Our bones become weaker as we age. This can cause osteoporosis, where the thinning of our bone leads to fractures and disability from these injuries in some cases. The good news: There is a treatment for this condition that has been shown successfully at preventing further damages!
Restrictive diets not only reduce our caloric intake but also often reduce our exposure to vitamins and nutrients that our bodies need to stay healthy. Extreme diets can reduce your bone mass, but a balanced diet and weight-bearing exercise will protect you from osteoporosis while you shed unwanted pounds.
Try these tips for maintaining strong bones while losing weight:
- Eat calcium-rich foods. Calcium is a key nutrient for your bones as well as your overall health. When you don’t eat enough calcium, your body pulls it from your bones. The good news for dieters is that many calcium-rich foods are low in calories and high in nutrients. Eat low-fat dairy products, dark green vegetables, beans, and oats.
- Consider calcium supplements. Food is the best source of calcium but supplements can help too. Many supplements are best absorbed when taken with a meal. Take smaller doses spaced out over the day to avoid side effects like cramping or diarrhea.
- Get enough vitamin D and magnesium. Your body needs vitamin D and magnesium to absorb and use the calcium you eat. Many common foods are fortified with vitamin D including milk, orange juice, and some breakfast cereals. Good sources of magnesium include herbs, fruits, and many vegetables.
- Limit your salt intake. Many Americans consume twice as much salt as medical experts recommend. When you eat too much salt, your body loses calcium through urination. Eat healthy, fresh foods and ask restaurants to prepare your meal with less salt when you eat out.
- Cut back on caffeine. Caffeine also interferes with calcium absorption. Limit your soft drinks and exchange your regular coffee for tea. Although tea has caffeine, research shows that its plant compounds help protect your bones.
- Incorporate weight-bearing exercise into your daily routine. Physical activity is great for your bones and your weight loss plans. Your bones are living tissue, so moderate stress makes them stronger. Try to spend about 30 minutes a day on moderate exercises you enjoy, like walking or dancing.
- Strength train. Strength training exercises build bone mass, so try to complete a couple of sessions a week. You can join a gym or use free weights at home. Using your body weight is also effective through exercises like push-ups or dips.
More Lifestyle Tips to Protect Your Bones
The first step is getting all the nutrients you need for proper bone growth. “A healthy diet can significantly reduce the risk of bone loss and osteoporosis,” says Kathleen Zelman, RD, director of nutrition for WebMD. “And it’s never too late to start.”
We have a lot of access to the best bone support. Stop in for a personal tour to learn more!