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How to Take Care of Bone Health When Trying to Lose Weight

Making healthier lifestyle choices like eating a balanced diet, being active physically can help boost bone health.

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Updated:September 23, 2019, 3:00 PM IST
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How to Take Care of Bone Health When Trying to Lose Weight
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A global fast-paced life often sees millennials facing health issues due to obesity and an unhealthy lifestyle. While some succumb to work pressure and often end up hosting a series of illnesses related to obesity like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and a shortened lifespan, others opt towards a healthier option, getting into a series of exercises and lifestyle changes for a healthier tomorrow. However, that too is not bereft of its side-effects.

A 2006 Rutgers University study says that a low body weight often goes hand in hand with low bone mass and increased risk of fractures. The study further adds that a 10 percent weight loss results in up to 2 percent bone loss in the human body. In fact, the study shows that weight protects one in several ways.

Furthermore, a study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston found that losing weight can lead to lower bone density in the hip and spine in post-menopausal women. This increases the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.

Thus, maintaining a healthy weight is of optimum importance in keeping bones and overall health in top shape. Making healthier lifestyle choices like eating a balanced diet, being active physically can help boost bone health.

There are plenty of ways one can shed weight safely and effectively while maintaining bone health. Crash diets can have a poor impact on bones and research has shown that overweight dieters who do not exercise are at a greater risk for weaker bones. Here are ways to maintain bone health while trying to lose weight.

Do weight-bearing exercises: Weight-bearing exercises keep the bones strong by forcing the body to work against gravity. These include hiking, jogging or something as simple as climbing stairs.

Eat a balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D: Both calcium and vitamin D are essential for maintaining strong bones. According to experts, one can get vitamin D from sunlight or mushrooms and fortified milk. They should also consume leafy green veggies like kale and broccoli as well as fish like salmon which is a good source of vitamin D. Furthermore, much like calcium, magnesium and zinc are minerals that provide important support for bone health and density. Thus nuts, legumes and whole grains should be added to the diet.

Besides, while it may be tempting to lose weight by crash dieting and burning a lot of fat at a less amount of time doing only cardio workouts, losing weight too quickly can cause a person to lose both fat and muscle. Losing too much lean tissue hinders bone alteration as well which in turn affects bone mineral density. One should moderate their weight loss by mixing in muscle-strengthening exercises that help burn fat but preserves lean tissue and bone mass as well.

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