You’ve probably seen the TV commercials where the women brag to each other about all the weight they’ve lost by eating yogurt. This weight loss promise may seem like marketing hype to get people to buy more of this or that particular brand of yogurt, but it turns out there may actually be some truth to the claim.
But perhaps it’s not the yogurt, per se, but the calcium and vitamin D readily found in yogurt that aid in weight loss.
More Than Strong Bones
In a 2010 study, researchers analyzed data from the Dietary Intervention Randomized Controlled Trial and followed 126 participants for six months. At the end of those six months, they concluded that high dairy calcium intake and serum vitamin D were associated with greater weight loss in those who were dieting.
And in another more recent study, researchers found that calcium and vitamin D supplementation contributes to a reduction in abdominal fat. This is particularly good news, considering abdominal fat is linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and breast cancer.
For this study, 171 participants were randomly divided into three treatment groups:
- The first group consumed three 240mL glasses of regular orange juice fortified with 350 mg of calcium and 100 mg of vitamin D per serving.
- The second group consumed the same amount of light orange juice fortified with 350 mg of calcium and 100 mg of vitamin D per serving.
- The control group consumed unfortified orange juice.
After 16 weeks, the reduction of abdominal fat in those drinking the regular fortified and the light fortified orange juice was significantly greater than in the control groups. And when the results of the two trials were combined, the results remained “highly significant,” according to the authors.
Moreover, the calcium/vitamin D combination has also been shown to increase fat oxidation — the breakdown and use of stored fat in the body to produce energy.
Increase Your Calcium and Vitamin D, Decrease Your Waistline
So, if you’re on a mission to melt away a few pounds, perhaps adding a little yogurt to your diet really can help you achieve your goal. In addition to yogurt, other dairy products that contain the fat-busting calcium/vitamin D combo include milk and various cheeses (mozzarella, cottage, Swiss, cheddar, etc.). Eat one to two servings of dairy products per day, and, of course, opt for the low-fat or non-fat versions.
You can also find many non-dairy calcium-fortified products. In addition to orange juice, non-dairy milks like soy, almond, rice and hemp include calcium and vitamin D. And certain vegetables also naturally contain calcium and vitamin D, including collards, kale, bok choy, turnip greens and broccoli. Strive to add these delicious and nutritious veggies to your daily diet, as well.
Finally, if you prefer to take supplemental calcium and vitamin D, both are affordable and readily available at every grocery store or pharmacy.
In general, the recommended daily dosage of calcium is 1,000 mg for men up to the age of 70, and 1,200 mg for men over age 70. Women ages 19-50 should take 1,000 mg per day; the daily dosage increases to 1,200 mg for women age 51 and over.
As for vitamin D supplements, the recommended daily dosage is 600 IU per day for people under age 70, and 800 IU daily for people over 70. However, you can safely take up to 2,000 IU a day, according to the National Academy of Sciences.
If you’re looking for a high-quality vitamin D supplement, you can simply click here.
 Shahar DR et al. Dairy calcium intake, serum vitamin D, and successful weight loss. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Nov;92(5):1017–22.
 Rosenblum JL et al. Calcium and vitamin D supplementation is associated with decreased abdominal visceral adipose tissue in overweight and obese adults. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Jan;95(1):101–8.
 Teegarden D et al. Calcium and dairy product modulation of lipid utilization and energy expenditure. Obesity. 2008;16:1,566–72.