3. Not getting enough calcium
You need at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day from foods—one cup of milk, plus one cup of yogurt and a cube of cheese—or supplements. For overweight women who are calcium deficient, boosting intake may spur weight loss, according to a study in the British Journal of Nutrition. Researchers at Laval University in Quebec City studied 63 overweight or obese women who consumed 600 milligrams or less of calcium daily, about half the recommended amount. For 15 weeks, the women followed a low-calorie diet and took either a placebo or 1,200 milligrams of elemental calcium plus vitamin D daily. The women who took calcium lost six times more weight than those who didn’t, shedding 13 pounds compared to two pounds. The brain may detect the lack of calcium and try to compensate by increasing appetite to boost intake, say researchers.