How Calcium Can Help Whip You Into Shape (& Lose Weight!)

Updated: May 27, 2024

Lara Pizzorno is the author of “Your Bones: How You Can Prevent Osteoporosis and Have Strong Bones for Life – Naturally” and a member of the American Medical Writers Association with 29 years of experience specializing in bone health.

Recently we asked Lara if she would help us provide a series of short, ongoing videos to help you (our customers and readers) stay up to date on the latest facts and science related to bone health and overcoming osteoporosis naturally.

In this latest video, Lara reveals how calcium can help you get and stay in shape, naturally, healthfully, without feeling hungry.. Watch the video below (or read the transcript provided) and let us know what you think in the comments. 🙂

Hello, I’m Lara Pizzorno and I’m here today to share some information with your from the breaking research that relates to bone health and I hope that it will help you have healthier bones.

In the last couple of videos we’ve been talking about calcium and how it can help us stay in shapely shape naturally, healthfully and without feeling hungry. In our last video we talked about some of the research into the mechanisms through which daily consumption of calcium promotes fat loss. The latest studies have been focused on figuring out all the reasons why calcium helps us lose unwanted fat. And various types of unwanted fat are harmful to our bones. So it’s important to get rid of, particularly belly fat, to maintain our bone mineral density.

There are a number of ways in which calcium helps us do this, in addition of course of being essential into the incorporation of bone:

  • Calcium causes us to excrete more fat in stools
  • It also promotes the release of insulin so the calories we consume get delivered to our cells and used to produce energy and not stored away as fat in our adipocytes.
  • Lastly, if calcium is accompanied, particularly if it’s accompanied by vitamin D and protein, it increases satiety. So our hunger is satisfied and we end up eating less during the day.

In this video, I’d like to share with you some results from a few of the medical journals investigating these mechanisms. I found them really inspiring especially that spring is upon us and that means that summer and bathing suit season may be here possibly sooner than we might like if we ate one too many treats during the holidays.

Fortunately, calcium can help us burn off any extra fat we put on while producing more energy and it can help us do it without feeling hungry.

In 2009 a systematic review and meta analysis of a number of randomized control trials was published. The results of all these studies showed that increasing calcium intake from the 400-500 mg per day that is typically consumed from the diet, to 1241 mg per day resulted in an increase of what’s called fecal fat excreted in stools. Of an average of 5.2 grams lost per day.

An earlier study of 32 obese adults published in 2004 in the Journal of Obesity Research, compared the effects of 24 weeks of just dieting. Consuming 500 calories less per day than the amount of calories needed to maintain one’s weight. To 24 weeks of dieting and eating a high calcium diet or taking supplemental calcium along with a healthy diet. Those randomized to the standard diet which provided 400-500 mg of dietary calcium per day lost 6.4% of their body weight from dieting. Those on the high calcium diet, 4-500 mg of calcium per day from food plus 800 mg of supplemental calcium per day lost 8.6% of their total body weight by the end of the study. And those on the high dairy diet, 1200-1300 mg of calcium from foods lost 10.9% of their body weight. Fat loss was similarly greatly increased with the high calcium, and dairy diets by 38% more and 64% more, respectively.

Most importantly here for our health, the fat loss from the trunk region represented just 19% of the total fat loss on the low calcium diet but was increased to 50% of the fat loss on the high calcium diet and 66.2% on the high calcium plus high dairy diet.

This is especially important because as I discussed in another video, in which our topic was the ways in which VAT or visceral adipose tissue or in normal language belly fat, causes a loss of bone mineral density and a drop in our ability to retain our muscle mass.

Research has clearly shown us that abdominal fat or trunk fat is pro inflammatory and triggers chronic low grade inflammation that activates osteoclasts and causes bone loss.

So calcium’s effects on belly fat are a major benefit for our bones.

In yet another study of obese women who were low of calcium consumers before the study began, which in this study meant that they consumed less than 600 mg of calcium per day, supplementing with calcium and vitamin D over the course of the 15 week study, substantially increased how much body weight and specifically fat weight these women lost compared to control subjects who did not take supplemental calcium and vitamin D. The women who did take supplemental calcium and vitamin D lost 4. 4 kg equivalent of 9.68 pounds more than those who did not take supplemental calcium and vitamin D and most of the weight they lost was fat. The average drop in average body fat mass in these women represented a loss of 32,000 calories.

These spectacular results led these researcher to hypothesize that calcium and vitamin D supplementation improves our ability to burn fat or fat oxidation for energy. And this is an explanation that is now not only accepted but is referred in the literature as the “calcium paradox,” which we will talk about in our next video. Thanks for tuning in!


Christensen R, Lorenzen JK, Svith CR, et al.  Effect of calcium from dairy and dietary supplements on faecal fat excretion: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Obes Rev. 2009 Jul;10(4):475-86. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-789X.2009.00599.x. Epub 2009 Jun 1. PMID: 19493303

Thompson W, Milstead A, et al. Calcium and dairy acceleration of weight and fat loss during energy restriction in obese adults. Obes Res. 2004 Apr;12(4):582-90 PMID: 15090625

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This article features advice from our industry experts to give you the best possible info through cutting-edge research.

Lara Pizzorno
MDiv, MA, LMT - Best-selling author of Healthy Bones Healthy You! and Your Bones; Editor of Longevity Medicine Review, and Senior Medical Editor for Integrative Medicine Advisors.,
Dr. Liz Lipski
PhD, CNS, FACN, IFMP, BCHN, LDN - Professor and Director of Academic Development, Nutrition programs in Clinical Nutrition at Maryland University of Integrative Health.,
Dr. Loren Fishman
MD, B.Phil.,(oxon.) - Medical Director of Manhattan Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Founder of the Yoga Injury Prevention Website.,
Prof. Didier Hans
PHD, MBA - Head of Research & Development Center of Bone Diseases, Lausanne University Hospital CHUV, Switzerland,