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How nutritional deficiencies can make you fat

In the journey of weight management, we often focus on dieting, exercise, and lifestyle changes. However, an aspect that is frequently overlooked is the role of nutritional deficiencies. Surprisingly, certain deficiencies in food, vitamins, minerals, and herbs can not only contribute to weight gain but also make it harder to lose weight. Here, we explore 10 such deficiencies and their impact on weight management.

1. Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D is crucial for a healthy metabolism. Low levels of Vitamin D are linked to obesity and metabolic syndrome. It plays a role in glucose metabolism and helps in the regulation of leptin, a hormone that signals satiety. Without adequate Vitamin D, this signaling can be impaired, leading to overeating.

2. Magnesium Deficiency

Magnesium is vital for energy production and glucose control. A deficiency can lead to insulin resistance, a condition where the body's cells don't respond well to insulin, leading to higher blood sugar and fat storage. Foods rich in magnesium include nuts, seeds, and green leafy vegetables.

3. Iron Deficiency

Iron is essential for transporting oxygen in the blood. Low iron levels can result in anemia, leading to fatigue and reduced physical activity. This can decrease the number of calories burned, contributing to weight gain. Iron-rich foods include red meat, beans, and fortified cereals.

4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids Deficiency

Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts, are important for regulating metabolism. A deficiency can disrupt the balance of hunger hormones, like leptin and ghrelin, leading to increased appetite and potential weight gain.

5. Calcium Deficiency

Calcium plays a role in regulating body fat storage and breakdown. Low calcium levels can increase fat accumulation and decrease fat oxidation, leading to weight gain. Dairy products, leafy greens, and fortified foods are good sources of calcium.

6. Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12 is crucial for energy production. A deficiency can lead to fatigue and weakness, reducing physical activity and calorie burning. It's commonly found in animal products, so vegetarians and vegans might need supplements.

7. Protein Deficiency

Adequate protein intake is essential for muscle maintenance and metabolism. Low protein diets can lead to muscle loss, slowing down metabolism and making it harder to lose weight. High-protein foods include meat, fish, eggs, and legumes.

8. Fibre Deficiency

Fibre is important for digestive health and satiety. A lack of fiber can lead to overeating and weight gain. High-fibre foods include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes.

9. Iodine Deficiency

Iodine is essential for thyroid function, which regulates metabolism. A deficiency can lead to hypothyroidism, slowing metabolism and leading to weight gain. Iodine-rich foods include seaweed, fish, and dairy.

10. Zinc Deficiency

Zinc is involved in appetite control and glucose metabolism. A deficiency can disrupt these processes, leading to increased appetite and weight gain. Zinc is found in meat, shellfish, and legumes.

Addressing these nutritional deficiencies can be a crucial step in achieving a healthy weight. It's important to have a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrients. In some cases, supplements may be necessary, but it's advisable to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any supplement regimen. Remember, a holistic approach to weight management, combining diet, exercise, and proper nutrition, is often the most effective strategy. If you are uncertain, start with a good multivitamin-mineral supplement.

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