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Old 04-25-2008, 08:28 PM   #1
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Default Calcium and belly fat...

Hi everyone!

I keep hearing and seeing these "studies" where two groups of dieters were given the same number of calories each day, but one group had three servings of yogurt and the other didn't. Then the yogurt group lost 60-80% more belly fat than the other.

My question is, is this legitimate? I can't understand how extra calcium affects belly fat. It seems like "calories are calories"...
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Old 04-25-2008, 08:38 PM   #2
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There's more and more research that suggests that "calories are calories" may be untrue or misleading. 1500 calories in snickers bars, and 1500 calories of lean protein and leafy vegetables may have a very different impact on metabolism. There's growing evidence that insulin resistant folks, for example may lose weight better on a low carb diet than a high carb diet of equivalent calories (My personal experience has been that this is true for me. I can eat more calories and still lose more weight on a lower carb diet).

Still, I don't think you can assume that these studies prove much if anything. It's just an intriguing question that hopefully gets alot more attention.
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Old 04-25-2008, 09:59 PM   #3
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Personally, I'm a little skeptical anytime a new study comes out proclaiming anything because it seems like it will only be a matter of time before another one comes out refuting it!
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Old 04-25-2008, 11:01 PM   #4
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I'm curious how they draw the conclusion that's it's calcium that's having the effect.

With yogurt, it could be dairy proteins. It could be the live cultures. It could be anything aside from the calcium.

And ... belly fat? IMO, fat is fat, right? People lose fat in different parts of their bodies differently but we don't have different *kinds* of fat in different parts of our bodies.

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Old 04-26-2008, 08:28 AM   #5
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I don't know if I quite believe it, *however* I drink 2 glasses of milk a day, plus yogurt. And I have broccoli every day (which has a lot of calcium).

I have lost more inches off my waist than other parts of my body in proportion to its starting point.
So. for whatever that is worth :P
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Old 04-26-2008, 11:28 AM   #6
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PhotoChick makes a very good point, that you also have to be aware of when you hear reports in the media about research. Often the researchers themselves would cringe at how their results are twisted to make claims that aren't actually supported by the research. If you can actually find the published research (and wade through the scientific jargon) you often find that the researchers are drawing absolutely no conclusions about their results, just reporting them.

It's only after many, many studies, controlling different variables, that conclusions can really start to be drawn with any validity.
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Old 04-26-2008, 11:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhotoChick View Post
And ... belly fat? IMO, fat is fat, right? People lose fat in different parts of their bodies differently but we don't have different *kinds* of fat in different parts of our bodies.
Actually, we do have different kinds of fat. The term belly fat usually refers to the fat that surrounds our internal organs, which is visceral fat. It has a different function and responds differently to diet and exercise than subcutaneous fat, which is the fat just below our skin (e.g., the fat in our thighs, upper arms, etc.) Visceral fat (the fat around our internal organs) has greater health risks associated with it than subcutaneous fat. That's why apple-shaped people are at greater risk for heart disease than pear-shaped people--it's visceral fat that gives them their apple shape. There's a short explanation of some of the differences on FreeDieting.com. The book You on a Diet has a more thorough explanation. You can probably google either term to find out more as well.

I have no idea if eating yogurt helps you lose visceral fat. It's not out of the realm of possibility. On the other hand, I've read that a lot of these studies about dairy and yogurt are sponsored by the dairy industry, which makes me suspicious of them.
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Old 04-27-2008, 04:21 PM   #8
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I'm not sure about the belly fat thing, but I did see Dr. Oz on Oprah and he claimed that increased calcium intake helped people to lose weight because the calcium will keep your body from absorbing some of the fat that you eat. Again, I'm not sure how true this is, but I figure what the hey, calcium is good for bones and teeth anyway, so it won't hurt for me to take a supplement... haha.
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