Did you know that 42% of Americans did not meet their requirement for calcium as recommended by the Institute of Medicine? Many deficient in calcium are women above 50 years as well as those eating a vegan diet. Nutrient deficiencies are now widespread in the U.S. though you often don't hear about it.
The Impact of Nutrient Deficiencies on Weight Loss
While most people pay attention to diet and exercise when it comes to weight loss, many do not understand the connection between nutrient deficiencies and how they impact weight. Take for example Calcium. Here's how one nutrient deficiency can make it much harder for you to lose weight:
- The calcium stored in fat cells in the body help in regulating the storage of fat. It's been shown that fat cells that contain the most calcium actually burn more fat. Everyone wants to burn more fat and calcium enables you to do just that.
- Calcium has a major role in the production of melatonin and if you cannot achieve deep sleep, it is often because of a calcium deficiency. If you cannot sleep well, you will have trouble losing weight.
- If you are deficient in calcium, you will likely be deficient in magnesium which helps to absorb calcium. Magnesium plays an important role in insulin utilization, nervous system support for sleep again, and also impacts energy levels.
It's not only calcium that can impact your weight. There are many nutrients involved in metabolic function that can impede progress.
Important Nutrients Impacting Your Weight
- Magnesium-low magnesium in cells impairs a person's ability to use glucose for fuel, instead storing it as fat. Correcting a magnesium deficiency stimulates metabolism by increasing insulin sensitivity.
- Chromium-makes the body more sensitive to insulin, helping to reduce body fat and increase lean muscle.
- Carnitine-carnitine carries fatty acids into the cell so they can be burned for fuel. Helps in reducing visceral adiposity (belly fat).
- Zinc-deficiency of zinc reduces leptin, a beneficial hormone that regulates appetite, which is reversed by zinc repletion.
- Vitamin B5-taking B5 lowers body weight by activating lipoprotein lipase, an enzyme that burns fat cells. One study linked B5 supplementation to less hunger when dieting.
- Lipoic Acid-improves glucose uptake into cells, which helps a person burn carbohydrates more efficiently.
How To Tell if You're Nutrient Deficient
Standard blood tests only give you so much information. They don't assess many important nutrients listed above. Symptoms are one way to help tell if you're having nutrient deficiencies but testing is the best way. Spectracell Labs is what I use to assess nutrient status.
A strong diet is the first step to taking in important micronutrients, but often diet is not enough. It's often hard to take in everything we need from food alone. Studies show the soil quality is not what it once was which is one reason many are deficient. Chronic illness and aging are also reasons why many people need more nutrients than they can obtain through diet alone. Those eating special diets are also at risk of becoming nutrient deficient.
The Calorie Model of Weight Loss
The calorie model approach to weight loss is still what most people focus on when trying to lose weight. While controlling calories cannot be excluded, science now shows there is much more to losing weight than simply focusing on calories and portion sizes. Most cannot sustain low calorie dieting and it's also not healthy for the body. To address weight loss properly, the following should also be addressed:
~ hormone imbalance
~ nutrient deficiencies
~ high stress levels
~ gut imbalances
~ insulin resistance
~ exercise patterns