Do I Have to Use Supplements When Dieting?
I’m often asked what supplements I use daily for dieting and training purposes. Before I dive into supplements, I want to stress how important it is to be eating the right foods, otherwise taking supplements will be counterproductive. I encourage everyone to do their blood work, and to check their vitamin/mineral levels periodically as well.
Now, let’s talk supplements. Below is everything that I supplement my program with as well as some additional suggestions. This is what has worked for me throughout my fitness and weight loss journey, all of which were helpful tips given to me by professionals in the fitness industry. I hope that these tips can help you attain to your goals, create a healthier you and give you a better quality of life.
Vitamin D I supplement my diet with 5000 IU of Vitamin D daily, every morning. Getting enough Vitamin D can keep your hormone levels in check and may help enhance weight loss and decrease body fat. In turn, losing weight can increase Vitamin D levels and help you maximize its other benefits, such as maintaining strong bones and protecting against illness. We get Vitamin D naturally from exposure to the sun, but the winter months prove it to be difficult to get even a fraction of what our bodies need. Some foods have higher levels of Vitamin D, but consuming enough of those foods may be difficult to reach a therapeutic level.
Vitamin C: The Stress Buster Ok, are you ready for this? I take 4000 mg of Vitamin C daily, with 2000mg in the morning and 2000mg at bedtime. Why such a high dose? Vitamin C can assist with weight loss. Whether you want to drop weight or improve strength, Vitamin C can help. Being deficient in Vitamin C can make it very difficult to lose weight and reach a healthy BMI. It actually helps you to metabolize fat which is why it is recommended by fitness experts. Vitamin C helps reduce both the physical and psychological effects of stress on our bodies especially while dieting and training. Stress can elevate levels of the stress hormone cortisol and blood pressure, and taking a high dose of vitamin C blunts cortisol production. Men should take 4000 mg per day and women should take 2000mg-3000mg per day. I rarely get sick and I equate that to my Vitamin C intake.
Fish Oils It is recommended that you get a minimum of 2000 mg, twice a day in Fish Oil. The Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil have various health benefits, one of which is aiding in weight loss. The Omega-3’s can help in losing inches as well as body fat, essentially reducing your body fat percentage over time. The Omega-3 fatty acids can also slow down and even inhibit muscle breakdown (which can happen during weight loss), aid greatly in helping with brain function, liver function, as well as reducing inflammation and lower triglyceride levels.
Whey Isolate Protein Supplement I keep myself on a high protein, moderate fat and moderate to low carbohydrate diet for weight loss. I use Dymatize Elite Whey Isolate Protein, 1.5 scoops, twice daily to supplement my diet with an additional 75 grams of protein on top of the protein I have in every meal. I take in approximately 200 grams of protein daily, making up over 30% of my caloric intake, so to reach that protein macro goal, the protein powder is a must. (DYMATIZE ELITE can be purchased in the Lord’s Gym Nutrition Shop at a 15% discount for all competitors).
BCAA’s (Branched Chain Amino Acid) I use Xtend BCAA’s, sometimes before, during and after a workout for hydrating and replenishing. This gives you relatively high doses of L-Leucine, L-Glutamine, L-Isoleucine, L-Valine as well as a good dose of Vitamin B6 and a well-balanced electrolyte blend, all while quenching your thirst during and after your workouts. This together can improve your exercise performance and endurance in addition to providing recovery and aiding in muscle growth. (Xtend BCAA’s can be purchased in the Lord’s Gym Nutrition Shop at a 15% discount for all competitors).
BENEFIBER or any dissolvable powdered fiber supplements Utilizing this product as directed by the manufacturer, will support a healthy digestive system. Sometimes dieting can cause stress, which can lead to being irregular.
Vitamin B Complex 100 Using this aids in healthy nerve function and energy support, helping to convert the healthy foods you eat into a good source of energy.
Probiotic A powerful probiotic can also be taken. Probiotics (good quality ones) rebalance the healthy bacteria in the gut. Some research suggests that this can help people to lose weight and belly fat.
Water Drinking plenty of water is MANDATORY when dieting as well as while taking any vitamin or fitness supplements. Make sure you are drinking a minimum of, 8-10 8oz glasses of water each day. Staying hydrated while working out is critical. I personally drink 1 gallon of water every day, not including any other liquids such as black coffee, tea or water mixed in my protein shakes.