While many of those trying to lose weight often cut calcium-rich foods from their diets, they shouldn’t. Losing and maintaining weight can be difficult at times, yet preliminary studies indicate that getting enough calcium, especially through low-fat dairy sources, may make it easier. Researchers propose that a lack of calcium may be a reason why many diets fail. When overall calorie consumption is accounted for, calcium not only helps to keep weight in check, but has also been specifically associated with decreases in body fat.
More good news -- increased dietary calcium levels have been shown to accelerate the loss of weight and body fat, including increased loss from the abdominal region, when accompanied by caloric restriction. Therefore, it appears that calcium levels have the potential to affect a person’s “shape” as well as overall body weight.
Below I have outlined a day of nutrition rich in calcium and low-fat dairy. If you are concerned with lactose intolerance, try what I recommend to many of my clients. Take a Lactaid caplet with your first bite of dairy foods, it really does seem to work for most who use it.
Skim or soy latte or café au lait (decaf or regular)
3 egg whites
1 slice 2% American or cheddar cheese
1 piece of fruit of your choice
Breakstone’s 2% cottage cheese with 6 crushed almonds mixed in
Tossed “Greek Salad” with
Tomatoes and cucumbers
1 mozzarella stick
Light soft cheese (goat or laughing cow) spread on celery
Quinoa or wild rice
Decaf skim or soy chai steamer or cappuccino
Mocha “Panna Cotta”
Mix together, chilled
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 package sugar substitute
Dash espresso powder (or instant decaf coffee)
5 mini chocolate chips
Davies KM, Heaney RP, Recker RR, et al. Calcium intake and body weight. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2000 Dec; 85(12):4635-8.
Jacqmain M, Doucet E, Despres JP, et al. Calcium intake, body composition, and lipoprotein-lipid concentrations in adults. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Jun; 77(6):1448-52.
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