How Nutrition Can Kill Cravings and Increase Weight-Loss
How Nutrition Can Kill Cravings and Increase Weight-Loss
Losing weight almost always requires eating less. This is nobody’s favorite thing to do, or we wouldn’t have such a problem with weight gain in our society. However, people can and do routinely manage to lose extra pounds – even significant quantities of them – and not through some mystical secret, either. Simply put, they are cutting calories while ensuring that their bodies are still receiving the problem nutrition.
Effective weight loss programs require healthy exercise as well as a varied diet that emphasizes fresh, whole food prepared with attention to nutrients. Although many people are obsessed with the simple calories in/calories out equation, this is not the whole picture, because it fails to take vitamins and nutrients into account. An effective weight loss plan always requires attention to nutrition.
Why Nutrition Matters to Weight Loss
Unfortunately, when we eat less food in pursuit of a healthier body, we don’t always hit the mark. In fact, if you reduce your calorie intake but don’t manage to get all of your necessary nutrients, you may actually work against yourself. How, you’re wondering?
See, when we ignore our body’s need for vitamins and nutrients, cravings skyrocket and willpower plummets. Your body instinctively knows whether its nutritional needs are being met, and when they are not, your cells will send a signal to eat more because your body is searching for those vital nutrients. We know these signals as cravings, telling our bodies that we want more food, and they are very hard to resist.
Luckily, you can do a lot to reduce these cravings simply by paying attention to which nutrients you put in your body. Below is a list of the most important nutrients you can supply yourself with for weight loss, and the ways that each affects your system and your chances of reaching a healthy weight.
Nutrients for Weight Loss
Chromium is one of the most important nutrients for weight loss, because it regulates your appetite and reduces the cravings that knock you off the healthy-eating wagon. It works by assisting insulin in regulating blood sugar. When we eat sugary foods or carbohydrates (which break down in the body to form sugars), our blood sugar levels spike. If these spikes get out of control due to eating too much of these unhealthy foods or to a disorder where your body cannot effectively process or utilize the sugar, the result may be disregulated blood sugar, causing you to intermittently crash and crave.
Chromium not only helps level blood sugar out, it may help you burn fat so you lose it faster as well. This in turn also lends some protection against weight-related diseases such as Type II Diabetes, heart disease and metabolic disorders. (1)
Vanadium has many of the same characteristics as chromium, helping to regulate blood sugar so that you experience fewer spikes and crashes, with fewer attendant cravings. Like chromium, it encourages glucose uptake by your cells, so that the sugar in your blood stream is being used more effectively, again warding off weight-related diseases such as Type II Diabetes and heart disease. (2)
Known for its presence in red wine, resveratrol may play a significant role in weight loss. It is a performance enhancer that helps muscles utilize oxygen more effectively, so your workouts can have greater effect. It also gives you energy and stamina and helps you beat fatigue, so you can work out longer and harder. Moreover, it may help your body repair itself faster and ward off old age. (3)
Ginseng is a wonderful substance that can decrease fatigue, fight Type II Diabetes, regulate blood sugar and generally help you feel more alert and energetic. (4)
Glutathione helps cells maintain their normal functions and therefore helps your metabolism run smoothly, so that you can eat and exercise without a hitch. It also fights disease and destroys oxidative molecules in the body to slow aging. (5)
Green Tea Extract
Due to its ability to activate the body’s natural fat-burning capabilities, green tea extract may be one of your best friends in the battle of the bulge. This is due to both the caffeine and catechins it contains, both of which rev up your metabolism and help you operate at a higher metabolic level. (6)
Folate & B Vitamins
Also referred to as folic acid or vitamin B9, folate is very important for women. It does not by itself cause weight loss, but it is an important vitamin for regulating bodily processes. When your system is out of whack, you have a harder time regulating your intake of food and staying pumped for exercise, so be sure to get your folate. The other B vitamins have similar system-regulating powers. (7)
Not only does it aid in weight loss, it strengthens bones and teeth. Studies show that women who regularly eat dairy slow the midlife weight gain that is so common among females. (8)
Although its direct effect on weight loss is questionable, magnesium may help reduce fatigue, which could significantly bolster your efforts to lose weight. Plus, you’ll just feel better. (9)
A zinc deficiency can cause your body to store fat, making it is an essential mineral in the weight loss toolkit. Getting enough zinc will help your body let go of its fat deposits more freely. (10)
Problems with the thyroid often lead to easy weight gain, but the good news is that selenium helps to regulate the thyroid. Getting enough will help bring your thyroid back into balance and reduce the chances that its improper functioning is adding to your weight problem. (11)
Not only does manganese help to keep both your thyroid and your blood sugar levels stable, it plays an important role as an enzyme involved in metabolism. It also destroys free radicals, thereby fighting many diseases that they cause, and helps you absorb calcium, another weight-loss gem. (12)
How to Get Your Weight Loss Nutrients
The best way to get these nutrients is in your diet, but some of them are hard to find in food. While vanadium, for instance, is found in reasonable quantities in foods such as sunflower and olive oils as well as buckwheat, parsley, oats, rice, green beans, carrots and cabbage, chromium is scarce in food sources. Other nutrients may be more or less available from food, so do your best to eat a range of foods. You may, however, wish to take a supplement as well.
It is important when supplementing your diet to be sure you choose a balanced option. Simply adding in lots of these minerals in a dosage unapproved by a professional may not only be counterproductive, it can in some cases be dangerous. When trying to add in more vitamins and minerals for weight loss, your best bet is to choose a supplement that incorporates all of the minerals in amounts that are safe to ingest on a daily basis.
When trying to bust through your next weight loss plateau, consider the effect that vitamins and nutrients – or lack thereof – may be having on your success. Give your body what it needs, and you will get what you want: a thinner, healthier figure and a longer lifespan.
- Franklin VanOs