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Navigating the journey of managing excess weight is a complicated process. Healthy food intake and regular exercise form the bedrock strategy for weight management. We will leave those topics to the many articles published elsewhere discussing those topics. Sleep and stress management are also critical. This article focuses on how particular nutrition supplements can also play a supportive role.
What Causes Weight Gain?
Each person is unique in the combination of factors that are driving their weight higher. It’s critical to take a sustainable long term approach to weight management that eliminates the diet culture self-judgment.
- Food Intake:
- High Sugar, High Fat Food Choices: A diet high in calories from sugary beverages, processed snacks, and fatty foods can lead to weight gain. These calorie-dense foods often lack essential nutrients, causing individuals to consume excess calories without feeling satisfied. Over time, this imbalance can contribute to weight gain and obesity.
- Overeating: Overeating occurs when individuals consistently consume more calories than their bodies require for energy. This behavior can be influenced by emotional factors, large portion sizes, frequent snacking, or mindless eating. Chronic overeating can contribute to gradual weight gain.
- Stress and Emotional Eating: High levels of stress can trigger emotional eating, where individuals turn to food for comfort or distraction. Stress hormones can increase appetite and promote cravings for high-calorie, comfort foods, leading to weight gain over time.
- Lack of Physical Activity: A sedentary lifestyle, with prolonged sitting and a lack of movement, can lead to weight gain. Physical activity not only burns calories but also helps maintain a healthy metabolism, promotes muscle development, and supports overall weight management.
- Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), hypothyroidism, and insulin resistance, can make it more challenging to maintain a healthy weight. These conditions can affect metabolism, hormone regulation, and fat storage.
- Hormonal Imbalances: Hormones like insulin, thyroid hormones, and cortisol play crucial roles in regulating metabolism, appetite, and fat storage. Imbalances in these hormones can disrupt the body’s ability to manage weight. For example, insulin resistance may lead to increased fat storage, while thyroid disorders can slow down metabolism, making it easier to gain weight.
- Medications: Some medications, particularly certain antidepressants, antipsychotics, corticosteroids, and birth control pills, are associated with weight gain as a side effect. These medications can increase appetite, decrease metabolism, or change the way the body stores fat.
- Lack of Sleep: Poor sleep patterns and inadequate sleep duration can disrupt hormones that regulate appetite, hunger, and fullness. Sleep deprivation may lead to increased food intake, especially of high-calorie, sugary, or fatty foods, contributing to weight gain.
- Genetics: Genetic factors can influence a person’s susceptibility to weight gain and their body’s response to dietary and lifestyle changes. While genetics play a role, lifestyle choices still have a significant impact on weight management.
- Aging: Metabolism naturally slows down with age, leading to a decrease in calorie expenditure. This age-related decline in metabolic rate makes it easier to gain weight if dietary and activity levels remain unchanged. To counteract this, older adults may need to adjust their eating habits and engage in regular physical activity to maintain a healthy weight.
Fixing these underlying factors should be the focus for anyone who is looking for an effective weight management strategy. While dietary supplements can support weight loss efforts, they must be combined with a balanced diet and a physically active lifestyle tailored to an individual’s specific needs and circumstances.
Why Work With A Registered Dietitian for Help With Weight Loss?
Although most people feel they know what they need to change, collaborating with a Registered Dietitian (RDN) can make a huge difference in your journey to address weight issues and improve your overall health. RDNs are experts in the field of nutrition, who really understand what drives food choices and physiology. They are committed to evidence-based nutrition strategies. When you choose to work with an RDN, you gain access to personalized guidance that focuses specifically on your unique needs and circumstances.
One of the key advantages of working with an RDN is their ability to delve deep into the underlying factors contributing to weight gain. Weight management goes beyond diet and exercise alone, and RDNs are skilled at identifying potential triggers such as hormonal imbalances, medical conditions, or emotional eating patterns. By addressing these factors, you can create a holistic approach to managing your weight that goes beyond merely dieting.
Moreover, an RDN serves as a valuable source of accountability and support throughout your journey. Regular check-ins to talk about what is working and to make adjustments will help you stay on track and stay motivated to achieve your goals. This level of ongoing support can be make the difference in your success.
It’s also worth noting that under the healthcare law, nutrition counseling is recognized as preventive care. If your BMI is over 30, commercial insurance must cover nutrition counseling at 100% without the need for a deductible or copay. This ensures that cost is not a barrier to accessing professional nutrition guidance.
Ultimately, an RDN’s focus extends beyond immediate weight loss. Their philosophy rejects diet culture and centers on promoting quality of life, long-term health, and disease prevention. They prioritize sustainable lifestyle changes that enhance overall well-being, reducing the risk of weight cycling and promoting lasting results. If you’re looking to address weight gain and improve your health, partnering with an RDN can be a transformative step towards achieving your goals.
Dietary supplements are not designed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This article aims to offer valuable insights into which nutritional supplements have undergone scientific study and shown promise in supporting specific health conditions. We break down the research, so you can work with your medical providers to make informed decisions about adding supplements to your health regimen. For personalized advice tailored to your needs, we recommend consulting with a registered dietitian in addition to your primary care provider.
Check with your physician when adding supplements. While supplements are generally safe for most people, do not add nutritional supplements without your physician’s specific approval if you are pregnant or nursing, are undergoing cancer treatment, have a history of organ transplant, liver or kidney disease, or take medications that interact with supplements.
What Nutritional Supplements Are Recommended For Weight Management?
Managing excess weight is a journey that often involves a combination of diet, exercise, and targeted nutritional supplements. While these supplements aren’t magic bullets, they can offer support alongside other healthy habits. Let’s explore some commonly recommended supplements for excess weight and understand their overall benefits:
- Multivitamins: These provide essential nutrients that are often lacking in a calorie-restricted diet.
- Vitamin D: Recent studies suggest that Vitamin D may have a role in regulating weight, but the mechanisms are still under not understood. Nevertheless, excess weight is associated with lower Vitamin D levels, and many health problems can be improved by maintaining adequate levels of this vitamin. [PMID: 33792853]
- Magnesium: An essential mineral, magnesium is involved in over 300 enzyme reactions in our body the vast majority of people probably don’t get enough. Changes in body weight, and waist measurement was significant in people with insulin resistance, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, magnesium deficiency, and females. Researchers found a significant reduction in BMI following magnesium supplementation. [PMID: 32654500]
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3s support heart health, but Omega-3s also help reduce inflammation, which some researchers believe may be linked to obesity. But, a review of the studies showed a significant effect in only half of the studies, meaning that other factors are at play in obesity that have not been figured out yet. [PMID: 34330455] It can be argued that given the health problems associated with excess weight are improved by omega-3, they have proven benefit even if they don’t cause weight loss for the individual.
- Green Tea Extract: Rich in antioxidants known as catechins, green tea extract can help increase fat burn and boost metabolism, albeit for short periods. While it’s not a replacement for dietary changes and exercise, it can offer a metabolic boost to those looking to manage their weight. [PMID: 26093535]
- Probiotics: A healthy gut can be a cornerstone of weight management. Probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria, help balance the gut flora. Some studies show that balanced gut bacteria can influence weight, making probiotics an interesting area of research in the context of weight management.
- Ultraflora b420 Probiotic: Some researchers believe the effectiveness of this the Ultraflora B420 probiotic for weight loss comes from it’s ability to improve the intestinal barrier function and thereby reduce inflammation. [PMC7230722][PMC5264483]
- Akkermansia: This microbe causes the L-cells in our gut to produce the hormone GLP-1, or Glucagon-Like Peptide-1, in response to food intake. What makes GLP-1 so important is it’s ability to reduce appetite and help control our blood sugar. [PMC8161007]
- Fasting Mimicking Diet: Weight loss is a major objective when managing fatty liver, check into the Prolon Fasting Mimicking Diet. It has been shown to preferentially cause the loss of abdominal fat.
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Although this article discusses supplements in detail, don’t forget that we are absolutely committed to the “Food First” approach to nutrition. When it comes to your health, the totality of your eating habits far surpasses the impact of individual nutrients or any single supplement you consume. Even though this article doesn’t delve into the broader picture of your overall diet, it’s crucial to keep this element at the forefront of our minds. Your food needs to provide all the vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals to nourish your body systems down to the cellular level.
Food choices, rather than supplements, are the most critical factors for a healthy gut microbiome. These trillions of tiny inhabitants in your gut affect your brain waves; they orchestrate your immune system. They possess the power to create molecules that can switch genes on or off and are even capable of synthesizing neurotransmitters. Opting for organic foods and steering clear of plastic packaging (including those labeled BPA-free) is a smart move to limit toxin exposure. The sum of all these parts leads to a powerful conclusion: the ultimate key to your health lies in the quality and balance of the food you consume. Supplements are secondary.
To Sum It Up
Tackling excess weight is a comprehensive journey, and understanding the tools at our disposal can make a significant difference. Green Tea Extract, Probiotics, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Omega-3 are allies in weight management, each offering unique health benefits that can support weight loss. However, as with any approach to health, it’s essential to have a clear and personalized plan. For a tailored recommendation and deeper insights on the root causes of weight problems, reaching out to a Registered Dietitian can be an excellent next step. They can offer expert advice, ensuring you make informed and effective choices for your specific health journey.
This Article is Not a Substitute for Medical Advice
Dietary supplements are not designed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The Supplement Sciences website seeks to provide comprehensive access to the most relevant supplement information along with convenient online ordering. We do not provide medical advice and cannot guarantee that every product suggested is completely without risk. Since each person is unique in their health history and medication use, it is important to discuss supplements with your personal physician. Specifically, pregnant women and individuals being treated for cancer or liver or kidney problems must consult their physician about every nutritional supplement they plan to take. People taking medications for the treatment of HIV or with a history of organ transplant must not take supplements without consulting with their physician.