For years scientists have searched for a magical ingredient that would help people shed fat.
In 2008, Dr. Shalamar Sibley of the University of Minnesota put 38 obese people on an 11-week diet where they consumed 750 calories less than their estimated daily need. Study participants whose blood levels of D were higher at the study's start lost more weight than participants whose blood levels of D were lower. They actually lost a lot more—70 percent more, to be exact.
Based on the results of this study, by fueling your body with the D-rich nutrients it needs to stay out of a fat-storage state and in a fat-burning state, you can speed weight loss by 70 percent! Thousands of studies on vitamin D have been completed over a span of 40 years, and it's become clear that vitamin D is pretty incredible and effective.
Still, it's not the only player on this fat-melting team. Turn up your metabolism and melt body fat adding vitamin D and these five fat-melters from The Vitamin D Diet—and make sure you learn the Best Times to Eat for Weight Loss for ultimate results.
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How it melts fat: Calcium is a mineral that works in tandem with D to help you shed fat. Calcium is stored in fat cells, and researchers think that the more calcium a fat cell has, the more fat that cell will release to be burned. Calcium also promotes weight loss by binding to fat in your GI tract, preventing some of it from getting absorbed into your bloodstream. (Learn to snack yourself slim on the Foods that Fight Fat.)
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How it melts fat: In addition to keeping hunger in check, regular doses of protein help to keep body composition—the amount of fat relative to muscle—in better proportion. Along with calcium and D, protein helps you to preserve muscle mass as you drop pounds. A recent study out of the University of Illinois found that women who consumed protein twice daily lost 3.9 percent more weight than women who consumed less of it on a diet. They not only lost more weight, they also got stronger as they did so, with their thigh muscles alone ending up with 5.8 percent more protein at the end of the diet than before.
More: Are You Getting Enough Protein?