7 Vitamins and nutrients that can help lose belly weight

Do you know that more than two in five adults in the U.S. have obesity, with nearly one in three struggling with being overweight? 

These statistics from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey highlight a critical issue: excess belly fat isn’t just a matter of appearance; it poses significant health risks [1]. 

This article dives into the role of vitamins and nutrients, revealing how they can not only complement your diet and exercise efforts but also significantly improve your body’s ability to shed unwanted belly fat. 

Read on to discover how integrating specific vitamins and nutrients into your daily regimen can help you manage and lose belly weight effectively.

What supplements are good for losing belly fat?

1. B vitamins 

B vitamins are crucial for metabolizing food into energy, enhancing brain function, and improving cellular health. Among these, thiamine (B1) and cobalamin (B12) are particularly beneficial for weight loss. 

Thiamine is key in converting carbohydrates into energy, making it vital for an efficient metabolism. A thiamine deficiency can slow the metabolism, which may impede weight loss [2].

Cobalamin, on the other hand, is essential for producing red blood cells and facilitating oxygen transport to muscles, which is crucial for enhancing strength during intense workouts.

These beneficial B vitamins can be found in various foods, including bananas, beans, eggs, lentils, milk, lean meat, whole grains, and potatoes.

2. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is easy to acquire as all you need is to expose yourself to the sun, and bingo, you can reap all the health benefits it offers. Having enough vitamin D in the body can strengthen your bones and balance your hormonal levels.

Surprisingly, some evidence suggests vitamin D can help decrease body fat [3]. It happens by altering fat cells’ storage and formation and increasing serotonin and testosterone levels. 

In fact, you are at a high risk of obesity when you have a low level of vitamin D. Research discovers that obese people have lower than normal serum vitamin D levels.

Hence, in the 2011 study, the researchers looked at supplementing vitamin D with calcium to overweight and obese adults. At the end of the research, the researchers concluded that the participants who took supplements lost significantly more stomach fat than people who did not [4].

Additionally, vitamin D is also critical to a healthy immune system, so it is a must-have while you try to lose some of your weight, resulting in fewer diseases and injuries acquired. 

Although you can acquire vitamin D from the sun, some people can’t still have it due to geographic location where the sun is not always shining. Hence, taking supplements is recommended, which also can help prevent depression. 

While taking vitamin D supplements is an option, there are also some of the best food sources you can add to your fundamental diet, such as cod liver oil, egg yolks, fish, fortified cereals, fortified milk, sardines, tuna, salmon, and yogurt.

woman running outdoors in the sun

3. Probiotics

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are beneficial for digestive health, commonly referred to as “good” or “helpful” bacteria. 

They play a critical role in maintaining gut health, which is increasingly recognized as a key factor in weight management and loss.

Research suggests that probiotics influence body weight through several mechanisms. They can modify the balance of gut bacteria to promote weight loss, improve the gut’s barrier function, and decrease systemic inflammation, which is often related to obesity [5].

Additionally, probiotics may impact how dietary fats are absorbed in the intestine, potentially leading to reduced fat storage.

Specific probiotic strains, such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus gasseri, have been studied for their potential to help reduce belly fat [6]. 

For instance, some studies have found that these strains can help decrease body weight and waist circumference by improving metabolic processes and increasing energy expenditure.

To incorporate probiotics into your diet, consider eating fermented foods that are rich in these beneficial bacteria, such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha. 

Alternatively, probiotic supplements can be a convenient way to ensure consistent intake, especially for those who do not consume dairy or fermented products regularly.

4. Magnesium

Magnesium is vital in enhancing energy production, muscle strength, and flexibility. It serves as a necessary cofactor for more than 300 enzyme systems that are responsible for regulating blood glucose levels, controlling blood pressure, strengthening bones, and ensuring proper nervous system functionality [7].

While low magnesium levels can lead to muscle cramps, body pain, and tightness, increasing your intake can be simple and beneficial. 

Magnesium-rich foods include nuts, which should be consumed moderately due to their high calorie content. Other excellent sources are seeds, legumes, and leafy green vegetables, offering diverse options for boosting your magnesium levels.

5. Green tea

There is a reason why green tea is the first in mind when the conversation is about the relationship between weight loss and tea.

Among the many kinds of tea, this mild, bittersweet variety has the most scientific research backing up its potential weight loss benefits.

Green tea has been touted as a weight-loss aid for a reason. This is because its two main contents—catechins and caffeine—have stimulatory effects. The idea is that stimulants can increase metabolic rate.

The meta-analysis of studies looked at the use of green tea or green tea extracts in reducing weight and discovered that green tea preparations exert a small weight-loss effect in overweight participants [8]. 

In another study involving 1,200 Taiwanese men and women, the researchers found that the participants who drank two cups of green tea every day for more than ten years appeared to have a lower percentage of fat in the body and a smaller waist compared to non-regular green tea drinkers. The researchers observed the link between drinking green tea and having a smaller waist [9]. 

Green tea’s calorie-burning effects stem from the combined effects of EGCG and caffeine – these two have been established to work synergistically, according to various research. 

Also, studies have revealed that caffeine should be present with EGCG to help lose weight because a stimulated nervous system is required for optimal results [10]. 

In another study related to green tea’s link to weight loss, it was found that the tea should have 80 to 300 milligrams (mg) of caffeine per day to reduce weight effectively. The claim was derived after reviewing 15 clinical trials published in Nutrición Hospitalaria in June 2017 [11].

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6. Vitamin C 

Here’s another powerful vitamin and nutrient – vitamin C, which can help your body optimize blood vessel production, cartilage and muscle and bone collagen.

Vitamin C can also protect your cells from damage, as too much damage to the cells can cause the body to accelerate aging. Scientific research suggests that vitamin C may be one of the adequate vitamins that can aid with weight loss.

Research suggests that consuming enough vitamin C may slow age-related lean body mass loss while aiding the body to act more effectively to oxidize fat. Preserved lean body mass positively affects metabolism and, therefore, overall body composition and weight [12]. 

Plus, having the proper amount of vitamin C levels has been associated with lessening the circulating stress hormones in the body after a stressful situation.

When your stress hormones are elevated, it can significantly increase fat accumulation in the midsection visceral fat; hence, an adequate vitamin C may help to offset the storage of the dangerous fat. 

7. Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial fats for the body to function properly. Since the body cannot produce them independently, obtaining them through the diet is essential.

These polyunsaturated fats are known for their extensive health benefits, particularly for heart health, inflammation reduction, and cognitive function. Recent research also points to their potential role in weight management and loss [13].

Omega-3s may help reduce body fat in several ways. First, they can enhance the body’s ability to convert fat into energy, boosting metabolic health. They also play a role in reducing the production of fat in the liver. 

Additionally, omega-3 fatty acids are believed to influence appetite and dietary intake by regulating hunger signals in the brain, which can help manage calorie intake and reduce cravings.

Omega-3s can aid in exercise by reducing muscle soreness and improving recovery time, making it easier to stay active and lose weight.

To increase your omega-3 intake, include more fatty fish in your diet, like salmon, mackerel, sardines, and trout. These fish are among the richest natural sources. 

For vegetarians or those who do not consume fish, alternatives like flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and algae-based supplements are excellent options.

Do supplements work for belly fat loss?

Although no supplement can replace a balanced diet and regular exercise, certain supplements may aid in losing belly fat when used as part of a comprehensive weight management plan.

Some supplements, like green tea extract, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), and caffeine, have been studied for their potential metabolic benefits. 

For instance, green tea extract is high in catechins and caffeine, which may boost energy expenditure and fat oxidation. 

CLA is a type of fat that some studies suggest could help reduce body fat [14]. Caffeine can increase the metabolic rate in the short term, potentially helping to burn more calories.

However, it’s important to approach supplements with caution. Their effectiveness varies significantly among individuals, and not all supplements suit everyone. 

Furthermore, some can interact with medications or have side effects, such as increased heart rate and blood pressure.

Do supplements work for belly fat loss?

How can supplements be used for effective and safe belly weight loss?

Supplements for belly weight loss can be beneficial when approached with caution and with a healthy lifestyle. Here are some tips for using supplements effectively and safely:

1. Choose the right supplements

Focus on supplements with scientific backing for weight loss benefits, such as green tea extract, omega-3 fatty acids, and soluble fiber. These can enhance metabolism and support fat reduction.

2. Consult healthcare professionals

Before starting any supplement, consult a healthcare provider, particularly if you have pre-existing health conditions or are taking other medications. This ensures the supplement won’t interfere with your health or other treatments.

3. Incorporate diet and exercise

Supplements alone are not a cure-all. For the best results, combine them with a balanced diet and regular exercise. Adjust your calorie intake and engage in cardio and strength training.

4. Monitor your progress

Keep track of your progress and any side effects. If a supplement isn’t helping after a reasonable trial period, or if negative effects occur, reconsider its use.

5. Choose quality over quantity

To ensure the purity and effectiveness of your products, it’s important to select only the best quality items from reliable manufacturers. 

This will help you avoid any harmful contaminants and ensure that the products are potent and effective. 

Read labels and understand ingredient lists to help you avoid unnecessary additives.

In closing 

Knowing how vitamins, minerals, and other supplements can help reduce belly fat gives you the tools to actively pursue a healthier lifestyle.

Keep in mind that while supplements offer beneficial support, they work best when paired with a balanced diet and regular physical activity. 

By carefully choosing products backed by research, consulting healthcare professionals, and consistently monitoring your progress, you can maximize the effectiveness of your approach to belly fat loss. 

Embrace these insights and make informed choices to effectively manage your weight and enhance your overall well-being.

FAQs

What vitamin is best for losing weight?

Vitamin D is often considered the best for weight loss as it can help decrease body fat by altering fat cells and boosting metabolism. It also enhances overall health.

Can a daily vitamin help you lose weight?

A daily vitamin alone is unlikely to cause weight loss but can support metabolic health and fill nutritional gaps, aiding overall weight management when combined with a healthy lifestyle.

Does vitamin D reduce belly fat?

Vitamin D may help reduce belly fat by influencing the storage and formation of fat cells and boosting levels of serotonin and testosterone, which aid in weight management.

Is B12 good for belly fat?

Vitamin B12 can support weight loss by aiding in metabolism and energy production, but there is no direct evidence that it specifically targets belly fat reduction.

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[1] https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/overweight-obesity
[2] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2161831322006366
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6071442/
[4] https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/95/1/101/4576486
[5] https://zoe.com/learn/probiotics-and-weight-loss
[6] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/probiotics-and-weight-loss
[7] https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/
[8] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19597519/
[9] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12972679/
[10] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28627214/
[11] https://europepmc.org/article/MED/28627214
[12] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7549302/
[13] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35815739/
[14] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17490954/

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