Are there really any benefits to taking a multivitamin? And are there any possible negative effects to taking one?

First off, we would always recommend getting your nutrients – vitamins and minerals included – from unprocessed foods in your diet. These whole foods can have many benefits beyond micronutrients alone, including things like fibre, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. However, many people choose to take a multivitamin to fill in potential nutrient gaps in their diet. As for benefits, a multivitamin can be a smart choice for those with poor nutritional status as a result of advanced age, low intake of certain food groups, restrictive diets, or chronic illness. For best results, choose a multivitamin that is formulated specifically for your age, gender, and life stage. As for the negative effects, there could potentially be some risks in certain situations. Vitamins and minerals are essential for proper health, but they exist in balance. Taking too much of one kind of vitamin or mineral could cause decreased absorption of another kind, resulting in a deficiency!

I walk about nine miles daily, but still cannot lose weight. I do not eat sweets, and carbs are very limited. I am 53. I run and lift weights. How can I give my metabolism a huge push?

You’re right on track with weight training, walking, and running; we tend to see increased metabolic rates in individuals with higher muscle mass. Cutting out sweets is a great way to avoid excess calories, but carbohydrates in general are not a bad thing. In fact, carbohydrates are your body’s preferred form of energy, so making sure you have enough carbs in your diet can actually keep your metabolism going. Think of it like the fuel for your body’s metabolic fire. Just make sure that most of your carbohydrates come from whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables. Secondly, take a look at your protein sources. Your best bets will be lean proteins, such as seafood, chicken or turkey without skin, beans, lentils. High-fat and fried meats could be sabotaging your weight loss goals. Generally, eating meals at regular times with healthy snacks (think fruit, nuts, healthy fats, and proteins) in between helps to keep your metabolism at an even rate throughout the day. Finally, make sure to drink plenty of water. Lastly, don’t lose hope! As we age, it often becomes more difficult to lose weight, but it sounds like you’re well on your way.