Written by Chloe Thurston
Your metabolism is the engine that can either speed up or slow down your body’s calorie burning abilities. Increasing your muscle mass, genetics and health are all factors that can affect how efficiently this can work. The chemical reactions that are needed to burn fat require the help of certain vitamins and nutrients. The combination of vitamins, diet and exercise will help you reach your goals and ideal weight.
This is a fat-soluble vitamin that is important for the regulation of thyroid hormones. Not taking in enough vitamin A will lead to reduced levels of thyroid hormones within the body. Thyroid hormones are required to regulate your cells use of energy, which affects the rate of your metabolism. When the levels of thyroid hormones are low, parts of your body slow down, which results in a reduced metabolism. Good sources of vitamin A include carrots, red peppers, spinach, mangoes, eggs and salmon.
Low levels of vitamin D are most common in the obese population. The role between vitamin D and obesity is unclear, however, there is a theory that it has a role in the regulation of fat mass – leading to weight gain. Higher levels of vitamin D in the blood have been shown to improve weight loss and it has been suggested that taking extra vitamin D may help those who are struggling to lose weight.
Vitamin D is also linked to levels of depression so by ensuring that you have enough will reduce the risk of becoming depressed. A positive attitude is key for an effective diet. To improve vitamin D levels in your diet you can simply do this by being out in the sun more by being outside and going for walks, or simply supplement with vitamin D capsules. Other sources include salmon, eggs and fortified milk.
✓ Folic acid
These are essential for a fully functioning metabolism. The main role of these B vitamins is to help your body metabolise carbohydrates, fats, proteins and to use the stored energy in food. Thiamin for examples helps the body cells convert carbs into energy. If there are low levels of thiamin then this will cause your metabolism to not work at its best – making losing weight harder. Great sources include beans, lentils, milk, eggs and potatoes. Vitamin B-12 isn’t found in any plant produces so it is hard for vegans to get enough in their diets. Dietary supplements containing all weight vitamins are known as vitamin B complex and can be used to help you on a daily basis.
This plays a role in helping your body create the energy from nutrients. It helps the body carry oxygen to all the cells in your body and muscles, which can help in the burning of fat. Too little iron can lead to iron-deficiency anaemia. Symptoms include fatigue, weakness and low energy.
If you are suffering from low iron then this will affect your performance in the gym are you will feel too weak and exhausted to workout. Excellent sources include lean meats, shellfish, spinach and beans. The iron coming from plant-based sources are not as easily digested as those in meat products. By eating foods that are also rich in vitamin C (strawberries, tomatoes etc.) can improve absorption.