Big Pharma's diet pills come with big risks and small results... but if you want to kick-start your own weight loss plan, there are a few things you can take that really do work.

And they're nutrients you need anyway.

Researchers have found that vitamin D and calcium, two nutrients that work so well together in everything from bone health to cancer prevention, can help you shed pounds.

And it doesn't take much of either.

In a new analysis, researchers examined data on 322 people with an average age of 52 and BMI of 31. While most of the patients were tracked for two years, 126 of them were followed for an extra six months to track their levels of vitamin D.

The researchers found that volunteers with an average daily intake of 580 milligrams of calcium along with vitamin D blood levels of 30.2 nanograms per millimeter lost nearly 12 pounds over two years, according to the study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Like I said, these aren't especially high levels of either nutrient--580 mg of calcium is barely half the U.S. government's "recommended daily intake," and those blood levels of vitamin D are below what many in the mainstream now recommend.

And while 12 pounds over two years isn't a stunning level of weight loss by any stretch, it's actually better than the results we've seen from studies on many of Big Pharma's diet drugs--with none of the dangerous side effects.

Most people can get the calcium they need from a good diet of natural foods, but a supplement isn't a bad idea if you think there's a chance you're not getting enough.

Vitamin D, on the other hand, is much trickier. Our bodies can make it from sunlight--but since so few of us get the sun exposure we need to stimulate D production, most people are actually badly deficient.

In fact, it's become the world's leading nutritional deficiency--so if you're not taking a D supplement now, you should... whether you need to lose weight or not.

Add these key nutrients to a healthy lifestyle low in sugar and other refined carbohydrates, and you won't believe how easily the pounds will come off.

No drugs necessary.