted as the best ways to shed pounds. But to some extent, what vitamins people consume also affects how efficiently the body can lose weight.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 13 vitamins are essential to the body: vitamins A, C, D, E, K and the B complex (fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm118079.htm).
Daily multivitamins can boost your chances of being a healthy weight. Individuals at a healthy weight were more likely to take a daily multivitamins, according to a study in Medscape General Medicine by Joel E. Kimmons, Ph.D., and colleagues (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1781274/). Vitamins are only secondary to healthy eating habits as a means of meeting the recommended daily allowance, according to the FDA.
All B vitamins in what is known as the B complex (1-thiamine, 2-riboflavin, 3-niacin, 5-pantothenic acid, 6-pyridoxine, 9-folic acid and 12-colbalamin) serve to help the body convert food into energy, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center (umm.edu/altmed/articles/vitamin-b12-000332.htm).
Foods containing this complex are meats, milk and other dairy products.
People who consume more vitamin C burn more fat than those with inadequate levels of vitamin C, according to Carol S. Johnston, Ph.D., from the Department of Nutrition, Arizona State University, Mesa, Arizona. (jacn.org/cgi/content/full/24/3/158).
The "Journal of the American College of Nutrition" study also found that the vitamin depleted group had to exert more energy during exercise.
Eat papaya, red bell peppers, citrus, kale and broccoli to boost vitamin C levels.
Known as the sunshine vitamin because it is how our body receives most of this nutrient, vitamin D at high levels in calorie-restricted diets helped study participants lose more abdominal fat than those with less vitamin D, according to findings by Salamar Sibley, M.D., M.P.H., and colleagues. (endocrinetoday.com/view.aspx?rid=40881)
The vitamin does not have a negative impact on weight loss and also improves health of those at greater risk of cardiovascular disease, according to findings Armin Zitterman and colleagues published in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" (ajcn.org/cgi/content/abstract/89/5/1321).
Only a few food sources of vitamin D exist, with cod liver oil being the top source, followed by salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines and fortified foods, according to AlgaeCal (algaecal.com/vitamin-d/vitamin-d-sources.html).
Essential Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids, also known as DHA and ARA, were inversely associated with waistline sizes in a "British Journal of Nutrition" study by Michelle Micallef and colleagues. Those with a bigger waist, hip circumference and body mass index had lower omega 3 levels in their blood (journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=5587048).
Top food sources include flaxseeds, walnuts, beans, winter squash and coldwater fish (whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=george&dbid=75).