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Calcium, a Nutrient Essential to Weight Loss!

In the last few years, we have been hearing more and more about the relationship between calcium consumption and body weight. Indeed, several studies have shown that an increase in calcium consumption promotes weight loss.

In one of these studies, obese women participated in a 15 weeks weight loss program. On average, they consumed around 600 mg of calcium a day (equivalent to 1-2 servings of dairy products, such as 250 ml of milk, 175 ml of yogurt, or 50 g of cheese), in comparison to their needs, that is, 1000 mg per day for both men and women 19 to 50. All of these women were on a low-calorie nutrition plan, and had to take two tablets a day, either of calcium or a placebo (a tablet without any active agent). Women who took the calcium supplement lost 6 kg, in comparison to 1 kg for women who got the placebo.

According to researchers, this effect was probably caused by their initial insufficient calcium consumption. It may be possible that if the organism is deprived of calcium, the brain may be able to decipher this deficiency as a the indicator of times of starvation, and thus send hunger signals to the body, even though it probably already has all the calories it needs. Therefore, the result is an excess of calories, which may explain why some people carry extra weight, or have a hard time losing it.

An interesting fact is that another study has demonstrated that people with an insufficient initial calcium intake lost more weight when they drank milk than when they got their calcium from supplements.

Therefore, do not necessarily turn to supplements, but meet your calcium needs with three servings of milk products a day, which will also give a satisfying and filling effect to your nutrition.

Here are a few tips to increase your consumption of dairy products:

  • Prepare your gruel with milk instead of water;
  • Drink 250 ml of chocolate milk or enriched soy beverage after your workout;
  • Integrate 175 ml (or two small containers) of yogurt with a fruit to your breakfast;
  • Put a slice of partly-skimmed cheese in your sandwich;
  • For your desserts, savor a yogurt rather than less nutritive foods, such as cookies or snack cakes;
  • Drink 250 ml of milk or soy beverage as a snack;
  • Choose Lattes over black coffee.

By Marilyne Petitclerc


G.-C. Major, F.-P. Alarie, J. Doré et A. Tremblay, «Calcium plus vitamin D supplementation and fat mass loss in female very low-calcium consumers: Potential link with a calcium-specific appetite control», British Journal of Nutrition, Vol. 101, 2009, p. 659-663.

M.B. Zemel and others, «Calcium and Dairy acceleration of weight and fat loss during energy restriction in obese adults», Obesity research, vol. 12, 2004, p.582-590.

Marilyne Petitclerc

Holder of a degree in nutrition from Université Laval, Marilyne has worked as a nutritionist for Nautilus Plus since 2010. Passionate about healthy eating and sports nutrition, she also gives lectures and hosts cooking workshops. With her clients, Marilyne makes extensive use of the instinct diet approach and the Mediterranean diet model. Furthermore, she has attended classes on live nutrition at the Hippocrates Health Institute. Maryline ran the Quebec City Marathon des Deux Rives - Half Marathon in 2010 and 2012. She also took part in the Staircase Challenge, another event held in Quebec City in June 2012. Marilyne also plays in an Ultimate Frisbee league and trains regularly at the Nautilus Plus branch where she is employed.

Calcium, a Nutrient Essential to Weight Loss! is a post from I'm taking charge. I'm taking charge is a blog that aims to help people in their journey to fitness through articles on training, nutrition, motivation, exercise and healthy recipes.
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