Every year, summer comes barging through the door. Warm weather, vacations, and barbecues make us sizzle with excitement—until our eyes go wide and we realize it’s also bikini season. In a few weeks, we’ll be boarding up the coat closet and breaking open the shorts drawer, but many of us are fearful of what comes along with actually slipping on our shorts—will we be able to squeeze into them after packing on winter weight?
There’s still enough time to tone up and shed a few unwanted pounds before summer months are in full force. And we have a little secret to help you on your weight loss journey: Vitamin D.
Why Do We Need Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient—our bodies don’t produce it normally, and the vitamin has to be consumed through certain foods or nutritional supplementation. We can also get vitamin D in a unique way—by exposing ourselves to sunlight.
With how essential vitamin D is to our wellbeing, the International Journal of Health Sciences calls vitamin D deficiencies an “ignored epidemic,” noting that over 1 billion people on the planet are deficient.
Having enough vitamin D in our diet is crucial for a number of reasons. Vitamin D supports a healthy brain and nervous system, regulates insulin levels, supports cardiovascular and bone health, and suppresses cancer development. Vitamin D also has been called the mood-boosting vitamin, helping to lift depression and mood disorders. But it’s also important for another life-changing factor—helping to maintain a healthy weight and promoting weight loss.
Vitamin D for Weight Loss
Recent research in PubMed showed that those who are overweight or obese have a distinct commonality—they don’t have very much vitamin D in their systems. Vitamin D deficiencies and weight gain is now a recognized issue—the more deficient you are in vitamin D, the easier it seems to be to gain weight.
In further exploration of the sunshine vitamin, it was found that vitamin D helps to shed unwanted pounds in the following ways:
Vitamin D Helps Trim Belly Fat
Vitamin D helps tell your body what should go where—and how much. A deficiency in vitamin D can throw regulatory sensors off, leading to excess storage of energy you don’t really need—aka belly fat. Increasing your vitamin D intake could reverse this action and may help slim down your tummy.
Even low-grade inflammation can cause unwanted weight gain. Vitamin D helps to repair cells and fights oxidative stress, warding off inflammatory elements.
Vitamin D Makes Workouts More Effective
Workouts alone have shown to be not as effective as workouts plus vitamin D. The vitamin helps to increase lean muscle mass and kicks fat-burning into overdrive, getting you more bang for your calorie-burning buck.
How Much Vitamin D Do I Need for Weight Loss?
If you’re working hard at sculpting your summer bod, let vitamin D get you there faster. And while lying in the sun all day is quite tempting, too much vitamin D via sun exposure can lead to something we’ve all been warned of—skin cancer. Thankfully, a wide range of supplements are available to help you get your daily dose of vitamin D.
The minimum daily recommendation for adults is around 400-800 IU (600 is the norm), but it’s also safe for many people to up their intake to 1,000 or even 2,000 IU of vitamin D every day.
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