IS IT WORTH TAKING A MULTIVITAMIN?
Multivitamins have been around for a long time, but are they actually worth taking? More importantly if you’re trying to lose weight are they going to make a difference to your efforts?
I’ve done some research and found out some surprising things about multivitamins. Multivitamins might actually be worth the money you pay for them.
By all accounts it would seem that dietary supplements first began in the 1920s. Cod liver oil was being sold because of its vitamin A and D content. From then onwards we pretty much have a huge variety of multivitamins available to us.
In an ideal world we should be getting all our vitamins and minerals from eating unprocessed whole foods. The reality is that we don’t always do that. Unfortunately we live in a society where processed foods are the norm. As a result, most of the food on the shelves are lacking nutrition. You have to make a real effort to find, buy or make your own food for it to have the bulk of the vitamins and minerals you need. It’s amazing that the terms ‘organic’ and ‘whole’ foods even exist when they actually are the real foods we should be eating!
The facts are that if we were eating healthy whole foods and limiting our processed ‘food’ intake we wouldn’t need to be losing weight in the first place. But if you’re overweight and have now decided it’s time to do something about it, should you take a multivitamin?
MULTIVITAMINS AND LOSING WEIGHT
Some research has shown that taking a multivitamin without changing your food or exercise habits does increase metabolism and therefore cause some weight loss. The theory is that a lack of certain vitamins and minerals in your diet have your body not burning calories at its most effective rate. Adding multivitamins fills the gap, making your body and cells work more efficiently and burning more calories. As a result, over time you lose weight without doing anything else differently.
Sounds good to me! The Chinese study that demonstrated this, is reviewed in this post here . Encouragingly, women lost about 3 kilos over 6 months. That’s about 120 grams a week. It’s not going to get you thin and trim anytime soon, but I think that’s great for no effort. It would also seem that it helps the body respond better to insulin and leptin, the hormones known to affect weight gain.
Now imagine if you did change your eating and exercise habits as well? A multivitamin would definitely help in losing as much weight as possible. Of course once you have reached an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals, a multivitamin may be useless if your metabolism is now at optimum level.
We are only human though, and if we’re overweight, chances are we are going to be tempted to eat some crap food from time to time. In that case having a daily multivitamin may be just the ticket to making sure you don’t lack what it takes to keep your metabolism at the highest level it can be.
The other thing is, it keeps you focussed on being healthy. The habit of taking a multivitamin daily with breakfast, means you are more likely to keep on a healthy track for the rest of the day. Add going for a walk every day and this increases your chances of keeping healthy eating habits.
I take Nature’s Own. The truth is they’re the cheapest I’ve found and they include fish oil which we all know is good for heart health as well. They also claim to not have artificial additives which I always look out for. There is so many to chose from out there. Just check the labels and you’d soon be able to tell which is better in terms of price and additives.
Trying to lose weight can be a long journey. I think it’s a great idea to do something like take a multivitamin every day to give me as much help as possible. Don’t let it become a replacement for eating healthy veggies, fats and proteins though. They should be a boost, not the whole thing. Taking one doesn’t cancel out the Hungry Jacks or the wine everyday but it can certainly help get you in the right frame of mind knowing it could help you lose 120g a week if you’re anything like the women in that study!
P.S. Nature’s Own have not sponsored this post. It’s merely by personal choice!
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