The missing link in the fight against obesity

Ever wonder why it’s it so easy to gain weight, but so hard to get it off again?

Well, there’s actually a reason for this phenomenon. And it’s not just a matter of willpower.

Don’t get me wrong. Self-control is an important part of real, lasting weight loss success.

But let’s be honest. If people could just switch off their bad habits, we wouldn’t be in the midst of an obesity epidemic.

Yet here we are, in a country where two out of every three people are overweight. And the problem is only getting worse.

It doesn’t take a genius to see that there’s a lot more at play here than a simple lack of discipline. And it certainly doesn’t help that the ridiculous old “calories in = calories out” dogma just won’t die. (Seriously, this myth has been the bane of my existence for my entire medical career.)

The fact is, scientific research shows there is indeed another important factor working against you when it comes to losing weight.

Back in April, I wrote an article in my Logical Health Alternatives newsletter that addressed this very issue. I explained how being overweight leads to your body being “nutritionally overdrawn.” And this wreaks havoc with your metabolism…and sets the stage for weight gain.

It’s a vicious cycle. But one that may be simpler to break than you might imagine.

According to a new study, the secret to getting your metabolism—and ultimately your weight—on track may be as simple as supplementing with the nutrients your body needs more of.

In this study, 43 lean, overweight, or obese people were asked to eat a special “nutrient bar” twice a day for 8 weeks. These people didn’t change anything else in their diet or exercise any differently. Yet at the end of 8 weeks, researchers found the people in the overweight and obese categories experienced some significant benefits.

They lost weight, trimmed their waistlines, lowered their diastolic blood pressure, reduced their triglycerides, had less insulin resistance, and overall, improved their blood lipid profiles.

The lean participants also experienced some improvements, though they weren’t as dramatic as the other groups.

Overall, there were favorable changes in all of the participants with just the simple intervention of the twice-daily nutrient bar.

Still, despite this study’s impressive results, it had one major shortcoming in my opinion:

It attempted to replace vital nutrients with a so-called “nutrient bar.”

Let’s get one thing straight. “Nutrition bars” are a misnomer. Cliff bars, Larabars, Luna bars, and all of the knock-offs you find lining the aisles at “health food” stores like Whole Foods (or as I call it, Whole Fibs) are no “wonder bars.” Most of them are filled with sugar — some up to 24 grams! You might as well eat a cup full of marshmallows (which rings in only slightly higher, at 29 g of sugar).

Which makes you wonder what might have happened if these same participants had taken a high-quality multivitamin supplement with no extra sugar or calories. Would the changes in their metabolic state have been even better?

I would put money on it!

There’s absolutely no question that you are better off taking a high-quality supplement and eating a handful of almonds than scarfing down one of these sugar bars.

Apart from taking a high-quality daily multivitamin, the best thing you can do is something this study neglected altogether. Focusing on proper nutrition.

As I’ve said many times before, what you eat counts on so many levels. Sugar acts as an anti-nutrient that prevents your body from absorbing the vitamins and minerals it needs.

And if you’re carrying around extra pounds, the only way you will successfully get them off is to cut sugar — and supply your body with the nutrients it sapped from your system.

But just so we are perfectly clear: even if you’re not obese — or even overweight — what you put in your mouth directly affects your nutritional status. In September 2012 I talked about how vitamin deficiencies fuel inflammation in the body. And no one is exempt.

Of course, not all multivitamin supplements are created equal. I’ll tell you more about that tomorrow, so stay tuned.