Does Weight Loss Cause Bone Loss?

Is dieting part of your New Year's resolution?   Maybe you received a new DVD for Christmas on yoga or Tai Chi or maybe you just want to walk or continue running daily since we need weight bearing exercise to keep our bones strong?   Whatever the case, you must incorporated diet with exercise if you want to maintain your bone mass and not lose more bone density than you already have.

According to Daniel DeNoon from WebMD, overweight dieters who cut calories but don't exercise lose more than weight they lose bone mass.

Researchers found that during weight loss bones go through the remodeling phase at a rapid pace breaking down old bone and creating some new.   If dieters didn't include exercise, the losses they saw in bone density were at the hip and spine which are common areas of fracture in women with osteoporosis.   Since these are common areas of fracture you don't want these areas to become even weaker than they were before you started your new diet.

One way to determine whether you are losing bone during your diet is for your doctor to run bone marker tests to see if you are excreting an excessive amount of bone by-product that can be measured in your urine or blood.   The results of these formation and resorption marker tests will let you know if you aren't including enough exercise along with your new diet, and as a result you are rapidly losing bone.

If you are looking for exercises that are weight bearing and bone loading, you could add jumping, running, dancing, stair climbing, walking and any bone loading aerobic exercise.   Bone loading means that the weight of your body are on these bones, causing the bones to strengthen and increase their density over time.

If your New Year includes a new diet, be sure to add exercise along with that so you don't lose any more bone mineral density.


Daniel DeNoon. (2006 December 11).   Weight Loss Can Mean Bone Loss. Retrieved 1-25-2015 from