(PCM) Need another reason to drink more milk? A recent study at the University of Minnesota found that people who began a weight loss program with higher levels of vitamin D in their diets lost more weight than those who weren’t getting enough of the nutrient.
Vitamin D has also been shown to boost the effects of Leptin, our satiety hormone, which makes us feel full – an obvious must-have in terms of weight management! It is also needed for bone growth and remodeling, calcium absorption, and cell growth; without vitamin D, bones can become thin and brittle, increasing the risk of broken bones, osteomalacia, and osteoporosis.
Most people meet at least some of their vitamin D needs through exposure to sunlight, but as the seasons change to fall and then winter, adequate exposure is harder to come by. Very few foods in nature contain vitamin D, so most of the nutrient is obtained through fortified foods, like milk, cheese, yogurt and cereals. But if you enjoy fish, you’re in luck: the best natural sources of vitamin D are found in the flesh of fatty fish, including salmon, tuna, mackerel, and swordfish.
Some fitness professionals, including Jillian Michaels, recommend supplementing 1,000 international units of vitamin D3 to enhance and accelerate your weight loss regimen. However, as always, it is best to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements! In the meantime, try and soak up the last of the summer sun – with sunscreen of course! – and start adding more fish and fortified foods to your diet. It just might help you jump start that post-summer diet!