What Research Says

American Obesity Rate

68% of all Americans are overweight, and obesity has almost doubled in the last couple of decades worldwide.

Nutrient Starved Body Promoting Weight Gain

Arizona State University reports that the amount of vitamin C in the blood stream is directly related to fat oxidation – the body’s ability to use fat as a fuel source – during both exercise and at rest. Vitamin D levels are a good predictor for obesity: the lower the level of vitamin D, the more likely is obesity. Scientists found that vitamins B-6 and B-12 and chromium may slow down middle-aged weight gain. Low levels of magnesium – which appear to increase oxidation – are associated with obesity.

Beverages Promoting Weight Gain

Many scientists think non-diet beverage consumption, those with sugar contributes to excess weight gain. And while often villainized, sodas are not the only culprits. Juices, smoothies and various "health drinks" can also confuse our internal calorie-counters and make weight difficult to control. What about diet drinks? People who regularly slurp artificial sweeteners are more likely to gain weight, according to a study published in the journal Obesity in 2008. The most touted explanation for this finding is that fake sweeteners increase cravings for calorie-dense foods, but the science behind this theory is mixed. Still, if you want to play it safe while tightening your belt, stick to water.

Low-Fat Diets Promoting Weight Gain

In the 1980s, new dietary recommendations came out imploring everyone to adopt low-fat diets. Only recently has it become clear what a mistake that was. Calling the recommendation an "uncontrolled experiment on a whole population," Dr. Michael Alderman said low-fat diets might have helped spur the national rise in obesity and diabetes. We now know that fats are necessary for health. Fat is critical for the optimum functioning of the brain, the heart, the skin and other major organs, as well as for the absorption of many vitamins. They are also good for dieting. Fat digestion suppresses ghrelin, the hormone that makes us feel hungry, while simultaneously spurring the release of peptides that make us feel full, found a study published in the American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology and Metabolism in 2005. A moderate amount of fat can also lower the glycemic index of a meal, helping you feel satisfied for longer.

We’re Not Drinking Enough: Water

Believe it or not, failing to drink enough water can also increase obesity. Specifically, your body needs water to metabolize your food. If you drink too little water, it will slow your metabolism … and you’ll pack away the pounds instead of burning them off.  Researchers in Germany report that water consumption increases the rate at which people burn calories.

We’re Not Eating Enough: Metabolism-Boosting Foods

Black tea increases metabolism. Studies show that coffee speeds up the metabolism but green tea is better. For example, studies show that Epigallocatechin gallate – a potent antioxidant found in green tea burns calories by boosting metabolism, and that it can actually kill fat cells and stop the creation of new fat cells. Oolong tea, a Chinese tea somewhere between green tea and black tea contains polyphenols, which have been shown to control body fat by improving the metabolism of nutritional fat. One study showed that those who drank two cups of it a day had had two and a half times the calorie-burning rate of those who drank traditional green tea. Cinnamon helps stabilize blood sugar levels. For people with certain types of diabetes, it may reduce serum glucose, triglyceride, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol. The resveratrol in red wine also helps stabilize blood sugar levels. Capsicum – the “hot” compound in chili peppers – substantially speeds up our metabolism. In 1982, the Journal of Human Nutrition Clinical Nutrition reported that red pepper and mustard can give a 25% boost in metabolism. In 1988, the Proceedings of Experimental Biology and Medicine reported that ginger might boost the metabolism. Ingesting too many antibiotics has also been linked to obesity, as it kills helpful intestinal bacteria Probiotics – which replace healthy intestinal bacteria – can promote weight loss, at least in people who don’t have a thriving community of natural intestinal flora. CoQ10 is a compound found in every cell of our body. CoQ10 boosts metabolism. Finally, the amino acid Carnitine burns fat