Gorge on junk food and work it off on the treadmill the next day? Party till the wee hours and wake up tired, groggy and sluggish? Drink alcohol and need coffee to beat the hangover? If you answered yes to any of these questions and if this has been your routine, then stop looking at your bulge in the mirror and focus on this vital vitamin instead. It is called B12 and has a lion’s share in your body’s fat-burning processes.
What does B12 do, you ask? Well, it helps you make red blood cells, which in turn help carry oxygen to your cells. Fat-burning occurs through a process called oxidation; a process which relies heavily on your body’s ability to provide oxygen to the cells. Without B12, your oxygen-carrying capabilities are hindered. Guess what else is hindered? Surprise, surprise: your fat-burning ability. Want more surprises? B12 deficiency is also linked to irritability, acne and high cholesterol.
Late nights, consuming food high in salt and sugar content, and frequent drinking sessions together make the perfect recipe for disaster. The cumulative effect impairs fat-burning, primarily because it affects the body’s ability to absorb B12.
Here’s how you can do effective damage control—eat fresh food every morning, have yoghurt daily, drink adequate water (B12 is a water-soluble vitamin, and the body needs water to absorb it) and work on getting good, restful sleep. Avoid having ‘chakhna’ items with alcohol; have real food instead. It’s best to eat dinner before drinking; you may not get a high but at least your B12 and fat-burning levels will stay high.
(Nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar’s latest book is called Women and the Weight Loss Tamasha)