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5 Things That Can Weaken Your Bones, Even If You’ve Absorbed Enough Calcium

5 Things That Can Weaken Your Bones, Even If You’ve Absorbed Enough Calcium

It’s no secret that calcium is good for you. You pour a glass of milk with your eggs for breakfast and go about your day thinking you just gave your body all the calcium it needs. It’s believed by many that by simply consuming dairy products, their bones will become stronger. Although that may be true to a degree, many do not take into account their lifestyle habits or diet, which can cause their body to either lose calcium or not absorb as much as it should. Here are the 5 traps you can easily fall into and lose the calcium in your body unknowingly:

1. Including spinach, cherries and chocolate in your diet

We like including spinach in our diets, assuming that our body is going to absorb the calcium we need from the vegetable. Spinach is well-known as a great source of calcium. However, what you may not know is spinach, along with berries and chocolate, are foods high in oxalic acid. Oxalic acid is a substance that can bind with the calcium to form an insoluble salt crystal, which is easily carried away through the digestive system before our body is able to absorb the calcium. Therefore, the amount of calcium you can get from eating spinach may be much more insignificant than you expect.

For example, a half cup of cooked spinach only contains 115 mg of calcium. In order to get the same amount of calcium found in one cup of yogurt for your body, you need to eat over 16 cups of raw spinach or 8 cups of cooked spinach.

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What to do: Try avoiding foods containing oxalic acid on the days when you consume foods with calcium so your body can absorb calcium more effectively.

2. Lack of vitamin D

There are a number of reasons why you may lack vitamin D. First, you don’t consume the recommended levels of the vitamin over time.This could be the case if you follow a vegan diet because most natural sources of vitamin D are animal-based, which include fish, eggs yolks, and beef liver, to name a few. Second, your sunlight exposure is limited. Vitamin D is critical in helps our intestines absorb calcium by up to two to four times more.

What to do: Make sure you have diet or enough outdoor activities that sustains the supply of vitamin D before you consume a large amount of dairy products.

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3. Being addicted to soft drinks

It has been found that soda can reduce calcium levels and increase phosphate levels in our blood. That means when drink soft drinks like Coke and Pepsi, calcium loss will happen in our bones.

Apart from existing in soft drinks, phosphorous can also be found in natural foods like shellfish, cheese and porks. If you have too much phosphorous in your diet, it results in extra calcium loss through your urine. Your body will then take calcium from your bones to make up for the lack of calcium in your blood circulation. Eventually, this can lead to osteoporosis, which plagues many Americans today.

What to do: Some people are religious soda drinkers, and for some, it may be difficult to cut it out cold turkey. Keep track of how much soda you drink in a day, and do your best to cut that number in half. Try replacing a soda with flavored water or a power drink.

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4. Stress

By being stressed, you have decreased blood flow to your digestive system which leads to lower HCL (hydrochloride). We need HCL to absorb calcium into our bodies since it is absorbed through the small intestine.

What to do: To stop this from happening, try meditating, keeping a journal, exercising, etc. Anything that allows you to have a healthy release of stress will be beneficial in helping your body absorb the most calcium that it can.

5. Absorbing excess protein

A 2003 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition explains that the consumption of large amounts of protein will lead to a condition known as hypercalciuria. This condition impairs your body’s ability to absorb calcium, which is then discharged. If this condition is left untreated, it can cause your bones to thin as well as having an increased risk of sudden bone fractures and osteoporosis.

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In addition to the above study findings, a 1981 study published in the Federation Proceedings explains that hypercalciuria appears to occur when protein consumption is approximately three times the recommended amount.

What to do: Everyone has different nutritional needs. However, it’s recommended that if you’re healthy, 25 percent of your daily calorie intake should be in the form of protein.

As you can see, obtaining calcium is a bit more complex than originally believed. Start making changes today to ensure your body is getting enough calcium so you can lead a healthier lifestyle.

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Erica Wagner

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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