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5 Vitamins & Health Essentials for Fat Loss

Proper nutrition is absolutely essential for losing fat (as well as building muscle and living a long, healthy life). While this typically leads us to focus on how many calories we’re eating each day, certain micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and polyphenols) can also play a prominent role in our ability to effectively manage hunger and lose body fat.


Here are 5 vitamins & health essentials for fat loss to keep in mind during your weight loss journey:


Vitamin D


Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that serves as a precursor for various hormones in the body. It’s also required for your body to properly absorb calcium, which helps bone mineralization and supports strong, healthy bones.


Vitamin D also plays a key role in immune function and metabolism. In fact, research shows that deficiencies in the essential vitamin are associated with an increased risk of illness as well as higher rates of obesity and body fat percentage.[1,2,3]


Our bodies naturally synthesize vitamin D when exposed to direct sunlight. Yet, vitamin D continues to be one of the most common micronutrient deficiencies worldwide due to many individuals struggling to get enough sunshine each day for a variety of reasons.


Small amounts of vitamin D can be obtained from foods, such as wild salmon and mushrooms. Vitamin D supplements offer an affordable and convenient option to support the body’s requirement of the essential micronutrient.


Our men’s and women’s multivitamins, 1UP Multi-Go Men and 1UP Multi-Go Women, provide 800 IU of Vitamin D in each daily serving.




We’ve discussed the importance that quality sleep plays in helping you build muscle, lose fat, and live a healthy life. Poor sleep hurts your fat loss efforts in a number of ways, including lowering satiety signals, increasing hunger feelings, increasing cortisol (stress) levels, and decreasing motivation to exercise (which thereby reduces daily energy expenditure).


At the heart of a great night's sleep is melatonin -- the hormone your body naturally produces that sets the body’s internal clock, a.k.a. circadian rhythm. In addition to helping you fall (and stay) asleep, melatonin also plays a role in energy metabolism and body weight maintenance. In fact, previous animal studies demonstrate that melatonin supplementation leads to reductions in total body weight and abdominal fat.


The really intriguing finding is that subjects experienced these reductions in weight and fat mass without eating less food or increasing their amount of physical activity. This suggests that the boost in energy expenditure is due to brown fat activation.[4,5]


A 12-month placebo-controlled study in postmenopausal women found that melatonin supplementation experienced reductions in fat mass and increases in lean mass. There was also a trend towards an increase in adiponectin -- a hormone that impacts glucose levels, lipid metabolism, and insulin sensitivity.[6]


Studies with human participants also find that melatonin supplementation promotes weight loss. A Danish study found that women using 3-5mg of melatonin (the amount typically contained in most sleep aids) per day reduced body fat by almost 7% and increased lean mass by 5.2%.[7]


While our bodies naturally secrete melatonin, modern conveniences (LED lighting, tablets, TVs, laptops, smartphones, etc.) emit blue light which blunts melatonin release, which can negatively impact your ability to fall asleep.


Using a nighttime rest and recovery aid such as 1UP Beauty Dream or Recharge PM, which contains melatonin as well as other natural sleep agents and weight loss support supplements, can promote deeper sleep and complement your fat loss efforts in the gym and in the kitchen.




Gut health has been a major focus for much of the last decade as researchers continue to uncover the myriad ways the GI system impacts all facets of daily life. Not only does the health of your gut impact how you digest, absorb, and utilize the nutrients from the food you eat. It affects your mood, concentration, athletic performance, recovery, skin health, immune function, and weight loss.


Specifically, researchers have found that overweight and obese individuals tend typically present with a specific gut microbiome profile. Specifically, studies find these individuals with lower proportions of Bacteroidetes and higher proportions of Firmicutes than leaner individuals.[8]


What you eat directly impacts the composition of your gut microbiome. Foods high in fiber (fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes) supply prebiotics that the good bacteria in your gut to nourish themselves. Fermented foods like yogurt, pickles, sauerkraut, and kefir contain probiotics (alive, good bacteria) that can further benefit the health of your gut microbiome. Probiotic supplements also offer additional support for helping your gut promote a healthy balance of good gut bacteria.


Probiotics help promote weight loss in a few ways, including improving gut barrier integrity and lowering inflammation, which supports an increase in insulin sensitivity in the hypothalamus  and subsequently improves satiety.


A 2021 systematic review concluded that “Both probiotics and synbiotics have the potential to help in weight loss in overweight and obese populations.”[9] Researchers specifically mentioned that probiotic strains belonging to the genus Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium showed the best results in reducing body weight.


1UP Gut Health Plus and Greens & Reds Superfoods plus includes quality doses of research-backed probiotics to support gut health and weight loss efforts.


Whey Protein


Protein’s role in supporting muscle recovery and growth is pretty well known, even outside of fitness circles. What’s less well known is how eating a higher protein diet can also help you to lose body fat.


Protein supports fat loss in a few ways:


  • It is more filling than carbohydrates or fats, which we’ll help you to stay more satisfied in between meals (and thus, less likely to snack and overeat).
  • It helps your body maintain muscle during dieting (a time when the body is at risk of increased protein breakdown)
  • Your body expends more calories digesting protein than either carbohydrates or fat.


While there are many high-quality protein sources (both animal and plant-based) available to help you meet your daily protein needs, whey protein is particularly well-suited to help your fat loss efforts.


For starters, it requires no cooking, making it a great option for those that are strapped for time, but need a quick and healthy meal (or snack). It’s more affordable per serving than many other protein sources. It digests easily, supports gut health, and has been shown in research to complement weight loss efforts!


A meta-analysis (a study of studies) concluded that whey protein may help to reduce long and short-term appetite.[10]


Additional studies have found that dairy and whey proteins decrease appetite better than other protein sources such as eggs, casein, or soy.[11,12]


Whey protein specifically is naturally high in branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) which help to stimulate the production of satiety hormones such as cholecystokinin (CCK), glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), peptide YY (PYY).[13]


Olive Leaf Polyphenols


Olive oil is regarded as one of the healthiest oils an individual can include in their diet. It’s a staple of the Mediterranean Diet (which continues to rank as one of the healthiest diets an individual can follow) and is associated with a number of cardiovascular and weight loss benefits.


The leaves of the olive tree (as well as olive oil itself) are rich in a powerful polyphenol called oleuropein.


Uncoupling protein-1 (UCP-1) is a protein found in fat cells (adipocytes) that constitute ~10% of the mitochondrial protein content in brown adipose tissue and plays a significant thermogenic role, too. The protein has garnered an incredible amount of interest from dieters and obesity researchers due to their ability to cause cells to dissipate energy as heat, instead of storing it as fat or using that energy to generate ATP.[14]


Animal studies have found that oleuropein supplementation increases levels of the fat-burning hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline, and it also ramps up uncoupling activity, which supports increased energy expenditure (i.e. higher calorie burning).[15]


Additional studies indicate that supplementation with olive leaf extract supports thyroid function and may increase thyroid hormone T3 2.5x above baseline.[16] As you’re probably aware, dieting for prolonged periods of time can negatively impact thyroid levels and a slow down metabolic rate.


Human studies find that the adding olive leaf extract to a reduced calorie diet may lead to greater improvements in weight loss and various cardiometabolic factors (blood sugar, cholesterol, etc.) compared to dietary modifications alone.[17]


1UP Fat Burner Stim-Free contains 500mg Olive Leaf extract in every serving alongside a formidable blend of other natura, stim-free weight loss aids and appetite regulating supplements.


Bonus: Caffeine


Caffeine is not essential, though many of us would disagree that it’s absolutely a “daily driver.” Nevertheless, if you never had caffeine, you could still live a long, healthy lifestyle. But, from a performance and weight loss standpoint, the research is overwhelmingly positive in regards to the beneficial effects of caffeine.


Caffeine intake helps to reduce appetite and increase metabolism.[18]


In fact, consuming just 100mg of caffeine (about the amount you get in a strong 8oz cup of drip coffee) can boost thermogenesis and increase energy expenditure up to 100 calories per day.[19]


Other research finds that when caffeine is combined with other common fat burning supplements, the dose needed to activate brown adipose tissue (BAT) thermogenesis can be as low as 77mg.[20]


Even regular (habitual) caffeine users (~100-200mg per day) ingesting a 100mg dose of caffeine still experienced a significant thermogenic effect lasting over 3 hours.[21]


Beyond its metabolic-enhancing and appetite-lowering effects, caffeine is also well-known to improve athletic performance, fatigue resistance, and cognitive performance. This is why our men’s and women’s weight loss aids, Pro Ripped Max and Make Her Lean Max, as well as our pre workout supplements contain a research-backed amount of caffeine.


The Bottom Line


Losing fat and getting into great shape can be a challenge, but it is achievable. In fact, we have countless individuals do just that each year as part of our on-going 8-week transformation challenges.


With healthy eating, hard training, quality sleep, and the right supplement strategy, you too can experience life-enhancing change that will improve your mental and physical performance and well-being for years to come.


For more help, check out the 1UP Fitness App where we offer FREE customized training and nutrition plans to help you get the results you want. And, when you sign up for our transformation challenge, you’ll also get access to our exclusive Facebook group where you can ask questions, interact with other like-minded individuals, and receive advice and encouragement from experienced coaches.



  1. https://www.bmj.com/content/356/bmj.i6583
  2. Abdullah Thani NSI, Khairudin R, Ho JJ, Muhamad NA, Ismail H. Vitamin D supplementation for overweight or obese adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2019;2019(5):CD011629. Published 2019 May 23. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD011629.pub2
  3. Zakharova, I., Klimov, L., Kuryaninova, V., Nikitina, I., Malyavskaya, S., Dolbnya, S., Kasyanova, A., Atanesyan, R., Stoyan, M., Todieva, A., Kostrova, G., & Lebedev, A. (2019). Vitamin D insufficiency in overweight and obese children and adolescents. Frontiers in Endocrinology, 10.https://doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2019.00103
  4. Wolden-Hanson T, Mitton DR, et al. Daily melatonin administration to middle-aged male rats suppresses body weight, intraabdominal adiposity, and plasma leptin and insulin independent of food intake and total body fat. Endocrinology 2000;141, 487-497.
  5. Tan DX, Manchester LC, et al. Significance and application of melatonin in the regulation of brown adipose tissue metabolism: relation to human obesity. Obes Rev 2011;12, 167-188.
  6. Amstrup AK, Sikjaer T, Pedersen SB, Heickendorff L, Mosekilde L, Rejnmark L. Reduced fat mass and increased lean mass in response to 1 year of melatonin treatment in postmenopausal women: A randomized placebo-controlled trial. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2016 Mar;84(3):342-7. doi: 10.1111/cen.12942. Epub 2015 Oct 8. PMID: 26352863
  7. Amstrup, Anne K., et al. "Reduced fat mass and increased lean mass in response to 1 year of melatonin treatment in postmenopausal women: A randomized placebo-controlled trial." Clinical Endocrinology, vol. 84, no. 3, 2015, pp. 342-347.
  8. Ley R.E., Bäckhed F., Turnbaugh P., Lozupone C.A., Knight R.D., Gordon J.I. Obesity alters gut microbial ecology. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 2005;102:11070–11075. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0504978102.
  9. Álvarez-Arraño V, Martín-Peláez S. Effects of Probiotics and Synbiotics on Weight Loss in Subjects with Overweight or Obesity: A Systematic Review. Nutrients. 2021 Oct 17;13(10):3627. doi: 10.3390/nu13103627. PMID: 34684633; PMCID: PMC8540110.
  10. Mollahosseini, M., Shab-Bidar, S., Rahimi, M. H., & Djafarian, K. (2017). Effect of whey protein supplementation on long and short term appetite: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Clinical Nutrition ESPEN, 20, 34–40. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clnesp.2017.04.002
  11. Hall W.L., Millward D.J., Long S.J., Morgan L.M. Casein and whey exert different effects on plasma amino acid profiles, gastrointestinal hormone secretion and appetite. Br. J. Nutr. 2003;89:239–248. doi: 10.1079/BJN2002760.; Uhe A.M., Collier G.R., O’Dea K. A comparison of the effects of beef, chicken and fish protein on satiety and amino acid profiles in lean male subjects. J. Nutr. 1992;122:467–472. doi: 10.1093/jn/122.3.467.
  12. Tahavorgar A., Vafa M., Shidfar F., Gohari M., Heydari I. Whey protein preloads are more beneficial than soy protein preloads in regulating appetite, calorie intake, anthropometry, and body composition of overweight and obese men. Nutr. Res. 2014;34:856–861. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2014.08.015.
  13. Boscaini, S., Skuse, P., Nilaweera, K. N., Cryan, J. F., & Cotter, P. D. (2023). The ‘Whey’ to good health: Whey protein and its beneficial effect on metabolism, gut microbiota and mental health. Trends in Food Science & Technology, 133, 1–14. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tifs.2022.12.009
  14. Busiello RA, Savarese S, Lombardi A. Mitochondrial uncoupling proteins and energy metabolism. Front Physiol. 2015;6:36. Published 2015 Feb 10. doi:10.3389/fphys.2015.00036.
  15. Oi-Kano, Yuriko, et al. "Oleuropein aglycone enhances UCP1 expression in brown adipose tissue in high-fat-diet-induced obese rats by activating β-adrenergic signaling." The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, vol. 40, 2017, pp. 209-218.
  16. Al-Qarawi, A. A., Al-Damegh, M. A. and ElMougy, S. A. (2002), Effect of freeze dried extract of Olea europaea on the pituitary–thyroid axis in rats. Phytother. Res., 16: 286–287. doi:10.1002/ptr.855
  17. Haidari F, Shayesteh F, Mohammad-Shahi M, Jalali MT, Ahmadi-Angali K. Olive Leaf Extract Supplementation Combined with Calorie-Restricted Diet on Reducing Body Weight and Fat Mass in Obese Women: Result of a Randomized Control Trial. Clin Nutr Res. 2021 Oct 31;10(4):314-329. doi: 10.7762/cnr.2021.10.4.314. PMID: 34796136; PMCID: PMC8575641.
  18. Schubert MM, Irwin C, Seay RF, Clarke HE, Allegro D, Desbrow B. Caffeine, coffee, and appetite control: a review. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2017 Dec;68(8):901-912. doi: 10.1080/09637486.2017.1320537. Epub 2017 Apr 27. PMID: 28446037.
  19. Dulloo AG, Geissler CA, et al. Normal caffeine consumption: influence on thermogenesis and daily energy expenditure in lean and postobese human volunteers. Am J Clin Nutr 1989;49, 44-50.
  20. Yoneshiro, Takeshi, et al. "Tea catechin and caffeine activate brown adipose tissue and increase cold-induced thermogenic capacity in humans." The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 105, no. 4, 2017, pp. 873-881.
  21. Astrup A, Toubro S, Cannon S. Caffeine: A double-blind, placebo-controlled study of its thermogenic, metabolic, and cardiovascular effects in healthy volunteers. Am J Clin Nutr. 1990;51:759–67.

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