By Violet Smith
The real (and healthiest) way to lose weight? Eat reasonable portions of food, work out regularly and get enough sleep.
When it comes to food, there are certain vitamins and nutrients that help you blast more fat.
Particular foods can shift your body out of fat-storage mode and into fat-melting mode. Specific vitamins and nutrients can actually help to flip an internal switch that signals cells throughout your body to burn more calories, wasting many of those calories as heat. Without these important nutrients, the opposite happens.
Optimize the below essential, fat-melting nutrients that can help you burn stubborn fat.
Study after study shows that vitamin D helps to ensure body cells listen and respond to insulin, a hormone secreted from your pancreas. One of its jobs is to help glucose get into body cells, which burn glucose for energy. How well insulin pushes glucose into cells is called “insulin sensitivity.” The more sensitive your cells are to insulin, the better. The less sensitive they are to insulin, the more likely the calories you eat will end up in your fat cells.
When levels of D are low, levels of parathyroid hormone (PTH) rise. Higher than normal levels of PTH trigger a series of reactions that eventually lead to fat cells converting sugar into fat and hoarding fat rather than releasing it to be burned, explains Michael B. Zemel, PhD, director of the Nutrition Institute at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
A lack of vitamin D may also interfere with leptin, a hormone that signals your brain to stop eating. Your body doesn’t know when it’s full, so you continue to eat.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3s enable weight loss by switching on enzymes that trigger fat-burning in cells. They also help to boost mood, which may help reduce emotional eating. Omega 3s might also improve leptin signaling in the brain, causing the brain to turn up fat burning and turn down appetite. Fatty fish like salmon (which are also high in vitamin D) are one of the richest sources of this fat. Other foods, such as some nuts and seeds, contain a type of fat that can be converted into omega-3s after ingestion.
Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFAs)
How They Melt Fat: One Danish study of 26 men and women found that a diet that included 20 percent of its calories from MUFAs, a type of fat found in olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocados, peanut butter, and chocolate, improved 24-hour calorie burning by 0.1 percent and fat burning by 0.04 percent after 6 months. Other research shows that MUFAs zero in on belly fat. Specific foods that are high in MUFAs–especially peanuts, tree nuts, and olive oil–have been shown to keep blood sugar steady and reduce appetite, too.