Don't ask me why...I don't know

Monday, August 25, 2008

There were two rather surprising things that I discovered about the types of things that seemed to facilitate weight loss for me. Naturally, your mileage may vary but, still, I must absolutely insist you keep an open mind.

The first was dairy products. No. Really. Now quit rolling your eyes and just listen. The only reason I got involved with a daily dose of dairy was due to the Weight Watchers’ requirement to get in two dairy servings per day. I’m not much of a milk drinker, and my beloved cheese would use up far too many of my paltry daily allotment of points, so I started having a Weight Watchers’ Smoothie every night after dinner.

The Smoothie mix is a powder, similar to Carnation Instant Breakfast (or Alba), and only available (at an obscenely inflated price) at Weight Watcher meeting locations. I combined the powder with one cup of skim milk, a half cup of fruit and ice. Not only would I have a delicious milkshake, but I was able to fulfill both the dairy and one of the fruit requirements. And it really seemed to make a difference in my weight loss efforts. I don’t know WHY it did, nor do I care, but I’m telling you, IT DID!

However, since I have no intention of getting myself involved in the Great Dairy Debate, I will instead totally shift gears and talk about the second item, Vitamin B12, and what I’ve learned about why it works.

While there is no proof that Vitamin B12 will help you to lose weight, there has been some research indicating it can stop you from gaining it. Some people feel it is the energy boost you can get from B12 that causes you to get up and moving and that is why it works. Hah! I laugh in the collective faces of these misguided people. I have yet to find any product, including mega-doses of B12, that will get this old slug up and moving.

The truth, as I understand it, is that B12 boosts your metabolism. This means that your food will digest faster and you will burn more calories – even when you’re just sitting on your arse watching “Deal or No Deal”. And this is why I love it.

I bought some great multi-vitamins from QVC that come in different formulations for men and women and for those under or over 50. Not only were the daily doses nicely packaged in little cellophane bags for convenience, but the over 50 formulation contains 600 mcg of B12, or 10,000% of your required daily value. B12 is water-soluble, so you can’t take “too much;" any excess that your system doesn’t use is simply excreted.

If you prefer to get your vitamins from food sources, B12 can be found in most foods of animal origin, including clams, salmon, bass, beef, chicken, oysters, yogurt, eggs and cottage cheese. It is also found in soy milk products and vegetarian burgers.

It never hurts to take a multi-vitamin, especially if you’re restricting your food intake, so why not throw in some extra B12 and see if it doesn’t work for you? You might be pleasantly surprised.