The Benefits Of Calcium In Weight Loss

Calcium and weight loss

Obesity is a problem that affects a growing population. Because the Standard Western Diet stresses foods that are high in fat, calories and sugar; and because people often have less time in their day for extended exercise (more than 10 minutes), weight gain is a common problem. New research has suggested that including calcium in the diet, in the form of dairy products, has a positive effect on weight loss. In fact, the dairy industry has produced an entire advertising campaign around calcium and weight loss.

Many studies that the American Dairy Association (ADA) rely on in their advertising have found a link between the amount of calcium and weight loss of the body. The link appears to be in the amount of calcium stores and the current weight of the subject.

In the advertising, the ADA states that the research showed a relationship between eating 3-4 servings of low fat dairy products each day and a decrease in the amount of fat stores in the body. The research has pointed to a suggestion that calcium will increase the amount of fat the body converts to energy by increasing the body’s core temperature causing it to burn calories at a faster rate.

The studies also suggested that people with the lowest amount of calcium stores in their body also have the highest amount of stored fat.

Conversely, popular diets that promise quick weight loss are often low in dairy products, the highest foods containing calcium, which also affects the potential for bone loss and osteoporosis. Women who control the amount of eating they do each day can be at risk for a number of deficiencies because they miss vital vitamins and minerals.

The list of foods that are high in calcium include milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, baked beans, dried figs, broccoli, and most dark green leafy vegetables.

Dr. Reed Mangels, from the Vegetarian Resource Group, also comments on the influence that high amounts of animal protein have on our bodies. Quoting a study published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2003 he states that “Some studies show that diets that are high in protein, especially animal protein, do cause increased losses of calcium in the urine…” Which means that the amount of Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of calcium may fluctuate for individuals based on the amount of animal protein they regularly consume.

The current RDA for calcium is 800-1000 mg per day while most Americans usually consume between 500-700 mg. Unless a diet is high in foods that contain calcium, calcium supplements may be necessary to avoid the increased risk of bone loss and osteoporosis and take advantage of the potential for calcium and weight loss.

It might be convenient to believe that increasing the amount of calcium included in your diet would increase your weight loss but there have also been studies published in the same time frame that do not point to an increased calcium and weight loss from altered body fat mass in young healthy women. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, April 2005, carried reports of research that are contradictory to the reported weight loss that other studies showed. (1)

The conclusion? Before starting any weight loss program you should consult your doctor, especially if you are under 18, pregnant, nursing or have a health problem. Your original calcium intake, as well as the intake of other vital vitamins and minerals, should be established. And then a specific diet, that meets the caloric as well as the nutritional needs of your body, should be established. This can be done with the assistance of an educated Registered Dietitician. The results of the current studies linking calcium and weight loss are not conclusive and more research is required before a judgment can be drawn.

(1) The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Dairy Products do not lead to alterations in body weight or fat mass in young women in a 1 year intervention


Office of Dietary Supplements National Institutes of Health: Calcium

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Weight Loss and Calcium intake influence calcium absorption in overweight postmenopausal women

Mens Health: 9 Weight Loss Rules that Work

Medical News Today: Calcium for Weight Loss

Prevention: 6 Eating Rules for Faster Weight Loss—vitamin-d

Walking the Weight Off

Walking the weight off.

Why not start walking your weight off?

The utmost battle for any working mother is the obstruction of having time in their day to exercise. For stay-at-home mom it can be even extra tricky because children will regularly go along with the adventure which means a plethora of distraction

One of the most effective forms of exercise is walking which is also an easy exercise program to start with because you are able to set your own goals and limitations as you get on with your new fitness exploit. People might try to persuade you to join your local gym, walking for exercise allows you the capability and flexibility to exercise anywhere and anytime you want.

Even though an open schedule is good, when you are starting out it is important to schedule your walks. Pick out a set schedule for 3 weeks and write it on your calendar and plan everything else around your walking schedule. The reason is you will find it easy to break exercise commitments because you put someone else’s needs before your own. For 3 weeks, put your overall health and well being first.

Start slow. It is also a good idea to start with two 10 minute brisk walks before plummeting into a full twenty minute power-walk. Unless you are extremely overweight and or have health problems, you should be able to start your walking program with the two daily exercise sessions and do these 5 days a week. I highly recommend you take a couple days off a week so you do not get burnt out.

Start your walking program on a Monday. If you really want to improve your health then also change your eating and sleeping habits too. By eating right and getting a good nights rest every night you will see dramatic improvements in not only your health but also your overall feeling. You can accomplish so much more if you are maintaining a healthy lifestyle while taking on a life-changing and possibly life-saving walking program.

Walking the weight off may be just what the doctor ordered, but please be sure and ask your doctor before you start this or any exercise program. In particular if you are twenty pounds or more overweight and haven’t been actively involved in any other exercise program.

How You Eat Your Food Is Just As Important As What You Eat

A lot of focus is put on what you eat while you are dieting. But how you eat is just as important and can help you lose weight. What does that mean exactly?

Let’s start with the biology of that statement. When you sit down to a meal and start to eat, it will be twenty minutes before your brain receives the signal that you have eaten enough to be full. So if you eat quickly and eat a lot, chances are twenty minutes after the start of your meal, you will be getting the feeling that you ate too much – you went beyond what your body needed to feel satiated.

A lot of times this happens when we eat in the car or standing in front of the TV. In other words, not sitting down in a relaxed manner, getting ready to enjoy a meal. So the first step in slowing down your eating to lose weight is to sit down and take a moment to relax. Even in the car, you can consciously slow your pace of eating to bring yourself more awareness of your meal. Once you’ve become aware of your pace, be mindful of it for the next twenty minutes and give your brain a chance to register the food.

Chewing slowly can also help you lose weight. How? Digestion actually begins in your mouth, not in  your stomach.  Certain enzymes in your saliva start breaking down simple carbohydrates while your teeth work to grind and tear apart more complex food molecules. The part of digestion is incredibly important to weight loss because the more thoroughly we chew our food, the more nutrients we extract, the more efficient our bodies run and the less cravings we have. Since it takes time to chew, you will most likely hit that 20 minute mark naturally and at the point of true fullness. Recent studies show that volunteers who chewed each mouthful forty times ended up eating twelve percent less food. That’s enough to put a downward dent in the scale. And it all begins in your mouth!

Getting into the habit of eating slowing and chewing more thoroughly can be a little challenging at first. If you have trouble remembering to do so, try this little trick: put your fork down in between each bite. Consciously stopping the momentum of feeding yourself can be key to setting this practice into a consistent daily routine.

What are the risk of developing an eating disorder?


Why is it that some girls are perfectly content with their bodies while others are never satisfied? It’s more than just an imagined sense of self-hatred – there are many influences that determine whether or not you’ll be prone to eating disorders in your life.

The first is gender. Although more women than men suffer from eating disorders, there’s an alarming rise in the number of young males experiencing the same bulimic or anorexic tendencies that their female counterparts do.

Age counts, too. No one is immune to eating disorders – they’ve been known to surface during the middle age years. But for most victims, the disorder gets rooted earlier – in their teens and young twenties.

If you are close to someone who has an eating disorder, like a loved one in your family, your risk increases. You’d think it would influence you in the opposite way, but instead it sometimes makes it socially acceptable.

People suffering from compulsive disorders like OCD sometimes get struck by an eating disorder because it’s one more way they can control their environment. Likewise, women who suffer from depression or anxiety report an increase in eating disorders.

If you’re the type of person who can’t get enough exercise, or someone who competes in athletic competitions, then you might be prone to developing an eating disorder because you falsely believe it will enhance your performance.

And we can’t forget the peer influences that are so critical to the outlook we have about ourselves. When you’re constantly criticized by a parent or sibling who tells you that you need to go on a diet, even in a joking manner, it can take an ugly turn into an eating disorder that wreaks havoc on your body.

If you fit any of these profiles, then you’ll want to take action to prevent yourself from developing or further involving yourself in an eating disorder lifestyle. Talk to your doctor about the issue and find out what a healthy weight and diet would be for your specific body type.

Instead of listening to the destructive voices that influence your concerns, work on building your confidence and socializing with positive people who don’t criticize you on a regular basis.

Avoid getting mired in the fantasy that you ought to look just like the Supermodel on the cover of this month’s Vogue magazine. Even the most beautiful models will tell you how thankful they are for the advance in technology that allows the editors to remove their own imperfections.


How Some Women Lose Weight And Keep It Off

How do some women lose weight

and it off?


The worst part of going on a diet is the fear that you won’t succeed long-term. Most women can go on a diet for s short amount of time and see positive changes, but most of them yo yo the pounds right back on.

We need to look at those long-term success stories and try to emulate their regimen so that the odds of you having to label yourself a “diet failure” are slim to none.

What’s important isn’t the number of pounds you lose, because even if it’s 1,000 pounds – that won’t matter if the end result is that you continue engaging in bad habits that pile the weight back on.

Instead of celebrating your weight loss, it’s time you started celebrating your commitment to implementing good habits in terms of nutrition and movement. Healthy eating and exercise can’t be something you do for a month or a year – it has to be something you adopt long-term.

Because it’s forever, and you don’t want to live in misery, you need to learn more about moderation and let go of your guilty conscience when it comes to calling certain foods “bad” or deeming yourself a “failure.”

Realistic Timelines

Most women who lose weight and keep it off for good don’t set goals they know they won’t be able to achieve. Saying you need to lose 70 pounds by next month isn’t just unrealistic, but it’s not healthy, either.

Your body wasn’t meant to burn fat that fast. The harder you push it, such as limiting yourself to too small of a calorie count, the more stubborn your body will be in hanging onto the fat stores you have because it feels like it’s in starvation mode.

Your metabolism could also be sluggish at first, especially if you’ve been sedentary for a long period of time. You need to give it time to get revved up so that it’s burning fat for fuel at a faster pace, and that doesn’t happen overnight.

You have to learn to be okay with slower weight loss because that’s the kind that will stay gone for good. The tactics you’d have to employ to whittle away the pounds rapidly are the ones that drive you insane to the point of quitting your diet.

Awareness of Hunger Cues

Women who are able to lose weigh permanently are those who stay aware of their mission. It’s not about obsessing over dieting. Those are the ones who go on a program like Weight Watchers and suddenly their entire identity revolves around that diet plan and nothing more.

Women who are aware of their hunger cues learn how to adopt the great habit of not eating when they’re not hungry. It’s a prevalent problem with women who are overweight – eating out of boredom or for emotional reasons.

If you want to be aware of your hunger cues, create a scale that you can identify with like this:

0 = so miserably stuffed you almost feel sick
1 = full
2 = not hungry
3 = you could eat something
4 = stomach is growling
5 = starving and have gone way too long without food

You want to eat whenever you’re between a 3 and a 4. You want to stop eating when you’re at a 2 – no longer hungry.

Most women don’t even know what hunger feels like anymore because they never truly let their bodies get to that point. They simply eat when it’s time. They also eat whatever portion is served.

Part of being aware of your hunger cues is about knowing when to stop eating what’s on your plate. You’ve probably heard that it takes 20 minutes for your brain to become aware of how full you are, so eat slowly or you’ll go over without knowing it for awhile.

It’s harder when you’re eating out at a restaurant to quit eating because after all, you’ve just paid for that meal and it’s more special than something you make at home (to some). Just get a to go box or be okay with the fact that you can have this food again some other time.

Moderation, Not Abstinence

The last sentence above is what this is all about. When many women go on a diet, they have an all or nothing mindset. Once you’re on that diet wagon, it means any “cheating” is a diet failure.

What kind of language is that – this is life! There are many foods in the world and none of them should be banned if it’s what you enjoy.

The key to losing weight long term is to take the moderation approach. Have cake and ice cream when you want it – but stick to your hunger cues. And with guilt out of the picture, you won’t tend to binge on things you feel like you have to give up another day.

Listening to your hunger cues and making all foods okay gives you the freedom to lose weight over time without feeling deprived, without panicking and being upset when you “cheat,” and without neglecting one of our favorite pastimes – eating.

Yes, many people will tell you that food should be for nourishment alone. That’s all well and good – but we can’t deny that we’ve grown up accustomed to making meals a part of our traditions.

We have special holiday meals, potluck dinners with friends, and comfort foods that we enjoy cooking for our own loved ones that are passed down in a family recipe book. And there’s nothing wrong with that!

The minute you vow to give up your favorite foods for good is the minute you sign a death warrant for your diet success. You’ll be concentrating on what you’re giving up, not what you’re gaining through better health habits.

Non Food Rewards

Women who lose weight and keep it off know how to reward themselves for all their hard work. They don’t lose 5 pounds and then plan a trip to their favorite restaurant to celebrate!

That’s a recipe for disaster because it enables you to binge during the meal instead of continue making progress with your positive habits.

Instead of meal rewards, find ways to appreciate your efforts that don’t involve food. Sometimes it can cost money, but it doesn’t always have to. Here are a few ideas for you to consider:

· Manicure/pedicure (or even a new polish at the store if funds are tight)
· New outfit (to match the pounds shed – or one new item if you’re budgeting)
· New technology gadget (can be small or big)
· Day of rest and no work (no cleaning, cooking, etc.)
· New book (and a day spent browsing the shelves at Barnes and Noble)
· Go see a movie (new blockbuster or $1 movie if funds are tight)
· New fitness toy (Kinect fitness game, for example)
· Something for a hobby (knitting, pottery, or maybe even a class for something)
Your rewards need to be a symbol of your own interests. Don’t go see a movie your spouse wants to see (but you can’t stand) if it’s supposed to be your reward. Wait until you can see one that will be a pat on the back for all your hard work.

Ability to Ignore Influence

Sometimes, the ones we love most can be some of our biggest obstacles when it comes to losing weight. Friends and family mean well (you assume) – and most do! But not everybody goes about I the right way or has the best intentions at heart.

Reasons for the sabotage of your diet plans can be varied. Here are some of the most common ones:

· The loved one doesn’t want to be left behind. They don’t want to be overweight while you’re continually losing.

· They feel they know better than you do. Your sensible plan of moderation and hunger cues isn’t going to sit well with most family and friends who have been brainwashed into thinking hardcore deprivation is the only way to go.

· Think their harping is helping. The more they nag, in their minds, the better off you’ll be and the less likely you’ll be to “fall off the wagon.”

Most of the time, they don’t know they’re sabotaging you. They offer you fat-laden candy and meals in a joking manner, not realizing it’s hurtful to you that someone you care about would try to make you fail.

Just as you don’t want others pressuring you to diet their way, don’t do the reverse and turn into someone who does nothing but talk about how much weight she’s losing. Don’t lose the rest of your identity to become “the dieter.”

There’s more to you than what the scale says – and if you notice you’ve become obsessed with losing weight and can’t find anything else to talk about, it’s time to step back and find yourself again.

Don’t harp on other people to begin the diet plan you’re on. If they ask, feel free to share your success tips with them! But forcing it on someone is just as bad as those who sabotage you and try to get you to quit your diet.

Movement, Not Exercise

One of the worst parts about embarking on a weight loss plan (aside from making nutritional changes where we can’t eat nothing but junk food) is that we have to start moving our bodies.

The key to long term weight loss success you experience will work better if you enjoy adding movement throughout your day. It shouldn’t be something you dread and want to find excuses for.

Here are a few ideas to get you off the couch and into the world, burning calories while having fun:

· Kinect Video Games

· Ice or Roller Skating or Roller Blading

· Dancing

· Biking

· Sports (basketball, softball, boxing, running)

· Laser Tag

· Trampoline jumping

· Swimming

You can find combinations of these fun movements, too. For instance, Dance Central on Kinect has you dancing to your old favorites and new hits in the comfort of your living room – so inclement weather won’t even affect you!

You want to prevent boredom whenever you add an exercise regimen to your weight loss efforts. Not many people enjoy the thought of hopping on a treadmill day after day, watching the same scenery.

It’s much more fun (and better for your body) if you switch things up and change your routine so that it’s anything but routine in your life.

Swim when it’s warm and sunny, stay inside and dance when it’s raining, hop on the trampoline with your kids sometimes or take them to laser tag and run around the fields or complex all day.

Losing weight for the long haul means it can’t be something you don’t enjoy. It’s important that you be allowed to eat foods you love, that you’re not chained to an exercise bike week after week, and that you celebrate your efforts and have fun so that you never even consider going back to your old ways.

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