Weight Loss Tip #8: Increase Calcium Intake

Calcium is a very important nutrient for women, and it is vital to a healthy lifestyle.  Calcium helps build strong bones and helps keep them strong.  One out of every two women over the age of 50 will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in here life.  Calcium can be found in dairy products and most multivitamins.  A lot of women make the mistake of restricting calcium rich foods when they are trying to lose weight.  You couldn’t be hurting yourself more if you are one of the people that do this.  Calcium from dairy foods not only helps build strong bones but it can also decrease your chance of PMS (premenstrual syndrome) each month when coupled with appropriate vitamin D levels.  Studies have recently shown that when people are trying to lose weight, those who ate a calcium rich diet lost more weight than those who restricted calcium rich foods.  These results were achieved by eating foods that were rich in calcium, not by calcium supplementation.

The recommended intake of calcium for women is as follows.

1,200 – 1,500 mg for ages 11-24
1,000 mg for ages 25 to 50 and most post menopausal women
1,500 mg for women on menopausal hormone therapy
1,200 – 1,500 mg for pregnant and breastfeeding women

Try to get 2 to 3 servings of calcium rich foods each day such as skim milk, yogurt and hard cheeses.  You can also get calcium from dark green vegetables, dried beans, fortified cereal and some juices.  As long as you watch your overall caloric intake and burn more calories than you consume, dairy products are a great part of a healthy weight loss plan as well as a healthy overall lifestyle.