How Supplements Support Healthy Weight Management†‡

Learn how specific supplements and nutrients can help you stay healthy

Knowing where to turn for science-backed guidance on healthy weight management can be a challenge. The diet industry is a multi-billion-dollar business, with conflicting messaging on what to eat, how to exercise, and the best supplements to support healthy weight management.† ‡

If you’re confused about the best lifestyle habits and strategies for healthy weight management – we understand. The reality is, there is no such thing as a quick fix. There are no magic weight loss supplements, drinks, powders, or exercise strategies for healthy weight management.

The truth is healthy weight management is a complicated balance of hormones, stress, sleep, movement, nutrients, and genetics.

We cannot cover all these aspects of weight management in this blog. Instead, we focus on an overlooked but key component of nutrition and weight management – micronutrients and macronutrients.

Keep reading to learn about:

  • What macronutrients and micronutrients are
  • What happens to your body when you diet
  • 3 supplements that can support healthy weight management† ‡
  • 5 lifestyle habits to support healthy weight management

Before making changes to your diet, nutrition, and exercise routine, consult your healthcare practitioner. Always discuss any supplements you are taking or plan to take, since these may interact differently with medications and health conditions.

As always, feel free to contact us with your questions about our vitamins, supplements, and other products.

Micronutrients and Macronutrients for Healthy Weight Management

Weight management typically focuses on macronutrients – or the amounts of protein, carbs, or fat you eat each day. Balancing these nutrients is critical for establishing a healthy diet, but the importance of micronutrients is often overlooked. It’s the combination of macro and micronutrients that provides optimal support for a healthy weight.

  • Macronutrientis the category used to describe the carbohydrates, protein, and fat in foods and drinks you consume.1

    Carbohydrates are found in foods such as pasta, fruit, bread, and cake. One of main purposes of this macronutrient is to provide you with energy or fuel you need to get through your day.2

    Protein is a macronutrient found in foods like steak, eggs, salmon, lentils, and peanut butter. Protein is key to almost every process in your body from building muscles and bones, carrying oxygen in your blood, helping to support satiety.3

    Fat has a bad reputation, even though it is an essential macronutrient. Your body relies on fat to provide energy, support cell growth, absorb nutrients, create hormones, and to keep you warm. Healthy monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats are found in foods like avocados, peanut butter, nuts, flaxseed, fatty fish, and oils such as olive, canola, sunflower, corn, and safflower.4 5

  • Micronutrientis the category used to describe the vitamins and minerals in the foods and drinks you consume. Vitamins and minerals are essential to wellbeing and healthy development. Examples of micronutrients include folate, iron, calcium, vitamin B-12, vitamin C, zinc, vitamin E, potassium, iodine, and vitamin A.1 6

    Consuming a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein sources, healthy fat, and carbohydrates is recommended to ensure you get the micronutrients your body needs. However, even when consuming foods fortified with extra micronutrients such as calcium, iron, or folate, many people do not get the recommended amounts of micronutrients.7

  • In fact, research reveals that even when eating a diet rich in fortified and enriched foods, more than 90% of U.S adults had intakes less that the estimated average requirement for vitamins D and E, 61% for magnesium, 51% for vitamin A, 49% for calcium, and 43% for vitamin C. To help fill the micronutrient gaps, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and the American Dietetic Association highlight that micronutrient supplements such as multivitamins or mineral supplements can help people meet their nutritional needs.7 8 ‡

Along with consuming food and beverages that you enjoy and feel good about, you need to make sure your diet is giving you the macronutrients and micronutrients required to support your health and wellness. In general, focusing on high quality food is one of the best ways to give your body essential macro and micronutrients.9

However, getting this balance right is not always easy and this is when vitamin, mineral, and protein supplements may help.

What Happens When You Diet?

When you change your diet, for example by changing the type of carbohydrates you consume, cut calories, or eliminate foods from your diet, the types and amounts of macro- and micronutrients you consume is affected.

The key for anyone who want to lose weight or change their diet is to keep tabs on diet quality. Make sure you’re getting adequate carbohydrates, protein, and fat from a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein sources, and healthy fats.9

There are a lot of diet programs out there, and it can be confusing to know which one is right for you. It’s important to acknowledge that diets focusing primarily on macronutrients may be low in calories or even restrict specific foods, making it challenging to meet vitamin and mineral needs.10

In this section we look at a couple of popular diet plans and how these may or may not meet recommended macro and micronutrient needs.

Low-calorie diets

Making healthy diet changes can improve diet quality and may lead to improvements in micronutrient intake thanks to eating more nutrient-rich foods like fruits and vegetables.

However, if calorie restriction is part of the plan, this may lead to an unintentionally low intake of many vitamins and minerals simply because the low-calorie diet restricts food amounts.11

Because nutrient needs vary based on age, gender, activity levels, underlying health status, and more, a low-calorie diet likely does not meet micronutrient needs for all individuals. One study that examined people who successfully maintained a healthy weight after following a low-calorie diet program found that many did not eat enough to meet potassium, calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, and vitamin E needs. The authors noted that people following this low-calorie diet who did improve their overall micronutrient intake were also taking a multivitamin supplement.12

Similarly, another study found that participants following a low-calorie diet did not meet the recommended estimated needs for many micronutrients even after including a vitamin and mineral fortified nutrition drink.13

Restrictive meal patterns

Diet plans that restrict food groups or macronutrients are increasingly popular. For example, low-carbohydrate diets, ketogenic diets, paleo diets, or vegan diets are easy to find and do promise results. However, it’s important to remember that diet quality is key when it comes to healthy weight loss and weight management.9 14 ‡

  • Low-Carb Diet: this diet focuses on restricting or in extreme cases, eliminating carbohydrates from the diet. Healthful carbohydrates do contain key micronutrients, so these can be missed without careful meal planning or supplementation.14

    For example, grains are usually eliminated from low-carb diets because they are high in carbohydrates. But grains are particularly rich in magnesium and B vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin, and folate. Unless you follow a well-designed meal plan to compensate for these foods, you can easily miss out on key micronutrients.15 16

    A study that examined a sample three-day meal plan for 2 popular low carb diets found that daily estimated needs for 27 different micronutrients were not met. The results of this study suggest that even people following a guided meal plan may need multivitamins to ensure nutrient needs are met.16 ‡

  • Vegan or Plant-Based Diets: a vegan or plant-based diet eliminates all animal products including eggs, dairy, gelatin, honey, whey, casein, and some types of vitamin D3.14

    Because a vegan diet is typically low in fat and high in fiber, many people do lose weight on this diet. However, weight loss on plant-based diets primarily occurs due to the reduced calorie intake.14

    Since vegan diets eliminate all animal food, they may be low in essential micronutrients including vitamin B12, vitamin D, iron, calcium, iodine, and omega-3 fatty acids.14 17

    If you’re following one of these diet plans, discuss the benefits of using supplements such as multivitamins with your healthcare practitioner. You want your weight loss and weight management to be as healthful as possible, and supplements that support fill micronutrient gaps may be beneficial.

    Micronutrient Supplements and Healthy Weight Management†‡

    Healthy and sustainable weight management depends on an ideal balance of macro and micronutrients, exercise, lifestyle habits, sleep, stress levels, and more. It’s important to remain suspicious of quick fix pills or drinks that promise healthy and instant weight loss.

    The good news is there are specific supplements that may support healthy weight management. Some micronutrients can support your efforts to maintain a healthy weight if your intake is low. While none of these will lead to weight reduction on their own, they make sure that essential supportive processes in the body are working optimally.18 ‡

    Micronutrients to Support Metabolism

    Metabolic functions require a wide range of nutrients to work effectively. While there are many types of vitamins and minerals involved, B vitamins are critical for a well-firing metabolism. The primary function of B vitamins is to help your body metabolize protein, fat, and carbohydrates, and to use the stored energy in the food you eat.18 ‡

    Nearly all 8 B vitamins play a role in cellular energy production. Even suboptimal intake of one B vitamin can limit how effectively the body creates and burns energy. For example, vitamin B6 is a critical cofactor for amino acid and lipid metabolism – or how the body utilizes these nutrients.20 ‡

    Good food source for B vitamins include:18

    • Beans
    • Lentils
    • Milk
    • Eggs
    • Lean meat
    • Whole grains
    • Potatoes
    • Bananas

      Supplements that include all 8 B vitamins are typically called B-complex vitamins and may help fill gaps in your
      diet.18 ‡

      Micronutrients to Support Healthy Blood Sugar Metabolism

      Insulin is a hormone created by your pancreas. This essential hormone has a range of functions, including helping your cells access blood sugar or glucose for energy.21

      One key micronutrient responsible for energy production in your body is magnesium. Magnesium is involved in over 300 enzyme systems including playing a role in blood glucose metabolism.18 ‡

      This may be because magnesium helps with the metabolism of sugar into energy in the body.22 ‡

      Although magnesium is found in many foods, research suggests that people often don’t eat get enough magnesium through their diet.23 A magnesium supplement may help you get adequate amounts of this micronutrient.18

      Try to include these magnesium-rich foods in your diet:18

      • Nuts
      • Seeds
      • Beans (legumes)
      • Spinach and other leafy green vegetables

        Micronutrients to Support Overall Wellness

        Your overall wellness is linked to having a healthy and strong immune system.24 One vitamin essential to a well-functioning immune system is vitamin D. This critical vitamin is often called the sunshine vitamin because the primary source for this healthful micronutrient is sun exposure.18 ‡

        Most people get enough outdoor time and sunshine to meet their daily vitamin D needs. However, people who do not live in sunny climates or do not spend a lot of time outdoors may have low levels of this essential micronutrient. It is not easy to get enough vitamin D from food, so supplementing with vitamin D is recommended for people who are low in this vitamin.18 ‡

        To help compensate for inadequate vitamin D levels, many foods are fortified with this essential micronutrient.

        Try to add these foods with vitamin D to your diet:18

        • Sardines
        • Cod liver oil
        • Tuna
        • Salmon
        • Egg yolks
        • Fortified milk and yogurt
        • Fortified cereals

          How to Support Healthy Weight Management

          Everyone has different nutritional and dietary needs. It’s important to remember that there is not a one-size-fits-all diet for optimum health, wellness, and weight management. Your age, gender, activity level, sleep pattern, stress level, and underlying health status all have impacts on your ability to manage your weight.25

          Along with getting the recommended daily amounts of macro and micronutrients, these 5 tips can help you support your natural and healthy weight:26

          1. Get some daily exercise: aim for 200-300 minutes of exercise each week. This can include any exercise you enjoy such as walking, cycling, yoga, lifting weights, running, etc.29
          2. Eat breakfast: 78% of people in the National Weight Control Registry who have maintained their weight eat breakfast daily. Any type of healthful food can be eaten for breakfast such as eggs, fruit, oatmeal, salad, soup, cereal, or leftovers from supper.29
          3. Eat whole foods eating unprocessed and whole foods makes it easier for you to get the recommended amounts of carbohydrates, protein, fat, fiber, and vital micronutrients. Try to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean protein sources, whole grains, and healthful fats.29
          4. Plan your meals: often we turn to fast-food or cut corners on food quality when we’re rushed or haven’t prepared meals in advance. Meal planning can help you make healthier food choices and better manage your hunger.29
          5. Stay positive and balanced: there is no such thing as a perfect eating day. Try to eat healthily every day but remember you should not cut out all treats or indulgences. A cookie, slice of cake, or coffee shop drink is part of a balanced perspective on food and eating. Don’t get down on or deprive yourself of food if you overeat or indulgence.29

          Regardless of the type of diet pattern you follow, make sure you’re getting enough macro and micronutrients to support your body and weight management goals. Supplementation with a multivitamin or specific nutrients may help you meet nutritional needs when you can’t get everything you need from foods and beverages.

          Always discuss supplements for healthy weight management with your healthcare practitioner, particularly if you have any underlying conditions or are taking medication.†‡

          Use our Purely For You personalized supplement plan to provide you with tailored wellness recommendations to meet your specific nutritional needs.

          Remember, we are here to support you in achieving optimal personal wellness. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date with the latest news, promotions, and nutritional/lifestyle content Purely For You.

          *Provides weight management support as part of a healthy lifestyle with a reduced-calorie diet and regular exercise.