Losing Weight Could Mean Losing Vitamins and Nutrients

Since losing weight could mean losing vitamins and nutrients, when you make the decision to lose weight, you should make sure that you only lose weight and not vitamins and minerals.

There is a simple mathematical weight loss equation that cannot be disputed. If you take in more calories than you use then you will gain weight, and if you use more calories than you take in then you will lose weight. The way that you measure weight loss or gain makes no difference. If you don't use or believe in the term 'calories' it makes no difference.

The body uses fuel to produce the energy required for the life processes. Even if you are doing nothing, and are at complete rest, your body still uses fuel to drive the body processes that keeps you heart beating, your lungs breathing and all the other activities going on in your body. That is called your metabolic rate: the rate at which you use energy when at rest.

That fuel is provided by the food you eat and how you measure it is immaterial. If you take in more fuel than you use the excess is stored in the body. It can be stored in the liver in the form of glycogen that is used by the body as a quick emergency energy source, or under the skin and round the major organs as fat. It is the latter type of fat that is most dangerous to you since it is the last that is lost and can put stresses on your organs and your heart.

So what has this all got to do with vitamins, I can hear you say to yourself. Quite a lot actually. The body stores fat and the fat soluble vitamins, but it does not store the water soluble vitamins C and B complex, and nor does it store the water soluble minerals.

When you diet, you are eating as little as you can get away with without feeling too hungry. You are not thinking of nutrition since most people don't believe that they need nutrition if they are overweight. They think they need less. In fact, nothing could be farther from the truth. When you go on a diet, your body has to use the fat deposits it laid down while you were getting fat. It is also, therefore, using up the fat soluble vitamins.

Furthermore, unless you are still maintaining the proper intake of minerals and vitamins C and all the B vitamins, you will start to suffer from a deficiency of these. Luckily, many diets involve a good intake of fruit and vegetable, so you should be getting a good intake of vitamin C. Scurvy should not be a problem then! Contrary to what an astounding number of people believe, however, Vitamin C is needed for more than scurvy! It is a powerful antioxidant that helps the body clear up rouge molecules known as free radicals. These are chemicals than can interfere with body cells and cause heart disease and some cancers.

Normally the body can use vitamins C and E to destroy the free radicals and maintain a healthy body. Vitamin E deals with the free radicals that can cause heart disease, and since it is fat soluble, there should be a supply available in a person who is dieting. Vitamin C, on the other hand, destroys the free radicals that can cause cancer. Vitamin C is water soluble and not stored in the body. It has to be constantly replenished since it is continually passed in the urine. If you do not include vitamin C in your diet, then you could be harming yourself.

Minerals are essential for the well being of the body and vitamins cannot be used by the body unless they have a supply of the right minerals available to help them. It is what is called a synergistic effect; one cannot work without the other. Hence, your fat soluble vitamins are not much use without a good supplement of water soluble minerals.

What that means is that when you diet, you should work out the nutritional content of the food that you are consuming during the diet. The more you exercise while dieting, the less you have to actually diet. Remember the equation: if you use up more calories, or energy, than you take in, you will lose weight. Therefore, the more you exercise the more you can eat and still lose weight. However, having taken that into account and you are still not getting enough nutrition from your food, and then you will need a supplement. In some cases, food has to be limited to an extent to loose weight and this is whey a vitamin supplement is needed to supply the body with the needed vitamins to survive.

You don't have to go overboard, and a good multivitamin and mineral tablet taken once a day should meet your needs. Do not, however, rely on pills for all your nutritional needs since vitamins taken in pill form are generally a lot less effective than if taken in natural foods. This is because natural sources also contain traces of other substances such as enzymes and proteins that help the body to absorb and make full use of the phytonutrients in these foods. These are not present in pills since it would be extremely expensive to extract or synthesize them.

Some diets that are not imposed by a wish to lose weight also present need for supplementation. Vegans, for example, lack vitamin B12 in their diet. This vitamin is essential for the development of red blood cells, the nervous system, and growth and development of children, and is found in eggs, red meat and dairy products. A true vegetarian does not get it in their diet and they require a supplement. Vitamin B12 has been found in some algae, sea weed and fermented soya products but not in a bioavailable form that the human body could use.

Vegans also lack a significant natural source of protein in their diet, and make up for that through using soya extracts and micro-protein sources such as Quorn. However, it is now known that sufficient protein is available by a regular intake of the more protein rich vegetables, and artificial sources are not necessary accept, perhaps, for growing vegan children.

It is very easy to lose weight, but you can avoid losing vitamins and nutrients through a scientific approach to dieting and using up more energy than you take in. This is made easier the more exercise you carry out to maintain the negative balance between energy intake and use, but if a supplement is needed a simple multivitamin and mineral supplement can be taken once day.

More information can be found at http://vitanetonline.com/ were a full line of multiple vitamins, herbs and specialty formulas can be found for dieting.

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