Weight Loss with HEALTHeME

Weight loss and good health made simple

Monday, December 5, 2011

Dairy for Weight Loss: The Truth

Does milk do a body good?

Behind the hype of dairy and weight loss.

Losing weight is tough and many people don't care how they lose weight, as long as the scale is tipping in the right direction. But, several recent studies remind us that weight loss involves more than just slashing calories: the goal of weight loss is to get rid of the fat, while maintaining or building lean tissues like muscle and bone.

In one recent study, women were put into groups that consumed varying amounts of dairy, protein, and carbohydrates; and all groups exercised seven days per week. While all groups lost weight, researchers found that the group that consumed the highest amount of both protein and dairy lost the most total body fat and gained the most lean muscle tissue. This is significant because gaining lean muscle while losing body fat helps prevent weight gain. 

Another recent study found that women who ate a diet higher in protein, especially when the protein came from dairy products, maintained their bone density even while losing weight. Bone density is an important issue for both men and women.  A loss of bone mass can lead to osteoporosis or fractures. While many people lose bone density while they are dieting, you can reach your weight loss goals and protect those all-important bones by including low-fat dairy in your daily diet.

The way you lose weight is important.  By working to maintain or build muscle and bone while shedding fat, you will change your body for life! And, it looks like a diet rich in protein and low-fat dairy products may be just what you need to succeed. Try these tips to include high protein, low-fat dairy in your diet:
  • Go Greek - Have Greek yogurt for breakfast, an afternoon snack, or top with fresh fruit for a decadent dessert! Greek yogurt packs twice the amount of protein as regular yogurt.
  • Sport a milk mustache -  Have a glass of skim or 1% milk with your meals to help you feel full and get plenty of bone-strengthening vitamins! Don’t like milk? Try soymilk or almond milk instead.
  • Say cheese -  Enjoy low-fat cheese, like string cheese, as a snack to boost your energy & keep you feeling full.