Vitamin B-12 is one of the essential nutrients that you should prioritize in your diet to speed up your metabolism, keep your body energized, and make it even easier to build up a calorie deficit that enables healthy weight loss. Found primarily in animal products, it is mostly those who follow a plant-based diet who are deficient in this vitamin. Even so, it is a good idea to be aware of your food intake to ensure that you are getting enough B-12 every day to improve your metabolism and add significant energy to the body.
As Victoria Swift, MD notes: “Vitamin B-12 is important for weight loss as it converts your food into sugar and other usable energy. When you diet, B-12 makes your metabolism work faster, break down food and provide lasting energy. ”With that, we’ve rounded up the top four foods to increase your B-12 intake and achieve healthy weight loss so that you can optimize your diet to energize your day and your body.
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Better for weight loss than higher fat options like red meat, leaner cuts like chicken and turkey are high in vitamin B-12 and lower in calories at the same time. This will help you stay full longer while maintaining a calorie deficit and burning more fat even when you rest. “The best and practically only sources of vitamin B-12 are animal products,” notes Charlotte Martin, MS, RDN and author of the upcoming novel The Plant-Forward Solution: Reboot Your Diet, Lose Weight & Build Lifelong Health by Eating More Plants & less meat. Combine your meat with vegetables like leafy greens or cruciferous vegetables for an extra fiber boost that also promotes weight loss with ease.
If you follow a vegetarian diet, you can still get a lot of vitamin B-12 from eggs. This source of protein is also relatively low in calories yet filling, making it the perfect option to kill two birds with one stone. Protein is known to power your muscles and speed up your metabolism, which is essential for effortless weight loss without depriving your body of essential nutrients.
Although vitamin B-12 is primarily found in animal products, nutritional yeast is a rare exception that can provide plenty of B-12 in a plant-based diet. Offering cheese as well as flavor, this delicious condiment is deliciously sprinkled on eggs, avocado toast, or even vegan mac and cheese to boost your vitamin intake and improve your metabolism without resorting to supplements.
“Vitamin B-12 supplements are unnecessary unless you are deficient in vitamin B12,” notes Martin. That said: “Even if [you are] a vitamin B-12 supplement is unlikely to have any noticeable effects on weight loss unless accompanied by other diet and lifestyle changes. ”There is no panacea for losing weight, and vitamins and minerals while stimulating the metabolism help can, you need a healthy and sustainable calorie deficit at the end of the day to make lasting changes to your body.
Certain fish are better at providing vitamins and minerals than others, and shellfish, salmon, and herring are all great for boosting your metabolism while keeping your body in abundant amounts of protein. Fish is also often a leaner form of protein than red meat, making it a valuable source of nutritious calories that won’t adversely affect your heart or overall health over time. However, it is important to note that fish often contains a lot of mercury and should therefore be consumed in moderation – no more than 2-3 days a week.