Food Health

Vitamins and Minerals that aid in weight loss

Plus 5:2 Intermittent Fasting Week 3!

Hey everyone! I thought I’d take a break from posting my daily food intake on IF this week to talk about supplementation. I’m still going to post my weekly totals and how I did weight loss wise, well as the progress with My 30 Day Butt Challenge but I got to thinking about the supplement industry this week.

 

So in my efforts to meet the goals I had set for myself in regards to fiber and protein intake, I realized how difficult it was to hit my targets everyday without supplementation. With VERY careful meal planning I probably could have done it with food alone, but a big part of the 5:2 IF plan is only really “dieting” 2 days a week. The rest of the week I don’t plan as closely, I just try to go more with the flow. Because of that sometimes part way through the day I realize that I am not going to make my goals that day, so I’m turning to protein powders and fiber supplements to help out. It made me think about the entire supplement industry. There are A LOT of misconceptions and false claims about supplements for weight loss! So I wanted to help clear up some things in regards to what is good, what may be good, and why.

Vitamin D

 

Vitamin D is important for many bodily functions and is important in prevention and treatment of a range of conditions including osteoporosis, asthma, heart failure, and autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel diseases. And most people are deficient. Approximately 1 billion people worldwide are definicent, and it’s especially prevalent in the north hemisphere during the late fall, winter and early spring when there is less sun to absorb vitamin D. If you cover up or wear sunscreen all the time or have darker skin and live in these areas you’re particularly prone to be deficient.  

 

When you’re low in Vitamin D you also impair your body’s ability to convert sugar to energy and instead store it as fat. Vitamin D deficiency is also a common cause of obesity and metabolic syndrome. Studies have shown that taking vitamin D along with a calcium supplement helped participants lose significantly more abdominal fat than the placebo group.

 

Try getting around 2000 IU of vitamin D daily to start with, or if possible spend at least 20 min. in the sun with at least your face, arms and legs exposed for 20 min. or so and close to the height of the sun for the day with no sunscreen. Those with a high risk or a history of skin cancer might want to stick to supplementation.

Iron

 

Iron is an essential nutrient and an important component of hemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to transport it throughout your body. If you don’t have enough iron, called iron deficiency anemia, your body can’t make enough healthy oxygen-carrying red blood cells. This results in fatigue, even in physically fit people. That exhaustion can affect everything from your brain function to your immune system’s ability to fight off infections. If you’re pregnant, severe iron deficiency may increase your baby’s risk of being born too early, or smaller than normal. Iron is also important to maintain healthy cells, skin, hair and nails.

 

And iron deficiency is also linked to weight. In a study when patients were treated for their iron deficiencies, they reduced their waist circumference, body weight and BMI. Premenopausal women are most at risk for being deficient as they need more iron. Men and postmenopausal women need only 8mg, where premenopausal women need 18mg!

 

You can get Iron from your food, best absorbed sources are from animal protein like Lean beef, Oysters, Chicken and Turkey, but there are good sources from plants including Beans and lentils, Tofu, Baked potatoes, Cashews, Fortified breakfast cereals, Whole-grain and enriched breads, and Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach. For best absorption, take iron rich foods or an iron supplement with vitamin C.

Magnesium and Calcium

 

Want to lose weight, sleep better, have less muscle cramps and soreness, have better bone density? Then you need more Magnesium and Calcium. They go hand in hand for a good reason, Magnesium is a muscle relaxer and Calcium is a muscle contractor. So if you need a Calcium supplement if you’re a woman with low bone density for instance, then do not forget your Magnesium or you may have increased risk or muscle cramps!

 

They also both aid in weight loss. Calcium helps you burn more fat, helps your body get rid of fat (through stools) and makes you feel fuller for longer. Magnesium helps you do a variety of important things including produce energy, regulate blood sugar and insulin, keeps you regular, plus it causes necessary chemical reactions in the body.

 

It can be very difficult to get the amount you need of calcium from diet alone, so taking 500mg supplement with meals 3 times a day is recommended, with your vitamin D in the morning (for best absorption and effectiveness). Most women need about 300mg Magnesium, men 400mg, and can be taken with Calcium or alone. You can get enough Magnesium through food alone, but it can be difficult, mainly because most of the soil we grow our vegetables in has been depleted. Foods high in Calcium include dairy, canned fish with the bones in, dark leafy greens, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds. Magnesium rich foods include dark leafy greens, avocados, nuts and seeds, legumes and chocolate!

 

These vitamins and minerals in the amounts above usually cause no adverse effects on the majority of people, but sometimes if you are getting enough of these vitamins from your diet a reaction may occur. For instance, my husband and I started taking Magnesium a while back to help us sleep. Within a few weeks he noticed he was getting heart palpitations. I looked into potential side effects from too much Magnesium and there it was, heart palpitations. He stopped taking it immediately and they went away. So if you are concerned, get tested for vitamin and mineral deficiencies by your doctor first before supplementing.

 

Intermittent Fasting 5:2 week 3

 

So I won’t bore everyone with all the details this week, but my weight remained unchanged, but my body fat percentage finally went down a percentage so that means I did lose 1 lb. of body fat this week and gained a pound of muscle so that’s not so bad! Here’s the weekly breakdown:

 

Weekly Totals

 

9574 calories (goal 9550 calories)

Macros average = 47% carbs 22.7% protein 30.3% fat (goal 40% carbs 30% protein 30% fat)

Fiber = 24.3g/day

Fruits and Vegetables = 3.5 cups/day

Water = 2.6L/day

Alcohol = 12 oz. beer + 30 oz. wine = 6 servings of alcohol for the week (1 serving of wine is 6 oz. and 1 serving beer is 12 oz.)

 

So fiber was pretty good again this week, water was definitely better but not quite where I wanted it. I’m a little stuck with the fruits and veggies and alcohol servings, plus my protein intake got only marginally better. So when I was deciding which diet to test out next month, the fact that I’m still having issues with those 3 things kind of made my decision for me.

 

In April I’m going to test out the 17 Day Diet. It was developed by a physician and it makes the claim that you can lose up to 17 pounds in 17 days! Now I do understand that number is only in people with significant weight to lose, but it still claims you can lose up to 10 lbs. In 17 days even if it’s the last 10 lbs. It’s very restrictive, kind of the opposite of Intermittent Fasting, and it focuses mainly on protein and vegetables, with some fruit and probiotics. And it’s only 17 days so how hard can it be? (famous last words!)

 

Next week I’ll be giving the details of how it works, as well as telling you my full take on 5:2 IF. I’ll also be posting my results from the 30 Day Butt Challenge and posting the next 30 Day workout challenge so you don’t want to miss it! Have a great week!

 

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