A Cause of Osteopenia Dieting - one of the seldom mentioned causes of bone loss. The United States is a nation of overweight people. At least 65% of the population is overweight. (And the rest of the developed world is catching up with these statistics at a rapid pace.)
As a result of such widespread weight gain, dieting has become a
national past time. There is the Atkins Diet, The South Beach diet,
the Pritikin Diet, The Dean Ornish Diet, Weight Watchers, TOPS (Take off
Pounds Sensibly) and a whole host of weekend, two week, magic 30, 60
and 90 day weight loss plans. Most supermarket periodicals carry articles about weight loss and there are dozens of web sites dedicated to this topic.
Yes. People go on diets as part of their New Year's resolutions. They diet before the swim suit season. They diet when they read about diabetes, cardiovascular diseases AND they diet after seeing T.V. infomercials or see a talk show host who lost '30 pounds' and who now looks 'terrific'.
So, now, be honest.
Has the national pastime of dieting effected you?
How many times have you dieted since you were 18?
Have you ever taken off 10 or more pounds and then put them back on?
How many times have you lost weight?
Please do a quick calculation before you read the rest of this page.
These are serious questions for anyone interested in understanding bone loss. Try to figure it out your pattern of dieting is important for understanding your bone loss - for understanding whether this could be one of your causes of Osteopenia.
What no one seems to tell the public is that each time you drop at least 10 pounds, you do not just lose fat tissue. You also lose muscle, water AND bone. Yes, bone. A recent report noted that you will lose about 1% of your bone EACH TIME you lose 10 pounds.
So, if you diet and lose 20 pounds, you may have lost about 2% of bone and then if you gain the weight back, you do not regain the bone and you usually do not regain muscle tissues. Most regained weight is from fat cells. (And since fat cells burn fewer calories than muscle we tend to regain even more weight than we lost.) So, in a few months or years you diet again....and lose more bone. Do you now understand how a Cause of Osteopenia Dieting works?
OK. Let's look at your calculation of how many times you lost 10 pounds or 20 pounds. When some people add up the results of their dieting over the years, they discover that they have lost as much as 10 - 18% of their bone density because of dieting! ( Take time now to figure out what percent of your lost bone density can be chalked up to yo-yo dieting.)
Well, that are we to do? Carrying extra weight is not healthy. There are two main things that you can do to prevent this Cause of Osteopenia dieting from doing any more damage to your bones.
1. If you are going to diet, do it under your health care provider's supervision AND be sure to ask about supplements that you can take to prevent bone loss during your diet. Explain your concerns about additional bone loss. Ask if you can have another dexa scan 6 months or a year after the weight loss phase of your diet is over. And do NOT regain the weight this time! Be serious. For your dieting could be a cause of Osteopenia or event turning your bones Osteoporosic.
2. If you do not want to go through the process of a medically
supervised diet, then consider another way of losing weight: Increase
your activity! That will burn more calories.And burning more calories will also lead to weight loss.
Miriam Nelson Ph. D. of Tufts University suggests that you use strength training to reduce unwanted flab. She (and other researchers) have found that a regular program of strength training increases the percent of muscle cells your body. Muscle burns more calories than fat. So strength training will increase the number of calories you burn. Instead of reducing your intake of food you can burn off fat cells by strength training. AND strength training increases bone density!
The great thing about strength training is that it tones your body. After six weeks or so you will find your clothes becoming a 'bit loose'. Muscle is replacing fat. And since muscle burns more calories than fat, if you keep eating the same amount as you ate before you started strength training, you will find yourself becoming more and more shapely.
NOTE: Since muscle weighs more than fat, you might not notice the change on the scales right away but you will notice it when you look in the mirror!
Of course the BEST thing about your strength training will be that it stimulates your Osteoblasts to build new bone. (There is abundant research showing that strength training increases bone density ---- even among those of us in our 70's, 80's and 90's! ) While dieting is a cause of Osteopenia, strength training can be a way to reverse Osteopenia.
So the next time you look in the mirror and think about a calorie reducing diet, remember that dieting can be a cause of Osteopenia. Look instend to strength training. Look good. Be healthier. And be happy knowing that you are stimulating new bone growth. YOU will NOT be doing something than can cause Osteopenia through 'dieters bone loss.'
Oh, yes and tell your relatives and friends ...so they can avoid this cause of Osteopenia dieting
If you want to use any of Miriam Nelson's books, here is a review of Strong Women Stay Young.
Or you can find her book about Building Strong Bones at Amazon :
To read more on the topic of causes go to: Cause of Osteopenia .
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