Since dairy tends to be high in fat, many people believe that eliminating it from your diet is an essential key to weight loss. However, various studies have actually shown that adding calcium to your diet can help speed up weight loss. Why is there a link between calcium intake and weight loss? How much calcium should you be consuming a day to notice a difference in your waistline? Here are some of the things that you should know about calcium for weight loss.


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Why Calcium for Weight Loss is Effective

A reduced-calorie diet is one of the main reasons why some experts believe calcium for weight loss is thought to be effective. Low-fat dairy sources, which contain much higher levels of calcium than their full-fat counterparts, are very low in calories. Anyone who wants to lose weight by following a reduced-calorie diet should be aware of the link between calcium intake and weight loss.

In one study, it was found that caloric deficit diets with increased low-fat dairy foods or with Ca + vitamin D supplements, were associated with greater weight reduction toward a healthier body composition and preservation of bone mass, in comparison to the control group (only caloric deficit diet), with the best outcomes in the low-fat dairy group.

Calcium for weight loss is also thought to be effective due to an increase in the body’s ability to burn calories. According to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, consuming greater amounts of calcium can help increase metabolism levels and, ultimately, help the body burn more calories on its own.

Fat storage prevention is another one of the reasons why researchers have found a link between calcium intake and weight loss. When a person consumes higher levels of calcium, their bodies are less likely to store fat. According to Michael Zemel, PhD, director of the Nutrition Institute, studies have shown that fat is more likely to be burned if greater amounts of calcium are stored in fat cells.

Best Sources of Calcium to Lose Weight

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Anyone who is planning to incorporate calcium into their daily diet will want to consider low-fat sources of dairy. This includes skim or reduced-fat milk and low-fat or fat-free cheeses and yogurts.

Using calcium for weight loss may be more difficult for individuals with lactose intolerance or those who do not like dairy. Calcium-fortified fruit juices or soy products are good alternatives.

Getting the Right Amount of Calcium for Weight Loss

The Institute of Medicine recommended daily allowance of calcium for women ages 19 to 50 is 1,000 milligrams per day, and the upper level (safe) limit is 2,500 milligrams per day. The Institute’s recommended daily allowance of calcium for women ages 51 to 70 is 1,200 milligrams per day, and the upper-level limit is 2,000 milligrams per day.

For men, the recommended upper limit for calcium is 2,500 mg a day for adults 19 to 50. For those 51 and older, the limit is 2,000 mg a day.

This is equivalent to three to four daily servings of low-fat dairy, which is plentiful to offer the benefits from calcium’s ability to burn fat. Be sure to consult your health care provider regarding questions about daily calcium recommendations.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a little tweak to your current diet, consider prioritizing calcium for weight loss. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you should stay away from whole-fat milk or dairy products, as they can actually increase your chances of obesity and may raise your cholesterol levels.


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