An Easy Way to Boost Bone Strength
Ask most doctors for the easiest way to improve your health, and they’ll probably tell you to lose any extra weight you’re carrying. It’s sort of a stock medical answer. And it’s almost always true.
But for some people – especially mature women – weight loss is a double-edged sword. Because when you lose weight, you also lose bone mass. And studies show the problem is bigger than most people – even most doctors – realize.
There’s a simple trick that helps promote better bone health during weight loss. In a moment, I’ll show you what it is. But first, here’s why weight loss can be rough on your bones.
Your body is a marvel of economy. If you get a job working on a loading dock, it will build the extra muscle needed to perform the job more efficiently. But if you move from the loading dock to a desk job, you’ll lose the extra muscle… because you don’t need it any more.
In the same way, if you gain weight, your body’s natural reaction is to increase bone density. That way, your skeleton is better able to carry the extra weight. When you lose weight, your body naturally “thinks” it needs less bone to do its job.
But many people – especially mature adults – don’t have bone density to spare. Weak brittle bones can be made even weaker by dieting. But not only for the reason I just mentioned.
You see, when you lose weight, your bones undergo another change.
Bone remodeling is a natural process in which your body breaks down old bone and replaces it with new bone. When you start losing weight, the pace of bone remodeling speeds up.
That may not sound bad, but this acceleration also makes your bones more fragile. So some people are hit with a double whammy. Their already weak bones become less dense and more fragile.
And recent research shows that accelerated bone remodeling continues long after you’ve lost the weight.1
You may already know that weight-bearing exercise – such as walking and jogging – supports healthier bone density. Your body responds to this form of exercise by building the extra bone needed to carry the weight during exercise.
But weight-bearing exercise doesn’t slow down bone remodeling.2 so your bones could use a little extra insurance when you’re trying to lose weight. Fortunately, that extra insurance is available… and it’s easy.
Most weight-loss plans are built around a low-fat diet rich in carbohydrates. But many studies show that a diet rich in lean protein – and low in complex carbohydrates – is healthier.
And, it turns out, it’s better for your bones, too.
Researchers at the University of Illinois tested a high-protein plan – including 3 daily servings of dairy – against a standard weight-loss plan. Both groups lost weight, but the protein-and-dairy group maintained greater bone strength.3
The news gets better, too.
Canadian researchers recently looked at the markers for bone breakdown and formation in three similar weight-loss groups. They found people eating more protein and dairy had lower breakdown markers and higher formation markers.4 In other words, healthier bone metabolism.
If you’re looking to lose a few pounds – or even more – meals rich in lean protein and dairy can give you the extra insurance your bones may need.
Best Life Herbals Wellness Team
Best Life Herbals
1 Hinton, P.S., et al, “Weight loss-induced alterations in serum markers of bone turnover persist during weight maintenance in obese men and women,” J Am Coll Nutr. Oct 2009;28(5):565-73.
2 Rector, R.S., et al, “Serum markers of bone turnover are increased by modest weight loss with or without weight-bearing exercise in overweight premenopausal women,” Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. Oct 2009;34(5):933-41.
3 Thorpe, M.P., et al, “A Diet High in Protein, Dairy, and Calcium Attenuates Bone Loss over Twelve Months of Weight Loss and Maintenance Relative to a Conventional High-Carbohydrate Diet in Adults,” J. Nutr. June
4 Josse, A.R., et al, “Diets Higher in Dairy Foods and Dietary Protein Support Bone Health during Diet- and Exercise-Induced Weight Loss in Overweight and Obese Premenopausal Women,” Endocrinology & Metabolism November 2, 2011;