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Multi-Vitamin = weight gain?

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Hello all,

I have a very peculiar thing that happens to me. Since I was in my teens, whenever I take a multi-vitamin, I gain a ton of weight. A ton = 5-10 lbs in 1 month.

I thought at first it was the certain type of multi-vitamin, but by now, I've tried many: Centium, vegetarian, Women's daily, etc etc. They all do the same thing. If I take them, within 3 weeks I gain a ton of weight, and when I stop, the weight disappears, though much slower.

I can't find anything about this anywhere. Does this happen to anyone else here?

To make things more frustrating, I eat very healthy, but my system does not absorb as nicely as it should, so all my docs recommend multi-vitamins to help. I have tried to lose weight for years, so anything that makes me gain that much extra, I just can't get get myself to do, no matter how many doctor's recommend it.  

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I have never heard of that but would like to know the answer to that as well. That sounds very strange.
It happened to me, though at the time I was trying to gain, lol. However, it happened to my sister.. She started taking the women's formula of One-A-Day and gained about 3 pounds in a week. Nothing else changed--one day, she was just 99 pounds instead of 96. She hasn't taken the weight off since she started the multivitamin, though it doesn't seem to bother her much--3 pounds isn't a huge gain.

I Dunno, I've been taking a centrum and a vitamin D+calcium every day through my whole process of losing 80 lbs.  Never seemed to make a difference to me.

 Maybe you had some sort of deficiency that was preventing you from gaining.  Maybe it's a thyroid thing and you should ask your doc...

well it happened to me too, and since you dont really provide much info about yourself i cant say if this is your situation. but, i was underweight because i starved myself and when i started taking them i gained weight, a few pounds. i didnt gain any fat, so im sure it was bone density and stuff. you say you're trying to lose weight but you dont say how much or how much you weight. i was underweight and i still wanted to lose weight too. so are you underweight?

Oh my god!!!!! I didn't believe it, but my husband suggested that the ton of vitamins I am taking may be the problem.

I am currently eating an average of 1000 calories a day, do hot yoga and pilates 3-4 times a week and I gained 5 lbs in the last week, but also gained a total of 7-8 lbs in the last month.  I am taking one-a-day weightsmart, I figured the green tea extract would help me lose rather then gain, but seems like I'm not the only one! 

Thats it Im stopping now... I'm a pesca-vegan, I eat a vegetarian diet, with the exception of fish, and figured a multivitamin would help me if I ever lapse in my nutrients, but I mean to be realistic I eat so many nutritious things, and I really don't need them I guess.  I also take a calcium supplement (I dont eat dairy), a B12 supplement, vitamin d, and vitamin e in addition to my multivitamin.  I wonder if any of these are contributing...

Anyone know why this is happeneing?

Well, you are undereating, especially given your activity level - the absolute minimum for a sedentary woman is 1200.

Living with obesity at 700 calories per day might explain it a little better.

Original Post by rbenum:

I have tried to lose weight for years, so anything that makes me gain that much extra, I just can't get get myself to do, no matter how many doctor's recommend it.  


Unless your multi-vitamins have 1000+ calories each, they aren't making you gain 10lbs in a month.


I wonder if the iron in the vitamins is making some of you get backed up. 

Original Post by amethystgirl:

Well, you are undereating, especially given your activity level - the absolute minimum for a sedentary woman is 1200.

Living with obesity at 700 calories per day might explain it a little better.

and yet I am still gained 6 lbs, instead of losing 6 that i wanted.


Oh and the above scenario does not apply to me at all!  I have an active lifestyle, I do yoga and pilates.  I eat no junk food whatsoever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I may eat one or two chips at a party on the weekend, but I stick to veggie/fruit platters.   I eat mostly vegetables along with whole grains, such as brown rice, millet, buckwheat, whole wheat couscous and whole wheat/grain bread.  I eat fish/seafood once a week, and get my protein from beans and chickpeas througout the week.  I have virtually no sugar intake (sometimes a bit of fruit)throughout the day save for an occasional glass of dry red wine.  Oh and I dont binge, unless you include an occasional slice of cake at someone's birthday.

The lady you sited in the article is eating very very poorly!!!! What she's doing really is stupid.  And yes I am aware that  I am undereating at the moment, but it seems like even that is too much for my body since I have gained weight this month.  Go figure

The only reason I can imagine a multi would cause weight gain is if you were getting too much of something and it was messing up your thyroid function; I assume that's highly unlikely and unrealistic though. It could be a placebo effect. You expect to gain weight when you take a multi and so you subconsciously eat more.

MY husband was telling me over the last few days and today I decided to do a web search and realized that could be the problem.  Also my thyroid is OK, i have it checked out annually.  But something is definitely off with those multivitamins I think, now that I see how many people are replying

I take multivitamin, cal-mag-zinc, and B-50.

Its alllll goooooood in CDC-ville. :)

OMG It was the multivitamin.  I stopped taking it 3 days ago, and already dropped 2.6 lbs.  It was making me retain water or something, which is not good since I do Hot Yoga and the point is to flush everything out of yourself.

limitles, not losing weight doesn't prove that you're not undereating. With your activity level, you should be eating at least 1500. 1200 is the absolute minimum. You may find that upping your calories helps you gain weight. It sounds strange, but it will keep your body from thinking you're starving it.

As for the vitamin, judging just from these posts, it seems to most commonly cause weight gain in those you aren't eating enough, therefore it is probably correcting a nutrient deficiency. If you're not gaining fat, then who cares? And if you stop gaining after the initial week or two, chalk it up to being healthier and start from there.

I know this is a weight loss forum, but doesn't health matter? If you're eating 1000 calories a day, or have absorbtion problems, you need the vitamins. You could try more specific vitamins (instead of the multi). But whats the point of losing weight if you're not going to be healthy?

I have only reduced the calorie intake very recently after noticing that I have gained weight despite eating well and upping my exersize routine.  It is a temporary corrective measure, not my lifestyle.  And it's working out fine especially since I have stopped taking that multivitamin.  It's happened to me once before in December/January right before I went away on vacation.  I didn't bring my vitamins and since I wasn't taking them the weight melted off, just like it is right now.  Once I'm back in my own body again, I will start graudually eating more combined with my exersize.  I create my meals to include every nutrient possible and in a matter of a week I consume more vegetables and vitamins then most people do in a month.  No, I'm not starving myself.

You are gaining because you're underweight. You're trying to get to 110? that will make your BMI 16, which puts you a good point and a half below the cut off for anorexia nervosa. Eating 1000 cals and working out heavily is not healthy, its undereating. Feeling fat doesn't mean your overweight. In fact, thinking you're overweight when underweight is also part a diagnostic criterion for an eating disorder.

I know that eating at least 1200 cal is supposed to be the rule/law but I've recently looked at The Zone Diet Menu , because they aim for 30/30/40 fat/prot/carb ratio that I'm shooting for by another resource, and entering a sample into CC log for food repeatedly gave less than 1200 cal which surprised me. 

According to Zone Diet forums, their diet forces the body to burn fat which requires less calories. They also call for vitamin supplements.  Apparently one can eat healthy on less calories but it takes the right combination of food.

Original Post by mischiefdm:

Apparently one can eat healthy on less calories but it takes the right combination of food.

 I do so agree, I eat to the point of being too full sometimes, enter in all the food I have consumed and I repeatedly get less calories than I expected!

As for the vitamins, I spoke to my naturopath and nutritionist, and he said sometimes the body rejects certain vitamin cocktails, or has an excess of a certain vitamin already and when faced with more of teh same, protects the cell of the body by building fat around them.  He also said that many people are allergic to the chemically derived vitamins or certain brands, and may or may not feel it, but it does affect your system.  I spoke to him on the phone, and he said it's a classic case and he's seen too much of it.  He said based on how I eat (which he fully approves of), I shouldn't even need a multivitamin.... 

I'm so glad that I read this. I can't sop gaining weight and was wondering if my vitamins might be causing it. I too take the One a day weightsmart as well as a fish oil, B-12, Calcium, D,  and a B complex. I eat very healthy as well and have recently increased excersize and do have a thyroid disease but my doctor told me that my levels are normal right now. I am now going to stop all but the Calcium and D and see if I get any changes! Thankyou!

It can't be fat or calories in the vitamins. Maybe it is water weight? I take multivitamins, fish oil, and calcium and have a steady weight loss. Have you been eating more while taking them? My mother swears vitamins make her eat more.

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