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Vitamins and Minerals for Weight Loss

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Exercising regularly and eating well are important aspects of a healthy lifestyle and successful weight loss program.

Fueling your body with the right nutrients can make a big difference to your metabolism and the energy you have to train hard. That means thinking hard about which foods or supplements you include in your daily routine.

In this article we’ll tell you all you need to know about how vitamins and minerals support your body and help to boost your metabolism. Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • What are vitamins and minerals?
  • Which nutrients support weight loss?

What are Vitamins and Minerals?

Vitamins and minerals are both micronutrients – so called as we need them in relatively small amounts. Although you might not need them in the large quantities you need protein or carbs, both vitamins and minerals are essential to properly balanced diet.

Micronutrient are involved in hundreds of different roles, with each one supporting the body differently. Each one acts as catalysts, helping to speed up reactions within the body, ultimately helping it to function effectively.

A study published in the International Journal of Obesity [1] found that when 96 women were given vitamin and mineral supplementation over a 26-week period, body weight, fat mass, cholesterol and body mass index all significantly decreased. Not only that but their resting metabolism and daily energy expenditure had gone up.

The role that these compounds play in optimizing body composition could not be more important. 

Vitamins are organic substances found in plants and animal foods. They are categorized as either being water soluble (vitamin C and B complex) or fat soluble (A, D, E and K).

Minerals on the other hand are solid, inorganic compounds that are found in the soil or water and absorbed into plants or eaten by animals. They vary in color and structure but all play important roles in the body.

Mineral compounds can be categorized as either micro elements – those needed in bigger amounts, or trace elements – those needed in smaller amounts.

Typically, these nutrients help to build bones and teeth, muscle and nerves, and optimize growth and development.


multivitamins

Vitamins and Weight Loss

These nutrients have specific, individual roles but typically help support the body by regulating metabolism. They also offer a protective benefit in that they remove excess free radical build up.

Studies show that taking a vitamin supplement during a weight loss program can significantly help to reduce hunger and speed up weight loss [2].

This can be further enhanced by focusing specifically on the nutrients that are most important.

In the context of weight management, vitamin B6 is massively important as it helps convert food into usable energy. Also known as pyridoxine, this nutrient supports muscle growth by increasing the number of protein building blocks (amino acids) that are taken up for protein synthesis. More muscle means a higher metabolism – an important aspect of weight loss.

Not only does B6 increase energy expenditure and metabolism, it also improves blood flow by helping the manufacture of hemoglobin. It helps create movement energy, as well as cognition and memory recall. It also helps you balance your blood sugar levels, which in turn reduces sugar cravings and likelihood of over eating.  It is an all-round essential weight management nutrient.

Another vitamin – B12 – helps convert carbohydrates into glucose. It does the same for fatty acids too – a big benefit for those wanting to lose weight. On top of all this, B12 also increases the body’s ability to absorb and digest food – aiding in digestion, protein synthesis and nutrient take up.

You’ll find B vitamins in a range of foods, including fish, eggs, vegetables and pork.


kissing-in-the-gym

Minerals and Weight Loss

Both micro and trace elements help to regulate metabolism and many cellular reactions that create energy are dependent on sufficient mineral levels. They are also required for formation of the body’s energy currency called adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

Chromium, a trace mineral needed to assist in carbohydrate metabolism, enhances the effect of insulin, keeping your energy levels balanced and optimized. For that reason it has been termed glucose tolerance factor (GTF chromium) since the 1950s. It can be found in foods such as meat, eggs and liver.

This mineral stimulates protein synthesis and reduce fat levels in the body. It also increases satiety and reduces hunger and food cravings. Anyone wanting to improve their physique needs to ensure sufficient chromium in the diet to achieve their goals.

Zinc is an element that has been shown to improve your immune system, heal wounds and maintain taste and smell. It also boosts the strength-building hormone testosterone. Not only that but it also helps your body to process other nutrients to be used as energy. If you are exercising regularly, and at a high intensity, zinc is essential. 

Studies have shown that consuming sufficient zinc can help you lose weight as it helps you drop body fat and build muscle – the best way to improve body composition when combined with a calorie controlled diet.


colorful-foods-that-are-healthy

Summary

Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients that are responsible for hundreds of different roles within the body, including optimizing weight loss.

Collectively, they help to turn food into usable energy and optimize physical and mental performance. Some vitamins and minerals can boost weight loss by elevating your metabolism, increasing satiety and reducing hunger, and increasing energy expenditure.

Zinc, chromium and B vitamins are all examples of essential nutrients with weight regulating roles. It is  to get the right amounts of these if you are wanting to lose weight or improve your body composition.


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Containing only natural ingredients such as green tea, cayenne pepper, zinc and vitamins B6 and B12, this supplement provides the perfect accompaniment to any fitness and weight loss program.


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References

  1. Li, Y et al. Effects of multivitamin and mineral supplementation on adiposity, energy expenditure and lipid profiles in obese Chinese women. Int J Obesity. 2014; 34: 1070-1077
  2. Major, GC et al. Multivitamin and dietary supplements, body weight and appetite: results from a cross-sectional and a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled study. Br J Nutrition. 2008; 99(5): 1157-1167